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Don’t get your hopes up

Monday, Oct 29, 2007

* As I’ve said before, Chicago Tribune editorials simply don’t pack the political punch that they once did, partly because of the waning influence and readership of newspapers and partly because this has become such a Democratic state that the leaders don’t pay much attention to a Republican-leaning edit board.

Even so, yesterday’s Tribby editorial is worth a look. Entitled Removing a Governor, it’s a searing indictment of Rod Blagojevich…

The bill of particulars against Rod Blagojevich is numbingly familiar. His is a legacy of federal and state investigations of alleged cronyism and corruption in the steering of pension fund investments to political donors, in the subversion of state hiring laws, in the awarding of state contracts, in matters as personal as that mysterious $1,500 check made out to the governor’s then-7-year-old daughter by a friend whose wife had been awarded a state job. […]

Blagojevich is an intentionally divisive governor and a profoundly unhelpful influence. He is unwilling or unable to see the chaos all around him. This year, lawmakers failed to make progress on schools, on state pension reform, on any number of critical matters. Mass transit in the Chicago region is about to implode, largely because of the state government’s failure.

Yet Blagojevich said 10 days ago that “If you measure success on whether or not you are doing things for people, this is the most successful session in years.”

* The Trib claims that it’s doubtful that the General Assembly will impeach him, but goes on to suggest the possibility of amending the state Constitution to remove him from office…

The Blagojevich experience suggests that the answer is yes, Illinois should write a recall mechanism into its constitution. Having endured the Blagojevich era, we believe voters never should have to endure another one like it. They instead should have the power to recall an inept governor.

The National Conference of State Legislatures offers a succinct summary of how a recall provision would be useful in a predicament such as Illinois’: “Proponents of the recall maintain that it provides a way for citizens to retain control over elected officials who are not representing the best interests of their constituents, or who are unresponsive or incompetent. This view holds that an elected representative is an agent, a servant and not a master.” (The NCSL takes no position on whether states should have recall provisions.)

* My own opinion is that if the governor doesn’t get his horrifically poor polling numbers up, then voters will almost assuredly vote for a Constitutional Convention next year in the hopes that a recall provision will be implemented…

* Rich Miller: New poll shows unanimity, everyone unhappy with Blagojevich

* Schoenburg: Poll shows governor wearing thin in Cook Co.

* Statehouse Insider: If the governor can’t get his way, we pay

* But a Con-Con wouldn’t come early enough to change the Constitution in time to remove him. The Legislature would have to pass a recall provision in the spring, put it on the fall ballot and provide for a special election sometime between the ‘08 election and the end of his term.

Unless things change dramatically in the Senate, where Sen. President Emil Jones would undoubtedly block the proposal (he has kept the ethics bill locked up until after the governor’s annual fundraiser, and perhaps beyond), then we can’t expect an amendment, either.

In other words, you’re probably just gonna have to get used to him. That is, unless you have other ideas.

Please, don’t post silly drive-by comments like “Impeach the jerk.” They’ll be deleted. I’m curious if you have any thoughts about how a removal could be accomplished, or if you’ve resigned yourself to three more years.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - Levois - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:31 am:

    If only a recall election in Illinois could be the circus that it was in California four years ago. lol!

    I don’t think the legislature is going to work that swiftly. Especially if Emil Jones is a staunch ally, though I don’t know why that is.

    I do think a con-con is an interesting thought. If his ineptitude is what brings it on and then putting recall on the ballot, then let’s go for it. It couldn’t hurt though it’s too bad that we have to be in this situation to think about it.


  2. - Tollway Dan - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:33 am:

    The Constitutional Convention next year should vote for a recall provision no matter who is governor of Illinois. The governor of Illinois should be accountable for his actions or inaction.
    Just like every other working man and woman out there, if you are not doing your job you get fired, layed-off or re-organized.


  3. - Downstater - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:40 am:

    Would Mike Madigan seriously want to consider anything like a recall, either as part of a legislative effort or through the constitutional convention?

    With his daughter set to replace Blago in 2010, I don’t think he wants to make it easy to remove her. Just imagine any number of disgruntled foes that would look for the dirt to unseat Madigan’s daughter simply as payback to the speaker.

