Thursday, March 22, 2012
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s election-night bravado included a statement during an interview that has the residents of eastern Will County seething.
During an interview following Jackson's victory in the Democratic primary challenge where he handily defeated ex-Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, Jackson told WLS-TV reporter Paul Meincke that the site of the airport he wants to build currently contains nothing but tumbleweed?
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I can no longer say that an airport will never be built in eastern Will County, my mantra since 1987.
|U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Losing the Illinois primary election Tuesday, March 20 might have taken the wind out of Jackson’s sails, with regard to his Peotone Airport obsession, an obsession he claims he doesn’t have. A Jackson defeat might have ended the folly of the Peotone Airport.
We will never know though, because he won; he won very handily. I’m sure this win has given him a new zeal. I fear he will be like Pac Man after swallowing a power pill.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
If I hadn’t watched the news coverage, I wouldn’t have believed that ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich would really end up in federal prison. Yet that is exactly where he now lives—at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado, far from his Chicago home and his wife and two daughters.
I have thought about him from time-to-time, after learning about his arrest, conviction, and ultimately, what seemed to me, to be a harsh sentence.
I cannot imagine the kind of agony he and his family must have felt knowing that he, a two-term Governor of the State of Illinois, husband and father, would have to report to prison, to live in an unfriendly, alien environment among common thieves and murderers.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
One of the worst elements in our Democracy, in my view, is the ability to buy an election. This is really nothing new. As the amount of money spent on campaigns escalates, so does my ire. It seems that funding is the single-most determining factor in picking our leaders. But wait…there could be some redeeming qualities about Super PACs.
On their face, I have not changed my opinion. But this year has been so outrageous, so over-the-top, so outlandish, that I can’t help but see not only a little humor in this situation, but a little poetic justice as well.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Will County Executive Larry Walsh, a Democrat and Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis, a Republican, seem to have joined forces, on the same side for once.
When U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. started shooting off his mouth about a deal with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to build the long-beleaguered Peotone Airport, Moustis wrote a letter to Quinn.
“You will not dump on us,” Moustis told the governor.
Moustis continued by saying he did not want Will County to be treated like second-class citizens. He said Will County would fight all the way. He referred to governance of a potential airport.
They are nothing but hypocrites
Why do Moustis and Walsh refuse to see that what they are complaining about are the same things residents of eastern Will County have been experiencing at their hand for more than 25 years?
Their costly shenanigans, borne by the taxpayers of Will County, to hire lobbyists and consultants, for example, is designed to result in an airport the airlines say they won’t use, a majority of the citizens countywide don’t want, and aviation experts say will be an unsuccessful business venture. Yet they continue to pursue it. It is now like a game with them—a game of one upsmanship—between them and Jackson at the citizens’ expense.
They are arguing over controlling something that may never exist. The airport remains unapproved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The U.S. Transportation Secretary dismisses it.
Gee Jim, it is hell to be treated that way
I know what Moustis must be feeling. It really is hell to be treated like a second class citizen.
I no longer live in Illinois, but I will never forget what it was like to stand before those people—to testify against the proposed Peotone Airport.
Some of those 27 board members weren’t even courteous enough to listen to what I and others had to say. Their blank-stares and nose-in-the air expressions couldn’t wait to dismiss us. Rarely have I ever experienced such unpleasantness as in trying to reason with public officials. It is no wonder regular people steer clear of public meetings and have such a bad taste in their mouth about politics.
It is too bad Will County didn’t listen to reason all those years ago. I wonder what might have come of eastern Will County had so much energy and resources not been squandered chasing the Peotone folly. Will County could have found fame and fortune by using its own resources had there been leadership and intellect. Perhaps eastern Will County could have set a world-class example for organic farming; Del Monte or some other company could have built a plant there and begun processing a new line of heirloom tomato products; or perhaps grapes grown in Will County soil could become the basis of a new Eastern Will County wine. Alternative energy, such as wind or solar or something brand new could be developed there. The sky’s the limit, but instead these fools decided to chase a 1968 project.
I’m really sorry you are being treated like a second-class citizen Jim.
Monday, January 23, 2012
A voice of reason has finally crept into the Peotone Airport debate.
The pure voice of reason, so often muffled, finally echoed throughout Illinois media recently. It was that of Michael Boyd, a Colorado aviation consultant of Boyd Group International, Inc., the company co-founded by Boyd in 1984.
Boyd who began his aviation career at American Airlines in 1971 has an independent philosophy that rings throughout his company. That quality has catapulted the Boyd Group to become one of the most respected voices in the industry.
