In what has to be the most blatantly political budgetary veto in Illinois history, Governor Rod Blagojevich last week ham-handedly attempted to punish his enemies, reward his friends, and entice some members he will need on crucial votes.

Emil Jones In state legislative politics, your word is supposed to be your bond, but that doesn't always happen. Illinois legislators will often tell one person one thing and tell another something completely different. Rank-and-file legislators aren't completely trustworthy.

Legislative leaders, on the other hand, are supposed to be different, particularly when it comes to promises they make to each other. The Senate president, House speaker, and the two minority leaders share a historic bond that is never breached.

Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes said last week that Governor Rod Blagojevich's hypocrisy "knows no bounds."

Man, was he ever telling the truth.

Last week was way over the top, even for an over-the-top guy such as Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Two months into a record-breaking overtime legislative session, the four state legislative leaders met last week to talk about the budget, but for the first time ever they made a point not to invite Governor Rod Blagojevich.

So what the heck was House Speaker Michael Madigan up to last week when he finally came out in support of an income-tax increase and urged the governor to drop his opposition to the idea?

Despite what you may have read in some newspaper editorials or Statehouse news coverage lately, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is not insane, in my opinion.

Some may disagree, but I believe that this pension "crisis" the state finds itself in right now is almost completely bogus. And since Governor Rod Blagojevich has called what looks to be a never-ending special legislative session to deal with this problem, I figured I'd weigh in.

As the state legislative overtime session drags along and Statehouse types begin half-joking about October as a possible adjournment date and pass on rumors that the governor is prepared to continue doing one-month budgets until January if necessary, it might be important to take a step back from the brink and take a look at where we are.

The war of words between state Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), a fierce gun control advocate, and the Illinois State Rifle Association has apparently escalated to the point where the nutballs are coming out of the woodwork.