6/20/2006Illinois: Governor Campaigns Through $15k Highway Signs
Illinois Tollway pays nearly half-a-million dollars to promote the name of Governor Blagojevich with signs across the highway.
Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich (D) spent $480,000 to install a set of thirty-two large blue signs on the Illinois Tollway reading, "Open Road Tolling. Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor." The signs, which cost $15,000 each, are significantly more expensive than the more common road signs made by the toll authority for $200 each. Toll road officials say the signs are merely designed to promote electronic toll collections and recognize the governor's participation in the effort.
"A little over a year ago, I outlined our vision for a new Open Road Tolling system," Blagojevich said in a statement last year as the first signs went up. "Today that vision starts to become a reality."
The Illinois Republican Party believes the tollway officials are providing an election year gift to the man who appointed them to office. In an online Chicago Tribune poll, 92.7 percent believed the signs were not worth $15,000. The poll received 9425 responses.