Boyd is not a political pundit. He is not a mouthpiece for proponents of building a new airport near Peotone which has traditionally filled countless pages of newspapers for as many years. Instead, Boyd is an independent aviation expert, which is not normally associated with the Peotone project. Perhaps that explains why newspapers from all over the state have picked up an Associated Press story recently that quoted Boyd as he warned against proceeding with a new airport near Peotone.
For this one story, headlines were varied; each told the story in its own way. Headlines included: “Aviation consultant predicts losses for proposed Peotone airport project; Would Peotone be next airport boondoggle?; and Critic says third airport could be fiasco.”
|MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
No matter what the headline, the message was clear. Claims that a Peotone airport would be some kind of panacea for the State of Illinois in general and the south suburbs in particular is nothing but a bunch of hooey. Rarely has there been a news story about this project that wasn’t spun out of a positive press release issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation, governor’s office or worse yet, by one of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s cohorts.
This was an honest, indisputable airport story and it was damning.
From what I could glean, the first story was reported in the Bloomington Pantagraph, and picked up from there. It quoted Michael Boyd as saying the Peotone airport could be a “major fiasco” similar to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in southwestern Illinois. He called MidAmerica “a monument to dishonest planning.” Last year, MidAmerica Airport posted an operating loss of nearly $12 million, according to the Pantagraph.
Countless other people, including myself, have said the same thing for years, but coming from an aviation consultant of Boyd’s caliber, the facts are worth listening to.
Boyd’s comments were prompted by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn saying a compromise to move the Peotone Airport planning were forthcoming. He referred to a compromise in the governing of the project, not the need for the project, which remains unproven.
As Boyd points out, Illinois has seen a 10-percent drop in the number of people traveling to and from its nine airports. Routes are being cancelled, and arguably the largest carrier, American Airlines’ parent company AMR Corp. recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
Of the Peotone project, Boyd also categorized it as a “solution looking for a problem.” He says it is a political project fueled more by politics than need.
Friday, January 6, 2012
It is too bad for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich that he engaged with the likes of Jesse Jackson, Jr. It was a trifling that cost him his freedom.
On Dec. 7, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaimed that day to be one that would live in infamy. It certainly will for Blago, because that was the day he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Was that a fair sentence when compared to his predecessor George Ryan who was sentenced only to 6 1/2 years?
In my mind, it wasn't but then I make my assessment based strictly on the character of the man rather than strict legal terms.
I took this picture of Blagojevich during happier times--on a campaign stop in Joliet while running for re-election. I wasn't enamored with him for his stance on the Peotone Airport. While he served as governor, he gave the airport plenty of positive lip service, but never really followed through. That was probably because there was nothing in it for him.
Blago also taught us that size does matter when it references ego. Other than that, his tenure in the state house, or his Chicago house, from which he did most of the state's business, was not as upsetting to me as some of his predecessors--cold-blooded oportunitsts. I found Blago to be more of the warm-blooded variety. Even though he often put himself first, he did try to help others as well.
I would not say he was a bad governor, as Illinois governors go.
Had it not been for that vacant Senate seat issue, would the state have even had a case against Blago?
To me, and I admit some partiality in my opinion, Jackson is the one that should be taken to task. I hope the Senate Ethics committee looks deeply into their investigation of Jackson. His ethics are indeed in question, at least in my mind.
I agree with a recent op-ed piece posted in several local newspapers about why the Senate Ethics committee should continue looking into Jackson's behavior. Congressman Jackson has had a pattern of immoral behavior This blog is quoted within it.
Just before Blagojevich was sentenced, the House announced it would continue to investigate Jackson.
I can't speak to Jackson's other deeds in congress, but I know he has misrepresented the facts surrounding the potential of a regional airport at Peotone as well as the potential of utilizing the existing airport at Gary, Indiana. That has been my focus for the last twenty-five years.
Jackson's latest action is in an attempt to gather support for the Peotone project far from ground zero where knowledge, and information is lacking. According to newspaper reports, Jackson is taking his pro-airport dog and pony show to Woodridge, a DuPage County community far from Peotone where so little is known or frankly cared about, that Jackson can get away with saying whatever he pleases without being challenged. He did just that recently in a visit to a village board meeting where he reiterated his fantasy that construction on a new airport could begin in six months. He fails to mention that the project has not yet been approved by the FAA, or that studies will preclude a decision for at least two years.
Jackson will never stop spewing misinformation to get what he wants. Perhaps, in this election year, it is time the people with ballots stop him instead.