Saturday, January 15, 2005

Blagojevich at the halfway point: "More concerned with garnering national attention"

From the Daily Herald, January 15, 2005

An excerpt:

But state contracts continue to flow to major Blagojevich campaign donors, just as they did under Republican governors, including one who is facing a federal racketeering trial next month. And a few key Blagojevich advisers who happen to double as lobbyists or top campaign fund rainmakers have secured appointments for their people or generated lucrative lobbying fees via their insider access. Starting March 14, ex-Gov. George Ryan and a cast of colorful characters are scheduled to tell tales of such access allegedly gone wrong.

Beyond those two key questions, though, there's another emerging story line that's fast becoming accepted as conventional wisdom in the media, which in turn could shape the public's perception of Blagojevich. Here it is: The governor is more concerned with garnering national attention for jumping on phony issues than in solving the state's most pressing problems.
Three's a trend among reporters, and Blagojevich's trio is flu shots, lower-cost Canadian prescription drugs and banning the sale of violent video games to minors.

All three got Blagojevich national media play and all three either failed to pan out (flu shots fizzled with no federal approval and a relative few seniors signed up for his Canadian drug plan) or likely will fail to pan out (video game sale bans have been thrown out as unconstitutional).
So while the governor is appearing on "Good Morning America" and gracing the Los Angeles Times in a boost to his presidential aspirations, about three-fourths of Illinois school districts are on the financial watch list, his critics argue.

And for more...

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