A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Opportunity Returns

The Herald & Review covered the failure of Gov. Blagojevich to unveil the Opportunity Returns program for this area a few days ago. Criticism was leveled at him, based on the fact that, well he hasn't launched the damn thing. He even went as far as to schedule a press conference to announce it, then cancelled at the last minute siting poor weather for not being able to make it.

However, is it possible there is a better story here? I think so, and it makes the whole thing make sense. Could this be a possible scenario, The Opportunity Returns program for this region was highly focused on expanding existing industries in Decatur, that could otherwise not afford to expand. If one was to look for a company that would like to expand, but couldn't at the time, you would have most likely settled on Intermet Wagner. An Opportunity Returns program could use grants, tax credits, and what not to basically pay to keep Intermet here and expand to boot. However, you would have to convince a company that otherwise wanted to close the plant, to not only stay but expand. The administration and the company could have agreed, but at the last minute the company changes its mind, and pulls out. Well what does that leave the Governor to do, come announce a plan for a company, that isn't going to do it and instead is actually closing the plant, or cancel the press conference citing weather? And, the reason we don't have an announcement yet, well thats probably because they are back at the drawing board creating a new one.

Then again maybe thats not a scenario........