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Speaker Madigan Calls Governor Delusional

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Illinois lawmakers are crunching to finalize a budget by the end of the week. But political rivalries between the state’s Democratic leaders are flaring up.

Earlier this week, Governor Rod Blagojevich held a press conference in Chicago where he answered questions about budget talks. A reporter asked about talk that lawmakers don’t trust him.

BLAGOJEVICH: You know, I think you hear a lot of rhetoric on both sides from people in the political process. That’s just rhetoric. It’s not at all unusual here in Illinois. You hear people in Washington say that about each other.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan, an opponent of Blagojevich’s, says the governor’s leadership style is a problem.

MADIGAN: Well if he thinks it’s rhetoric, then he ought to talk to the members of the legislature who day in and day out tell him to his face that they don’t trust him. So maybe he is delusional.

Despite their differences, both Madigan and Blagojevich say they’re hopeful they can pass a budget by the end of the week. That’s when the session is scheduled to end.

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