Friday, May 11, 2007


From the 'How Not to Build Support' playbook, comes this gem.

Shortly after his GRT proposal got shredded by the House, the Governor was speaking to a group at the Thompson Center in Chicago. (On an aside, I heard a couple clips from his comments on my drive home to Chicago, and I am at a complete loss to explain the incredible Southern drawl in his speech. It was as if he was imitating Hillary imitating Ellie May Clampett.)

In any event, the radio station did not play this clip that is reported on in today's Chicago Tribune column:
Blagojevich had sought to blunt the impact of the vote by suggesting beforehand that he wanted lawmakers to reject the referendum on his plan. But after the roll call he used a rally in Chicago to accuse legislators of being too cozy with business interests who "eat fancy steaks" and "shuffle around in Gucci loafers."

"Your lawmakers in Springfield sometimes forget where they came from. Sometimes they forget who hired them," Blagojevich said. "Waiting outside that chamber, where the people are supposed to have their representatives do their job, are all these high-powered lobbyists twisting their arms."
Riiight. Because everybody knows that Democrats have always been in the pocket of Big Business. Give me a break. For a guy who has raised the kind of money that he has from 'business interests' to level statements like that at the members of the General Assembly is unconscionable.

I don't enjoy being at odds with the Governor, and I think that it is safe to say that a majority of my colleagues would prefer a scenario in which cooperation would be used to achieve results for the greater good. But at this point it should be crystalline that the General Assembly is not going to be bullied into supporting a multi-billion dollar tax hike that it is not comfortable with.

Not that he could have gotten fewer votes then he did yesterday, but I doubt that yesterday's comments are going to help his case much.

One would think that yesterday's vote would be a wake-up call, not only about the substance of his proposal , but about the process of working with the Legislature. It sure doesn't sound like he got the message.


At May 11, 2007 at 5:34 PM, Blogger Extreme Wisdom said...

Dear Honorable John,

This is theatre, and it's a sad commentary that no one in the Trib or TV has just told the people what is happening.

The GRT has been a stalking for HB750 all along, and Biz community, and all the tax groups are in on it.

I just saw a "press release" from Jo Ann Osmond crowing about how she voted against the "Largest Tax increase in IL history."

What a joke. She'll likely vote the even worse HB750 and slather her dumbed down voters with some lie about a "property tax relief" that will disappear in a year or two (assuming it will appear at all).

When Jones, Madigan and Blago get into their smokey room and start deciding how all of you are going to vote, the choice will be 750 or some smaller 'Civic Federation' tax increase.

Would that somebody with money would run ads telling voters just what a charade Springfield has become.

At May 11, 2007 at 5:43 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

EW, on this one, I think you might be seeing shadows where they don't exist. We'll see.

At May 11, 2007 at 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blago was a mediocre state representative, a mediocre congressmen and an even more mediocre governator.

Many of Democrats have questioned why we supported him six months into his first term. I told him personally then that he was a terrible disappointment.

During those early months in his first term he proved that his word was meaningless and that a commitment from him had a life expectancy of less than 24 hours. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican this man has proved that he cannot be trusted. That kind of self-destructive conduct and reputation can never be overcome.

He blows in the wind lacking substance and any ethical foundation what-so-ever.

At May 12, 2007 at 2:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The three most important things to understand about 750 are:

1) There is no guarantee that property tax relief will either be significant or will last, because
the state cannot dictate how communities levy property taxes.
The best guess is a year or two of mild relief followed by accelerating property taxes, leaving taxpayers about where they were before but now paying a 2 percent income tax as well. That
2 percent will never go away.

2) There is no guarantee that the money will be well used or will
improve the quality of education.
Ralph Martire's website, for example, highlights the LOCAL CONTROL benefits of 750. That means more and more highly paid education bureaucrats working in conditions of absolutely no accountability. Not to mention that Blago, Emil, and other Democrats will be taking out huge
chunks of the 750 revenues for patronage, earmarks, and lush contracts for the politically connected.

3) This is basically a tax on the Cook and collar suburbs, who invest heavily in education already. They will end up paying even more in various taxes so their money can go to "help" communities where the residents would rather buy expensive SUV's and other things they can't afford than pay for better education. Many suburban residents are truly wealthy and won't even notice. But most are not, and they'll end up paying the freight.

750 is a soak the middle class, give the rich a pass, and shower money on the so-called poor tax.
And the so-called poor won't even get improved education. Look at what has happened in Chicago, an huge, wealthy metropolis which has been showering education money on the so-called poor for years, with virtually nothing to show for it.

At May 12, 2007 at 7:22 AM, Anonymous Bill said...

I don't buy the conspiracy theory either but EWs prediction of the result is probably(hopefully?) correct. If not for the Governor's courage and leadership we would most likely be in for another two years of stop gap, band-aid budgets (Is there any money left in the pension fund to raid?)which would not address the burgeoning state debt, the health care crisis,school funding reform, property tax reform or anything else.
We now have the opportunity to actually solve some of the state's problems. The governor has made his position clear. I haven't heard any proposal from the Speaker. If there is an viable alternative proposal (HB750?) then why don't we have an all day spectacle to discuss it like we did with GRT? Why don't we have a house resolution and force legislators to sign on or off like we did with the GRT? How can "experts" argue that the GRT is more regressive than raising income tax by 67% and expanding sales taxes to services? (Spare me the pyramid argument. Food and drugs are exempt. No necessities we be taxed.)
We all know when and how the budget will get written and passed. We will just have to wait until the morning after the session to find out. It gets a little frustrating, year after year, to watch a guy from a small, declining ward on the southwest side of Chicago run the whole state. Can't our elected officials ever think for themselves?

At May 12, 2007 at 7:44 AM, Anonymous DuPage Saint said...

Like his idol The King, the governor is caught in a trap and cannot get out. The GRT (Goofiest Rod Thing) just shows that every now and then the people of this state want to elect a politician of Dan Walker proportions- all show and no go. I hope the next gov. has the political know how and sense to get things done. I am sure whatever democrat wins next time will be better than Rod. As far as the republicans, their next gov isn’t born yet.

At May 12, 2007 at 10:55 AM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

fed up dem,

If you take one word out of your post (you can guess which one:) ), I'll post it.

At May 13, 2007 at 8:02 AM, Anonymous lake county democrat said...

I always feel like I have to play devil's advocate on this blog. First, wrt Rod and $5/gal:

here it's well over four (maybe due to higher taxes but still...)

Steve Huntley also mentioned experts talking about $5/gal gas in the Sun-Times last week.

Second, at least in theory I don't see anything so beyond-the-pale in the governor's attack. If his proposal is as unfriendly to big business as all those "Harry and Louise" ads against it I hear on the radio would indicate, then he's demonstrated some degree of independence.

Third, and most of all, Bill's right: what *exactly* is the alternative? The devil is in the details. Maybe the House Dems should coax Judy Baar Topinka out to bring back her Chicago casino/dump AllKids/etc. plan. All I hear is that the state has this impending financial crisis and that businesses won't survive the GRT -- I heard the similar things about Clinton's 1993 tax increases for deficit control, but I'm open to consider serious alternatives.

Fourth, I'm sorry, but having heard Mike Madigan claim to be a civil libertarian once on WBBM's At Issue, the hypcorcicy train has permanently jumped the rails.


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