Who Needs Republicans?

No New Taxes.  Smaller Government.  Severe Cuts in the Social Safety Net.  These are key staples of the Republican Agenda.

They also happen to be the central tenets of the state budget pushed through by Speaker Michael Madigan.  Just because.

This isn't simply a profound failure of political leadership, but also a sharp rebuke to core Democratic values.  Note that the political Machine that Madigan heads isn't affected.  It's the poor, the children, the elderly, those at risk in our society that will bear the brunt of Madigan's power play.  COMEX Democrats and the Machine retain their jobs, their perks and their place of power.

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The Last Days of Rod Blagojevich

Looks like these are the last days of Governor Blagojevich.  While there will be a collective sigh of relief across the land that we will have seen the last of this Governor's corrupt rule, it will neither be the last we see of Blagojevich, abuse of power in Illinois government nor the last of the corrupt political system in which the Governor arose.

It is important to realize that this has been a family feud, a war amongst the members of Illinois' political "machine," over who will control the levers of state government (and, thus, the money that flows from it).  Ridding ourselves of Rod Blagojevich only removes the most public embarrassment that stems from the corruption endemic to the state's politics.  But it won't change the fact that the state remains one of the most corrupt in the nation.

This is Illinois, as one political reporter likes to remind us. Corruption is endemic here.  Abuse of power is common.  It is, as Illinoisans like to remind outsiders, the price of getting things done.  People accept it.  That's the way it's been since people can remember.

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More Illinois democracy - UPDATE

Everyone sane agrees that special elections to fill the U.S. senate seats of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would be the preferred small "d" democratic option.

This is true in New York, where (1) the unelected governor, who is the son of a former state officer holder, may imminently make a selection between (2) the inexperienced daughter of a president and niece of senators and (3) her ex cousin-in-law, the son of a former governor, to replace (4) the wife of a former president.

This is particularly true in Illinois, where the taint of scandal will attach to anyone selected by the incumbent governor or his successor.

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Merry Fitzmas: What Illinois Gets with Pat Quinn

We voted for change.  But it appears we may be getting some real change here in Illinois.  The differences between Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and indicted Governor Rod Blagojevich are staggering, and that's simply from a (good) government perspective.  (Can't wait for Rich Miller to start calling me a goo goo!)

First of all, when Pat Quinn takes over as our Governor we will have an engaged governor, someone who not only puts the people of Illinois first but is incessantly thinking about how to improve our lives.  If Pat Quinn ever chooses to "work from home," you will know that real work is getting done.  But I wouldn't count on Quinn taking the slacker path.  You'd probably see him more at the Thompson Center, not less.  There's no question that he'd been seen more doing the people's business than we've seen of Rod.  (In the indicted Governor's defense, it's probably a good thing that he was conducting his illegal activities based out of his house and not the 15th floor.  You'd hope that fewer state employees were engaged in Blagojevich's illegal activities that way.)

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Who Needs Graft when there's just plain Greed?

Vote Now!  Vote No!
Consider:

* A state in recession.

* A government with crippling underfunded pension obligations, considered "worst in the nation."

* State leaders paralyzed by an increasingly bitter, personal family feud prepared to abandon millions of federal dollars for infrastructure repair.

* A HUGE pay raise for said leaders.

One of these things doesn't fit with the others.  Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is asking people to tell their legislators what they think about this huge pay raise that they have given themselves with his new Vote Now!  Vote No! website.

(H/T to Rich Miller's Capitol Fax blog)

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Diaries

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