Is Blagojellyfish, the Governor-elect, a fresh face or fresh meat?

Will unions who want major perks and privileges of controlling the General Assembly and Governor's mansion take no for an answer when there is no money to give them?

Who is in charge of ILLinois in January, 2003: Mayor Daley, Speaker Madigan, Gov. Blagojellyfish or Chicago Alderman Mell?

Is it possible the Democrats spend and spend like a drunken sailor turn around the projected $2.5 billion state deficit in a weak economy?

The next governor showed his political maturity when during his acceptance speech, quoted loudly from Elvis Presley lyrics. The only other big Elvis fan in recent Democratic confines was Bubba Clinton, who plans a big display of his Elvis collection at his Arkansas Presidential Library. Maybe Blagojellyfish will store his Elvis memorabilia at the new Abe Lincoln Library in Springfield.

The celebration should be short lived. The state's largest employers have been shedding workers faster than new business growth across the state. Consumer spending has hit a wall, and sales tax revenue is actually down 16 percent from the September, 2001 levels. A governor who promised to help the people cannot do so if there are no funds to pay for basic services, including Medicaid. And the real problem for this fishbowl novice is that he can't blame the Republicans for obstructing his vision, because the Republicans have no clout.

Now that Little Lisa Madigan has got the top law position in the state, there will be drastic changes. Namely, in patronage staff positions. There will be a huge turnover in staff positions with an agenda of going after corporate america will the zeal of the tobacco litigators. The problem is that one cannot attack and destroy the basic structure of capitalism, unless of course, capitalism is not the issue. The issue is additional revenue sources to keep the political machine well greased, and litigation and class actions against unpopular, but legal, enterprises is like finding gold in an abandoned well. The city nuisance suit against gun manufacturers got the green light from the appellate court. Lisa wants to go after prescription drug industry. In a state that needs to encourage business development, an environment of litigating against big business will only drive companies away.


Any excesses of the new Democratic powerbase cannot be muted by the Republican party. Governor George Ryan's corruption scandal effectively gutted the campaign of Jim Ryan and other statewide candidates. Governor Ryan's suddenly turning into a liberal Democrat with a huge Build Illinois spending program, ceasing death penalty and wholesale clemency hearings that tore apart victims' families effectively killed the party of Lincoln. There is no party leadership, fundraising was woeful as Dems outpaced donations four to one. There is no leadership. U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald is not a state regular, but a renegade individualist.

Gov Ryan blamed the conservative elements of his party for the massive defeat on election day, eventhough the full blame lands directly on his doorstep.

The only counter balance for Illinois politics could be the feuding between the Democratic power brokers over who will get the most public fund spoils. Mayor Daley fancies huge, billion dollar projects like airport expansion and convention center construction projects so his union trades have a continuing source of income. Speaker Madigan favors the individual legislator personal pork barrel funds that can be targeted to in-district favoritism. And the powers behind the elected newbies could hold the key to putting the pieces of the struggle together.



Opinion, Commentary, Editorial Cartoons by Ski.

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