Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Will “Moderate” Jim Thompson Help Topinka? Forget It. His Support for Blagojevich Is On Retainer

governor james r thompson
Sunday morning the 37th governor of Illinois, James Robert Thompson, more than anyone else in modern state history the embodiment of Republic-crat, Demo-publican mercantilism, under whose unrestrained direction taxpayer dollars were siphoned to pay for public circuses, eased his 400 lb, massively inflated ego into a studio desk at Channel 7 and submitted to a televised interview.

Accordingly, the heir to the legacy of Suleiman the Magnificent (after whom the glass temple monstrosity Thompson Center is named) allowed a reporter the privilege of learning how the nation can combat terrorism, stemming from his experience on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. The interview was friendly: no questions on why at the commission’s behest, the Department of Homeland Security was enveloped into the huge bureaucracy which is being criticized widely for worsening the bureaucracy. Nor were inconvenient issues brought up: like why the commission didn’t get hold of the Able Danger report which had the possibility of embarrassing His Hugeness. Or why His Majesty, chairman of the Hollinger board of directors audit committee was snoozing or tinkling wine glasses with co-direcctors Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle when the two Sun-Times crooks made away with the silverware.

Beset with tough journalistic questions about homeland security like “Why have we not done specifically what you feel we need to do? the Great One responded that Congressional oversight has been a mismash. And now a second question which nailed Thompson in his heart: “Congress has been resistant?” Then His Prominence instructed him about the wavelength spectrum. The reportorial follow-up question: “Was that an issue—spectrum?”

Moving from national issues to local, His Mightyness was served with this introduction: “As you know, we have this big White Sox celebration we have just gone through here, the World Series champs. It wouldn’t have happened if not for this governor back in 1988. The Sox, you may remember, were about to leave crumbling Comiskey Park for the new municipally funded stadium down in St. Petersburg. But Big Jim used his influence to change history.” Then we were told the story of how Jimbo twisted arms in the legislature. It was all a glorious fraud, of course, since the White Sox insiders at the time have been thrilling listeners ever since on how the state was rolled. Thompson also got away with the explanation that the mercantilism was paid for with a hiked tax on the hotel-motel tax. Then he gave a tutorial on economics: “So our baseball stadium now containing our world champion Chicago White Sox is paid for by out-of-towners. A better deal than that I can’t give you.” As if a hotel-motel tax hike doesn’t depress the economy or discourage out-of-towners, a true Thompson lesson on fiscal prudence.

But now comes the political point of this piece. Here is the question:

“I just want to ask you. I’m sure you watched this from the sidelines, obviously. I’m talking about how the state is being run, currently.” From the sidelines, eh? Big Jimbo held a fund-raiser for Blagojevich and was a co- chair of his transition team. “Not putting you in the position of critiquing a current governor, but what do you think about the way Illinois is being run?”

Said His Hugeness: “I think you know, obviously, that that’s a question that will be answered by the voters next November and I have to tell you that my law firm represents Governor Blagojevich so I can’t—“

But he could. And did. Praise the governor for the All Kids program. “He had to borrow from the pension funds but that’s not unheard of. That’s been done by prior administrations. And he’s gone without a major tax increase. He’s kept his promise…But it’s refreshing to see a guy come into office and keep the promise that he made.” Then the former U.S. District Attorney said: “I know he’s having his problems with personnel and the feds and subpoenas and things like that. We’ll see where it all shakes out…This is not only—not just at the state level, either. This is part of politics.” Patrick Fitzgerald will be glad to hear his predecessor pronounce his allegations in that tone.

Reportorial conclusion: “All right. Former Governor Jim Thompson, great to have you here this morning. So great to talk to you about a number of different things.”

And there you have it. The managing partner of a law firm retained by Gov. Blagojevich giving his unvarnished views about Gov. Blagojevich. Too bad, Judy Baar: Thompson’s remarks are suitable for inclusion into the best little Blagojevich TV commercial you ever saw.

And this is Tom Roeser, saying to Judy Baar Topinka, good night and good luck.

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