    No, Madigan does not want remove a govenor from office via anything other than an election.


  4. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:44 am:

    The biggest impediment to any type of a reoval action would be Jones. Is there any procedure in the Senate which would allow a senator to force a vote on a bill? If not, the gov has his blocker in place. Given all the jones family memebrs on the payroll, and the precendent set by the gov for ousting people, Jones has to keep him in office.

    So the real question is, how do you remove Jones, and can it be done in a timely manner to get rid of the gov before such an actoccurs naturally.


  5. - one of the 35 - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    Mere incompetence should not be a reason for recall or impeachment. That’s what we have elections for. Having said that, I still can’t decide who is more incompetent, the Governor or the Senate President.


  6. - DC - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    When you elect the village idiot to the village board, there is little to do other than wait it out until the next election. I think people want a recall option specifically because of Blagojevich, not necessarily for future governors and that should cause us to pause and think a little before rushing to vote yes on a constitutional amendment. Choices have consequences and the consequence of voting for Blagojevich (twice) is the current situation in Illinois. Arguably the best way to have him removed from office prior to the next gubernatorial election is to put a great deal of faith in the growing volume of evidence in Fitzgerald’s office in the federal building in Chicago.

    I count myself included in the group that has been waiting patiently for the past four years for a federal indictment of Blagojevich. As time passes, I am becoming increasingly uncertain that the Governor will be forcefully removed from office via a federal conviction. The House of Representatives, I believe, has the “virility” to hold an impeachment hearing, but I doubt Senator Jones would fulfill his constitutional oath to have the Senate fulfill its obligation under that scenario.

    Hold your noses and your guard your wallets for the next couple of years then vote en masse to send a resounding message to anyone associated with Blagojevich that the game is over.


  7. - ChampaignDweller - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:00 am:

    Ghost–I agree with you. If Jones wasn’t blocking for the governor, more would be done, and we wouldn’t be in this particular mess. Rather than concentrate on the governor, who surely won’t be re-elected, no matter what, we should concentrate on addressing the particular problem that Jones poses.


  8. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:05 am:

    Any provision to allow voters to recall the sitting senator from the 14th? In addition to recall provisions we should provide constitutional authority to allow any bill to be called for a vote under some procedure, say if x% of the mebers demand a motion or bill be voted upon ten it must be called for a vote.


  9. - Dooley Dudright - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    From the Department of Right Solutions for the Wrong Reasons:

    Anybody out there still remember vice president Spiro Agnew pleading “nolo contendere” (meaning “no contest”) and resigning?

    In effect, Attorney General Eliot Richardson plea bargained Agnew out of office.

    So how ’bout Fitz extracting a “nolo contendere” from Blago?

    An affront to justice? Yes indeed.

    Pragmatic? I say yes to that, too.


  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:16 am:

    Changing the constitution out of concern about this one guy is short sighted. There are as many “bad” scenarios regarding misuse of the recall as there are good ones. Voting for a CON/CON because you believe that provision X will be inserted, whatever X is, is also pretty naive - wishing won’t make it so.


  11. - babs - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:17 am:

    I was stunned by the Trib’s editorial. Having not been a supporter of recalls, this Gov has changed my mind. Con con seems the way to go. The provision should be tough enough to prevent frivolous attempts but, for the first time, I’d have to say we need it. Put all the laughs and embarrassment aside, this is serious.


  12. - regular working slob - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    “Rather than concentrate on the governor, who surely won’t be re-elected, no matter what,…”
    I seem to remember this same type of certainity right before the last general election. There is a recall provision every 4 years called an election. That is all we need. There is no justification for expending the resources of our state for this kind if nonsense. Just because the geniuses here don’t like the governor doesn’t mean that the rest of us even care. Why do we rank “fair” with “poor”? Isn’t fair an acceptable rating? Can’t anyone just be average anymore? If the Governor decides to run for re-election, I don’t see a lot of “excellence” in the prospective field, Dem or Rep..Never underestimate Rod Blagojevich! If he decides to run he will be the favorite in the primary and general.


