February 15, 2006

Deputy Governor: WIU project funding chances slim to none
Jacobs: "I'm not at all dissapointed."

Absent a miracle, the Illinois Quad Cities can forget about any funding for the WIU riverfront campus anytime soon.

At least that's the grim assessment by Deputy Governor Bradley Tusk in a comprehensive piece by Scott Reeder and Stephanie Sievers, Small Newspaper Group's team in Springfield.

The piece details the process involved and why the project Sen. Jacobs has hung his (size 12?) hat on has a very tough road ahead if it's to appear in the Governor's '07 budget.

Jacobs had assured us in recent news reports that the governor's office had told him "not to sweat it", as the funding for the project was a "done deal". Could be the Senator got punked.

The Governor is expected to put in an appearance at the Moline Airport sometime before noon on Monday. This will be a prime chance for the press, legislators, and other leaders involved to press him on the fate of the WIU project funds as well as other issues. Sen. Jacobs might want to ask whether the Gov was jiving him about the "done deal" thing or if it's time to start sweating yet.

It looks like legislators now have a real chance to show their stuff, though against long odds.

They're going to have to grind it out in budget negotiations with Republicans, people who'd rather french kiss Michael Moore than give the governor anything to boast about during his re-election campaign. Luckily, Jacobs has assured us this is one of his strong suits. (working across the aisle, that is, not... oh nevermind.)

And they'll have to tackle the difficult chore of actually finding a source of revenue to pay for it in a severely cash-strapped state, an equally daunting task.

But as with anything to do with the legislature, until the gavel bangs to adjourn the session on April 7th, nothing is set in stone. Judging from all the noises made on this project thus far, I think it might be wise to not put too much stock in anything said by politicians on the matter until early April.

SPRINGFIELD -– Creating a Western Illinois University Moline riverfront campus may be a priority for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but the likelihood of getting another $13.8 million in funding this year faces mounting odds.

Deputy Governor Bradley Tusk said both chambers of the Illinois Legislature would first have to pass a capital budget by a three-fifths majority, something that requires bipartisan support and which hasn’t happened in the last three years.

Even if that were to happen, Tusk said the state also would have to come up with a way of generating more revenue for new buildings on college campuses across the state.

Tusk said the Blagojevich administration has not proposed a specific funding source for campus constructions because they didn’t want Republicans to "just shoot it down."

So Tusk said the governor is deferring to lawmakers to develop a source of funds for the campus improvements. Short of those two things happening, Tusk said the $13.8 million in funding that Jacobs – and many other community leaders -- had hoped for will not be a reality.

Sen. Mike Jacobs said today he would continue to push hard during the remaining two months of the legislative session to acquire funding for a WIU riverfront campus.

He added he is no way deterred by Tusk’s comments.

"We already have $2.4 million in the budget for planning the campus. A few months ago, no one was even talking about more funding for the Western budget, now they are. If it’s not in this year’s budget it will be in next year’s. I’m not at all disappointed."

But last week, after the Illinois Board of Higher Education recommended that the governor spend another $13.8 million on the WIU project, Jacobs told the Dispatch/Argus the "governor’s office told me not to sweat this -- it’s a done deal."

Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, said he expects Blagojevich to dangle “carrots” like the Moline campus and other state projects in front of lawmakers to try to sway them to support his construction plan.

But Republicans may be reluctant to come out in support of a construction budget that could give Blagojevich political traction heading into the election

Last month, Blagojevich announced $2.4 million in Opportunity Returns money to do the planning work needed to renovate the former Deere & Co. Technical Center into the proposed campus’ first building.

WIU spokesman John Maguire said the university is in the process of working with the state to find an architectural firm to draft construction plans that could be put out for construction bids.

Becky Carroll, spokeswoman for Blagojevich’s Office of Management and Budget, said in most capital projects, the planning work must be finished before money is allocated to the actual construction phase.

In the meantime, Blagojevich is expected to make a stop at the airport in Moline Monday during a state fly-around.

Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, and Rep. Patrick Verschoore, D-Milan, said they anticipate Blagojevich will officially announce his bid for re-election. Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch said the visit does not involve official state business.
It may not be time to give up all hope as yet, miracles do happen. But repeated messages from the Governor's office have been pretty plain that the WIU project isn't exactly on their front burner.

But Jacobs gets credit for refusing to get the message. Just like the Cubs, hope springs eternal, there's always next year, no matter who's in office.


At 2/15/2006 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you pick on Mike Jacobs whenever you get the chance. You seem like a bitter person. No matter what he does for the community you seem to say it is not enough. I have lived here all my life and I would have to say that Mr. Jacobs has give his all for the community. He has set very high standards for the area. I think that when he was put in office that if he said he would get 2.4 million for WIU, partially open Thomson prison, get reform for medical community, and get violent video games away from our kids. I for one would have said that there is no way that this will all get done. It has and this should be a good day for the QC and not the negative slant that you are putting on it.

At 2/16/2006 12:13 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above writes:

"I think that you pick on Mike Jacobs whenever you get the chance."

I try not to, but he makes it too damn easy.

"You seem like a bitter person."

Yeah, I am, I suppose. Certain things piss me off. Sorry about that.

"No matter what he does for the community you seem to say it is not enough."

I disagree. It's not that it's "not enough", it's just that it's not anything like what he is always saying he's done or is about to do.

"I have lived here all my life and I would have to say that Mr. Jacobs has give (sic) his all for the community.

Then you're a 2 year old?. After all, Mike Jacobs has only been in office for a a year and 6 days.

But my, my! Aren't you the precocious tyke! You type and spell better than most Jacobs trolls. (admittedly, not hard to achieve.)

"He has set very high standards for the area."


"I think that when he was put in office that if he said he would get 2.4 million for WIU, partially open Thomson prison, get reform for medical community, and get violent video games away from our kids. I for one would have said that there is no way that this will all get done."

Mike, now come on. You did too think you could do it. And if you had been that specific when you took office, I think you'd make more money as a psychic.

"It has and this should be a good day for the QC and not the negative slant that you are putting on it."

Lemme see. It has be a good day and this should be a good day, not a negative slant. OK. I think I got it?

I'm sure it will be a good day for the Quad Cities, except for that sleet, as nothing has changed, good, bad, or otherwise.

The process continues, the project keeps getting hyped in hopes someone will do something at the state level, the fine folks working to bring this project to reality are frustrated again, Jacobs scrambles to find a way to backtrack and recharacterize things, and life goes on as usual.

But seriously, I only take gentle digs at the senator because I love him. And of course because he says ridiculous things or acts goofy or gets way out in front of stuff in desperate attempts to appear to be doing "big things."

And, I might add, the gang of toads (whom the senator has apparently recruited from a preschool for troubled tots) who make it their job to attack the messenger here in his behalf also do wonders for my outlook on the senator.

They put me in a frame of mind most postitive to the senator first thing in the morning with their strange attacks, and in case I start to slip during the day, they're always around to send in more great stuff to ensure I have the proper attitude towards their hero.

They work hard to make sure Sen. Jacobs is never far from my thoughts, which is kind of like a waking nightmare, truth be told.

But here's to you, and may you achieve those high standards the Senator has set for us all.

At 2/16/2006 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until the adjournment deadline for the spring session in Springfield, all bets are off on funding for WIU-QC and Thomson.
The budget is a shifting target and there is lots of time for negotiations. Anyone who says the deal is on or off is off their rocker.

There is still time to rock and roll for QC projects.

At 2/16/2006 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ya must be pretty upset about the WIU project funding. Now would be a pretty good time to reduce some of that stress with a little research!!

At 2/16/2006 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could be the nail in the coffin for Mikey.


Terrible day for the QC.

At 2/16/2006 8:43 AM, Anonymous puzzler said...

What's a "Deputy Governor"? We have a Lieutenant Governor - we elect the person that holds that post. But a "Deputy Governor"??? Are you sure he's not a Deputy to the Governor? That aside, politics are a nasty game. The residents of Thomson have figured that out. After years of empty promises, their "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude is understandable. What Mike Jacobs has not yet figured out, it seems, is that a promise made by most politicians lasts as long as you're in the room.

