January 24, 2006

The Little Engine that Couldn't

In today's Dispatch/Argus:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has released his proposed construction budget and there is no funding included for a high-speed rail project in the Quad-Cities.

Last Wednesday, Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said he expected the construction budget to include $20 million for the creation of a passenger rail line between Rock Island and Geneseo, with the goal of someday connecting to Chicago.

But when the governor released his proposed budget late last week, it made no mention of the project.

Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation, said Monday that's because, "there's nothing in the budget for high-speed rail in the Quad-Cities."

The project isn't IDOT's top high-speed rail priority and Mr. Vanover said the department was not aware that a formal request has yet been made at the federal level, a step that would have to come first before the state could follow through with matching funds.

It may not be on high on IDOT's radar, but it is on the priority list for the Senate Democratic Caucus, and Sen. Jacobs says he's still confident it will make the cut.

He said he will fight during negotiations this spring to see that the money for high-speed rail makes it into the final capital budget approved by lawmakers.

In fact, if the final capital budget doesn't include money for the high-speed rail project or money for the Western Illinois University Quad-Cities campus, Sen. Jacobs said he will not vote for it.

"If the governor's interested in my vote, he's going to work with me," he said.

The governor's plan does include $29 million for an expansion of John Deere Road and $12 million for a school in Silvis.
Hard to imagine Sen. Jacobs prematurely jumping in to try to take credit for anything and everything, eh? But it seems that perhaps this news lets a little hot air out of his balloon.

I might note that the 2000 population of Geneseo was 6,480 and the distance from Moline is 20 miles, or 18 minutes by "high-speed" car.

I keep thinking of the Springfield Monorail on the Simpsons.

Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
What'd I say?

Ned Flanders: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

Patty+Selma: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!

[crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]

Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...

Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.

Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?

Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?

Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.

Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?

Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.

Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.

Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.

I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!

All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: Once again...

All: Monorail!

Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

All: Monorail!
Monorail!
Monorail!

[big finish]

Monorail!

Homer: Mono... D'oh!

52 Comments:

At 1/24/2006 6:40 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I'd be thrilled with even slow-speed rail.

 
At 1/24/2006 6:55 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Good point QCI.

Though it could be argued that there are plenty of projects more pressing and important, I'd love rail service from the Quads to Chicago, slow, fast, or otherwise.

I was lucky enough to ride on the South Shore Railroad this past summer, the last existing electric inter-urban in the country, from the cavernous and newly renovated underground Randolph St. station in downtown Chicago, thorough the south side, through scenic Gary, IN, through the sand dunes at the southern tip of Lake Michigan, through Michigan City, IN where the line runs right down the middle of the streets for many blocks, and on to South Bend, IN. Very cool ride, and at speeds often topping 70 mph. It was a relatively fast way to commute.

Trains are a good idea and will likely become more economically viable and important as our energy situation inevitably worsens. Might as well start now.

 
At 1/24/2006 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree dope, but I think this 20 mile train is a waste of time/money that could be better spent elsewhere.

If you're going to build a train, at least take it to another station. I don't understand what is progressive about a train that takes you somewhere that you could drive in 20 minutes. It might be different if we had the public transportation infrastructure that a bigger city would possess, but we don't, so you'd be stuck trying to get a cab, or catch a bus once you got there.

Another problem that I have with the monorail is that it would be sitting there depreciating while we waited for money for the next 20 miles. If you're going to do it, and apparently nobody besides Mike Jacobs thought they were, take the train all the way to Chicago.

 
At 1/24/2006 7:36 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above.

I don't think we disagree. I stated right off the bat that I feel there are other much more pressing and important matters than rail service.

Also, though I threw in the bit about a monorail from The Simpsons, there is no proposal for any monorail. (I know it's early) What Jacobs had touted was a high speed rail service to Geneseo.

 
At 1/24/2006 8:37 AM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

I have to disagree with you, Dope. Rail service in general should be one of the highest priorities for commuters in America.

With our growing dependence on oil, and all the trouble that dependence creates for the United States, combined with a disastrous airline industry that cannot pay its employees deserving wages while at the same time charging exorbitant (speeling?) prices and providing awful customer service, a rail system is a cleaner, sensible alternative.

