February 19, 2006

Blago kicks off campaign, begins tour of state

Governor Rod Blagojevich officially launched his re-election camapaign today in Springfield and will follow-up with a tour of the state, including a stop in Moline tomorrow (Monday).
Gov. Rod Blagojevich formally launched his re-election campaign Sunday by renewing his vow not to raise taxes and warning that Republicans would reverse his efforts to make Illinois a better place for families.

The Democrat said Illinois has come a long way since the "dark and troubling time" when he was elected after 26 years of Republicans controlling the governor's office.
The budget is balanced, schools have more money, health care is available to more people and government is more efficient, he told a cheering crowd. Blagojevich said he needs a second term to continue that work and keep Republicans from undoing it.

"You've seen it all before - the empty promises, the fake answers. We've already lived through that nightmare," he said. "The people who created the mess can't move us forward."

He boasted of fulfilling his campaign promise not to raise income or sales taxes, but Blagojevich's speech said nothing about renewing that promise for a second term. That came afterward, under questioning from reporters.

"I'm not going to raise taxes on the hardworking people of Illinois. I won't do it. I don't believe in it," he said.

His 15-minute speech was also silent on what Republicans argue is his biggest weakness: ethics.

Blagojevich took office promising to clean up government after the administration of Gov. George Ryan, now on trial for federal corruption charges. Blagojevich helped pass a major overhaul of state ethics laws, but he also has awarded contracts to campaign donors, given state jobs to political insiders and allowed lobbyists to help shape his administration's policies and personnel.

To underscore the point, Republican front-runner Judy Baar Topinka chose Sunday to release her proposal for stronger ethics laws. Her running mate, Joe Birkett, accused Blagojevich of flying around the state "on an airplane fueled by pay-to-play cash" and said the governor has "given us grand jury subpoenas, investigations and indictments."

Asked about awarding state contracts to donors, Blagojevich said he would "continue to make sure we follow all the rules and ... that we have an open and fair bidding process."

Opinion polls show very low approval of Blagojevich's performance. Even among Democrats, only 52 percent want to see him re-elected, according to one recent survey.

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At 2/19/2006 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, I'm confused! Here I thought this state was 20 billion dollars in the hole due to borrowing to pay bills and another 40 billion in the hole to the pension fund. Now I hear Blago say its all balanced. As a democrat I am apalled at this guy and hope the voters are too. It would be poetic justice to see him have to serve another term though except for the fact that he will just borrow us deeper in debt. Someone someday has to pay the piper. I really think he will be in hot water very soon with all the grand jury work going on though so if he wins the primary the republicans may have an easy route this fall.

At 2/19/2006 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in and around the RI Democratic Party but haven't heard a word about the Governor's campaign visit tomorrow. Were there e-mail announcements sent from the party? Are details on the RI County Dem website? What's teh deal? Where is the communication on this, or do they not want a large number of people?

At 2/20/2006 3:00 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If you are familiar with the RI county Dem organization, you know that they've had a static, bare bones web site up for two years.

It consists of a couple paragraphs and a few links to other pages.

In those two years, not a thing has changed. It's utterly abandoned and just sitting there. There's an event page that is abandoned and never updated.

This is what passes for their web presense.

Guess they figure this internet thing is a passing fad.

At 2/20/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Well those who are not in favor with John Gianulas did not get notice. Only his b--t kissers get invited to such things because John fears bad comments from the party faithful who have had enough of the hairdoo we have for GUV.

The radio reported today Blago is bragging about keepin us $800 million out of debt by not hiring some thousands of state employees since 2002 -- except that he got beat up by the AFSCME prison guards for putting them in danger by understaffing their ranks-- and he is gonna hire 1300 more of them NOW.... and band-aid it a bit more to keep from too much bleeding.

Never mind that AFSCME is probably not going to help him -- too little too late again.

At 2/20/2006 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't they see how effective it was for Howard Dean? They should get right on this web thing.

At 2/21/2006 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try telling an old dog how to do new tricks.... pretty hard to do when the dog is not progressive at all and stuck in the WWII era....

At 2/22/2006 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you hating the WWII era. These individuals fought for this country. If it weren't for them you wouldn't have the right to talk this trash that you speak.. Show a little respect. This community and their nonprogressive Democratic old ways have held this county with a iron grip. Maybe you young whips with your fancy web sites could try and learn how to control the party as well in the future.

At 2/22/2006 11:07 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah, nothing like going backwards. Great idea.

Heck, if you admire strict party contol the old fasioned way, Boss Tweed, Tammany Hall and Tom Pendergast must be your idols.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Hell, the locals aren't even into the TV age, let alone the computer communication revolution. But being a few decades behind isn't all that bad, right?

And your attempt to suggest everyone from the entire WWII era is "hated"? Pathetic.

You Jacobites just love to lie, don't you? Hard habit to break, I guess.

Where's your pal that's always asking me to "advise" him?


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