Happy Halloween! Five more days (including today) to a scary Doomsday I!
The Tribune Tuesday made some very interesting observations about House Speaker Mike Madigan in its editorial on "Gambling on a Springfield deal":
"The political intrigue on Monday tended to overshadow Madigan's proposal. With Chicago Transit Authority service cutbacks scheduled for the weekend, is Madigan positioning himself as the lone grown-up [emphasis mine], the leader who fashions the grand compromise that Jones and Blagojevich cannot? In this scenario, Madigan cobbles together a veto-proof bloc of urban House members (who get transit funding from a small regional sales tax) and Downstate members (who get capital spending on roads and schools). Broadly expanded gambling (with more muscular state oversight from a new and improved Gaming Board) ostensibly helps pay the bills.
"Madigan could hand this mega-package to the Senate and head home, essentially forcing Jones and Blagojevich to capitulate -- or answer to all those citizens who will be infuriated by Springfield's failure to solve the CTA's problems."
Certainly you and I both have been highly critical of Madigan and the other Illinois state leaders. But if he can pull this off as suggested by the Trib, then I'll move to his district to vote for him next time!
Public hearing outcome? I was busy with some fellow bloggers last night on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, so I missed the Lane Tech CTA public hearing. Can any of you folks tell us about it? Fox News reported a "packed house" of "100 riders" attended. Knowing how large Lane Tech is, I doubt it was a packed house at 100, but I think we're all sick of saying the same thing over and over to the folks -- CTA brass -- who really have no control over the funding.
Huberman's warning to riders: Speaking of CTA brass, CTA President Ron Huberman sent a missive to Chicago Card/Plus users Tuesday about preparing for Doomsday I, and making a last ditch effort to contact state legislators. See the continuation for the full text.