Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Didn't lift a finger

Rich Miller has a post from a Scott Fornek article in the Sun-Times that stirred my imagination. This didn't lift a finger phrase is a great bit, thank you Governor.

Gov. Blagojevich repeated it over and over Tuesday, saying Republican rival Judy Baar Topinka "didn't lift a finger" to stop the scandals of former Gov. George Ryan.

If that sounds familiar, it should.

The Northwest Side Democrat used the same political strategy -- and the exact same phrase -- four years ago against his GOP opponent.
Hmmm. What fingers did Blago lift to investigate the "other" biggest scandal in Illinois history, Chicago? Did he demand Attorney General Lisa Madigan lift any fingers? Did Lisa Madigan lift any fingers? Does Blago think Lisa Madigan isn't qualified to be Attorney General if she didn't lift any fingers? Is he going to demand Lisa Madigan resign? Is Blago going to demand Mayor Daley resign for not lifting a finger to clean up the mess under him since he's been Mayor?

And why haven't any reporters asked Blago about his view on Mayor Daley not lifting a finger to clean up Chicago City Hall? If Topinka isn't qualified to be Governor because she didn't lift a finger, why is Daley qualified to be Mayor when he didn't lift a finger? Blago needs to say something about this, since he hasn't lifted a finger yet.

From the Bloomington Pantagraph
Forty-four city officials, truck drivers and others have been charged and 35 convicted in the government's two-year investigation of Chicago's $34 million Hired Truck Program, under which the city outsourced hauling jobs to private truckers. The investigation has expanded lately to include allegations that Sorich and others used fraud to load up the city payroll with campaign workers.

One man who scored high on his job interview allegedly was stationed in Iraq at the time.

Sorich and other major figures charged in the investigation have close ties to the 11th Ward Democratic Organization headed by Cook County Commissioner John Daley - the mayor's brother.
I don't believe that counts the Duff family, personal friends of the Mayor, getting Chicago minority set aside contracts fraudulently.

Seriously, some reporter needs to ask Blago that next time he uses the didn't lift a finger phrase. Think of all the headlines if Blago and Daley got into it or if Blago called for Daley to resign. Come on reporters, do your job. Sell newspapers. Ask some real questions. Does the Governor think AG Lisa Madigan and Mayor Daley lifted any fingers to root out the corruption in Chicago?


Bill Baar 9:47 AM  

This isn't science, but people I know enjoyed the Oberweis commercial of Judy and Ryan doing the polka. When it would come on TV, I'd call my wife into the room to watch.

Ask people about Blagojevich, and the speculation starts about him getting indicted.

Ask people about Daley and the speculation starts about him getting indicted, and it would be a shame; becuase he's done good things for the city.

Pick between the three, and I'd rather have people talking about me dancing with George Ryan right now.

If not that, then people saying I've done some good...

Skeeter 10:09 AM  

Stop whining about Chicago. It makes you Republicans look pathetic.

The only elected officials going to jail are Republicans, and the reason is that they are the only ones who cross the line.

Clean up your own house first.

So-Called Austin Mayor 10:16 AM  

Q: What fingers did Blago lift to investigate the "other" biggest scandal in Illinois history, Chicago?

A: Link

Bill Baar 10:21 AM  

Was James Laski a Green or Libertarian?

Jeff Trigg 10:26 AM  

Bill - I think you're right about the polka video. Doesn't bother me a bit politically, except the fact she's dancing the polka, proud of it, bragging about it, and worried no one will polka with her anymore. Not a big fan of the polka.

skeeter - I'm not a Republican.

SCAM - that's funny even if it's pointing at me. Is that The Nuge?

grand old partisan 10:47 AM  

Well done, Bill…..

I suppose Dan Rostenkowski doesn’t count either, right skeeter? That was SO last decade (oh, wait….so were Ryan’s crimes and Judy’s political connections to him). I wonder what the young Rod Blagojevich was doing in 1994 while his father-in-law and political patron’s ward organization was feverishly trying to help Rosty – who was under federal investigation - fend off 4 primary challengers?

Anonymous,  11:38 AM  

From Skeeter: "The only elected officials going to jail are Republicans, and the reason is that they are the only ones who cross the line."

What a absolute crock!!!!

How many Democratic soldiers and politicos have pleaded guity or been convicted in Hired Truck? Has it hit 50 yet?

If Sorich or Reyes starts talking with the feds, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!!!!

Anonymous,  11:46 AM  

Personally, I'd like to see Blago lift a finger,...wait no,...a thumb and use it to hitchhike out of Illinois.

Anonymous,  11:59 AM  

Thanks Skeeter, for proving how narrow minded you are in all this. What a joke that you brush aside what's happening in Chicago and Rod's administration.

You have lost what little credibility you once had here.

Skeeter 12:29 PM  

To my nameless friend:

For 10 years, people have been whining -- and that is the right term, since they are acting like small children -- about Mayor Daley.

No charges, no convictions.

Move on.

Anonymous,  12:45 PM  

I guess he's free and clear, thanks for filling us in Skeeter, you da man!

I seem to remember everyone whining about George and he didn't get indicted until after leaving office, so let's take off your partisan blinders and keep this in perspective genius.

Oh, and Skeeter, my name is Linus. Tell me how to set up and account on there and I'll gladly post my name.

Bill Baar 12:54 PM  

It's being around ten years that's part of Daley's problem.

It's hard to know when to quit and leave on a high note.

Every time I see Daley and tell myself he's been around too long.