At 2/16/2006 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be a huge disappointment to the great people of the 36th district of illinois. The poor misled public :0(

Jacobs reminds me of.....Tom Smykowski: "It's a Jump to Conclusions mat. You see, you have this mat, with different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO."

Will Smykowski sack up and ask our governor about the guarentee that he was assured when he appears at the airport this monday?

reminds me of another movie quote...
Like the old boy says in Grumpy Old Men....."You can wish in one hand and crap in the other. See which one fills up faster."

and i'm out...

At 2/16/2006 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike said on the news,
"I trust this governor. I've always trusted this governor." How 'bout now?

At 2/16/2006 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you see where Mike Jacobs said that the 14 million dollars was a done deal. I never saw that from him. Maybe you could direct me to this. And the Thomson prison if it does open will be a great oppertunity for the people of Thomson.

At 2/16/2006 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for Mike, his press conferences, and his size 12's to hit the bricks. He grabs for all the credit prematurely, and then he backpedals and says that "he's not at all disappointed". How is this guy our Senator?

At 2/16/2006 11:30 AM, Anonymous no money? said...

mike, you aren't disappointed? how? WIU could mean great things for this area and you told us that there was funding for it...now it isn't in the budget and you think it will be there next year? if rumler doesn't win this election...i sure hope you son isn't as stupid as you. Since this is a monarchy.

At 2/16/2006 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's headline looks bad, but the news might be a bit better.
Word has it there is a capital budget bill being printed soon, which will include WIU-QC money.
But that's only the first hurdle -- then it has to pass the House, the Senate and the Gov (all probably without any Republican support). Our legislators do have their work cut out for themselves in the next few months.

But a key question to ask is, "Where are the Republicans in all of this? If they're for economic development, why aren't they pushing for passage of WIU-QC?"

This isn't all about the Governor, Jacobs, Verschoore and Boland.

At 2/16/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that thinks that the Gov. might have it in for Mike? Perhaps he's had enough of Jacobs grandstanding.

At 2/16/2006 12:55 PM, Anonymous Ned Schneebly said...

Looks like someone might have been counting chickens a little to early. If this project is not currently in the budget then the reality is that it will not be in the budget in two months. There is to much red tape to make a change like that. However I do think it could make for some interesting TV if Mike showed up at the Moline Airport and confronted the Governor about the so called "done deal". If you did that Mike I'd let ya put six signs up in my yard.

At 2/16/2006 1:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

ANON 12:10

Thanks for reminding us to keep things in perspective. However, it also could be said that if our local legislators, otherwise known as Mike, Mike, and a Pat, could have convinced the governor and other key figures, the WIU project could have been included as a high priority in the budget and the situation would be entirely different.

But because it wasn't, it now turns into a fight which will require Repub help, in other words, a battle with a slim chance of victory.

But it is very important, as you mention, to hold Republicans accountible on this as well. Will Siebens step up to the plate and help the area? Will they do the right thing and fight for this funding? Or will they play politics and in so doing, deny the young people of this area the ability to get a higher education at a state school without leaving the area?

I wish the project all the luck in the world, but it certainly went down the wrong track. Who, if anyone, is to blame is open to debate.

At 2/16/2006 2:00 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I'm with you. I too was wondering what the hell a "deputy governor" is. Obviously, it's not the lieutenant gov, so it must be kind of a glorified title for a level of staff just below governor, perhaps like "executive assistant" or something.

But in government, creating titles is an art, with acting deputy assistant vice lieutenant something or other being not too uncommon.

Anyone else have some more insight on this position?

At 2/16/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

ANON 10:00

Valid question. I don't believe Sen. Jacobs ever said the project was a done deal. However, he's said everything but that to give the impression to an ordinary person that it was all but in the bag.

Just by saying that the Gov had told him "not to sweat it", and that it was "a done deal", certainly would give most people the impression that... well.... it was a done deal.

