A Lack of Credibility
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 5, 2007 1:50PM
What happens when an already unpopular governor tries to raise taxes to pay for a universal healthcare plan that wasn't at the forefront of most voters minds? Rod Blagojevich found out after his sloppily composed and poorly executed budget collapsed under a vote of 107 - 0 in the legislature. As the budget deadline loomed, he found himself trying to play footsie with Senate President Emil Jones, getting down with expanded gambling in the state, something he had previously opposed. He then took the walk of shame over to Mike Madigan's office, to try and work out some way that education funding and infrastructure improvements, two issues that do matter most Illinois voters could fit in with his fantasy of a making the centerfold of Governor's Monthly for landing healthcare for all. That didn't work out so well either.
For Jones, it's about pork, plain and simple. Before the budget deadline, he tried to hand $40 million to Chicago State University from this budget only to have it scaled back to a paltry $10 million, while trying to give a group of investors (including the wives of former sports player, mayors, and movie critics) a bail-out of the financial disaster that was the Emerald Casino in Rosemont.
At this point the freak show that passes for a Democratic party in this state has devolved into name-calling, showboating, and veiled threats passed through the media. It's even been alleged that Blagojevich has told non-profits that if they don't get behind his budget, they'll be cut out of the state's largess.
Now that the competing factions have made sure that they flexed their political muscle and fucked each other (and the rest of us) over, the Democratic factions who control the House, Senate and governor's office have ensured the Republicans will be a part of this budget deal. Even Daley, the classic DINO is disappointed: "If it just ends with nothing happening, that is a very sad comment on the Democratic Party." With Blagojevich still deluding himself that he has any authority or credibility downstate, and Emil Jones doing his best to back Blago in spite of his own personal ambitions, the circus sideshow that is the state GOP is licking its chops at the chance to stick it to the opposition, and it's all but guaranteed that there will be no education reform this year. No significant tax reform. A paltry sum to fix transit in the state. At this point in the game, it looks like Mike Madigan is playing with the best poker face in the state.
Image via Tom Roeser