The Gov

Blagojevich seems a little too-self serving, in that smarmy, born to be either a politician or a used-car salesman way. I did vote for him as a Congressman, but I cannot recall anything of substance he said or did. Richard Mell, on the other hand, is the kind of politician who gives Chicago a bad name. So I say lock them up in grain silo somewhere, and see who emerges.

Illinois Political Family Scratches Its Back, With Claws:

A statewide political feud has the public aghast, even as it slurps up every detail of a dynasty in dysfunction.

So perhaps it should have come as no surprise that a family dinner here could deteriorate into a statewide political feud - complete with a defiant governor, a father-in-law's emotional news conferences, criminal investigations by at least three agencies, and the public looking on aghast, but also slurping up every sorry detail of a political dynasty in dysfunction.

“What I've discovered since I've been governor is that there's a certain loneliness to this job,” Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich said in an interview. “There's a loneliness and a certain sadness because you have to isolate yourself to some extent. There are so many people who want so many different things from you.”

The trouble began at a family get-together over the Christmas weekend. There, Mr. Blagojevich (pronounced bloh-JOB-uh-vich) heard about a landfill operation that was said to be following dubious business practices. The landfill was run by a relative of the family of Richard Mell, a Chicago alderman who happens to be the governor's father-in-law.

Since then, a war has unfolded between Mr. Blagojevich, 48, who has worked to portray himself as a reformer of this state's sometimes corrupt political culture, and Mr. Mell, 66, a powerful ward boss from the city's Democratic establishment who guided Mr. Blagojevich into politics.

Mr. Mell, a colorful politician who is best remembered for climbing atop his city council desk to holler during a tumultuous 1987 debate over who should succeed the late Mayor Harold Washington, is hardly alone in finding himself entangled in a public clash with the governor.

Mr. Blagojevich's election in 2002 returned the governorship to the Democrats for the first time in 26 years, and with the party holding majorities in the state House and Senate some people assumed smooth times were ahead for Democrats all over the state.

But Mr. Blagojevich battled with Mr. Madigan, the speaker few people dare cross, over how to solve the state's budget crisis. And he opposed Mayor Daley's wish to bring a casino to Chicago.

The governor irritated some lawmakers downstate, who griped that he cared only for his big city and that he had not bothered to move from Chicago to the governor's mansion in Springfield. Some Chicago leaders were growing irritated, too, saying the governor left little room for compromise or even conversation.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 24, 2005 2:39 PM.

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