Here’s an exciting opportunity for all you loyal readers at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, CO.
Your fellow inmate Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, is now teaching Civil War history. If you’ve got some time on your hands—and I’d imagine you do—why not celebrate the sesquicentennial by learning a thing or two?
You might recall that, during his time in office, Blagojevich slashed funding for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and gave the state’s historic sites the cold shoulder. I love a good redemption story.
Some time ago I posted an item on IL’s wildly unpopular Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who’s been slashing his state’s public history and preservation funds. It wasn’t so much the cuts that bothered me as it was the fact that Blagojevich has allegedly wasted thousands of dollars on needless expenses for his own benefit, while the dedicated folks who keep historic sites going suffered from cutbacks and layoffs.
You can thus imagine my delight when I discovered that Blagojevich has been arrested for corruption. The fact that the feds arrested him at 6:15 in the morning, before he was even dressed, is icing on the cake.
A welcome ray of sunshine for public historians in the Land of Lincoln.
If you haven’t already, head over to the Lincoln Studies blog and check out the most recent post about the $2.8 million budget cut that Gov. Blagojevich slapped on the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It’s already resulted in hour cutbacks and layoffs. Protestors marched outisde the governor’s house this past weekend, and more power to ’em.
I can understand that one has to tighten the belt from time to time. What I don’t get is the logic of hobbling the very institutions that will be pulling in tourist dollars during the upcoming Lincoln bicentennial. I also don’t get how you can lay people off and shut down important heritage sites and then enjoy a $6,000 commute from Chicago to Springfield on a taxpayer-funded private jet when you should be either staying in the official residence in the capital or (at least) flying commerically. Maybe that helps explain why only 13% of Illinois voters actually like this guy.