The bottom line is that Jacobs has jumped up like a hyper puppy every time anything was reported about this project... even if it really amounted to next to no progress whatsoever... and has used overblown rhetoric to both A. Try to claim all credit for it, and B. make it appear as if it really was an accomplishment, even when it truly wasn't.

This tactic may be familiar to all from the Jacobs troll comments. They all use the same tactic. Invent something or exagerate or distort something almost beyond recongition, and then if it's good, give Jacobs all the credit, even if he had little to nothing to do with it, or if it's bad, try to blame your oppponent, even if they had nothing to do with it.

At 2/16/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

my understanding is that Deputy Governor is a type of appointment that is dot quite a cabinet level or Agency Director level position.

I did a quick search of the Illinois site and found references to the Deputy Director for Education and the Workforce and Deputy Director for Policy and Communications.

It seems to be a position that is policy oriented, but not attached to a specific agency or department.

At 2/16/2006 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Statehouse gossip is swirling about the WIU-QC budget bill.
Once it's actually printed, there's a good chance it will include that $13.8 million!
Stay tuned. Springfield is a crazy place. I don't know why anyone would want to work down there!

At 2/16/2006 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your concern Dope. However, the 2.4 million dollars for WIU is not nothing. And getting the Thomson prison opened, after so many years with Tod seiben at the helm of unopened promises, is not nothing. This budget deal is far from over. I understand that it would be next to impossible to get the WIU funding into the budget now but I think Jacobs, Vershoore and boland can get it done.

At 2/16/2006 7:11 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

High... thanks for that helpful info... it's appreciated.

At 2/16/2006 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great I am glad that I could help.

At 2/16/2006 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am upset that Rep Boland has been working on this WIU for years with no success. I wish Rumler was running for Rep.

At 2/16/2006 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be virtually impossible to get that money into the budget bill for WIU. If they do that, it will be nothing short of amazing.

At 2/17/2006 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a freshman legislator Sen. Jacobs opened the Thomson Prision and secured $2.4 million to "jump start" construction at the WIU Moline Riverfront Campus. If Sen. Jacobs is able to get the rest of the money into the budget, it will truely be as the Dope said, "A MIRACLE."

At 2/17/2006 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to make a change to the budget at this point is to add more cowbell. SHS knows what I'm talking about!

At 2/17/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 3:07

A little fact check to your comment.

Jacobs played some role in partially opening the Thomson prison.

The money for WIU was simply money to draw up the plans and studies required before funding can be authorized.

To call this a "jump start" is to try to put a mighty spin on this, especially in light of recent developments. It might more properly be referred to as a "jump stop".

At 2/17/2006 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomson prison is opening at about 10% capacity. 10% is a solid "F" on any grading scale.

At 2/17/2006 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For 15 years Mike Boland tried to open WIU Moline Campus and for 6 years he struggled to open Thomson. Senator Jacobs did it in 366 days. That's BIG TIME RESULTS no matter how you slice and dice it!


At 2/17/2006 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better than reps in the past have done. Sen. Todd Seiben had been trying for any type of opening for years with no avail. This prison will be full capacity in year. Minimum security is the support staff for the general population. That is the way it works.

At 2/17/2006 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a chance it will be at full capacity in a year. You can bank on that.

So did Boland stop working on it, and all of a sudden Mikey got it done? Why does he get all the credit for Thomson, yet none of the blame for his grandstanding on the train, the carp, and the missing 13.8 Mil for WIU?

At 2/17/2006 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it isn't so much Jacobs working his magic as it is Madigan pulling some strings. Madigan rolls into town says, Jacobs this is where you sit, Boland, this is where you sit. Shut up and we'll put enough together to show you've done something in an election year. Hence the feeble prison opening and the splash of cash for the WIU campus. I think this is high-powered party moves, not dim-bulb politician moves.

At 2/17/2006 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the last post might be right on. The guy who probably got this all done for Thomson and WIU is Speaker Madigan, because he cut the peace treaty with Boland and Jacobs. We all know he usually gets what he wants.

