Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Blagojevich not stepping down

That's what is being reported by the Chicago Sun-Times today, and while he may still change his mind, depending on whether or not the legislature moves tom impeach him, he's not going anywhere right now. Additionally, he's warming to the idea of a special election:

Should he stay in office, Gov. Blagojevich is warming to the idea of holding a special election for President-elect Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The governor -- facing criminal charges that he put the seat and other state-government decisions up for sale -- was optimistic at the start of the weekend that he would sign a bill that would strip him of his power to name Obama's successor, a Blagojevich source said Sunday.

The governor didn't commit to the idea, however, because he wants to make sure legislators send him a "clean bill" that would apply to future unexpected U.S. Senate vacancies -- not just the Obama seat.

Blagojevich's stance seemed to indicate he is leaning toward staying in office for the foreseeable future. The Sun-Times reported in Saturday's editions that he was expected to decide early this week whether to resign.

The governor has vacillated in recent days over what to do about his political future.

Late Sunday night, he said he would not resign, according to another person close to Blagojevich.

"He's decided not to," the source said. "He has no intention of resigning at this time." The source cautioned, however, that the governor could change his mind as he continues to contemplate his situation.
...

Lawmakers plan to discuss the special-election issue -- as well as impeaching Blagojevich -- during a legislative session called to respond to the governor's alleged criminal wrongdoing.

Besides possible impeachment, Attorney General Lisa Madigan has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to declare the governor unfit to hold office.


Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn -- who is next in line to succeed the governor -- told the Sun-Times he'd had no contact with Blagojevich or his staff over the weekend. Besides resigning, Quinn said Blagojevich has the option of giving up his powers as governor while still keeping the title and presumably his paycheck.

"The governor can voluntarily step aside," Quinn said. "I would become the acting governor. He would still retain the title. ... That might be something they're exploring."

How to stop the governor from having the sole authority to appoint a successor to the Obama seat is expected to take center stage alongside the Blagojevich political death watch. Under draft legislation circulated Friday, lawmakers would authorize special elections for the Obama seat and for the congressional seat of incoming White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who has yet to formally surrender his elected post.

The package would enable whomever is governor to appoint a temporary successor to Obama until election results become final.

Now we all know what might happen in any special elections. With the scandal still plodding forward, and information coming out regarding the pay-to-play aspects of the scandal, the Democrats have a good chance of LOSING both seats. If Blagojevich does step aside and Quinn becomes the acting governor he could speak with the legislature about restoring those powers to him to appoint the successors to avoid an election loss; keeping both seats in Democrat hands. Of course the likelihood of that happening is slim and none, but Quinn could request to have the appointment powers reinstated for these two instances only.

But Blagojevich isn't going anywhere and probably won't go anywhere unless he catches wind that the legislature is moving on impeachment proceedings. And while he hasn't been tried or convicted of any crimes as yet, the impeachment process is in place to deal with corrupt or incompetent elected officials. If the legislature moved on such an idea they could speak with Fitzgerald to see the transcripts of the taps to determine whether or not there is the appearance of impropriety. If there is, they could very easily move forward.

But we should remember that Blagojevich still has friends in low places, namely the Chicago Machine itself, and there's no question he has friends in Springfield. We're pretty sure that if he called on those friends they'd be willing to drag their feet and lobby colleagues to stave off an impeachment trial.

Publius II

UPDATE: The Politico has a statement from Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. (Yes, he's the AG's father.):

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan said state lawmakers will convene Tuesday to consider impeaching Gov. Rod Blagojevich. “We have given the Governor six days to resign….He’s declined to take the opportunity to resign,” Madigan said. “I think it’s time to move forward.” Madigan said the legislature has been looking at possible impeachment for about a year, while Blagojevich was the subject of a federal probe. “We never came to a judgment that impeachment was appropriate until the events of six days ago,” Madigan said.

I know that above I noted that Blagojevich has friends in Springfield, but apparently those friends are either fed up with him, or they're reluctant to come to his rescue. If the impeachment goes forward, we expect Blagojevich to roll on a couple of those "friends." Furthermore, if they move with impeachment, they don't have to strip the governor of his appointment powers.

Publius II

1 Comments:

Anonymous USpace said...

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I wonder of Shot Rod will plead innocent by reason of insanity. Poor little Rahmbo. Not too good for the Obamassiah either.
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
coddle poor politicians

always let them get their way
they should not be role models

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
a culture of corruption

but likes the Democrats' best
give them the most leeway

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
corruption is OK

as long as scoundrels mean well
and strive for Utopia

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All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
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Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help Halt Terrorism Today!
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USpace

:)
.

December 16, 2008 at 11:53 PM  

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