Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Official

The pay-to-play ban is now law.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Con Con

For those who are interested in hearing more about the issue of a Consitutional Convention, I will be appearing on a panel hosted by the Chicago Republican Women's Network.

The event will take place TONIGHT, at 6:00p.m. at English, 444 North LaSalle Street.

The other members of the panel include Jeff Mays, President of the Illinois Business Roundtable Bruno Behrend, host of the Extreme Wisdom Radio Show; and Dan Proft or Urquhart Media LLC.

This is a very different panel then the ones that I've been doing (Quinn, Netsch, etc.), so it should make for an interesting conversation.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Part of me can't believe it finally happened, part of me can't believe it took this long. But barring something completely unforeseen, HB824, the pay-to-play ban, will take effect on January 1, 2009.

Only in Illinois does it take a Presidential nominee getting involved in order to pass a common sense ethics law. But it's a good day for good government and a good day for Illinois.

In any event, there are a lot of people that deserve a lot of credit for their work on this issue over the last 3+ years. Dan Hynes, Cindi Canary, Don Harmon, editorial boards around the state, and countless disgruntled Illinois taxpayers who said 'enough'. Without all of them, and many others, today would not have happened.

And while I have a couple of ideas, I don't have the energy right now to go into my thoughts on what the Governor will likely do next. But I can't help but think that, regardless of what his next steps may be, that he would have been a lot better off just signing this bill in the first place.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All the Way

I've waited. I've bitten my tongue. But it's time.

Thanks to Eddie Vedder for a great soundtrack for this season.

Nothing like watching a playoff game, the ivy turning red on the outfield wall, counting down the outs until a championship. The memories of the Marlins debacle are still fresh in my mind, but ready to be replaced. This will be the year.

While I Meant What I Said...

It's hardly a secret that the Governor and I don't see eye to eye. In fact, for reasons mostly unknown to me (yet not regretted), there has always existed a tension between us, both political and personal, even when we initially campaigned in unison back in 1995-96.

His style of governance, juxtaposed with my belief in the way government should function, has only served to deepen the rift. And my sponsorship of the pay-to-play ban, in light of its obvious impact on his fundraising abilities, has pretty much brought the conflict to a head.

So yesterday, when the Governor repeated false allegations in a thinly-veiled effort to justify his refusal to sign the pay-to-play ban, I didn't hesitate to respond:

"The governor has resorted to an all-new low, even for him. His allegations are pathetic and border on pathological," Fritchey said.

At the same event, the Governor threw in his latest creation, namely that Obama was being duped into not supporting the Governor's 'real ethics reform', prompting others to weigh in on the Governor's statements as well:

Cynthia Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, called Blagojevich's comments "delusional" and "loony." Her group opposed the governor's changes and asked Obama to speak with Jones.

"He doesn't care about his political party or the course of this nation," Canary said of the governor.

Obama's campaign declined to comment on Blagojevich's remarks. But Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan, a close Obama friend and former state legislative colleague, said the governor was attempting to kill the original ethics measure,

"It's just so obvious what's going on," said Link, the Lake County Democratic chairman. "It's ridiculous."

Now the point of this post isn't to retract my statements. I stand by everything that I said. But that being said, I sincerely think that it is unfortunate that the situation has devolved to the point where our state's Governor is routinely vocally derided by people from across the political and geographical divides of our state.

I'm unsure why, but I somehow feel compelled to reiterate the respect that I have for the office of Governor. In fact, it is likely that respect, coupled with my frustration at what is happening to our state, that piques my critiques of how the office is currently being run. And while I would never venture to speak for others who have criticized this Governor, I am confident that they would tend to be of the same mindset.

But in any event, I want to publicly say that if my comments somehow are taken to be disrespectful to our state, they are intended to be anything but. I believe in our state, and I believe that we deserve better. I want to believe that the public knows the passion that underlies my statements, but I feel better making sure that there is no doubt.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mark Your Calendars

I've been so busy, I forgot to post a number of upcoming events. I'll likely repost some of them as we get closer to the dates, but here is the list for right now.

w/ Rep. John Fritchey

Lincoln Park Library, 1150 West Fullerton Avenue


sponsored by UIC UNITED, a Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association

A Panel Discussion Including:
The Honorable John Fritchey, State Representative, 11th district; Kathryn Nesburg, Illinois League of Women Voters, Co-Chair, Con-Con Committee; Dawn Clark Netsch, Professor Emerita, Northwestern School of Law, The Honorable Pat Quinn, Illinois Lieutenant Governor
Moderated by: Richard Lockhart

Student Services Building, Harrison at Racine


w/ Rep. John Fritchey + Sen. John Cullerton

Sulzer Library, 4455 North Lincoln Avenue


Moved? Never registered? File now! Here's the form.


in conjunction with the Illinois Arts Council
and Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs

Lincoln Belmont Library,1659 West Melrose

I hope that you'll attend any or all of these events.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Glass Houses of Wasila

I rarely write about national politics on this blog, but I just read an article that really struck a nerve. As you'll no doubt recall, not that long ago, detractors of Sen. Obama pilloried him ad nauseum for the comments made by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Well, CNN has a very interesting story which exposes the duplicity of those attacks when it comes to the religious beliefs of Gov. Sarah Palin.

The article leads of benignly enough:

For more than two decades, current Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a practicing Pentecostal. She belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God church in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. But though she attended the church from her teenage years through to 2002, she hasn't talked much about her religion since joining the Republican ticket...

But if, for some reason, you have some inherent concern about her faith, fear not:

Palin's former pastor, Tim McGraw, says that like many Pentecostal churches, some members speak in tongues, although he says he's never seen Palin do so...
And in an apparent attempt to bolster her far-right street cred, her pastor says that:
he has no doubt her religious beliefs will influence her decision making when it comes to government policy. (Emphasis added)
So just what are those beliefs you ask?

Palin now attends the Wasilla Bible Church. She was there on August 17, just days before entering the national spotlight. David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God's "judgment" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. Brickner said, "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment -- you can't miss it."

But have no fear...

The McCain campaign says his comments do not reflect her religious views. Palin's spokeswoman says she is pro-Israel. (Emphasis added)
So Barack gets raked over the coals for comments by Rev. Wright, but Palin shouldn't be held accountable for what's said or believed at her place of worship?

Hypocrisy, thy name is McCain/Palin.