SPRINGFIELD -- The mayor of the capital city scolded Gov. Rod Blagojevich in a newspaper ad Sunday for trying to move more than 100 Department of Transportation jobs to southern Illinois.Look, I’ve said all along that the “these are our jobs, dammit!” line of argument isn’t going to garner any support outside of Sangamon County. The fact that the ad was in the SJ-R (and to my knowledge, only the SJ-R), says to me Davlin is simply playing to the local audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but this ad does nothing toward advancing the cause of keeping the IDOT jobs here, but does put Davlin on the right side of the issue in the community.
Tim Davlin, a Democrat who has had friendly relations with the governor, argued the transfer would hit Springfield the same way a mine closing would harm southern Illinois or a factory closing would affect Rockford.
“Since the seat of government was moved to Springfield in 1839, government has been the industry of our city. It pays the bills, feeds the kids, puts roofs over the heads of our citizens,” Davlin said in the ad in The State
Money for the ad came from the Springfield chamber of commerce and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, among other groups.
Blagojevich’s press office didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the ad.
In the end, this move will only be stopped if it proves to be a money waster and otherwise logistically difficult. In other words, on the merits (or lack thereof) not by virtue of Springfield’s claim to all post-1839 government industry.