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|A History of the Governor in Galesburg: Part 1
|Embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich has long preferred making policy speeches and campaign appearances close to home over downstate Illinois, but that doesn't mean he's never been here.
By our count, between his candidacy for his first term as Governor and his last appearance last year, the Governor has been here only three times, and made an announcement connected to Galesburg one other time.
Blagojevich first came to Galesburg in August of 2002 while still a candidate, while running against Republican, now-former Attorney General Jim Ryan. He told a crowd at Knox College he wanted to make things better for Illinoisans, "...for the farmer who grows our crops, for the worker who builds our cars, for the parents -- for the parents who save for college, for our children in our classrooms who are learning in our schools, for the nurse who cares for the ill," Blagojevich said.
About a year later, after being elected, the Governor went to the Galesburg Fire Department to sign into law State Representative Don Moffitt's bill establishing a revolving loan fund for rural fire departments needing new equipment, but also had the chance to speak with local economic development leaders.
Blagojevich told WGIL the discussions dealt with how people who need jobs can be kept in the area, even though the Galesburg Maytag plant closure at that time was still pending. "You've got a workforce that is on the verge of being displaced," Blagojevich said. "How do we find them other jobs so they can be absorbed into jobs with futures? That was the broader discussion, and it's a work in progress."
The governor also made a trip to Galesburg last year, promoting the implementation of a gross receipts tax -- something he said would help businesses pay their fair share in taxes. Most local organization, however, opposed it.
That was the last time Blagojevich was seen here.
|12 29 08 by Newsroom
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