Local legislators tend to be pawns in his big chessboard.

At 2/17/2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. Madigan came into town and made Mikey Boland take a back seat to a 2 weak old Senator. I don’t think so. The fact of the matter is Boland had done the polling and it showed that he would be in for a fight he couldn’t win. For being inside dope you miss a lot. You surely know that Boland ran a poll looking at the Senate seat and Evans seat. Or are you that far out of the loop. Come clean dope are you in the loop and know of this poll are you out of touch with the party. It is OK either way. Second: what did Madigan say to Jacobs? You better be nice to Boland or you are going to have to be the Senator. This just makes no sense. Madigan came in to tell Boland to play nice because he knows that Boland has a tough general election coming up. Mike Jacobs has no beef with Mikey and finds this old feud to be silly and counterproductive. Mikey needs Jacobs support for the upcoming general election. That is why he has been holding hands with Jacobs.

At 2/17/2006 11:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

To suggest that someone who doesn't know for a fact about every in house poll Boland has run is somehow "out of the loop" is pretty goofy.

Exactly how many people do you honestly think know for certain what polls Boland has run and what their results were?

I'd say about 3 or 4, max. And I somehow doubt they shared the results with you. So you're about as informed as I am, with the only difference being that you spout off like you know something you don't, and I choose not to.

And secondly, unless I had this information from the source, I wouldn't be trying to come off like some insider by mocking anyone who might not assume all the things you assume.

The fact is, until Boland or someone with his campaign states what polls they've run and what the results were, the stuff you assume should be taken with a grain of salt.

After all, true or not, it's nothing but your opinion until the time it's proven otherwise.

Thanks for your conjecture about what happened and how, but try not to act as though it's fact unless you want to tell us how you know and stand behind it.

At 2/17/2006 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well then you tell me why Boland would let this yong punk Jacobs take this seat and not challenge him. You know there was a poll, just as you know that there was a poll that showed Jacobs way ahead of Rumler. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this. You just can't be a dope.

At 2/18/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Don't tell me what I know and what I don't know.

Are you suggesting that Boland's private polls are somehow known to all?

Stop assuming things you have no idea about. It makes you look kind of silly. Thanks.

At 2/19/2006 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recieved one of these polls 6six months ago asking about Boland and Jacobs. It also asked about Boland and Evans. It was surely a Boland poll. I laso read on your site that Jacobs ran a poll. This Anon 17/2/06 23:41 seems to be right about these men running polls.

At 2/20/2006 2:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Of course politicians run polls. That's not in dispute.

But I take exception to someone assuming that "everyone" knows just what polls have been run, what they were about, and what the results were, and then assuming further that they were why Boland did or didn't do something.

I'm sure this person has heard scuttle-butt about all this, but that's not a reason to act as though it should be printed as fact.

Also, their attitude sucked.

At 2/20/2006 2:44 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Of course politicians run polls. That's not in dispute.

But I take exception to someone assuming that "everyone" knows just what polls have been run, what they were about, and what the results were, and then assuming further that they were why Boland did or didn't do something.

I'm sure this person has heard scuttle-butt about all this, but that's not a reason to act as though it should be printed as fact.

Also, their attitude sucked. They can say whatever they want, but until they can cite their source or explain why they know what they say is fact, and not just some assumption on their part, then I'm going to call them on it.

There's no shortage of people thinking they're big shots and in the know who don't know squat.

The person might be right on the money, but just showing up here and spouting off without any explanation of how they know something or why we should believe them doesn't exactly carry much weight.

They can spout off all they want, but they can't be angry when people don't believe them unless they're willing to give some reasons why anyone should.

At 2/20/2006 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This eems to be the case all to often on your site Dope. Give em hell!

At 12/11/2007 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacobs secured $2.2 million for planning the university.

At 12/12/2007 12:01 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

After a year or two, yes, the money was found. Are you suggesting that Sen. Jacobs was the only one responsible for this?

Of course you are. You have no shame, I forgot.


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