  13. - Give me a break! - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    Plea bargaining with Blagojevich? What does that get the State of Illinois? Nothing! He goes around the rest of his miserable life making millions on the lecture circuit and writing books about how he got shafted.


  14. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    “I’m curious if you have any thoughts about how a removal could be accomplished, or if you’ve resigned yourself to three more years.”

    I am resigned to three more years of the Blaggopocalypse unless the Federales immanentize the eschaton.

    In other words: I give up.

    – SCAM


  15. - Jaded - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    Resigned to three more years.

    I didn’t vote for him, but almost 50% of those casting ballots in 2006 did. If they paid any attention to the first 4 years, they knew exactly what they would be getting the next four. We’re stuck with him, so deal with it.

    I think recalls are worthless unless the sitting governor commits a crime. The last I checked, ineptitude was not a crime in Illinois. If Blagojevich is convicted of something, we have a system in Illinois to impeach him. That is enough.

    Lastly, a constitutional convention would be a huge waste of time and money. The Illinois constituion can be amended by both the General Assembly, and a citizens initiative. It has been accomplished 10 times since the last convention in 1970. The last Illinois Constitution was good for 100 years, and the US Constitution has been good for 220, so why does anyone think this one needs to be rewritten after less than 40?


  16. - Muskrat - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:31 am:

    A movement to permit recalls would be seen as a movement to recall the current governnor; if the political system cannot get organized to even overturn his vetoes, they certainly aren’t going to act with the unity needed to essentially put him on notice of dismissal. And of course, there’s the “Cui Bono?” aspect — who would replace the gov until 2010? Inability to decide on that alone would stop any such movement.

    Still, I wish a recall law would get on the ballot for 2010, just to have it hanging over future governor’s heads.


  17. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:34 am:

    THe only way to get him out is to indite him, and even that will not force him out I do not believe. I agree with the Editorial that there needs to be a way to get politicians out of office most likely via Recall, but I also think it is about time that we have defined TERM LIMITS on every elected office throughout the state. If it is good enough for the Office of President, it should be good enough for everyone else. For those who say the voters define the term limits by voting them out. Money has proven it can prevent that. Put this on a ballot and see what the voters really think.


  18. - Trafficmatt - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:35 am:

    Generally resigned myself to 3 more years.

    A consitutional convention could be good and bad. It has generally been mentioned that we could go the way of California with propositions. As a former resident of California I can say that there have been some good ones and some bad ones. Propositions allow the nuts to run the assylum. All you have to do is have a well funded political gadfly and a catchy message and you can get some bad politics in the form of propositions.

    Back to Blago, I think the only hope that we have (and it is VERY remote) is if he is nominated to an ambassadorship to an Eastern Eurpoean country.


  19. - regular working slob - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:35 am:

    A much more useful ammendment would allow for the public to vote for the leaders. These are the mopes who have ground state gov’t to a halt. Get rid of Madigan and Jones and maybe something will get done.Why do these guys get to set the agenda and run the state(into the ground)?Pass some sort of discharge ammendment so that these hacks can’t bottle up everything that they don’t personally want.


  20. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:40 am:

    I am curious as to when the Ivory Tower will be running its “Get rid of Bush” editorial…

    But, anyway…

    Here is my problem with the editorial - Their “list of particulars” are all things that voters knew when they went to the voting booth last year and reelected him. The only thing new since then -
    “This year, lawmakers failed to make progress on schools, on state pension reform, on any number of critical matters. Mass transit in the Chicago region is about to implode, largely because of the state government’s failure.”

    - seems to be directed more at lawmakers than the Governor.

    So, you want to recall someone for things that you knew about when you elected him last year? That to me just smacks of sour grapes - the Tribune is insinuating that the public was too stupid to know what they were doing the first time around, so they need to try and fix it themselves.

    It reminds me of the same reaction when people were calling for Bush’s impeachment right after he won reelection.

    Like him or not, we have Blagojevich as our Governor for 3 more years. And I would recommend to people that they not try and wait out that time. You know he won’t, and there is too much stuff that needs to get done.