If done right, it uses less fuel, should cost less, and on shorter trips, such as QCA to Chicago, it would take the same, or even a little less time to make the trip, when you factor in the time you spend at the airport before and after the flight.

I don't know that a 20 mile stretch is the answer, but it could be a good start. And a good public transit system can be built around a rail station. As of now, there is no incentive for public transit because everyone takes their car to Geneseo. Perhaps if there was rail service, entrepreneurs would see an opportunity and start a cab company, or bus lines would be re-routed to better serve the station.

The cost of a monthly rail pass, even if you add in transportation costs at the other end, could easily be cheaper than the cost of gas over that same time period.

Finally, whether to build the 20 mile stretch now rather than go all the way to Chicago. I support going all the way to Chicago, but if funds aren't going to be available for that, I would say build as far as you can while you have the money. Waiting until the full price to Chicago is available could take a decade, whereas, completing a short distance may provide usage data that can justify future transportation dollars being put into expanding the rail system.

 
At 1/24/2006 8:49 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well High. It's a matter of priorities.

And I think spending a big chunk of money on essentially a railroad to nowhere makes no sense at this time.

First of all, it goes to GENESEO.. a fine town... a lovely town. But not exactly a bustling hub of commerce and culture.

Geneseo is largely a bedroom community, almost a suburb, and in that respect it would be fine to have rail service to and from the Quads.

But it's got just a hair over 6000 souls living there, and as it is, it's faster to drive there from Moline than it is to get from Moline to the Davenport Cinemas!

Amtrak already provides rail service from Galesburg to Chicago (and all over the country for that matter) So there is no need for a line directly from the Quads to Chicago, only from the Quads to Galesburg.

It's about 40 miles in a straight line to Galesburg, about 20 to Geneseo, but Geneseo is due east, while Galesburg is nearly due south.

If you start a rail line to Geneseo, you're 20 miles along with 140 or more miles to go until you make the loop. In other words, that leg would be only 1/7th the distance.

I humbly submit that until there can be a larger committment to the project, spending the money wouldn't be justified in connecting such a small town to the Quads by rail.

Why not push for a rail line along the banks of the Mississippi? That would be much more commercially viable and would attract a lot of tourists as well as be used by residents of the region.
Imagine a nice train trip up the river valley during the fall.
And the tracks are abundant already, and being used by freight services.

 
At 1/24/2006 9:01 AM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

The current climate in the United States doesn't support rail as tourism device. Rail is most successful as commuter transportation.

A track along the Mississippi, while scenic, would likely be wasteful becuase of the lack of commuters. Whereas connecting to Geneseo would provide the start of a broader transportation system for the Quad Cities, and is at least in the direction of Chicago, rather than southward away from it.

The argument that Geneseo is only 20 minutes by car is based on a false premise. Just because it's a short car trip does not mean the trip should be made by car instead of rail.

Have to run, probably post more later.

 
At 1/24/2006 9:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Your premise that tourism rail doesn't work is simply false. There's several lines running, including the American Orient Express, and many scenic lines out west, and in Candada and Alaska. But even closer to home, there's the Boone, IA scenic railway which is thriving.

I've agreed that any step towards commuter rail is all good, but there still exists the fact that, judged against many other pressing needs of the state, and the non-existant funds and terrible fiscal situation they find themselves in, I feel there's better uses for several million dollars than to build a prototype commuter rail line to a town with barely over 6,000 inhabitants.

If the state or federal government were flush and had the funds, this would be a great project. But thanks to the Republican Congress and Bush, everyone's broke and also facing huge problems with social services, environmental problems, and on and on.
Commuter rail for Geneseo just doesn't cut it.

That's my feelings at least.

 
At 1/24/2006 11:18 AM, Anonymous puzzler said...

