Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Illinois Democrats begin erasing someone named Rod Blagojevich

January 30, 2009 |  6:24 pm

Expensive Illinois roadsigns with ousted Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich's name will be covered up at more expense

(UPDATE below)

Just like China and the old Soviet Union, Illinois authorities began today erasing the presence of Gov. Rod Blagojevich from public property.

A day after the state legislature ousted the first governor in Illinois history (and the 8th in U.S. history), transportation crews began covering some 32 state tollway signs that say: "Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor." (See WGN-TV video below.)

They were erected five years ago at a cost of $480,000.

Those signs are everywhere in Democratic Illinois because the proud public servants of that super state and the fine, fine city of Chicago spare no expense in ensuring that the good citizens of that historic state, the honest taxpayers who work from morning until night to support their families and the dreams of their little children who deserve an excellent education and an extraordinary future, are able to exercise their fundamental rights as citizens of a free Illinois to be fully informed as to which esteemed elected official should get credit for the impressive tollway, airport, street improvement or other really good things that happen there.

Just in case those very same names should ever come up again on, say, a re-election ballot.

According to hallowed Illinois tradition, traffic accidents, construction projects and other annoyances or impediments for people actually trying to get somewhere in the Land of Lincoln are not deemed to require a sign taking responsiblity for the ungodly mess. Not until some months after things are cleaned up and looking good.

On the other hand, when a formerly fine public servant who's been deemed fit to serve several times by those same well-educated voters runs afoul of the party rarely or more likely of federal prosecutors, then their cult of personality must be erased immediately. And they never officially happened.

Just for fun, start counting the number of days until you hear another illinois Democratic politician, President Barack Obama, utter the name of his one-time friend and ally in public. Prediction: The final number will be right up there with number of dollars in the economic stimulus package.

The new Democratic governor, Patrick Quinn, was lieutenant governor and hadn't spoken to the Democratic ex-governor since mid-2007 because they belong to different factions of the one-party rule there. Quinn today called the state's constitutional officers, all of whom happen to be Democrats, to a meaningless symbolic meeting so that cameras could show state government getting back to meaningless symbolic meetings.

In one of the least memorable statements in recent political history, Quinn noted that God put eyes in the front of human heads so that people can look forward and that is what he intends to do, look forward. With his eyes. On the front of his head.

According to the rules of Illinois political scandals, Quinn referred to Blagojevich only as "my predecessor" and said he expected to hear merely silly "chirping" from the disgraced Democrat.

The tollway signs will cost about $15,000 each to cover up Blagojevich's unreasonably long name. (UPDATE: A tollway spokeswoman sends corrective word that total Illinois coverup cost is $15G's, not per sign.)

State officials just happened to have the coverup material handy. The work will be done largely at night, allegedly to minimize traffic disruptions. One day Rod is there protecting Illinois tollways. The next -- poof! -- he's gone. It's easier for everyone that way.

Governor Patrick Quinn's fine Irish name will not go up on the same signs.

At least not until things settle down and no one is looking.

--Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of signs of progress, register here for Twitter alerts on each new Ticket item? RSS feeds are also available here. And we're on Amazon's Kindle as well.

Photo credit: Associated Press