Saturday, September 20, 2008

While I Meant What I Said...

It's hardly a secret that the Governor and I don't see eye to eye. In fact, for reasons mostly unknown to me (yet not regretted), there has always existed a tension between us, both political and personal, even when we initially campaigned in unison back in 1995-96.

His style of governance, juxtaposed with my belief in the way government should function, has only served to deepen the rift. And my sponsorship of the pay-to-play ban, in light of its obvious impact on his fundraising abilities, has pretty much brought the conflict to a head.

So yesterday, when the Governor repeated false allegations in a thinly-veiled effort to justify his refusal to sign the pay-to-play ban, I didn't hesitate to respond:

"The governor has resorted to an all-new low, even for him. His allegations are pathetic and border on pathological," Fritchey said.

At the same event, the Governor threw in his latest creation, namely that Obama was being duped into not supporting the Governor's 'real ethics reform', prompting others to weigh in on the Governor's statements as well:

Cynthia Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, called Blagojevich's comments "delusional" and "loony." Her group opposed the governor's changes and asked Obama to speak with Jones.

"He doesn't care about his political party or the course of this nation," Canary said of the governor.

Obama's campaign declined to comment on Blagojevich's remarks. But Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan, a close Obama friend and former state legislative colleague, said the governor was attempting to kill the original ethics measure,

"It's just so obvious what's going on," said Link, the Lake County Democratic chairman. "It's ridiculous."

Now the point of this post isn't to retract my statements. I stand by everything that I said. But that being said, I sincerely think that it is unfortunate that the situation has devolved to the point where our state's Governor is routinely vocally derided by people from across the political and geographical divides of our state.

I'm unsure why, but I somehow feel compelled to reiterate the respect that I have for the office of Governor. In fact, it is likely that respect, coupled with my frustration at what is happening to our state, that piques my critiques of how the office is currently being run. And while I would never venture to speak for others who have criticized this Governor, I am confident that they would tend to be of the same mindset.

But in any event, I want to publicly say that if my comments somehow are taken to be disrespectful to our state, they are intended to be anything but. I believe in our state, and I believe that we deserve better. I want to believe that the public knows the passion that underlies my statements, but I feel better making sure that there is no doubt.

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