While it's true that tourist railroads run successfully in many parts of the country, the key is having the track rights to run passenger trains. The Class One railroads - in this area, BNSF and the UP - are reluctant to allow passenger trains because their rails are close to maximum capacity with their own freights, and they don't want to be bothered with accommodating passenger rail beyond existing Amtrak service which is underwritten and insured by the federal government. Regional railroads, like the Iowa Interstate that runs from Rock Island to Geneseo are more amenable to passenger rail, although it's still an "inconvenience" and a liability for them. I'm not sure about this, but I bet the Boone Scenic Railroad owns its own track - probably purchased from a railroad that no longer had a use for it. What confuses me is that the Iowa Interstate already received funding in the federal enhancement bill to upgrade its track from the Quad Cities to Geneseo and beyond. How does this funding mesh with the proposed state funding? A rail study commissioned in the 1990's, revealed that convenient passenger rail from the Quad Cities to Chicago via Dekalb (the only public university town in Illinois not served by passenger rail) would see a higher ridership than the current route to Galesburg. Unfortunately, there are no tracks that run directly from Chicago to the Quad Cities that are able to accommodate passenger rail service without expensive upgrades.

 
At 1/24/2006 11:30 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks Puzzler for that extremely informative comment. I think you'll be the official "guru" of this discussion as you obviously are very knowledgable on the subject.

The tourist railroad idea was one that just popped into my head and was more wishful thinking than anything practical. I've often noticed the rail routes along both sides of the river and wished like hell I could take a trip along them. There's a wild area just below Sabula and north of Savanah, IL where the tracks run for a couple miles snaking along a causeway through backwaters and sloughs with water on both sides and runs across the entire river.

Though the routes along the river are plentiful, I realize that it would be a problem which may not have a solution to get the freight lines to share them, or even if it would be possible.

And a direct route east to Chicago would be preferable, but it may be more practical to connect to the existing passenger rail service out of Galesburg, even though it is much less direct.

Again, I defer to you on the subject, but I'm thankful that for once, an issue has attracted such interesting discussion. (at least to me)

 
At 1/24/2006 1:01 PM, Anonymous puzzler said...

Dope, I think you're in luck. There's a better than good chance that they'll be a passenger rail trip - a special excursion pulled by a steam engine with vintage cars - taking that exact route on Sept. 16, 2006. Will let you know when details are finalized.

 
At 1/24/2006 1:20 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

I agree that in a financial crunch, rail might not be the highest priority. But we have to take the step sometime. Public works projects, such as transportation and infrastructure are exactly the projects that are justified by deficit spending (as opposed to enormous tax cuts). During the New Deal, and to some extent during the construction of the Interstate system in the '50s, the money spent on those projects consistenly earned returns. That is economic stimulus. (Again, as opposed to tax cuts).

So, although I am critical of the Bush administration for its budget deficits, it is only because the deficits are there for the wrong reason.

So, although the budget is tight now, there is an argument to be made that by spending that money now, future budgets will be better off. That's something ideally the legislature would study. I don't have any expert knowledge on that front, unfortunately.

I could think of other projects that might deserve higher priority, but rail service is a need that has been kept too long on the back burner.

If given specific choices, I might not always pick rail service, but abstractly I am inclined to say it is one of the top priorities.

 
At 1/24/2006 2:45 PM, Blogger youngridemocrat said...

Hidden in that DISPATCH-ARGUS article to which you refer is a quote from Sen. Jacobs in which he says he will withhold support for the state's capital budget unless it includes $$ to fund the WIU-QC riverfront campus.

Thanks, Senator Mike Jacobs! Please recruit Reps. Mike Boland and Pat Verschoore to that point of view. WIU-QC should be your number one priority - all else should be secondary to that goal.

 
At 1/24/2006 4:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Puzzler, that's really exciting news. Feel free to drop me a line in e-mail with details. Of course, I'll keep my eye's peeled as well.

What a great opportunity!

 
At 1/24/2006 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw on the news tonight that you Dope and the Argus were wrong in reporting that there isnt't money in the budget. That's what happens when you have people reporting the news as a gotcha to Sen Mike Jacobs rather than a report on the facts and the issues.

 
At 1/24/2006 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is interesting when people would rather have Chicago have the 200 million Dollars for one of their rail projects rather than their own community having a 200 million dollar project. Because that is how the system works. If you don't like the system than change it but for now the money is in the budget and for us not to stand together and ask for our share is silly.

 
At 1/24/2006 8:30 PM, Blogger PrairieStateDem said...

Im a huge advocate of high speed rail as an economic development tool for our area...but the way to do it is to think politically.

Mayor Daley and his ongoing committment to O'Hare development may be a factor in our region's rail future.

