Springfield As Usual

Same old song and dance

By Steve Rhodes
|  Monday, Jun 1, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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Springfield As Usual

Schoolhouse Rock

Of all the places I've worked, Jimmy, Springfield was the worst . . .

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It's as if Blago never left.

A state budget crisis unresolved, partisan finger-pointing, the evil immovable object of Michael Madigan, a governor accused of not engaging the process hard enough - even a legislator complaining she doesn't get paid enough in the midst of legislators clearly not doing their jobs very well.

Governors come and go, but Springfield stays the same.

Pat Quinn, the latest chief executive to learn the limits of his power, even called on gubernatorial predecessors Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar to lobby their old colleagues/adversaries to come to a budget agreement. Maybe he should have had George Ryan make phone calls from prison.

In an editorial titled "Springfield, Aping GM," the Tribune says "Lawmakers, don't blame your failures on Rod Blagojevich. He's gone. Citizens are paying your salaries, not his. And for what?"

(That didn't stop the ever-reliable Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) from arguing that she deserves annual pay raises. "I just think it's unfair for individuals like myself who do work hard for my job to raise my son, I want to be comfortable too.")

"We have to stay after school,” Quinn said late Sunday. “Right now, the budget is not in balance. People will suffer.”

If putting pols in prison doesn't change the work methods of our public officials in this state, though, it's not likely that putting them in detention will.

"This is the worst budget in the history of Springfield,” said Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago).

At least we know now that the worst governor in the history of Springfield wasn't solely to blame.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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