  21. - Anon - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:41 am:

    The governor has done nothing wrong. He hasnt been charged with any wrongdoing by mr. fitz. In fact, i dont think we’ve heard from mr. fitz in a year. furthermore, if you dont like the way the man governs, fine — vote him out of office. however, i believe he acted within his constitutional authority withg regard to his AV of the budget. again, call it undemocratic, but it was not unconstitutional (if there are real challenges regarding the constitutionaity of his actions pending, i am unaware of these). the governor received a budget that didnt align with his priorities. he reappropriated the money to fund breast and cervical cancer for women who are uninsured or underinsured. again, unless this is unconstitutional, he has operated within his rights as governor.

    do we remove somebody mid term because we disagree with his methods? The mere discussion of something so irresponsible makes me fearful of the angry mob.

    Why are we having this discussion?


  22. - DC - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    the reason Madigan, Jones, Cross and Watson have so much power is because of Pat Quinn’s “cutback amendment” that merged legislative power into the hands of the 4 leaders… that’s another reason to tread cautiously on other populist ideas like recall elections. The outcome may not be as good as advertised.


  23. - capitol view - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    if the General Assembly and Gov would approve a south suburban casino, Jones would retire to be a major investor. So pass such legislation now, and have the next Senate president early next spring pass the recall provision for the 2008 November ballot. Only a recall provision prior to the Con-Con vote will keep the public from calling for a new state constitution.


  24. - regular working slob - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    A con con is not going to pass and neither will a recall ammendment Why would the voters approve letting the same morons who screwed up the state in the first place mess around with the Constitution? Who knows what they will come up with next? Oh, I know, let’s pass an ammendment that mandates that someone in the Madigan family will always be speaker.


  25. - Mort - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    Rich: You said,
    “I’m curious if you have any thoughts about how a removal could be accomplished, or if you’ve resigned yourself to three more years.”

    Most state employees will tell you it’s three years, two months, thriteen days, two hours, six minutes and 28 seconds……


  26. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:55 am:

    I don’t think a Con-Con vote will pass on the strength of a recall amendment alone.

    I think it will need to be something like a tax swap, or death penalty, or other issue that will stir people up.


  27. - Kiyoshi Martinez - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    It’s going to be another three years or so. A recall seems so far fetched. First, you’d have to overcome voter apathy and get them educated on state politics during a time when national politics is in the spotlight. Then you’d actually have to overcome the logistical hurdles.

    Plus, I just don’t know if I trust the voters in this state with a recall provision. After all, they did elect Blagojevich, do we want to see what they’ll do with a recall?

    On the other hand, it could be a way to make state politics even more amusing than it already is.


  28. - Mr. Cub - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:06 am:

    I’d rather see him in prison orange with a shaved head.


  29. - Ghost - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:27 am:

    For those of you who are down on recall elections, I am curious why you think they are a bad idea? I keep think of the CA recall. Everyone made fun of it nationally at the time. But in the end, CA got rid of a gov they hated, and ended up with a gov the majority of CA support and are happy with his governance. Not to mention CA now has my fav tourism commercial out…then again yah cant go wrong with clint eastwood.


  30. - Downstater - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    “The governor has done nothing wrong.”

    Rebecca, is that you?


  31. - Doodles - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    I’m waiting it out, and in the meantime, looking to move to another state where public service, ethics reform, etc. isn’t an inside joke with their administration.


  32. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:50 am:

    I’d be interested to see how many people would give their email address to a petition calling for Blagojevich to resign.

    Maybe a project for the Green Party or the Libertarians?


  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    a Recall Provision that requires a 2/3 vote should be a high enough threshold to prevent purely partisan recalls while still allowing us to throw out double-crossing bums like Blagojevich who flip-flop on their opposition to gambling expansion and unveil a secret plan to raise taxes by $7.5 billion right after their election.

    I’m not opposed to recall for lawmakers either, but because they must stand for election every two years anyway, a recall provision for the Illinois House doesn’t make much sense. However, if we’d had recall in the Senate, where most lawmakers are in the midsts of four year terms right now, we probably would have seen alot fewer Senators towing the line with Blagojevich and Jones on rate relief, gross receipts tax, and a host of other issues.

    However, term limits are a hammer where only a scalpel is needed. Most people think Dan Hynes and Jesse White, elected in 1998, are doing a great job. Would the public interest have been well served if we had thrown them out of office automatically in 2006? Absolutely not.