There is now a project in the works for a high speed train run by CTA which will depart the new development at block 37 (otherwise known as the corner of dearborn and washington in the heart of the loop) which will run to O'Hare.

Tying a high speed rail line into O'hare would give the project much more attention in Springfield.

Perhaps our line could link at O'Hare with the CTA line...the proceed out west through DeKalb (great idea and good point puzzler) onward to the banks of the Mississippi.

This new line would help pay for itself in tax revenue from all the development to our community.

 
At 1/24/2006 10:22 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

YOUNGRIDEMOCRAT @ 14:45.

You write:
"Hidden in that DISPATCH-ARGUS article to which you refer is a quote from Sen. Jacobs ... "

Hidden??

I'd refer you to paragraph 8 in the article which I quoted in it's entirety above.

How is that "hidden"?

Or do you consider something "hidden" if it's not in the first paragraph or something?
I figure people are actually capable of reading further that that.

 
At 1/24/2006 10:45 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Let's see here...

Anon 17:56

You write:
"I saw on the news tonight that you Dope and the Argus were wrong in reporting that there isnt't money in the budget."

What? The news from Mars?

Care to tell us what news this was on?

I found this at WQAD which states that the story is getting confused (no doubt by the reaction of Jacobs), but states once more in a quote from Jacobs himself that the money is nowhere in the budget.

"MetroLink is trying to get federal dollars for the project. Before that happens, the state is hesitant to cough up their portion of the cost. Illinois State Senator Mike Jacobs says the funding might not be available in this year's state budget, but the commuter rail will be built someday."

How does that make the facts reported in the Dispatch and here "wrong"?

And Anon 18:01

You write:
"I think it is interesting when people would rather have Chicago have the 200 million Dollars for one of their rail projects rather than their own community having a 200 million dollar project."

I suppose I'd find it interesting too... if I could find it said by anyone anywhere.

Mind letting us in on where you've seen this? Or did you just imagine it for the sake of argument?
Please fill us in.

 
At 1/25/2006 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WELL THANK YOU FOR ASKING THERE IS NO LINE ITEMS IN THE TRANSPORTATION BDGET WHICH WAS REPORTED ON THE TV YESTERDAY. sO I GUESS YOU MISSED THAT PART. THAT IS WHERE YOU ARE MISTAKEN. CHECK IT OUT.

 
At 1/25/2006 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry about them dope, they're all Jacobs. I've seen it too many times. Their campaign is all about confusing people, making empty promises, and holding press conferences.

In another gem of a quote, Mikey stated that it's taken "15 years to get the 2.4mil for WIU". That's great, so at this rate, we should see students piling in around the year 2318.

 
At 1/25/2006 7:11 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above, no need to shout!
Anyway, I'm trying really hard to figure out what you're trying to say here.

I point to a Dispatch article that says that the "train to nowhere" isn't in the budget, you write some gibberish about how you saw on TV that I and the Dispatch were wrong, and now you write in all caps that the train project isn't in the budget.

OK, I get your point about there not being any line item stuff in the transportation budget, which is I guess what you're trying to say.

Again, I hate to have to try to guess what you're getting at, but I'll attempt to put it more clearly anyway. I'd suppose you're saying that a project such as the rail line didn't show up in the budget because nothing is listed specifically by item in the transportation budget.

But what does this tell us? Is it actually budgeted for even though it doesn't show up? Should we go by what the IDOT spokesman said when he stated flat out, "there's nothing in the budget for high-speed rail in the Quad-Cities."?

Who are we to believe, the state Dept. of Transportation, or you?

 
At 1/25/2006 8:32 AM, Anonymous Appropriations said...

There are no earmarks in a Mass Transit Captiol Budget. This money is instead parted out in shares to local mass tansit authorities to spend.

Now I realize the Dispatch doesn't understand this, but now that you do I hope you report the fact.

Geewhizz! It would help if so-called news reporters actually understood the system they were trying to cove.

 
At 1/25/2006 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Argus are the same people that stated that the Mark was a bad idea and that it would never make it. Hard to believe that there is so much negatitiy and short sidedness in the media.

