Sunday, March 20, 2005

He ain't nothing but a hound dog--a publicity hound

The Chicago Tribune (Patrick Rucker) has an article on the top of page 3 of the Metro section about Governor Blagojevich supporting a statewide effort to assist immigrants working as slave laborers, including those tricked and forced to be sex workers.

Sounds good, right? Who could be for slavery in the Land of Lincoln in the 21st Century?

Guess how much money Blagojevich is putting into the program? Up to $200,000.

To put this in perspective Blagojevich found $500,000 to help gas stations switch to E85, a blend of gasoline that contains more ethanol.

$200,000? Consider the coverage Blagojevich is getting in the media, in print, on radio and TV. If Blagojevich had to buy the space in the newspapers and buy the time on the radio and TV for "rah-rah Rod" ads, he would probably spend most or all of the $200K. Of the hundreds of slave laborers in Illinois, how many will be helped by this spending? Is the goal of this spending to detect and prevent human rights abuses or to score Blagojevich some positive publicity?

In a way you've got to admire Blagojevich's PR team. They can squeeze little stuff--either single cases, feel good legislation or pittance level spending--for the maximum positive press coverage.

If Blagojevich was able to stretch state money for the public interest as well as he does for his own interests, we'd have a great governor.


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