    Likewise, term limits in the legislature mean that we’d lose alot of great, thoughtful rank-and-file lawmakers like Lou Lang, Sara Feigenholtz, John Fritchey, Barbara Flynn Currie, Art Turner, Gary Hannig, and a host of others who not only faithfully represent their districts, but have developed extreme expertise which the entire legislature and the state depends on.


  34. - irishpirate - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 11:17 am:

    The poster who mentioned Pat Quinn’s “cutback” amendment is absolutely correct. Illinois used to have a legislature that worked because you had Republicans representing Chicago districts and Democrats representing strong Republican districts.

    Pat Quinn’s measure was a disaster. Sometimes, often, what is popular is baaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

    Rich should start a “State Prayer” thread.

    Here is my entry.

    “Lord Save us, from those who would Save us.”

    AMEN.


  35. - Crimefighter - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    Best idea is to elect as many Republicans to the House and Senate as possible in 2008 so they have the majority in Illinois. It’s the only way now.


  36. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    If some form of recall authority passes, it will be unlikely to affect the current constitutional officers. Sorry folks, three more years of Governor Jet Fuel are in store. I think it is likely that a ConCon is in the offing, but the recall issue pales in comparison to the school funding and tax burden issues all state residents face.


  37. - respectful - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:07 pm:

    1) G-Rod is in for 3 more years.

    2) “Jaded” sets up a straw man in opposing Con-Con. No one is proposing a complete re-write of the 1970 Constitution. Instead, there are specific reforms that the legislature won’t pass that a Con-Con might.

    3) “Regular working slob” contends that the “same slobs” running Springfield would run the Con-Con. Not necessarily. There will be a nonpartisan election for the unpaid delegates. Many legislators would have no interest in running. Some delegates would not be career pols. That’s why the special interest groups are so worried about Con-Con — they couldn’t influence it as thoroughly as the General Assemlby.


  38. - reflector - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:10 pm:

    The citizens of Illinois simply do not pay attention to what is going on in the Capitol.I spent ten years as the Legislative Director for a non-profit org.and had more trouble trying to get their attention than I had with theG.A.Most of our members did not know who represented them in Springfield let alone D.C.


  39. - Anon - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:10 pm:

    I am resigned to three more years. By the time the recall election amendment and petitions get done, if ever, they might as well schedule it for the 2010 General.

    I have divided thoughs over whether recall is a good idea in general. Given the amount of time, money and distraction that such a campaign uses up, is it worth it?


  40. - cogenerator - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:29 pm:

    I’m no fan of the current administration, but Illinois already has a recall mechanism - it’s called a general election. Perhaps voters ought to take those a little more seriously before revamping the constitution and bringing on the unforeseen consequences such actions always seem to prompt.


  41. - Sick Of It! - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 12:45 pm:

    Would recall even work with Blago? If it came to a vote on it he would just run to California and raise a ton of money so he could run all those commercials talking about all he has done for the ‘people’ and the recall vote would fail. Same thing if he decides to run for another term. Whatever opponent he has needs to be very well organised and funded. Now if someone can pass a law that will cut into his fundraising THAT might actually stop him!


  42. - Captain America - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:02 pm:

    I think we are stuck with Blago for three more years unless Fitzgerald indicts him. Even if Fitz indicts him, I doubt that Blago would resign if indicted,since he would undoubtedly claim that he was innocent and that there should be a presumption of innocence until his trial was completed. Poltical sociopaths like Blago and George Ryan will always maintain their innocence until and beyond the bitter end.

    Personally, I have no idea whether Blago has committed any crimes, but I suspect that he has, based upon the number of investigations that are pending. Proving these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt is an entirely different matter.

    We do need a con-con and recall should be added as an option of last resort to voters. It should not be restricted to the State’s copnstitutional officers, but should also be available to remove other elected officials who are unfit or incompetent to discharge their duties. There should be high threshold requirement to initatie a recall - it should not be easy.

    We would not be stuck with Todd Stroger for three more years if a recall option was available - he probably would never have been selected as the replacemnet for his father, if a recall option had been available.