 
At 1/25/2006 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You dont have to believe me. I have the Illinois Senate Democrat appropriations New transportation authority mass transit 425 million new transit B authorizations. Under Downstate Ill. the fifth item on the list is a high capacity transit system for Rock Island County. Estimated cost is 200 million dollars will include matching funds from the Fedaral Government. Maybe you and your paper could check into this.

PS please print this and don't paraphrase as you are accustomed to doing.

 
At 1/25/2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If our idea of "economic development" consists of a high speed train, I think we are on the wrong path. We are talking about Geneseo, IL here people. I have lived in this area for 27 years and can count on one hand how many times I have needed to go to Geneseo. Granted it "might" tie to Chicago in the future but how long might that take??

I do not care if Jacobs jumped the gun on this or not, it is a very poor financial decision at this point. If this is the best Mike Jacobs has up his sleeve, we need a new direction.

 
At 1/25/2006 3:31 PM, Blogger tiz said...

Per usual, I'm a little late weighing in on this.. I don't want to sound too classist here but, knowing quite a few people from Geneseo, I can't see this getting that much use. They're not exactly the "bridge and tunnel" crowd who would benefit from this. The people I know would probably rather commute in with their SUVs.

As an engineering-geek/tree-hugger/someone who despises driving I would *love* to see passenger rail take off. But to Geneseo? Come on now - a train going from Silvis to Joslin would get more use (metrolink even runs a bus out there). Until gas prices get people to wise up about mass transit (and they haven't yet) any passenger rail system not involving one of the 8-10 more populated areas of the country is probably doomed to fail. It's a pity but in my humble opionion it is reality.

 
At 1/25/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Tiz...
Thanks for summing up my feelings on the matter, only much better and more clearly.
I agree completely.

And it does seem likely that people will simply not be moved to both fund and adopt mass transit nor will they realize the connection between wasteful use of oil and the funding of terror (Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.), how continuing along blindly down the fossil fuel road is asking for a crisis, political instablity, economic turmoil or crisis, and increased vulnerability to enemies of the US around the world.

The only thing that will get the attention of our ultra-selfish, ill-informed, and blissfully ignorant society is oil prices tripleing or quadrupling. Once the coast of a gallon of gas rises to levels more in line with the rest of the world, say, around 6-8 dollars a gallon, then and only then will we see the public howl for public transportation. (which of course will likely come too late.)

 
At 1/25/2006 5:39 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 13:15

Maybe a few more brain cells have kicked in, but you've gone from ranting moron to mixing in a bit of rational thought in with the non-sense.

When I get comments which have a nugget or two of rational thought but are mostly non-sense, I could just dump the entire comment, but in order to extract the rational from the goofy, I am forced to paraphrase. You should be grateful that I make the effort.

Secondly, I wouldn't have to paraphrase if what you write was a little bit understandable to the average reader.

To tell the truth, your comment doesn't enlighten people much. It's a bunch of confusing meaningless jargon to most.

"Illinois Senate Democrat appropriations New transportation authority mass transit 425 million new transit B authorizations"

What the hell?

I might be able to get the gist of what you're trying to say, but it's certainly not clear, and most people would have no earthly idea what that meant.

And how about trying to explain your point so people can actually know what it is, if there is one?

If you want your comments published, then put at least a moments thought into them and refrain from willful lies and distortions. That'll work.

 
At 1/25/2006 8:22 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

We've got a bit of chicken/egg to determine, and it's a legitimate policy questio. Do we recognize that the climate for public rail is not yet here, and so focus on something else, or do we promote and proceed with a public rail system in order to get people to wake up to the alternatives.

No one will be amenable to rail until we make it a viable option. If there is no alternative, people will stay in the mindset of the SUV or other automobile.

Also, I want to state my disappointment with this thread again being redirected toward Sen. Jacobs. These are serious economic and social issues and deserve more rational treatment than some here seem to appreciate.

 
At 1/25/2006 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burn the book's! Burn them! Watch burn! Burn them all!!!

 
At 1/25/2006 9:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Uh-oh! Looks like someone's off their meds again.

 
At 1/26/2006 6:20 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Maybe Isle of Capri could kick in 5 or 10 million bucks for a train to take people from Chicago to the gambling capital of the midwest.

