Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why not change the license plates to "Land of Obama," while we're at it?

Okay, I’m gonna tempt fate and do another Obama-related post. But this one is undeniably Illinoize-worthy.

There's a a really great story over at Capitol Fax about the Governor using state letter-head to explicitly “support Senator Obama in his bid for the Presidency.” I certainly agree with Rich that this is troublesome...but perhaps not nearly as troublesome as an issue the Governor brought up while trying to defend himself. Rich says that Blagojevich’s office pointed “to the fact that the guv urged the General Assembly to pass a bill moving the ‘08 primary.” Let’s explore that point for a moment.

The Governor, as well as the Speaker, have both explicitly discussed this bill in terms of benefiting Obama. Madigan admitted that by introducing the bill, it was “rather apparent that I'm trying to help his candidacy,” and the press release from the Governor’s office in question above urges the legislature to pass the early primary bill in order to “send an early message in support of Senator Obama.” It seems to me that passage of this bill would be tantamount to a political endorsement of Obama by the Government of the State of Illinois.

Perhaps the Governor should wait until after the bill passes, then he can send out all the letters in support of Obama he wants under state letter-head. Then he can say that he's just promoting an official state program.

11 comments:

Bill Baar 9:49 AM  

Mark Rhoades over at Illinois Review had a post saying the primary change was a conspiracy between Madigan and McKenna to make things safer for incumbents. Opposition would find a harder time getting motivated in winters.

If true, someone needs to tell Mckenna the Illinois doesn't have many incumbents to protect.

Larry Sabato had an interesting post on the primary mess that while not exactly Illinois, I think worth reading.

Jeff Trigg 10:31 AM  

Sounds very similar to what George W Bush expected from the state of Illinois in 2004. The Republican National Convention was set AFTER the deadline to certify names on the ballot in Illinois. The Republican Party expected the state government of Illinois to ignore the deadline. When people raised a fuss about that, the state government was forced to pass a law that changed the deadline only for two people who don't even live in Illinois, and only for that election.

And wouldn't you know the RNC set their convention for 2008 AFTER the Illinois deadline to certify names on the ballot AGAIN. There is legislation introduced right now (by Chapin Rose I believe) that would allow the Republican Party to once again ignore the rule of law and be given special treatment so their candidate can be on the Illinois ballot.

Sounds like a trade Madigan is going make. You help Obama and we'll help whoever your Presidential candidate is. "All elections shall be free and equal." Yeah right.

But you are dead-on with the state letterhead point. A city employee was just arrested in Chicago for circulating petitions for Mayor Daley while on the taxpayers dime. This doesn't seem much different to me.

grand old partisan 10:54 AM  

Jeff, there's a fairly significant difference between allowing an exception to an arbitrary administrative deadline to ensure that a major party's candidate can appear on the ballot and changing the date of the election for the expressed purpose of influencing it's outcome.

Jeff Trigg 11:45 AM  

Agreed, except when others are kept off the ballot based on an arbitrary administrative deadline by the same people than then want that deadline ignored for themselves. You can't have it both ways. Actually, yes you can have it both ways, but it doesn't make it right. The state accomodated Bush in 04 and whoever in 08 just like they might accomodate Obama. The significant similarity is that accomodations in the law are being made for a very selective few individuals. I agree it's wrong to do that.

Uncle Tom,  12:53 PM  

Obama will go nowhere in the African American community until he deals with the issues of Police torture that Daley and Devine covered up with dozens of police officers under the command of Jon Burge. Brutal inhumane torture.
Obama will not seem sincere or uncorrupt or connected to American Chicago Blacks.

Obama should condemn the torture and the City's response.

NW burbs,  5:30 PM  

Bill Baar alludes to comments by Mark Rhoads to the effect of: "Opposition would find a harder time getting motivated in winters."


...Let's get real: winter has rarely stopped people with regards to municipal (local) elections. Petition gathering is in the dead of winter for local elections and for larger races (mayors, village boards) that require hundreds of signatures it can be a daunting, chilly task. The act of actually campaigning and going door to door can be even worse. Yet every odd-numbered year hundreds of candidates -- incumbents and challengers -- get out and do just that.

And while this winter we had pleasant 50 and 60 degree temps through most of December and January, that isn't always the case. (Of course, Bill, in other posts, forgot about those weeks and weeks of unseasonably warm temps when he promoted the conservatives' claim that global warming is a "myth" simply because cold temps finally arrived.)

Bill Baar 8:04 AM  

NW, the question it to Madigan and McKenna think moving the primary helps incumbents.

If that's really their thinking.

NW burbs,  5:18 PM  

Bill Baar wrote: "NW, the question it to Madigan and McKenna think moving the primary helps incumbents.

If that's really their thinking."



....Bill, we don't know that this is what they are thinking.

You yourself wrote that Mark Rhoads speculated this might be what they are conspiring.

It is Rhoads' conspiracy theory, not mine.

I was just popping Rhoads' balloon with a dose of reality (and it's pretty easy to do in this case since every odd-numbered year local candidates have to campaign in the middle of winter).

Seeing as how Dennis LaComb has gone yellow-bellied and banned me from Illinois Review I have to point out these facts here since I can't over there (otherwise I would've posted virtually the same information at Illinois Review when Mr. Rhoads first posted on it).

Mr. Rhoads should be the one posing the questions.

Anonymous,  12:44 AM  

"...would allow the Republican Party to once again ignore the rule of law..."

It's not 'ignoring the rule of law' if you pass a law to make it OK, working within the framework of existing law.

But I agree with your larger point that it should be easier for people to get on the ballot.

suburbanon,  9:19 AM  

Doncha just love it when the hard core Repubs go into the no-spin spin cycle. While the spin cycle in a washer simply wrings out all the water, the no-spin spin zone simply removes all the logic.

Give us a break. When Texas Republicans change the rules whenever they feel like it and whenever it fits their agenda (redistricting) you guys will line up in lockstep. but when the Dems do a little calendar correction, you guys act like the end of the world is near. Worse, you are clueless to your perfidy.

Anonymous,  11:40 AM  

I'm shocked, shocked that politics is being conducted in Illinois!

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