Thursday, October 30, 2008

Double Think (I Think)

And it looks like it's a Con Con blogging hat trick today.

I'm thinking that the push for a Constitutional Convention is going to get a huge boost when word of this gets out.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that he doesn't support a convention to rewrite the state's 1970 constitution because he fears attempts to strip some of his executive powers.
Chalk that one up in the understatement of the month club.

The Governor then went on to explain how fortunate Illinoisans have been to have him at the helm, and in the process, infers that God has given the green light for the Governor to grind Springfield to a halt.
"Thank God that the constitution gives the executive branch a lot of power to get around the legislative branch," Blagojevich said, adding that without his ability to issue executive orders or use his amendatory veto power there would be no free mass transit rides for seniors or free breast and cervical cancer exams for women.

"If the constitutional convention were to occur and there was an effort to erode the executive branch's ability to do those things, then I think less good things would happen for people," Blagojevich said.
(Since he mentioned the free rides program that he pulled out of, um, thin air that blew a $40 million dollar hole in the CTA budget, let me just mention that in my entire tenure as a legislator, I have never met a senior citizen who complained about a free anything. But the majority of local seniors that I have spoken with since the program was launched have said that they thought the idea was unnecessary and a political stunt.)

Getting back on point, I sincerely believe that in light of the already-existing political climate in our state, as well as the Governor's recent poll numbers, the Governor's opposition to a Con Con may be just enough to get it passed.

But in the surreal world in which we find ourselves, you then have to think that the Governor would realize that his opposition would have a positive impact on the issue. Which could mean that deep down, he actually wants it to pass. Which is making me wonder if that means that I should actually be against a Con Con. Oh, that Governor Blagojevich, he's a crafty one.

Con Con on the Air

From no blogging to twice in one day. Here is the television ad being aired by Vote Yes on Illinois Con-Con Coalition.

It's pretty good.

Don't Be Afraid

Okay Okay. I get it. As I've been reminded by multiple messages in the last few days, I've completely slacked off on the blogging. And not to make excuses, but it's been a combination of post-session burnout and most of the focus being on national issues, which really isn't my thing on this blog.

So let me dip my toes back into the blogging waters with this thought and video. The debate over Con-Con has been raging, and I don't think that the opponents thought that the supporters would have as much traction as we do. I am hardly saying that I feel very confident that it's going to pass, but right now, I do think that we are definitely within striking distance. Not McCain-type striking distance but real striking distance.

What's frustrating is that so much of the opposition has been based in fear-mongering rather than articulated issues. And while I don't want to rehash the arguments here, I think that the following ad captures this sentiment pretty decently.

One last note. Given the sporadic to non-existent compliance with the court ruling requiring voters to be provided with corrected ballot language, I would find it hard to believe that a loss on the ballot question would not be followed by a lawsuit. I'll discuss it more if it comes to pass, but for now, I just wanted to posit that thought with you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Grudge Match

The stakes couldn't be higher and the sparks will be flying as Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain square off in the last of their three debates.

So come join me, friends, supporters and neighbors as we get together in Roscoe Village to watch what should be a barn burner.

We have our own spacious room, and bar, with plenty of televisions, so everybody can see, hear, and cheer on the action. We had a great crowd last week, so come early to make sure that you get a choice seat.

Admission is FREE!

Many thanks to the fine folks at Riverview Tavern for hosting our event and for offering drink specials and 1/2 price appetizers to our group!

This Wednesday October 16th
Debate Starts at 8:00p.m. (arrive early!)

Riverview Tavern
1958 West Roscoe (at Damen)

Questions? E-Mail

Monday, October 06, 2008

Right on Point

I've been bemoaning the lack of media coverage about the upcoming Constitutional Convention vote for some time now, so I'd be remiss not to give credit where credit is due. And in this case, it's to the Chicago Tribune, which had an excellent editorial in support of a Con-Con in Sunday's edition.

The editorial succinctly encapsulates the issue from the very beginning:
Decide right now that you'll vote yes Nov. 4 on what could be the most important ballot measure you've ever encountered. Then relax as the establishment foes of a constitutional convention do their best Halloween act to scare the bejabbers out of you and every other citizen of Illinois.

And when their goblins fly at you, heads spinning, with their best "Bwaa-Haa-Haa!" about the dangers of a con-con, don't flinch. They'll screech that convention delegates—your fellow citizens—could try to raise tax formulas, or repeal individual rights, or steer planet Earth into the sun. Answer the bloodcurdling spirits with the mantra they cannot refute: Before our constitution actually would change—We . . . have . . . the . . . final . . . say. All of us. In another referendum. We have to vote proposed revisions up or down.
It then delivers one of the best lines I've heard to date regarding this issue:
You cannot challenge the interests that own too much of Illinois if you don't climb into the ring with them.
I've known from the beginning that getting a convention approved was going to be an uphill battle. But every now and then, even uphill battles get won.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Campaigns 2.0

The last several years have brought about countless new ways to integrate technology into campaigns but this is by far the best use I've seen to date to help tap into a grassroots movement.

The Obama campaign has an iPhone app that puts most every aspect of the campaign right into your hand.
The most notable feature “organizes and prioritizes your contacts by key battleground states, making it easy to reach out and make an impact quickly,” according to the software.
I've been tinkering around with it for the last day and it truly is as remarkable as it is effective, providing integration for the user that lets them have unprecedented involvement in a Presidential campaign and the ability to so readily connect with other local supporters.

Furthermore, it's not a stretch to see how this technology could be readily adapted into smaller scale campaigns. I would be very surprised if it is more than 1 or 2 election cycles before this concept becomes ubiquitous.

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

If you're like me, your plans to go to Tuesday night's Cubs game have been, um, changed.

But what hasn't changed in the showdown in Nashville between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain as they meet for the second of their three debates.

So come join me, friends, supporters and neighbors as we get together in Roscoe Village to watch what should be a very good match up. We'll have our own room with plenty of televisions, so everybody will have the best seat in the house.

And admission is FREE!

Many thanks to the fine folks at Riverview Tavern for hosting our event and for offering drink specials and 1/2 price appetizers to our group!

This Tuesday October 7th
Debate Starts at 8:00p.m.

Riverview Tavern
1958 West Roscoe (at Damen)

Questions? E-Mail


They win 97 games and dominate their division. They send 8 players to the All-Star game.

But once again, I swore that I wouldn't get sucked in. In fact, this year I waited until the regular season was almost finished before letting myself believe, then convincing myself, that this really was the year.

And once again, I get sucker-punched by previously unforeseen levels of futility. (Hey Alfonso, nice .074 postseason average.) I mean, it would be hard to go 100 YEARS without winning the Series if you tried. That's the year that Butch and Sundance got killed in Bolivia, for chrissakes.

They came out flat in Game 1, and had progressively less enthusiasm every subsequent inning. They are only the second team EVER to have the best regular season record in baseball only to get swept in the first round of the playoffs. My baseball balloon has been popped once again.