Monday, May 29, 2006

See Blago; Watch Jennifer Aniston or Kevin White

Breaking News: Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich will sign legislation [SB2030], tonight, expanding the film and television production tax credit at the Chicago premiere of Universal Pictures’ new comedy, The Break-Up. The movie was filmed last year in Chicago and stars Vince Vaughn and the lovely Jennifer Aniston. Lake Forest native Vince Vaughn will join Governor Blagojevich for the signing before the Chicago premiere.

Appropriately enough, State Sen. Rickey [Hollywood] Hendon (D-Chicago) will be there. Also attending the extravaganza will be State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), the man who replaced now U. S. Senator Barack Obama, or at least holds the seat formerly held by Barack. Barack, of course, is irreplaceable. Or, should I say priceless.
Watch Senator Obama now on your computer. [See here].

State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), the man who won a tough four way primary a few years ago with the slogan,”That’s Dunkin, as in [CPS CEO Arne] Duncan.” Both Hendon and Dunkin are known, in part, for their appearances on “Public Affairs,” as is Governor Blagojevich [who was last on our show during the 2002 primary, and we are working on having him appear jointly soon with his Challenger, Republican Judy Baar Topinka[Go here to watch Topinka].

Indeed, rounding out the circle, Hollywood Hendon appeared on our show at about the same time as he almost came to fisticuffs with Obama on the floor of the State Senate, with Hendon objecting to what he described as the then State Senator’s hypocrisy regarding pork.

Of course, the differences could have related to that old tension between Chicago's African-American Democratic South Side and West Side pols, or perhaps petty jealousies. Senator Hendon remarked during Obama's run in the Democratic U. S. Senate Primary that, "Senator Obama is always running for something." For another example of South Side-West Side Democratic pol friction, there is the current spat between West Side Congressman Danny Davis [D-Chicago] and South Side Chicago Alderman Todd Stroger over who gets to replace Todd’s dad, Cook County Board President John Stroger, on the November ballot as the Democratic Party’s nominee for the County Board President position. President John Stroger is said by his son, Ald. Todd Stroger, to be recovering from a stroke suffered in March, 2006, about a week before he beat Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be Cook County Board President. Watch Claypool on your computer.[See here]. [Of course, there is a rich tradition among Chicago Democratic pols of using their clout to install their kids in political office.]

Almost everyone agrees, at least privately, that President John Stroger will not recover soon enough or to such a level as to allow him to run for re-election in the fall. That will be announced in July, setting in force a weighted vote by the Cook County Democratic Central Committee [50 Ward and 30 Township Committeeman] for a candidate to replace John Stroger on the ballot.

Neither Davis nor Todd Stroger is likely to get the nod. Nor will it be Chicago Ald. Beavers, who has been much in the news of late [See here]. Instead, look for State Senate President Emil Jones or the CHA’s CEO, Terry Peterson, to get the nod. Mostly this will be decided by Mayor Daley and Speaker Mike Madigan deciding which way they want to push the Committeemen. Very likely, Speaker Mike and the Mayor, will have different ponies in this race.

Enough for that digression. If you want to see the movie and political celebrity arrivals, hustle down to the The Music Box Theater at 3733 N. Southport at 6:30 pm tonight. Talking about Senate President Emil Jones, he might be one of the political celebrities there tonight, as he, of course, is a big supporter of the Governor. However, State Treasurer Topinka is unlikely to be there. On the other hand, Treasurer Topinka's office has made some loans to individuals in the film business, so you never know. Could be common ground between Rod and Judy.

At 7:15 pm, or so, the Governor is scheduled to sign the film tax credit bill. At 7:30 pm, or so, the screening begins. Oh yeah, the popcorn is on the Governor.

Folks, what can I say. This is a poor man’s imitation of Lynn Sweet’s celebrity blogging, but I thought I would give it a shot.

Not a fan of movie premiers? Well, then, stay in and watch Public Affairs through-out the City of Chicago tonight at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. The man who would replace Cong. Rahm Emanuel [D-Chicago, 5th CD], Kevin White [R-Chicago], is our featured guest. White debates and discusses with show host Jeff Berkowitz many domestic and foreign policy issues, including the War in Iraq, Energy policy, ANWR drilling, Taxes, abortion, guns and much, much more.

Indeed, more about the show to follow on this blog. Can’t watch the show with 5th CD Republican nominee Kevin White tonight on Cable in Chicago? Not to worry, watch it on your computer .[See here].