The moment is near

By The Madison County Record | Aug 6, 2005

Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Tom Lakin


Kicking & screaming

Sources tell Dicta that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is poised to finally sign into law that medical malpractice reform bill passed by the state legislature last spring, and he’ll do it with Metro East as his backdrop.

Blagojevich opposes but is set to sign the bill—- which includes a cap on pain-and-suffering damages in lawsuits against doctors-- at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Alton during the week of August 15.

This makes sense to us because it’s the same week the Chicago-anchored Blagojevich has to make his traditional appearance at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Governor’s Day is on Wednesday, August 17.

As we all know how much our Governor likes to avoid traveling in these here parts, why wouldn’t he kill two downstate birds with one stone?

Blagojevich, a trial lawyer himself who has raised gobs of money from vehement opponents of damage caps, hasn’t exactly hurried to put his signature on the measure. August 29th is his ’sixty day’ deadline to act or it becomes law automatically.

Metro East Malibu

We’re told Madison County born-and-bred trial lawyer legend Thomas Lakin spends most of his time these days at his California home, just steps from the ocean and in the shadow of the Santa Monica Mountains off the majestic Pacific Coast Highway.

So color us surprised when Dicta’s real estate guru reported that Mr. Lakin has planted a stake in Bethalto.

On July 19, the Lakin Law Firm patriarch bought a property on Hemlock Court on the outskirts of the Madison County enclave for $206,000, according to county records. That must seem like real value when compared to his California beachfront community, where a 696-foot one-bedroom condominium sold for $910,000 last year.

Lakin’s new digs are just steps down the road from his son Brad Lakin’s burgeoning ‘space age’ Bethalto palace. All in the family, indeed.

Campaign cash

“D-2” statements—full of all the groovy details from our state elected officials’ campaign bank accounts-- were filed last week in Springfield.

So who is the campaign fundraising beast of the Metro East? That would be Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville), who flexed a cool $671,291 in his bank account.

Sen. James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis), said to have statewide ambition, finished second with $401,956. Sen. Bill Haine was third with $188,158, followed by Rep. Tom Holbrook (D-Belleville, $115,104), Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton, $42,071), Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Highland, $18,261), and Rep. Wyvetter Younge (D-East St. Louis, $5,188).

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