Hump Day Political News Roundup
By Kevin Robinson on Jun 6, 2007 4:30PM
While the state government devolves into a teeming cesspool of Machiavellian intrigue and self-loathing (quickly becoming an annual tradition in one form or another here in the Land of Lincoln), the world of politics moves on. While we have no problem kicking around Blagojevich (and the other asshole cynics downstate), this week, we're putting it aside, damn it! With out further adieu, here it is, your dose of news before lunch:
Daley Takes his Public Schedule Not-So-Public. Now that he's bested his old man for the longest serving mayor in Chicago, Daley has stopped letting regular people know what he's doing on a daily basis. In the past, if you called 312-744-0052, a recorded voice message would tell you when and where the mayor would be appearing that day. On Thursday last week, however, that practice came to an end. "We are no longer giving the mayor's schedule out," a mayoral spokeswoman told The Reader's Mick Dumke. "We want to make sure that only certain people have that information." It seems that you have to have press credentials these days to find out where the guy who's salary you pay will be each day. No word yet if Chicagoist has made the list.
More of the Guv's People go Down with Rezko. Last Thursday, a former top official in Gov. Blagojevich's administration was indicted for allegedly using his state clout in a loan-fraud scheme. Former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, Ali Ata is accused of signing a letter on the state agency's stationary, making it appear an investor had won partial state backing in a deal to acquire two groups of Rezko's Papa John's pizza restaurants in Chicago and Milwaukee. Ata's lawyer has indicated that he will plead not guilty.
Blago Gets Some Bills to Sign. In spite of the shit storm that Blagojevich has put himself in the middle of (seriously - where did this guy learn politics?), he's gotten a few feel-good bills to sign recently. Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly have unanimously passed a bill that eliminates the need for written consent before patients can be screened for HIV. A bill that would make it easier for family members to get help for mentally ill relatives who refuse treatment passed the Illinois House last week, and a bill that would prohibit the sale or installation of mercury-laden thermostats both are awaiting the governor's signature.