Saturday, March 05, 2005

secrecy and incompetence

This is from Aaron Chamber's column for the Rockford Register Star:
I called Gerardo Cardenas, one of the governor's press people, and asked if I could attend the afternoon meeting [between Blagojevich and Rockford elected officials]. Much to my surprise, he called back and said that would be fine.

"It's just a meet and greet," he said.

Then Rebecca Rausch, another Blagojevich press person, contradicted Cardenas. She said the delegation asked for a private meeting with the governor, and the governor would respect that wish.

That Blagojevich would deflect responsibility for a decision was no surprise. This is the same man who invoked his child when announcing two years ago that he wouldn't move to Springfield; he said his daughter, who was 6, had friends in Chicago and he wouldn't disrupt the bond.

Rausch said I couldn't attend. When I talked to Cardenas again, he stood corrected: "I messed up, I guess."

That Blagojevich would throw one of his own people under a bus also was no surprise. Recently, the governor's top aides vilified his Natural Resources and Veterans' Affairs directors when, in the course of doing their jobs, they stirred negative publicity for the governor.

YOU PROBABLY GUESSED what happened next. I polled the members of the Rockford delegation, including Mayor Doug Scott, Republican Sen. Dave Syverson and Democratic Rep. Chuck Jefferson. Naturally, they said they didn't care whether I covered the meeting.

And they couldn't say who requested a private exchange.
Blagojevich's people seem almost paranoid in excluding the press. I guess they figure Blago's warchest can buy the image he wants when he runs for re-election.

But they can't even get it straight and just say, "no, the Governor wants to meet with these officials privately." How hard is it to behave reasonably professionally on a day-to-day basis?


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