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Thread: Illinois Politics

  1. #61
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    Well ... the Illinois legislature decided to move forward with the impeachment process. They could decide to have a special election to replace Obama but that could take 4 to 6 months before it is all organized and put in place, so they might not go that route. I think they're hoping Blagojevich will resign, then Lt Gov. Quinn will take over and he'll get to make the selection. That way we would have a second Senator more quickly than a special election and the Democrats would be happy because they wouldn't lose their seat. I heard on the news that the U.S. Senate can also refuse to accept as a Senator someone Blagojevich selects.

    Ryan, Rosty and now Blagojevich. Such integrity we have in Illinois politics!
    Yikes! I've been Boo'd ... right off of the stage!
    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  2. #62
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    indianapolis,indiana usa
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    I came across this commentary by a Political Science Prof. in Illinois. His
    opinion of how this whole mess with Blogo was possible. I don't know if
    any of this is true or false. I don't really know much about Illinois's political
    culture, but it is interesting.



    By Kent Redfield
    Special to CNN

    Editor's Note: Kent Redfield is director of the Sunshine Project, a research project focused on the role of money in Illinois politics and on political ethics in the state. He is a professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Illinois -- Springfield. Before joining the faculty, he worked for four years as a member of the research/appropriations staff for the then-speaker of the Illinois General Assembly, who was a Democrat.


    Kent Redfield says new laws and better choices by Illinois voters could end the state's tradition of corruption.

    SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (CNN) -- In the glow of his election victory in fall 2002, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich stood on the stage at the victory celebration held in the steel mill where his father had worked and promised "reform and renewal," and an "end to business as usual."

    He told a public weary of the scandal surrounding former Gov. George Ryan that they had voted for change and that he intended to bring that change.

    Instead, Blagojevich is likely to go down in history as a ringing example of the corrupting influence of money in politics and the failure of Illinois voters to demand change.

    Three years earlier he had been an obscure Chicago congressman concerned about losing his seat through redistricting. He formed a state political committee and began raising money. Much of his early money came from businesses in his old congressional district, particularly in the Chicago ward controlled by his father-in-law, Alderman Richard Mell.

    Because of his huge war chest, Blagojevich was the only candidate in the Democratic primary who campaigned statewide. After his primary victory, he continued to raise money at a staggering rate, $26 million in all. In the general election, Blagojevich constantly hammered on the need to end Republican corruption and restore the state's honor.

    From the beginning of his first term, it appeared that Blagojevich wanted to be more than just the governor of Illinois. He hired a former Bill Clinton adviser to write his inaugural address and shape his public message. By promising not to raise taxes and to provide universal access to health care, he hoped to catch the eye of those beyond Illinois as a different kind of Democrat.

    His dream was to be on a stage in November 2008, playing the role that turned out to be that of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.


    It wound up that he did go national in 2008, but not in the way he had hoped.

    Blagojevich's rhetoric and his leadership style caused problems in the state Capitol in Springfield immediately. He always presented conflicts over policy as morality plays. No matter what the issue, it was always "Sir Rodney the Good" vs. the forces of evil.

    He loved to pull political surprises and demonstrated disdain for legislators. After winning a second term, he proposed a massive gross receipts tax on businesses as a way of dealing with the overwhelming deficit in the state budget without raising taxes on "the working people."

    The idea had never been mentioned in the campaign or discussed with the legislative leaders before the speech. Ultimately, the proposal went nowhere.

    In 2005, federal subpoenas began arriving at state agencies and the governor's office, looking into hiring practices and state contracts. Over the past three years, the governor has spent more than $2 million from his campaign fund on legal fees.

    What saved Blagojevich politically in 2006 was his extraordinary ability to raise money. He raised $29 million, while his Republican opponent, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, raised less than $11 million. Blagojevich won a bare majority of the vote in a three-way race.

    By spring 2008, most Illinois citizens had concluded the governor was doing a terrible job. His approval rating was at 12 percent.

    Still, most people assumed we were stuck with him for two more years. The tapes described in the federal criminal complaint last week confirmed what many in Illinois had suspected for a long time. The real Rod Blagojevich has been running the state like a Chicago ward boss, according to the complaint.

    In the end, he brought himself down by ignoring the reality of a federal investigation aimed directly at him. If he is convicted of a crime, we will be rid of him not because we exercised collective wisdom at the ballot box, but because he turned out to be an even more incompetent crook than he was a governor.

    Gov. Blagojevich is the fifth of the last eight elected Illinois governors to be charged with a felony. If Blagojevich is convicted, we will have the unique distinction of having two former governors in jail at the same time. Why is this happening again? iReport.com: Do you trust your elected leaders?

    Illinois has extremely weak campaign finance and ethics laws, with no limits on the amount of campaign contributions. The law that takes effect in January prohibiting contributions by people who already hold large ($50,000 or more) state contracts to the public officials who are responsible for awarding such contracts is a small first step.

    But greater changes are needed. Limiting all contributions to $1,000 would make "pay to play" in the granting of state contracts or the selling of a U.S. Senate seat much less profitable or tempting.

    Making corruption more difficult only takes you so far. People are more likely to obey the law if they believe it is wrong to break the law -- in addition to the chance they might get caught. We need to change the political culture in Illinois -- the attitudes and beliefs we share about the nature of politics. Too many Illinois citizens and politicians believe that politics is solely about power, winning and personal gain.

    The charges filed against the governor only reinforce the idea that politics is and always will be a dirty business. But culture does change. The prominent role that racism has played in our national culture is slowly and begrudgingly giving way to new attitudes and beliefs and a new reality. Illinois' culture of political corruption does not have to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Two years ago, most Illinois citizens suspected what they now know about Rod Blagojevich. But on Election Day, fewer than 37 percent of the eligible voters in Illinois went to the polls and a majority of them elected him to another four-year term. In order to fix Illinois politics, we need to start by taking a long look at ourselves in the mirror.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kent Redfield.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    ó Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  3. #63
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    Let's not forget Rhode Island

    My home state is well practiced in the ways of corruption, as evidenced in this article.