    Con-con, yes! Recall yes! But it won’t affect Blago. Clearly, Blago and Stroger have become the symbols eptiomiozing the need for recall in the event of outrageous and erratic or inept political behavior/leadership. Would Storger have proposed a billion dollar tax increase if voters had a recall option. I doubt it. Would mass transit doomsday be a likelihood if voters had a recall option. I doubt it. Recall would be a check and balance on political excesses and omissions.


  43. - Say WHAT? - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:28 pm:

    Resigned to three more years. Kind of makes me think of marriage. Very few men or women present themselves in a real light while dating. They look great and are on their best behavior. They put their best foot forward. Once the til death do us part portion is over, you see who you have really married. Similarly, I think those who voted for our Governor were smitten with him, whether it was promises or the way he looked - presented himself - whatever the case. Now that we are settled we wonder how we got here, where is the guy we signed up with? We long for substance. Thankfully this scenario is a four year term and not til death us do part.


  44. - plutocrat03 - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:33 pm:

    The problem with working to elect more republicans in that it would encourage the current inept leadershipto believe that they have done someting right.

    They still have a ways to fall and fail before they realize that they need to go before the voters can aford to give them a chance again.


  45. - Mr. Wizard - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 1:53 pm:

    The Dem’s refusal to cut off funding for the war, the Gov’s behavior, his lack of popularity, and that of most politicians - all make a con-con much more likely, when voters get their chance. Having watched the last one, I’d say no one can predict the outcome.

    The charge that Quinn is responsible for the leaders powers is way too simple. They saw an opportunity to grab excessive power when the media jacked up the price of campaign ads and contests got more competitive. It is much easier for a leader to raise large sums than a single member; and members caved in by accepting the “gifts” from their leaders, many giving up control over their own votes. Once a large group of members were beholden, it was easy to change the rules and take control of virtually all legislation. The cutback may have helped it along, but it wasn’t the main cause, imo.


  46. - True Observer - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:01 pm:

    The single greatest reform to clean up corruption in Illinois politics.

    To run for State Central Committeeman in a congressional district you need 100 signatures.

    To run for most offices,such as congress or countywide office, you need signatures equal to .5% of your party’s vote in the previous election.

    BUT, to run for WARD and TOWNSHIP COMMITTEEMAN, you need signatures equal to 5% of your party’s voters in the ward or township.

    The General Assembly, which is mostly made up of the henchmen of these ward and township committeemen, actually legislated that for ward committeeman you need signatures equal to 10%.

    It was only the courts that reduced it to 5%.

    Obviously, the general assembly is not going to change it.

    We can only hope that this issue comes up again and a federal judge who is not beholden to the machine reduces it to maybe .5% or even 1%.

    If that were to happen, the floodgates will open and most of the corruption in Illinois politics would be elimated within a few years.


  47. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:13 pm:

    YDD I agree with you that term limits would force out many good legislators, but it would could also bring in other good ones that otherwise would never have a chance to show their potential.


  48. - can't imagine - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:30 pm:

    Unfortunately we ar stuck for 3 more years. As a Gov he is horrible, as a person he is delusional at best!! I would also vote to see Emil Jones gone. He is doing as much to harm Illinois as Rod is. Emil has taken away my rights as an Illinois resident. His unwillingness to call for votes on issues that might hurt Rod, silenses me as a resident as my senator can not vote for me as issues that effect me. Emil definately needs to GO!! then we can work to remove Rod.


  49. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    Say WHAT, I never thought of having Blago as gov as being like marriage. Entirely too many unpleasant thoughts go along with that, not to mention the visuals.

    As far as the next three years, I’m in the ride it out camp. Back when Bill was still hittin’ the Kool-Aid, I teased him quite a bit about the Federal solution, but realistically, even that probably won’t be enough to derail this Hell-bound train.

    As others have pointed out, Con-Con is not a timely solution and also strikes me as akin to tearing down a reasonably solid house to fix a leaky crapper.


  50. - JakeCP - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:32 pm:

    The Governor isn’t the only one doing bad in the polls. So far in this approval rating poll of Mayor Daley at http://www.jcpolitics.com/7.html the results are 33% Good, 33% Fair, 17% excellent, and 17% Poor. I think the idea that I think 17 other states are doing is a great idea. Sometimes people are just not meant to be in office for four years.


