Today’s Observations – December 23, 2007 or Blagojevich, tear down this wall

As a lifelong Democrat, I am loyal to my party to a fault. I can overlook many things. When Mayor Richard Daley says he didn’t know about his son Patrick’s contract, I believe him.

Daley’s accomplishments have become legendary.

He took Community Policing to a new level. CAPS as it is know in Chicago, is simply the best program of its kind anywhere in the country. The beat meeting is the centerpiece of this program and the beat meeting is what makes it effective.

He has beautified the city with plants and great looking medians and inspired some great works such as Millennium Park.

Daley has upgraded the Chicago Public School System, making it one of the best “big city” school system in the nation. We are only as strong as our weakest links, which makes Chicago Public Schools quite good. Arne Duncan has done and is continuing to do a great job. It could certainly be better were it not for the inaction and ineptness of our current Governor Rod Blagojevich (D), the schools in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois would have improved by leaps and bounds. I draw the line of loyalty to the Democratic Party with Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich is an obstacle. Blagojevich is a stumbling block. He has built a wall between himself, the state legislative bodies and the people of the good state of Illinois. Blagojevich has made a fool of a man I greatly admire, State Senate President Emil Jones. He has muddied the name of this great man and I’m afraid that Jones doesn’t even seem to be aware of it. Jones needs to again be his own man and stop being a puppet for Blagojevich. It is obvious to everyone else how he is being used, but apparently not to Jones.

As President Reagan might have say, “Blagojevich, tear down this wall.”

It is time for what is popularly known as “HB 750.” (Check out the A+ Plus Illinois website whose main purpose is to pass HB 750). An actual House Bill that has now become part of the language meaning “fairness in funding education.” When State Senator James Meeks threatened to run for governor and possibly derail Blagojevich’s bid for a second-term, he made a deal with Meeks promising more money for education. Blagojevich broke his word. In reality, the problem would have been that Topinka would have been a big improvement. All she had to do was commit to “HB 750” and many of us would have been on board. I respect the fact she didn’t make an empty promise.

While it is wishful thinking on my part, I truly wish that Blagojevich would resign. The job is too big for him. He cannot handle it. Lt. Governor Pat Quinn would be a huge improvement. John Presta.

PS: We will be writing more about “HB 750,” making it a focus of the Reading on Walden Political Discussion Group in 2008. Our plan is to initiate a grassroots effort to promote HB 750. Hope you’ll join us.

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