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Monday morning wrap-up

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I need to hit the road for Springfield and I’m late, as usual, so this will be brief.

The Sun-Times joins the call for a Chicago casino.

We’re not going to get into the location-naming game here, but we think if a casino is going to be approved for the city, it should occupy a space where it can reach its full potential to bring in money and help relieve the economic crunch on the city and state. It’s estimated the city could rake in as much as $300 million a year from casinos, and the state as much as $700 million.

And then jumps in all the way:

We’re also in favor of adding slot machines at racetracks, to ease the bite horse racing takes from casino revenues. Gambling already takes place at racetracks, so allowing them slots won’t constitute an expansion of gambling.

The Sun-Times even called for medical malpractice reform.


A state cash source has dried up and the AP reports that some locals are crying foul.
Cash from off-track betting parlors helped Bloomington buy a multimillion-dollar zoo exhibit, a replica of a South American rain forest with exotic birds and other animals. Grayville had been using its cut of OTB winnings to keep up its small park and swimming pool.

For years, the state has shared nearly $3 million of its take from OTBs with about a dozen Illinois park districts, along with some Chicago attractions.

But Gov. Rod Blagojevich and lawmakers quietly dumped the grants last summer to help plug the state’s $2.3 billion budget gap, a move that is now coming as a surprise to local officials who were expecting checks to show up as usual in December.

“They just keep taking away and taking away,'’ Grayville Mayor Joe Bisch said last week when he found out the budget shuffle will cost his southwestern Illinois town of about 1,600 residents more than $36,000.


The Tribune runs a veto session preview story that includes this:
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a robust veto session may be that distrust dies hard. Lingering ill will from the record-breaking 54-day summer overtime budget session may be a deterrent to far-reaching action.

Blagojevich teamed up with Jones in a standoff against House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and the two Republican legislative leaders, creating friction that will not be eliminated easily.

The Daily Herald’s session preview is here.


Aaron Chambers’ Saturday column in the Rockford Register Star is a good read, as always.
Alan Keyes may be independent, and he’s certainly provocative, but he was far from constructive when it came to advancing Illinois politics.

Yes, he invigorated the Christian right — the same base that tipped the presidential election in favor of Republican George W. Bush — but he succeeded only in aggravating the wounds of Illinois Republicans when it came to the functioning of the political sphere inhabited by most Illinoisans.

He condescended toward the people of the state that is not even his own.

I’ll do a couple of e-mail posts this afternoon, but I’m not sure how quickly they’ll update here. It’s a grand experiment, folks. Stay tuned.

posted by Rich Miller
Monday, Nov 8, 04 @ 9:00 am


  1. Ah yes….slot machines at race tracks. The race tracks had a monopoly on ‘gaming’ for years and years. Now they face a little bit of competition and they whine and whine.

    The more money the government gets, the more they want. I am just waiting for them to legalize prostitution, so they can tax that. Then narcotics.

    I hope for the sake of the city Daley remains in power for 20 more years. Becuase the minute he’s out of power, this city is going to collapse. Without a dictator with his clout, we are all screwed.

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Nov 9, 04 @ 6:43 am

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