  51. - DC - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:47 pm:

    …sometimes they’re just not meant to be in office at all…


  52. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:52 pm:

    Jake, c’mon. That’s not a poll, it’s a reader survey. And how many readers even took that survey? There are no actual numbers, just percentages.


  53. - A Citizen - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:54 pm:

    AA
    “…a leaky crapper…” That’s the best description of the status of state gov’t. I’ve heard yet. You should copyright it and Rich should put it on one of his Tees!


  54. - EL SALSA - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:56 pm:

    To me this is typical bs from the tribune. I agree with others. The chance to “recall” was last election and he beat the tar out of topinka. The fact they dont support his style or platform is not reason for recall.

    I did laugh that they brought up the 1500 check. Did anyone SERIOUSLY think that was some sort of pay off? Get real.


  55. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:01 pm:

    No to recall elections. There’s already too much time spent in endless campaigning and fundraising and precious little in governing. Voters, you get what you deserve. Insist on, then give early support to, “better” candidates of your choosing.


  56. - The Mad Hatter - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    I think (unindicted official) A-Rod should simply be given a choice: either resign gracefully or we’ll tar and feather you and run you out on a rail.
    Do we need recall powers? Desperately! We also desperately need term limits.


  57. - Cassandra - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:45 pm:

    Of course, there should be a recall provision, thought not necessarily for the purpose of getting Blago out of office. Taxpayers must constantly be fending off politicians’ assaults on their wallets in Illinois and we need all the tools we can get to fight back. The threat of recall, even if not carried out, could have a dampening effect on
    the constant money-grubbing of politicians in this state.

    As to Blago, I’m resigned to another 7 years, at least. And I don’t even like the guy.

    I do think, however, that, despite obvious signs of typical Democratic Machine behavior like filling state government with incompetent, politically connected hacks and giving contracts to heavy contributors to his campaign fund, he is the best hope for the middle class. He is trying to get universal health insurance for Illinoisians, a program which is primarily targeted at the middle class, since the poor (and, of course, state employees and legislators) have primo health insurance paid for largely by that same middle class. He has taken a stand against taxes at a time when our feckless legislators, the ones who got a huge raise this year, are anxious to pluck us endlessly via the tax system without
    inconveniencing their rich pals and contributors. He even took a stand against that silly school moment of silence, although many fellow Democrats, those liberal advocates of separation of church and state, cravenly failed to do so. And so on.

    So far, there are no viable Republicans on the horizon and any Democrats are likely to raise taxes as fast as they can. So it looks Blago is the only recourse for the middle class in 2010, unpleasant as that prospect may be for many.


  58. - The Mad Hatter - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:00 pm:

    Now that I vented, let me say that the odds of having a con con are slim. That would need to be a ballot initiative, and ballot initiatives are limited to three per election. As soon as the pols hear that someone is proposing an initiative that might threaten their fiefdoms, they immediately load up the ballot with worthless “advisory referendums” to prevent the initiative from ever seeing the light of day. So forget the con con or even a constitutional amendment. Fitz is our only hope.


  59. - JL425 - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:16 pm:

    As long as Emil Jones is in the senate we’ll be stuck with Moronovich as Govenor. I was conned by his promises in 2002 and voted for him. When I discovered they were nothing but lies in 2003 I vowed never to vote for Blago again. Unfortunately the rest of the electorate was a little more tolerant of his false promises than I was and he got re-elected. We’re hopelessly stuck with Blago and the consequences will impede the states economy and well being for years, even decades to come. As the taxes on property and business’s continue to rise at ever alarming rates I fear people will be exiting the state in droves. This will have a never ending burden of spiraling tax increases to those of us who remain here. We are in deep and getting even deeper as long as Blago is the King, and Emil is his puppet.


  60. - Just My Opinion - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:46 pm:

    We will have Blago another 3 years. He won’t be indicted during this term, if at all (but one can always hope). I don’t want to see a plea bargain where he resigns and does no time. I want to see him in the same Gray Bar Hotel as GRyan.

