January 26, 2006

Well said

From an editorial in the Dispatch/Argus today:
What a difference a week makes.

Last week, the big news in the Quad-Cities was that a high-speed rail link between Rock Island and Geneseo would be pulling into the station.

In a story published Jan. 19, state Sen. Mike Jacobs said he expected Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed construction budget to include $20 million for the train.

A high-speed train could be a huge economic boost to the area, Sen. Jacobs said, adding he was confident that money for the project would be included in the transportation part of the state capital budget. With additional federal funding, the initial track could serve as anchor for a $220 million line tying Rock Island and Chicago.

While the announcement seemed incredible - other officials said money in the budget for a high-speed link was news to them - the story generated buzz.

This week, the news is that there isn't any money in the governor's budget for the rail project.

"There's nothing in the budget for high-speed rail in the Quad-Cities," Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation, said in Tuesday's editions.

Sen. Jacobs reaction? He may not support the governor's budget.

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

In addition to money for the rail link, Sen. Jacobs wants money for the Western Illinois University Quad-Cities campus.

As it stands, the governor's plan includes $29 million to expand John Deere Road and $12 million for a school in Silvis.

We should never count our chickens before they hatch, especially when a political fowl lays the golden eggs. No doubt Sen. Jacobs will be more careful about assessing prospects before his next blockbuster announcement.

And no doubt he'll be more skeptical about what he hears.

As will we.

Meanwhile, we trust Sen. Jacobs' remarks will not imperil the funding for Quad-Cities' projects already in the budget. A bird is the hand is worth a train in the bush.
I share their concern and only hope that these transportation funds aren't a zero sum game. In other words, if Jacobs holds out for fund for this rail scheme, that it won't in turn cause the more important WIU campus project and other projects to get short-changed or lost altogether.

But from observing Blago, I wouldn't think he'd be too motivated to give out any goodies for this area as long as he felt he was going to carry it by a good margin in the primary. Why give us a pile when he could better use it to play Santa in areas where he's more threatened politically?

I think the only way to get his attention is to make him aware that there will be at least a little pain if he takes this area for granted.

14 Comments:

At 1/26/2006 12:23 AM, Blogger billyclinton said...

Watch for the Dispatch-Argus tomorrow to write a more balanced article about the transportation issue, which will put Senator Mike Jacobs' views in a more favorable light.

But I want to restate my view that the WIU-QC riverfront initiative should be our legislator's top priority.

 
At 1/26/2006 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can have more than one priority you know.

 
At 1/26/2006 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you think the funding for John Deere Road and the Silvis school ended up on the budget by magic. No Sen. Mike Jacobs and to think that he is putting those projects in jepordy is just plain silly.

 
At 1/26/2006 9:09 AM, Blogger hud50 said...

A little agressiveness is a good thing in a legislator, but Jacobs is taking it to new heights for a freshman Senator.

He should have followed the path that Obama did, and relax for a while. I don't know why he chose not to.

It's too much.

 
At 1/26/2006 9:24 AM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

I don't think the transportation budget is necessarily a zero-sum game for the QC, but the governor can be retalitory, for sure.

There is the possibly that Sen. jacobs made the announcement with an understanding from the govenor's office that the money will be there. Anyone involved in politics knows that the governor's word is worth nearly nothing.

 
At 1/26/2006 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you saw Jeff Nelson, the rapid transit expert feel that the project is an important one and would compliment rail betwee the QC and Iowa Cities. He also applauded Sen. Mike Jacobs efforts of putting this project on the radar. I agree that the relience on foreign oil is something that this project would help.

 
At 1/27/2006 12:20 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Jeff Nelson may be characterized as an "expert" I suppose, but he's employed by the public transit bureaucracy around here and so he can't be thought to be anywhere near objective on this. Of course he wants more and more money to expand transportation projects.

If the millions can be found for this on top of all the other projects, very well, but it sure should be on the bottom of the heap as far as budget priorities.

 
At 1/27/2006 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the train from Chicago to the QC should be on top of the train from Chicago to St. Louis.
Whats your thought!

 
At 1/27/2006 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying our area does not deserve a fair share of the proposed $450 million Mass Transit Budget? If so, what benefit do you see for our area if all tour tax dollars are spent in Chicago? Please advise as to your thinking on this matter, as it baffles me.

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

Yeah, cool! We could have the Jolly Green Giant stack 'em up and then, like, super-glue them on top of each other. No way Godzilla would be able to destroy them then!!

