The Sunday Cup Runneth Over
We'll lead with Lynn Sweet, who has a piece about the letter Sen. Carol Ronen drafted in an attempt to have influential progressive signers urge Edwin Eisendrath not to enter the gubernatorial primary. Given the title "Pressure tactic to clear Dem primary field falls flat", I think you can gather how well this idea went over. The piece closed with this little zinger:
The penultimate paragraph of the letter to Eisendrath said, "We must continue the fight as a unified Democratic community for the values we hold dear with the distractions of a hopeless primary challenge."I had lunch with one of the more prominent people to receive the letter, and let's just say that the letter went over even worse than the column would lead you to think.
Not so hopeless that it was not worth a try to bottle him up.
On an aside, I wonder it the commitment to "the values we hold dear" will keep Sen. Ronen and the other 'progressives' who actually did sign the letter from supporting very conservative candidates on the ticket. Or does will they decide that geopgraphy trumps principles when it's convenient?
Greg Hinz drives home why Judy Barr Topinka has her work cut out for her if she wants to go after the Governor based on the integrity of the administration.
But even Topinka-backer state Sen. Kirk Dillard, the DuPage County GOP chairman, last week said that "other people" on the 2006 GOP ticket will drive the ethics issue against the Democrats.
It shouldn't be that way. Ms. Topinka herself needs to prove that she's not just a get-along, go-along gal. She can start by moving away from Bob Kjellander, who has a stunning conflict in his twin roles as a lobbyist who has to butter up Democratic officials and a protector of GOP interests as the state's Republican national committeeman. Then she can propose and unite her party behind new ethics laws with teeth.
Ms. Topinka can't undo the past. But she needs to demonstrate the future will be different.
Hewitt Douglass, an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services, is president of Local 2600 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
"I'm here to find out who is going to be the best candidate for governor," Douglass told me later. "And I like what I heard her say. ... I believe that she can beat Blagojevich."
I asked if Douglass thinks Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH should be defeated in 2006.
"I believe he should be beaten because he lied to me," Douglass said. "He said he would not balance the budget on the back of state employees. My pension money has been used for the next two years to balance the budget on the back of state employees.
From Doug Finke's Statehouse Insider column is this inexplicable quote from the Governor.
Coincidentally, earlier that day, Blagojevich made an appearance in Chicago along with Sen. MIGUEL DEL VALLE, D-Chicago.
"I'm so proud of the fact that (del Valle) lives just about a block and a half from the grade school that I went to and got Cs in," Blagojevich said.
Apparently, his academic mediocrity started at an early age.
I just don't know why the Governor insists on repeatedly going to the well with this line. The first time might have been kind of funny, but when you boast about gettting C's in Constitutional Law, then a federal judge tosses out your biggest-hyped initiative of the regular session (violent video games) on constitutional grounds, lines like this don't really go over as well.
Rich Miller's sydicated column last week about the vehemently anti-kitten Sen. Obama was actually hilarious, with just enough truth to make an elected official cringe. If you didn't see it, and want a quick chuckle, check it out.