    I do, however, see an easy out for some of this in just one year. Elect republicans so they can take over the House and Senate. That does away with Jones and his tricks. It won’t put Blago in his place though. He will continue to snub his now at the laws, the constitution, and anyone who doesn’t agree with him.


  61. - Disgusted - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 7:01 pm:

    To Anon, 9:41:

    He has done plenty wrong. For instance, blatantly using state funds to finance his campaign by mailing out so-called informational literture that is clearly campaign oriented. And that’s just for starters. Ask any rank and file state employee and they can give you plenty of examples. They see it every day.

    “the governor received a budget that didnt align with his priorities.” That’s the problem with it all - it’s HIS priorities, not those of the people who are paying the freight. Universal healthcare may be a good idea but don’t you think it should be a federal program so it can be portable from state to state??

    Just because the governor hasn’t been charged with any wrong-doing, YET, doesn’t mean he isn’t doing it. It just means he hasn’t been caught.


  62. - Thunder 2 - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:52 pm:

    I think that Emil Jones needs to be voted out by his fellow senators as president. When can that happen? He may be a good senator for his district but he is a poor leader. He should want everything to come to the floor for a vote and let the senators that we elected to represent our districts do there job……and I don’t care how much family you have working for the state, the rules of the senate need to change and the president should not be allowed to be “God” and be the sole decision maker in this state we live in.
    You can’t get rid of the governor until you get the senate rules changed and the only way to do that, seems to come election time, raise all these issues up again, use alot of television ads. Useing the press is the only way to get the word out to ALL of the people, because most of us don’t know anything that goes on unless we see it on t.v. or read in in our local paper. Many of us that read your blog, do not live in the big cities, but live in small towns where we are worried about local funding for our schools that we must have to keep our doors open. We are not Chicago or Springfield, we are Southern Illinois. Something I seldom read on this blog about Southern Illinois. Hello, that is people that live south of Mt. Vernon. We love our state, our beauty and our kids and we need our leaders to come together and help us all have a better life. Isn’t that what all this is about anyway, a better life?


  63. - Snidely Whiplash - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 12:13 am:

    Downstater said it best: Lisa Madigan would likely run next time around, and Daddy is not going to allow any mechanism by which she could be recalled if elected. That, I think, is only an example. This is Illinois, not California, and all the key players are C(r)ook County Democrats. These guys think long term when it comes to things like this. There just wouldn’t be nearly enough Dem support, and I’m sure a lot of the R’s might think the same way.

    I think most everyone is content to wait out either the expiration of Blago’s term, or his indictment, whichever comes first.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t personally believe in recalls. You don’t do the job, you’re supposed to lose the next election. People (voters) need to stop complaining and shouting “recall” and take some responsiblity: inform yourself, get your butt to the polls, and vote accordingly, and not for whatever dumb reason seems to find these people (re)elected over and over again. We don’t need recalls; we need to reform our campaign and election process!


  64. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 9:36 am:

    We are too polarized and cynical at the moment to deal with Blagojevich rationally. This is entirely understandable.

    As a result, we should keep our powder dry. I, as well as everyone else, am tired of this ugly political circus. I don’t want to see the issue of recall or a constitutional convention thrown into the mix.

    Sorry people, but anyone who voted for Blagojevich last November is getting their just desserts. The man is in office and he is empowered to do his best. What you are seeing is his best and we’ve all seen this since 2003. So quit whining.

    You can’t have everything both ways. When you made your choice and voted for Blagojevich, you were making a decision based on what was best for you. Now that things are not going your way, you want to change enough rules to get what you want? Who said that life is fair, or if you pass enough laws, life can become fairer?

    Be a grown up. Admit your error and do a better job in 2010. This time, try not to be so blindly partisan and do a better job at seeing beyond what a candidate says. Look at their credentials and experiences. Blagojevich looked pretty good in 2002 unless you saw that he was a do-nothing US Congressman. We all knew he was a failure in 2004, but somehow you thought Topinka would be worst? I mean, c’mon - few could have been worst than what we have right now, right?

    So we are stuck with him. Quit complaining, bend over, and start paying up. Maybe you will learn something.


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