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  Blagojevich: Democratic House speaker really a Republican
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Last EditedImperator  Jul 06, 2007 06:48pm
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MediaNewspaper - Chicago Tribune
News DateSaturday, July 7, 2007 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionSPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich accused Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of acting like a right-wing Republican, and Madigan led the House in rejecting a major part of the governor's budget proposal Friday.

The House voted 78-6 against Blagojevich's idea of shoring up shaky state pension systems by privatizing the state lottery and borrowing billions of dollars to reinvest.

Blagojevich dismissed the House vote as predictable. He attributed the outcome to Madigan, chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, joining "a right-wing Republican effort" to block a budget that would expand social services.

His comments came after a two-hour meeting with Senate Democrats, who urged the Democratic governor to adopt a more conciliatory tone in hopes of settling an impasse that has pushed the legislative session into overtime.

But Blagojevich emerged to offer harsh criticism of Madigan.

"The way to be able to finally get budgets that achieve the objective of health care and education for families is to get Mr. Madigan to be a Democrat again and stop being a George Bush Republican," Blagojevich said.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown rejected Blagojevich's criticism.

"I just don't understand what a constant stream of insults will do to resolve the budget crisis," he said. "Maybe that's the governor showing his immaturity."

Democrats control the governor's office and both chambers of the General Assembly. They were supposed to pass a new state budget by May 31, but that plan was sunk by bitter divisions over the size of the spending plan.
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