Monday, September 26, 2005

Don't Hold Back - Updated

(Media guru Rich Miller was kind enough to point out to me that the piece I read online was not a SJ-R editorial, my apologies for the mistake.)

In the wake of the Trib's lashing of the Governor about the whole ICC issue, today's State Journal Register ran a guest column by Illinois State Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley in which Whitley decided to go after not only the Governor, but the Lt. Gov and the AG as well. Among the tidbits that they put into today's article is this:
If there is to be no regard for either fact finding or objective judgment by independently appointed commissioners with quasi-judicial status and staggered terms intended to insulate the institution from undue gubernatorial influence, then let’s forgo the charade, abolish the commission and let the governor rule unilaterally.

There is a dangerous political game afoot that has significant long-term implications for the future of our state. What Blagojevich, Quinn and Madigan seem to be saying is that populism trumps reason and economics. The economic consequences of such political decisions may not be in the best interest of our state or the nation.
Damn. I will say though that I ran into another very influential person in the business community last week, who has also been around state government for a long time, and to say that the biz folks are pissed is a vast understatement.

I think that the Governor's folks should have seen this backlash coming. And not even on substantive grounds mind you, I have known Marty Cohen for a long time and think a lot of him (and not only because he is a constituent), but purely from the procedural appearance of the Governor's actions. With a second appointment looming, I would think that they would want to tread very carefully in the selection process. I have heard one name in particular, and while I don't know the guy, suffice it to say that would only seem to fan the flames.

This situation reminds me not so much of the gaming board issue, but more of the stem cell funding issue. Even people that were happy with the outcome were a little skittish about how we got there.


At September 26, 2005 at 4:15 PM, Blogger Rich Miller said...

Um, John, that was a guest column by Doug Whitley.

At September 26, 2005 at 5:04 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

My bad. Online it came up through the opinion page and I thought that it was an editorial. Makes a little more sense now though.

See, that's why you're the reporter and I'm only a legislator.

At September 26, 2005 at 5:53 PM, Blogger Rich Miller said...


At September 26, 2005 at 10:05 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


At September 27, 2005 at 1:45 PM, Blogger DownLeft said...

Oh heaven forbid the ICC not be in the hands of the utility companies. The Chamber of Commerce crowd is accustomed to being in charge. I kind of enjoy seeing them wail and moan when threatened with someone who might represent the interests of the public rather than their own companies.

I loved the Huey Long reference. They're really afraid of a government that isn't in the pockets of big business.


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