The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Where's Blago?

By Margaret Lyons in News on Dec 16, 2007 8:34PM


It seems like the press is finally catching on that Governor Blagojevich doesn't like to venture into the public eye very much (except for Blackhawks games), where reporters might have a chance to ask him some questions about the spate of federal investigations, the inaction of the state legislature, or the recent indictment of his former chief fundraiser. An Associated Press story from yesterday outlines several "feel good" photo ops that most politicians would flock to but that Blago readily avoids.

One recent example was the signing of a bill making heart defibrillators mandatory at all outdoor sports facilities. The R.A.W Initiative was named after Northwestern student Rashidi Wheeler, who in 2001 died on the field during football practice. Wheeler's family and a former teammate were in attendance, setting the scene for some positive public relations, but instead the signing was held behind closed doors without even the bill's sponsors, State Representative Daniel Burke and State Senator Martin Sandoval, being invited.

Blagojevich also has been criticized for "governing by press release" with his lack of press conferences and not even following Mayor Daley's example of regularly answering a bunch of reporters' questions without really answering them. And when Blago does hold the rare appearance with the press, like a spoiled celebrity he will often leave the room if he doesn't approve of the direction that reporters' questions are heading. Former governor Jim Thompson decided to weigh in with his two cents again:

"I think he's out there a lot," Thompson said. "I see him on television all the time."

We don't think footage of the governor walking in the opposite direction of reporters to his car counts as access. --Prescott Carlson

Dpnash found Blago.... in 2006