Oh wait... you don't mean "on top of" do you?

Why do you always make it so damn hard to figure out what the hell you're saying?

If you're asking whether I'd prefer a train to Chicago from here over a train from St. Louis to Chicago.. um... I think the answer would be obvious to a very dim person. Of course I would, if it were an either/or situation.

But this is part of the recent, typically bizarre, attempt to suggest that anyone who questions the wisdom of making this rail thing a priority, or who notes that it isn't in the budget and the governor doesn't want it, simply hates the very idea of a train line to Wyanet and would be absolutely hearbroken if it cam about, all because they in their heart of hearts just long for a line between St. Lous and Chicago.

Typically false logic... but what's logic got to do with it, right?

Fight, Senator, fight! Go get the rail like to Wyanet. That would be cool.

If you get all the other money PLUS the rail funds, then that will be at last something to actually point to as a real accomplishment.

But try to refrain from suggesting, as you have here and elsewhere, that anyone questioning aspects of this project are doing so simply because they hate progress and for some absolutely nutty reason would much rather see train service from St. Louis to Chicago. That's just stupid.

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

ANON 12:41

Yeah, cool! We could have the Jolly Green Giant stack 'em up and then, like, super-glue them on top of each other. No way Godzilla would be able to destroy them then!!

Oh wait... you don't mean "on top of" do you?

Why do you always make it so damn hard to figure out what the hell you're saying?

If you're asking whether I'd prefer a train to Chicago from here over a train from St. Louis to Chicago.. um... I think the answer would be obvious to a very dim person. Of course I would, if it were an either/or situation.

But this is part of the recent, typically bizarre, attempt to suggest that anyone who questions the wisdom of making this rail thing a priority, or who notes that it isn't in the budget and the governor doesn't want it, simply hates the very idea of a train line to Wyanet and would be absolutely hearbroken if it cam about, all because they in their heart of hearts just long for a line between St. Lous and Chicago.

Typically false logic... but what's logic got to do with it, right?

Fight, Senator, fight! Go get the rail like to Wyanet. That would be cool.

If you get all the other money PLUS the rail funds, then that will be at last something to actually point to as a real accomplishment.

But try to refrain from suggesting, as you have here and elsewhere, that anyone questioning aspects of this project are doing so simply because they hate progress and for some absolutely nutty reason would much rather see train service from St. Louis to Chicago. That's just stupid.

ANON 12:51.
Again with the false logic?? Don't you get tired of being so intellectually dishonest? Oh wait! What am I saying. Of course not.

It's all you've got to use. Can't argue anything straight without lies and distortions or framing things as a false choice between one thing and another which aren't mutually exclusive.

I say if giving up this little rain line means getting full funding for WIU, then dump the train! Don't even think twice.

But risking all the more important funding out of some bizarre attempt to prevent the rail line going somewhere else is just idiotic.

This just isn't worth going down with the ship for.

And anyone with that opinion is NOT trying to argue that more money should go to Chicago. Stop being a bonehead.

 
At 1/27/2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The WIU project will happen. Don't get your panties in a bunch. Some people can do two things at once. And of cource we would rather have WIU than a Pig plant and a train, However it doesn't work this way where you only get to get one sucker. At least you understand now that this si a real project that is being talked about in Springfield.
Take a deap breath, In---Out! Better!

Hey what does cam about mean.

 
At 1/28/2006 8:58 AM, Anonymous finally said...

"The point of the stories is that having a high-speed rail is a possibility for the Quad-Cities."

"Sen. Mike Jacobs is advocating vigorously for this. The fact that he was able to get into the list for his causus is impressive. It something a lot of freshman lawmakers could not accomplish.

Mow it's up to legilstors and the governor to hammer out a compromise."

- posted by Springfield Bureau Chief Scott Reader, at the Passing Parade on January 26 and 27.

No doubt residents of Northwestern Illinois should be more skeptical about what they read in the Dispatch.

As will we.

Meanwhile, we trust that the Dispatch has not imperiled funding of rail.

 
At 1/28/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The Dispatch may have overlooked a technical point on this story, but their facts were correct.

And the fact that no line items appear in the budget still doesn't change the reports that this project isn't favored by the governor and is certainly not high on their 'to do' list.

If Jacobs manages to get it done, good for him. But it's his play that will or won't jeapardize funding for the area, certainly NOT the article in the Dispatch, and to suggest so is a childish attempt at a smear.

 

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