 
At 1/26/2006 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hixlr8r -

Jacobs put his face on this program when he thought it was a gem, we can't ignore it now that the luster is gone from the proposal. The Captain of the ship is the Captain of the ship...even when it's sinking.

They should make a train that connects the downtown areas of all the local cities. It might get some use from people bar-hopping. I really don't see more than a handful of people a week riding the light-rail to Geneseo.

 
At 1/26/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'm very pleased at the amount and level of comments on this subject.

Who would have thought that a train to Geneseo would be what started this amount of discussion?

I can't count the number of posts on vital national and local issues which haven't gotten even one comment. It was pretty depressing to see that while the usual suspects come out en mass whenever the post deals with you-know-who, or it's even remotely possible to bring them into the issue, apparently no one had anything to say or any opinion on other issues of greater impact and importance.

Many topics which reported serious news on issues that affect millions of people and the very direction of our country generate not a single comment.

Apparently this rail project which appears to be nothing more than an idea at this point, and which would affect only a small sliver of the population has really captured the interest of people.

Who would have figured?

I just hope it's not a reflection that people around here are uninformed or have no feelings about anything other than the relatively inconsequential arena of local politics.

 
At 1/26/2006 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They all like to talk about "BIG" Mike Jacobs.

 
At 1/26/2006 8:42 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That might be something to boast about IF the talk was positive. As it is, taking away your comments, about 99% of the talk about "BIG" Mike Jacobs is strongly negative.

Must make you warm all over.

 
At 1/26/2006 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

99% There are only three of us going back and forth. Who are you kidding!!!

 
At 1/26/2006 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 against 1 is 66.6% against "BIG Mike Jacobs.

 
At 1/27/2006 12:59 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That would be true if you knew how many people were commenting on Jacobs. You don't, so... it's wishful thinking on your part.

 
At 1/27/2006 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, how many times can you write in as anon. Just asking.

 
At 1/27/2006 7:08 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Review this thread. Are you stupid? Do you think I debate with myself? I don't need to post as anonymous, and neither does anyone else. I guess it's just too tough for them to fill in a name when they comment.

I'm a registered user who stands by my comments, unlike you.

Perhaps I should go back to the registered users only policy. That would get rid of folks who aren't able to contribute anything intelligent such as yourself.

 
At 1/27/2006 8:32 AM, Anonymous Duckworth said...

"The talk against "BIG" Mike Jacobs" in DOPEVILLE may be "strongly negative," but in the "real world" of Rock Island County --- Sen. Jacobs is cruising towards victory.

Go figure DOPER.

 
At 1/27/2006 10:55 AM, Anonymous Paradewatcher said...

"The fact that Sen. Jacobs was able to get this (rail) into the list of priorities for his caucus is impressive. It something a lot of freshman could not accomplish."

- Springfield Burueau Chief
Scott Reeder
(Passing Parade)

 
At 1/27/2006 12:07 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

DUCKWORTH... and you're basing your assertion on..... what now??

Just a wild-ass guess is it?
I thought so.


Paradewatcher... Hmmm. I guess that Sen. Jacobs stomping into Reeder's office in the capitol and throwing a BIG hissy fit while screaming obscenities at Reeder for having the nerve to acurately report his "Rosa Parks moment" has had some effect.

Maybe we can look forward to more meltdowns in the future?

 
At 1/27/2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Youngvoter said...

Duckworth-

Can you get me those statistics about "Big Mike" cruising to victory? I must have missed that poll. The only poll of this race was done here on the blog and Rumler won that going away.

What gives??

 
At 1/29/2006 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I have heard of a small poll which showed Jacobs in a comannding lead. I haven't seen it and don't know the margin of error.

 
At 1/30/2006 2:59 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK, we'll mark that down as a supposed poll no one has seen reporting a result no one is certain of. Thanks.

But that said, I'd be more suprised if any polls showed him behind. That would be news.

 
At 1/30/2006 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree no poll has shown "BIG" Mike Jacobs behind that is the point. NO POLL!!!

 
At 1/31/2006 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're conveniently ignoring that reader poll held here in which Rumler absolutely smeared Jacobs by about 3 to 1.

I guess I'd forget about that too.

 
At 1/31/2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's focus on the positve for a change huh....

 
At 1/31/2006 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you !!!

 

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