Oct 28

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform released a report Monday October 25th on how the most expensive races for the Illinois state legislature this year are being funded mainly by the party leadership of each house. The Democratic and Republican House and Senate leadership is responsible for 63% of all cash donations in the top 21 legislative races in the state. Conversely this also means that only 37% of the money funding the top 21 most expensive campaigns in the state is coming from people and organizations within that district. If you assume that all elected officials are beholden to their contributors then aren’t these candidates more beholden to their party leadership than to the people of their own district? Private individuals are making the original contributions to the party leadership but then the party leadership is deciding where the money is spent.

Total funds raised in the top 9 Illinois State Senate races = $10,785,500

Total funds raised in the top 12 Illinois General Assembly races = $22,805,400

In our last installment of The Fucking Golden Project, we showed how the race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Illinois will end up costing at least 25 million dollars. Combined with the cost of the top Illinois House and Senate races that brings the current Fucking Golden Project Index (FGPI) up to $58,590,900.

What if Rod Blagojevich was on to something when he allegedly took bids for that U.S. Senate seat? We have all of these political positions in the state of Illinois up for re-election and they are in the words of our deposed governor “fucking golden”.

What if for one election cycle we just cut out the middle man and auctioned off every elected position in the state ?

Then we could take that money and put it towards our 13 billion dollar state budget deficit and pay for things like..I dunno..schools.

Sell them all to the highest bidder. From dog catcher to governor.

Look at our recent voting record in this state. Can you really say that it would be any worse than we have been doing?

The state is broke. Who ever we elect will have their hands tied because of the budget deficit, so they really will not be able to accomplish anything or push the state in any sort of direction. Circumstances and our current political reality guarantee gridlock and inactivity for the next four years. So why not take this opportunity reduce our state’s budget deficit?

To me it is akin the Russian Space Agency selling seats on orbital missions to international billionaires. Although orbiting the earth does sound a bit more appealing than being the Governor of Illinois right now. And lets face it; Oprah would probably end up out bidding everyone for the U.S Senate seat or governor’s mansion anyway. We could do a lot worse than having Oprah as our senator or governor. We usually do.

We here at the Keepgoing.org: Fucking Golden Project Investigative Team 2010 will keep crunching the numbers up through next Tuesday’s election and give you our estimate on how much money could be raised in this effort.

Maybe Blago was on to something.


Oct 20

Last Friday October 15th, 2010 all campaigns in the state of Illinois had to report their fundraising totals for the third quarter. The take away story was how Republican candidates had significantly out raised their Democratic opponents in this traditionally Democratic state. The Republican candidate for US Senate Mark Kirk raised 3.12 million dollars from July 1st to September 30th while Democrat Alexi Giannoulias (shown here at the 2009 Taste of Polonia) raised 2.32 million dollars. Since the first quarter of 2009 these two campaigns have raised a combined 21 million dollars.

This same state of Illinois also has one of the biggest state budget deficits in the nation. At last count it stood at 13 billion dollars. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has proposed a series of budget cuts and tax increases to make up the deficit. His Republican opponent Bill Brady has proposed more draconian budget cuts and has pledged against tax increases. Realistically neither plan will be able to make up such a huge deficit.

Desperate times such as these call for desperate measures. That is why I propose taking the advice of our former governor of the great state of Illinois and consider a revolutionary one-time action: The Fucking Golden Project. How many millions of dollars will be raised and spent on winning elected positions in the state of Illinois this election cycle? Couldn’t that money be put to a better use? Check back in for updates on The Fucking Golden Project.

Oct 14

Have you seen this weather bike? University of Michigan graduate student Paul Coseo spent this last summer on his mobile weather station touring Chicago neighborhoods and taking temperature and humidity readings. Jim is part of the Urban Climate Heat Island Network (or UrCHIN) whose mission is to better understand urban heat islands. To learn more about urban heat islands visit http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/

Oct 12

Rising up from the detritus. cheap car rental . magic bus umich

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