  4. I've also read this week that...per capita...Louisiana is even more corrupt with more convictions than Illinois. Done with even more hubris.

    Sounds like Rhode Island can give them a run for the money (pun intended...)

    Poor Illinois....

  5. #65
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    Kentucky, LAND OF THE EASILY AMUSED
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    Wah,

    My state is more corrupt than anyone else's. All politicians are morons and the only time we show our crappy, underbelly is when we get a clip on CNN....


    Boo Effing Hoo!

  6. The current govenor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, is being floated as a possible Republican candidate for president.

    It will be interesting to see if the same folk who want to tar Obama with the corruption of Illinois politics will feel the same way about Jindal.

    Or if it will be another case of...situational ethics!

  7. #67
    GOv. Jindal intrigues me, BUT....................

    given the poitical history of the state (recent, at that) I'd be "concerned" with ethical questions.

    Same with anyone out of Providence (I seriously doubt Buddy Cianci is the only pol in Providence with Mob ties) or parts of Boston. (Sen. Wilkerson, please, it's not racism YOU WERE CAUGHT STUFFING AN EVELOPE FULL OF BRIBE MONEY INTO YOUR BRA!!!)

    While I doubt anyone is truly clean and pure as the wind driven snow, it amazes me the things politicians are given a pass on by the press and the public at large.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  8. #68
    As an aside....

    TO the media and general public....

    Can we at least wait until 2010 and a half or so BEFORE WE START THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?????????????
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    As an aside....

    TO the media and general public....

    Can we at least wait until 2010 and a half or so BEFORE WE START THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?????????????
    According to the article posted you will also need to worry about politicians from New York, Texas, Florida (especially Florida!), New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

    As for waiting until 2010...you might want to tell more than just the media and the general public...Bobby was in Iowa making a speech recently.

    Don't you think you might want to tell the Wannabes as well?
    Last edited by Edwina's Secretary; 12-22-2008 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Almost forgot PA!

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    . . . . . . . .

    Same with anyone out of Providence (I seriously doubt Buddy Cianci is the only pol in Providence with Mob ties) or parts of Boston. (Sen. Wilkerson, please, it's not racism YOU WERE CAUGHT STUFFING AN EVELOPE FULL OF BRIBE MONEY INTO YOUR BRA!!!)

    While I doubt anyone is truly clean and pure as the wind driven snow, it amazes me the things politicians are given a pass on by the press and the public at large.
    Ah yes, Buddy Cianci. I wasn't living in Rhode Island while he was the Mayor. Anyone else read the book about him - Prince of Providence? Now he's out of prison, back in Providence, holding court once again. He even has a radio show on WPRO.

    Life goes on . . . . .

  11. #71
    Yeah, I noticed that.

    It's called an election CYCLE because there are supposed to be lulls between bouts of chaos.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassiesmom View Post
    The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Hello, Gov (Democrat) ... did you not learn anything from the whole corruption thing with Ryan (Republican)? And did you not think about your wife and children? You had an opportunity to do right in selecting someone to complete Obama's Senate term, and you blew it. There is going to be a special session of the Illinois House and Senate next week to come up with a way to separate him from the gubernatorial duty of appointing Obama's successor. I'm sure Lincoln and Reagan are turning over in their graves.
    Blago held a news conference yesterday at his Chicago office and stated he has done nothing wrong. The state House has started impeachment hearings. The Lt. Gov. has quietly started assembling a transition team. The only one who is keeping mum about it is Da Mayor, who only says Blago should do what's best for his family and the people of Illinois.

    And this from WLS News:
    "Leave it to Chicago radio to come up with unique promotional events, this time at the expense of the state's troubled governor. Some passersby on Michigan Avenue braved the cold temperatures and had some fun throwing shoes at a life-size cut-out of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The event was held just outside WGN Radio's Tribune Tower Showcase studio. The promotion was dubbed "Pay to Play & Throw a Shoe at Blagojevich." Participants had to make a donation to take part. All proceeds are being donated to the Neediest Kids Fund." Wish I'd been there!
    Yikes! I've been Boo'd ... right off of the stage!
    Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
    Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!


    "That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas

    Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678

  13. #73
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    Quote: "And this from WLS News:
    "Leave it to Chicago radio to come up with unique promotional events, this time at the expense of the state's troubled governor. Some passersby on Michigan Avenue braved the cold temperatures and had some fun throwing shoes at a life-size cut-out of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The event was held just outside WGN Radio's Tribune Tower Showcase studio. The promotion was dubbed "Pay to Play & Throw a Shoe at Blagojevich." Participants had to make a donation to take part. All proceeds are being donated to the Neediest Kids Fund." Wish I'd been there! "

    I'll bet they get lots of takers. It's for a great cause.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    ó Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    Given the poitical history of the state (recent, at that) I'd be "concerned" with ethical questions.


    I'm always amazed & constantly concerned with the "ethics" displayed
    by GW Bush & his buddies. Read this article on the recent bank bailout
    and how this country got royally screwed yet again.

    Click on Washingto Post for the article.

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot...s-on-bank.html
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    ó Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  15. #75
    The bank bailout was approved by Congress, who failed to appoint an oversight agency as rapidly as they passed the bill to hand out the money.

    It's a cluster...........but to blame it solely on the executive is inaccurate. (There isn't much of Pres. Bush's domestic agenda I agree with, frankly it's time for a little chlorine in the political gene pool on all sides)
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

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