Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli suggested "...it is better to be feared than loved." Perhaps if he'd observed the career of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, he would have reconsidered:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Dictator. Madman. Unruly child. Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been called all that and more -- and that's just by his fellow Democrats.
A series of policy defeats and bitter confrontations has driven Blagojevich's relationship with Illinois legislators to a new low.
Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Woodstock, compared Blagojevich to an unsupervised 3-year-old touching everything with messy, chocolate-smeared fingers -- "just gleefully running around making the biggest mess he possibly could and then leaving it for us to clean up."
"We criticize guys like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, who run their countries like dictators. Well, this isn't any different," Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Chicago Democrat like the governor, said during a recent debate. "Today, we might as well just lock the doors up, forget about the legislative process and let Gov. Blagojevich write all our bills the way he wants them."
To his credit, Machiavelli also wrote, "And a prince should guard himself, above all things, against being despised and hated."
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.