Skeeter 1:02 PM  

"Oh, and Skeeter, my name is Linus. Tell me how to set up and account on there and I'll gladly post my name."

On the top right corner of the Illinoize blog is a box labeled "Get Your Own Blog." Click on that and follow the directions. It is pretty easy to do.

Skeeter 1:04 PM  

To the merits of Baar's last comment:

When I look around, all I see is construction cranes. That is the way this City should look. I am proud of the job that Mayor Daley has done, along with my alderman, Burton Natarus. The City looks great.

Anonymous,  1:21 PM  

Skeeter, Go about 40 blocks west of you and see if you see the same things. It will be eye opening I am sure.

grand old partisan 1:28 PM  

To combine Jeff and Bill’s points:

Don’t you think it’s fair to say that Laski and Daley are (or were) about as closely connected as Judy and George? Laski just plead guilty to federal corruption charges (but don’t bother reminding skeeter of that. According to him, there have been “no charges, no convictions” of Democrats in Illinois…..and only Republican are going to jail these days).

If Judy should be held responsible for not stopping George’s misdeeds, why shouldn’t Daley be held responsible for not stopping Laski’s? Remember, Daley was one of Blago’s ’02 campaign chair, and is still a key supporter. So what does Rod have to say about him not lifting a finger to stop Laski?

I think it’s a fair question.

Yellow Dog Democrat 1:40 PM  

The GOP's "Everybody's Doin' It" Defense of public corruption is pathetic. I'm a Democrat, but if Daley is guilty of the kind of rampant corruption that we've witnessed in the Secretary of State's office, under the control of not just SoS Ryan but also SoS Edgar, then Daley deserves to pay the price too.

I thought that Blagojevich's criticism of Jim Ryan in 2002 was pretty shaky too. Once the Feds got involved, staying out of the mix was the right thing to do from a proscecutor's perspective. But those accusations had little impact on the election. Let's face it, Jim Ryan was a terrible candidate anyway, and then he was dealt a losing hand.

I think any criticism of Lisa Madigan on those grounds is unfair as well. She's coordinated her investiations with other law enforcement agencies, and investigated herself where appropriate. But, this is politics, and people are going to decide for themselves. Personally, I think attacking Lisa Madigan is about the dumbest thing the Republican Party can do.

But Topinka is another story. She wasn't a prosecutor, she was a statewide elected official, and she stuck with George Ryan because he was her friend and political ally. Not only that, as evidence from Ryan's trial indicates, Topinka sought political favors from the SoS's office for her friends, including jobs, special license plates, and even a plum SoS office lease. This is the real albatross around Topinka's neck.

The other important story here is what an outstanding job Jesse White and his Inspector General Jim Burns have done of turning the SoS's office around and rooting out the culture of corruption. A culture of corruption that, let's face it, existed under both parties. That's why the office was viewed as such a great political stepping stone for decades.

Anonymous,  3:12 PM  

Rod supported and helped corruption he never called attention to it nor stopped it.
Republican Democrat or otherwise

So-Called Austin Mayor 3:28 PM  

The image is of David Yow of the legendary "vocalist" for Chicago's Jesus Lizard and Austin's Scratch Acid.

Anonymous,  3:52 PM  

YDD showing once again, the rules are different for those he supports. Why are we debating this, he's held this position since he's been posting here.

Cal Skinner 4:21 PM  

Joe Cari, Democratic National Committee Finance Chairman praised by Carol Marin in her Sun-Times column just two days before he volunteered for the "felon" title.

He doesn't count as a Democrat, I guess.

Skeeter 5:33 PM  

Bad news for you, GOP.
Laski wasn't Daley's choice.
Daley didn't like Laski.

To the person who talked about "40 blocks west"

I'm not sure about 40, but I have driven around the United Center. I see lots of construction there too.

The City isn't perfect yet, but Daley is doing a great job.

steve schnorf 8:36 PM  

Dog, I don't want a lengthy argument with you over Edgar's days as SoS, but I was there for the full 10 years so I have at least some perspective.

People throw the word "corruption" around pretty casually on these sites, so I wonder if to some of them, it means anything more than something with which I disagree.

If you mean there was more politics at SoS when Edgar was there than you would see today, I hope you're right. If you mean more ticket buying and selling by employees than you would see today, I again hope and trust you would be right.

I also think Jim Burns has done a fine job at SoS. But I also think Edgar's two Inspector's General, Lance Charlson and Jim Redenbo did a very good job.

I was in charge of the driver's services facilities, where much of the day to day illegal activity in the SoS office takes place (I suspect that is still the case today), so I worked closely with Lance and Jim on a regular basis.
Still, I can't realistically tell you that there was a week that went by that no employee in the system took a bribe. I was shocked at some of the names that were accused during the recent federal investigation, and if I was wrong about some of those guys, think how many more I may have been wrong about.

But, if you mean knowing tolerance of employees taking bribes, contract buying, and things like that, I believe you are plain wrong.

grand old partisan 10:35 PM  

skeeter -

Laski was indicted though, right? And he did plead guilty, right? And he is a Democrat, right? So, isn't it just plain untrue to say that "the only elected officials going to jail are Republicans, and the reason is that they are the only ones who cross the line?"

Anonymous,  8:16 AM  

Democrat corruption = ok, cause they care

Republican corruption = bad, because YDD and Skeeter say so.

Some real brainiacs working here in the blogosphere I tell ya. Those poly sci classes at JuCo are really paying off!

Cal Skinner 12:06 PM  

And what about the proven vote fraud in the 2004 election in East St. Louis?

Not many Republicans in East St. Louis.

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