Blagojevich Indicted

Blagojevich Indictment

Impeached and disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted today on 16 counts of Federal Corruption. Several of Blago’s cronies were also named as defendants in the indictment handed down today.

A good day for Illinois! Again?

See documents for full details.

It’s Unanimous! Blago is Out, Quinn is In

Blagojevich Impeachment

After a last ditch attempt by Impeached Illinois Governor Blagojevich, the Illinois State Senate has voted unanimously (59-0) to remove the Governor from office. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn becomes the new Governor by Illinois law and is expected to be sworn in later today. The State Senate also voted 59-0 to bar the former Governor from ever holding public office in Illinois again.

“He failed the test of character. He is beneath the dignity of the state of Illinois. He is no longer worthy to be our governor,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Republican from suburban Chicago.

The four day trial was boycotted by the embattled former governor until today when he made a futile attempt at a closing statement, although he refused to answer questions.

Today puts a head on the “Pay to Play” politics that has become a way of life in Illinois, Chicago and indeed national politics. Illinoisans has spoken through their elected officials and the Constitution and took the rare steps to remove a corrupt official from office. Let this be a loud and clear message to the rest of the politicians, locally and nationally, who continue or consider the use of their office for personal gain and unethical practices.

Blagojevich Impeached!

In an historic first for Illinoisians, lawmakers today voted 114-1 to impeach the embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The governor was charged with corruption in December of last year, and has focused the nation’s attention on the “pay to play” scandals plaguing Chicago and our great state. Notably due to the charge of Blago attempting to sell President-elect Obama’s vacant senate seat. The seat has since been appointed to former Illinois Atty general, Roland Burris creating even more controversy.

What I really want to know (and hopefully find out soon), who that one lawmaker was that voted against impeaching the disgraced governor.

Here is the 69-page draft report outlineing criminal charges against gov. Rod Blagojevich. Charges list his alleged plan to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama, withholding of state funds for the sale of Wrigley Field if Chicago Tribune editorial writers were not fired, and the shake down of Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Illinois’ Problem May Become The Senate’s Problem

ap_burris

The Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich just did the unthinkable.  This afternoon, the embattled democratic governor named Illinois lawyer and politician, Roland Burris as the person to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Obama resigned from the U.S. Senate after winning the Presidential election in November.

Illinois has been in the national spotlight since Blaogjevich was arrested earlier this month under corruption charges including suspicion of attempting to sell the vacant seat, or trade it for lucrative favors or positions for him and his wife Patricia. Impeachment proceedings are underway, and there have been bipartisan calls for his resignation. The Senate leadership has already stated that they would block any appointment made by the governor.

The Illinois Senator and second ranking democrat Dick Durbin, and Majority leader Senator Harry Reid are leading the way by obtaining signatures in a draft letter. The letter from the Democratic National Caucus demands the Blagojevich resign and not make the appointment to the Senate. It states that the senators, “would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority … to determine whether such a person should be seated.”

Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution states; Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

The Illinois problem just became the nation’s problem, as Senator’s will have to answer to their own constituents as to how they allow this tainted appointment to serve the people of the United States. Do Americans really want a Senator who may have made “a deal” to get appointed? I’m not questioning Mr. Burris’ ethics, but it does start to stink when looking into his past campaign contributions to Blagojevich one of which was over $14,000.  The point being, no matter who this governor would appoint, it will be difficult to separate the office from the taint Blagojevich brought on it.

This appointment is nothing more than a parting shot from a sinking governor, and is a blatant insult to Illinoisans and Americans alike. The taxpayers of Illinois deserve and need a special election. Any appointment of this seat from Blagojevich or his successor, will be ineffective and untrusted by people.

UPDATE:
Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White released a statement saying, ” As I have previously stated publicly, I cannot co-sign a document that certifies any appointment by Rod Blagojevich for the vacant United States Senate seat from Illinois…”

Questions Remain

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People’s Seat

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Fallout of the Blagojevich Arrest and Investigation

blagojacksonobama

 

Illinois politics is about to receive a face-lift. The fallout from the recent investigation and arrest of Governor Blagojevich will be widespread and have long lasting effects. First to feel the blast of course is the corrupt Governor himself, affectionately known as Blago. He will surely be joining his predecessor for a few years at the Federal Country Club for Corrupt Illinois Politicians. Not to mention our other governors and elected officials that we entrusted with positions of leadership. We in Chicago now have another record to add to our repertoire. In addition to being the highest taxed in the nation, we are the most corrupt city and state in the Union. We put more politicians in jail than we do drug dealers in Illinois.

Well, we are done! The tax paying and voting citizens are finished supporting politicians involved in “Pay to Play” schemes. Gone are the days of complacent constituentswho think and say, “That’s just the way it’s done here”.  For those less than ethical officials in office now, be warned, we are watching your every move. For those considering office, also take heed, you will be scrutinized like no other candidate has.

Many are prediciting an indictment will soon follow for democratic congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr. for his alleged $500,000 offer for the senate seat left vacant by Obama, via an “emmisary”. An emmisary that he denies was sent by or even known to him. Considered a front runner for the senate seat, he had a very good chance and great public opinion followed him. In a press conference, he announced that he was not a target of this investigation and was involved in no wrongdoing. Jackson was thought by many to have  an untarnished record and was an upcoming politician, successfully distancing himself from his father’s way of playing politics. Jackson, Jr. is now one of the central players in Blagojevich “Pay to Play” for a senate seat debacle.

Now the nation’s eyes are upon us. With President-Elect Obama’s senate seat being one of the focus points of the Blagojevich investigation, certain questions are already arising about what he and/or his ad visors knew. Mentioned in the criminal complaint that lead to the Governor’s arrest, are three advisors based in Washington, D.C. Just who are “Advisor A”,  “Advisor B”, and “President-Elect Advisor”?

The Obama transition team will be tested with a scandal even before the President-Elect is inaugurated. There is some speculation that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s pick for Chief of Staff, is one of them. Other reports are saying that one of the advisors is David Alexrod. No matter who the advisors are, they will be outed soon and it will be interesting to see how the Obama team distances itself from the President-Elect’s home state’s turmoil.

I predict that Illinois politics will see major upheavals and sweeping changes over the next few years. We are through being embarrassed and bullied by our elected officials. Democratic and Republican strongholds alike, will see sweeping moves by voters to replace even suspect incumbents, and elect only those candidates of the highest moral character and ethics. Out with politicians like Lisa Madigan, Jackson, Emil Jones, Stroger, and yes, Dick Daley too. We need leaders that will truly work for the Illinois taxpayer, and fight to up-root the embedded system of “Pay to Play” politics, family favors, and the cronyism that has strangled the taxpayers of Chicago and the State of Illinois for decades.