A "no surprise here" endorsement by the Post-Dispatch this morning: Rod Blagojevich for Illinois governor. What is surprising, annoying, laughable or just plain "all democrats all the time" from this paper, is the way in which they rationalized some of the bad behavior by "friends" of his administration.
On the investigations by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald into allegations of endemic hiring fraud, the editorial says: "He has plenty to investigate. Mr. Blagojevich was the first democratic governor in 26 years, and he was besieged with pent-up demand for patronage jobs from contributors and the democratic faithful. As a result, anti-patronage hiring rules were bent into pretzels as the state hired middle-aged "interns" for $50,000 a year state jobs. Political cronies were hired for jobs in distant counties, only to find those jobs mysteriously transported to the cronies' home turf in Chicago."
That's forgiveable though, 26 years of pent-up frustration from being on the outside looking in. I wonder how the P-D would see the same actions coming from Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's administration.
Judy Baar Topinka is tossed a small bone as the paper described her as having done a "decent job as state treasurer." But, as I said upfront, this endorsement is no surprise coming from the P-D who once again this election year walks away from the paper's founding platform to: "never belong to any party."
1. Blagojevich: has let down the people of Illinois in every way imaginable. Instead
of the ethical government he promised, his administration is the
subject of a sweeping federal corruption investigation. Instead of
balanced budgets, he has put the state deep into debt while adding
self-serving programs we can't afford.
He's much more concerned about what makes him look good in the
national press than what's best for the residents and taxpayers of
Illinois. He's added to our state's image of being a place that's
unfriendly to business.
2. Topinka: she's a bright, knowledgeable politician. Her motto for this
campaign is, "Common sense. Straight talk. Hard work." That pretty well
sums her up.
Topinka is a social moderate who has the experience and fiscal
discipline to get state spending under control. Her ideas on cutting
costs include restructuring the Medicaid program and cutting back on
political hires and pork-barrel spending.
Perhaps the most effective change would be to let the sun shine on
the budget process. She wants the state constitution changed to require
seven days of sunshine before a budget can be called for a vote.
Topinka also knows where the metro-east is, and promises to be
proactive in dealing with our issues. For instance, she said she
wouldn't just sit in Springfield -- yes, unlike Blagojevich, she
intends to actually live in the governor's mansion -- and watch the
Mississippi River bridge stalemate. She would take an active role in
negotiating an agreement.
And, before anyone starts in on how the BND always chooses the republican just as the P-D always chooses the democrat, take a closer look at their other endorsements for Illinois. Three out of the four are democrats.
I still do not understand how a guy like Blagojevich can keep such a lead in this governor's race.
Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax nicely summed up a Sun-Times column in which the two candidates for Illinois governor were asked some personal questions like "what's your favorite book" etc. I laughed out loud at this one from Judy Baar Topinka
"Weirdest trick you can do?"
Answer: "Make a face like a Sharpei dog."
As to Blagojevich his weirdest trick is: "I can spin a basketball on all five fingers on my right hand. Oh, and I can memorize 43 tangible, concrete words." Ok. He has five fingers on his right hand. Now that's news. But what are 43 (43!) tangible, concrete words? Something to do with highway construction?...cement...rebar...?
St. Louis was named the most dangerous city in America according to the Morgan Quitno Press. The rankings only take into account a city's actual city limits, not the entire metro area. The safest city is Brick, New Jersey, a place I have never heard of and which makes me wonder why a smaller city or suburb is figured in with a larger city.
In any event, St. Louis' Mayor Slay would not return calls from reporters asking for comment on this ranking yesterday. Which is not surprising since 500,000 well behaved St. Louisans turned out for a victory parade and rally for the Cardinals.
The person most thrilled with St. Louis being named the most dangerous city is Camden, New Jersey Mayor, Gwendolyn Faison, who did return reporters calls because for the first time in some years, Camden is not the number one most dangerous city. "You made my day!" said Faison, who has served since 2000. "There's a new hope and a new spirit." If Camden can do it St. Louis can do it. We beat the Mets, afterall.
Me: Dianne gets a letter from someone writing about her east coast daughter's plans for Halloween.
MAtH: East coast? Me: I don't think New Jersey is relevant, but it looks like the mother is worried that her daughter is going about this the wrong way. MAtH: So it may not be coincidence the daughter moved so far away, eh?