Tag Archives: Illinois

Blagojevich Bounced

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich

The drama concerning Rod Blagojevich is almost over.  Blagojevich has been impeached and removed from office.  A new governor has been sworn in, and Blagojevich will never hold public office in Illinois again.  The only thing that remains now is the criminal case against the now former Governor of Illinois.  Although this was a little delayed for some people, most figured it was inevitable when the allegations of Blagojevich trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat first surfaced.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate voted 59-0 after the state House of Representatives impeached him earlier in the month on charges of abuse of power and attempts to sell the gubernatorial appointment of the Senate seat.

The case provided news organizations across the world with multiple headlines as there were several twist and turns leading up to this point.  Rod Blagojevich was first arrested on December 9 on the charges of conspiracy and bribery.  What took many by surprise was the “pay-to-play” scheme he was accused of by allegedly attempting to sell a Senate seat that he was to appoint.  And then there was the phone call recordings of Blagojevich, many too obscene for the public ear, where he was apparently caught red-handed and heard trying to receive payments and goods for the seat.

Once the impeachment trial began, Rod Blagojevich elected not to attend the hearing because he felt they were unjust.  He instead decided to use his time appealing to another court, the court of public opinion.  Blagojevich spent a couple of days when the trial first began in New York City making several appearances in the media, giving his side of the story, still proclaiming his innocence.  Around this time, his own attorney also withdrew himself from the case and Blagojevich. 

Not for nothin’ let’s all remember that impeachment is just a political procedure, not a criminal one.  Technically Blagojevich is still innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of law.  Although it certainly doesn’t look good, he could still be a pardon from the new president, who just happens to be be from Chicago.  But, good luck with that one too.

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Team Blago Vs. Team USA

Burris contends for senate seat
Burris contends for senate seat

More and more it’s beginning to look like Governor Rod Blagojevich is on his own.  Fortunately for him he managed to bring in Roland Burris on his side by appointing Burris to a seat on the United States Senate.  The unfortunate part about it is that it looks like there’s no one else on their side.  Burris is quite adamant that the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama is his, but days after Blagojevich made the appointment Burris still find himself trying to convince people of which. 

In order for Burris to be certified as the Senator-designate, signatures from the governor and secretary of state are required.  Of course Blagojevich has given his consent, but Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refused to give his signature.  That will and has provided the U.S. Senate with the justification to refuse to sit Burris.  And on Monday, Secretary of the United States Senate Nancy Erickson did exactly that as she refused to accept Burris’ certificate of appointment to the Senate.

But even as Burris insist that he has the law on this side and that the seat is rightfully his, you have to know that considering the state at which the appointment came, a certain number of people will have a problem with that.  People like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said that the seating will not happen because the United States Constitution states that “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.”  Reid and other senators have said previously that they will refuse to sit anyone appointed by the embattled Governor Blagojevich, even before Burris was appointed.  It looks like they are sticking to their guns. 

Not for nothin’, but this battle for the U.S. Senate seat will likely go on well past the time when all new Senators will gather to be sworn in, which will be noon on Tuesday.  Every since these charges against the governor surfaced and he proclaimed his innocence we had to know that this would be immenent.  After all, he is still the governor of the state and can act like it and fulfill duties that a governor should.  If you don’t like it then get along with the processes of impeachment and have him removed.  Until then, expect Blagojevich to do what ever he please, so long as it’s in the eyes of the law (or in his case at least one eye).

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Tough Times For The “Teflon” Governor

Tough times for Blagojevich
Tough times for Blagojevich

The political walls for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  As if his political career wasn’t already in danger after his arrest on charges of political corruption Tuesday.  Blagojevich returned to work on Wednesday, but many, including President-elect Obama are distancing themselves from him and are are calling him to resign.  Proceedings for an impeachment is already underway, as many would expect, but it isn’t impeachment that Governor Blagojevich should worry about most for jail time is imminent for the executive.

At this time most of America, if not the world has heard the story of Governor Blagojevich.  The governor was arrested on Tuesday for attempting to sell the appointment of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama in return for cash donations or another higher paying job for himself.  But what has everyone outraged is what was detailed in the criminal complaint.  Governor Blagojevich was caught on tape making blatant attempts through phone calls and other contacts to sell the open seat to the highest bidder, with many of the conversations not fit for publication with heavy redactions.

And with the previous unknown “Candidate Number 5” who was to allegedly pay one million dollars for the seat, now being identified as U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., we’ll have to wait and see if he can successfully distance himself from Blagojevich.  In a press conference on Wednesday Jackson confirmed he was the mysterious candidate, but also said he did nothing wrong and he was outraged to be linked to the case.

Now Representative Jackson, along with President-elect Obama are distancing themselves from the governor.  In addition to that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois are circulating a letter for signatures to call for Blagojevich to step down.  Some officials in Illinois are calling for passage of legislation to allow for a special election, to take away the governor’s ability to appointment the position if he does stay in office.  Illinois state Rep. Jack Franks introduced a bill Tuesday that will bar indicted governors from making such appointments. 

Not for nothin’, but considering the political corruption abound in the United States, and particularly with the history with in the state of Illinois, the power to appoint a U.S. Senator should have never been given to one person.  That type of power breeds corruption.  The state of Illinois has a history of corruption involved in the history of its governor, the previous governor is already serving time of corruption while in office.  As politicians in the state and around the country are lining up to they have nothing to do with the allegations against Rod Blagojevich or any corruption, we all know it’s not going to end there. 

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