In yet another example of how obsessed Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is about his public image, even during "the worst fiscal crisis in the state's history," the governor is requiring state employees to videotape and review local TV-news broadcasts about him seven days a week on state time.

Last Tuesday was a public-relations nightmare for Governor Rod Blagojevich, but he did manage to avert a complete PR meltdown with a last-minute deal.

A few months after freezing wages of nonunion state workers and deducting 4 percent from their checks to pay for their pension contributions, a month after vetoing pay raises for legislators and judges, two weeks after he unilaterally slashed the operations budgets of two statewide constitutional officers, and the same day that Latino legislators slammed him for breaking his promise about not cutting funds for social programs, the Chicago Tribune reported that the governor had given pay raises to some of his employees.

A $6-million annual state program to help at-risk high-school students graduate and find jobs has been vetoed out of existence by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The program appears to be worthwhile, and the governor has never really explained why he wanted to kill it, other than he wants to "streamline" and "consolidate" the state's job-training efforts.

After months of publicly jabbing the General Assembly for its hidebound ways, Governor Rod Blagojevich is now aiming his sharp political elbows at his fellow constitutional officers, including his most likely re-election rival.

Talk about a week filled with heavy-duty irony. Christian conservatives rallying for lower casino taxes and Governor Rod Blagojevich doling out George Ryan's pork money.

Early last week, a coalition of conservative groups held a press conference.

"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship," Grover Norquist recently told the Denver Post.

Norquist runs a group called Americans for Tax Reform, and his organization was scheduled to participate in a Chicago press conference last week that was called to attack Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for his anti-business proposals.

House Republican leader Tom Cross and Senate Republican leader Frank Watson weren't exactly on the same page during the spring legislative session. As a result, there is serious tension between the two Republican caucuses.

I'm not a superstitious person, but I'm starting to believe that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's life has been blessed by a kindly leprechaun, a lucky star, or an influential guardian angel. Take your pick.

He was elected to the Illinois House after a new legislative map gave state Representative Bruce Farley (D-Chicago) the opportunity to be kicked upstairs to the Senate by Blago's politically powerful father-in-law.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has racked up some impressive poll numbers partly because the voters have so far bought into his constant refrain that he is "changing Springfield's culture."

There is no doubt that he has reformed some things.

State legislators are rebelling just about everywhere.

You've heard about the Texas Democrats who fled to Oklahoma to kill a Republican redistricting bill.

In Arizona, the Republican Senate rejected the Democratic governor's budget, then put together its own plan.

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