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What Blagojevich, Genson and maybe Burris want us to believe *** Plus: Fitz asks for extension *** Guv formally makes appointment ***

Wednesday, Dec 31, 2008

* A commenter posted this the other day. Maybe Roland Burris believes this is what really happened…

THE REAL, UNEDITED FBI SURVEILLANCE TRANSCRIPT*

(Begin recording 534)

(Assistant) Hey, how’s everything going?

RRB: Oh you know, it never stops, my hard work trying to find sources of revenue to plug the holes in that horrible budget the fine but misguided people of the Illinois General Assembly gave me. By not taking my guidance on the GRT, they’ve overspent us into a terrible hole.

(Assistant) That’s so sad. If only they’d listened to you, we’d have a surplus right now…

RRB: I KNOW! Oh, well, they are the people’s elected representatives and I must, as you know, honor their commitments, misguided as they may be. Fine, decent folks they are, to be sure, but just not as far-sighted as we are. Anyhow, I came up with a little project for the holidays coming up. You know that reclining office chair that Senator Obama used to sit in?

(Assistant) Yeah, those are really nice chairs.

RRB: Yeah, plush. When you jump into it, it’s so soft it’s like I could parachute into it. Might have some of that space-age foam in it…

(Assistant) …that’s good for a bad back, I hear…

RBB: … yeah, or something. And the leather is first-rate. If nobody wants it, I’m gonna keep it for myself, it’s worth it. Well, see, Obama doesn’t need the chair in Washington, the new guy in Springfield will probably want a new chair too, so I figured, it’s a pretty famous chair, and people LOVE to buy souvenir stuff, you know. Jim Thompson told me, collecting antiques is BIG money. So, I thought we could…

(Assistant) …Sell the chair?

RRB: …yeah, sell this actual chair, like in an auction, on ebay or something, or let that fine Gianoullias boy auction it for us, I think he does that stuff, and send the money to the general revenue fund. I’m not gonna give it up for (REDACTED) nothing, though. It’s a valuable thing. We could get, I dunno, a couple thousand for it. At least. That’s just a spit in the ocean, I know, it’s not the cure for cancer or anything…

(Assistant) How’s that project coming, by the way? Got the test tubes I sent over?

RRB: Oh, well, you know, if I had a little more research money to throw at it, I think we’d turn the corner on it finally, this stem-cell thing I’m playing with I feel certain is the answer… but wouldn’t you know it, the money’s tied up in building excess hospitals to treat symptoms instead of more research for the cure… I wish we could do something about that…

(Assistant) I’ll see what I can do… anyhow, this chair of Obama’s?

RRB: Yes, I’ve got this thing here in the rec room, and it’s (REDACTED) golden: hardly worn, I just checked it over and took some pictures of it for the ebay page. I think a lot of people would be interested in having it.

(Assistant) We should advertise.

RRB: Well, not if that costs money, it would reduce the amount we send to the people for that budget gap. Maybe we can start the ball rolling by making a few calls and let word of mouth do the advertising. If we can get a couple of rich folks into a bidding war against each other, this seat will skyrocket. The people deserve the most I can raise for them.

(Assistant) Can’t argue with that. Let me make some calls.

RBB: Call up some of his friends and co-workers: I bet they’d like to buy it and surprise him with it or something. Hey, while I got you on the phone, what about the Tribune thing?

(Assistant) They are being sticklers about the issue: they say the boy can’t throw the Sunday edition far enough to hit the front door stoop, you’re going to have to walk out there and pick it up off the walk like everybody else does.

RBB: Oh darn, when he does that, the sudoku puzzle gets all soggy in bad weather. Patti loves to do those while I take my morning run. Do you think if they made the paper lighter, the kid could throw it a little farther?

(Assistant) Like what, you mean, leave parts of it out?

RBB: Why not? I don’t really need the editorials or the sports sections, I already know everybody loves me..

(Assistant) …True…

RBB: …and I know everything about the Cubs…

(Voice of Gubernatorial Spouse A in background): Great idea, we don’t need the (redacted) Cubs scores, we get ‘em on the radio, and get rid of that editorial (redacted), I just want my sudoku puzzle!

RBB: Ain’t she a treasure? (yelling) Thanks, Hon! (quietly) See, I think that’s a compromise we can all (redacted) live with.

(Assistant) I’ll get right on it, may have to go over the circulation manager’s head tho’.

RBB: Whatever you do, be sure to always be polite and gracious about it, and be diplomatic: that’s what I learned from my years as a politician.

(Assistant) I’ll just ask myself, “what would the boss do in this situation”, and I know it will be the right thing.

RBB: You’re too kind. Stick with me, and great things will come your way.

(end of recording 534)

*-according to Rod Blagojevich and Ed Genson

* This is a fresh Blagojevich/Burris open thread. Don’t go over the top and get all goofy, since I won’t be monitoring the thread very closely. Thanks.

Also, see…

* THIS JUST IN: The U.S. attorney’s office today asked a federal judge for an extra three months to formally indict Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his former chief of staff… The move by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald’s office was expected because the deadline for handing up an indictment had been set for Jan. 7. The extension would give them until April 7… A hearing on the extension request is expected to be held Monday. [Defense attorneys are not opposing the motion.]

* THIS JUST IN: 11:23 am - Gov. Rod Blagojevich has formally submitted a proclamation to the US Senate appointing Roland Burris. The proclamation is not co-signed by Secretary of State Jesse White, per Senate requirements, so this is just the first legalistic step in the dance.

* Rich Miller: “It’s tough to scream ‘witch hunt’ when your client is riding a broom”

* Burris failed his only major test in office as AG

* In crazy Illinois, this makes sense

- Posted by Rich Miller        


110 Comments
  1. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    REMEMBER: It was Just TALK. THAT IS ALL


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:01 am:

    Well done.

    Reminds me of an old SNL bit back when the show was good. Dan Ackroyd is Nixon and Buck Henry is John Dean. They “pretend” to talk about paying hush money to the Watergate burglars into the Oval Office mikes, slapping their thighs and suppressing laughter over their “prank.”


  3. - chicago publius - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:16 am:

    About Quinlan resigning: the question isn’t why he resigned, but why he took so long to do so. You have tapes of him talking with Blabjovich about forming the 501(c)(4) that will be Rod’s landing pad; then the feds knock on this door the day they arrest his boss (to do what? Probably to get his cooperation); and still he goes to work each day as if nothing happened? He’s clearly got a conflict of interest: he can’t take care of himself, defend the Governor, and act as legal counsel for state day-to-day operations. The fact that he couldn’t see that his own interests conflicted with those of his clients (Rod and the State of Illinois) says a lot about him - and that explains why he’s got a big PALL over his head right now in the legal community. If he didn’t have his daddie’s skirts to hide in, he’d have a hard time getting any work space in this town.


  4. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:16 am:

    No time for hugging this morning from Bobby Rush. The esteemed Dr. Rush has prescribed that you all take a “chill-pill”:

    {this morning on CBS, Rush upped the ante, comparing the prospect of the U.S. Senate refusing to seat Burris to Orval Faubus, George Wallace and Bull Connor blocking the progress of integration and civil rights.

    “I’m sure that the U.S. Senate doesn’t want to see themselves in the same position,” Rush said.

    In defiance of the Supreme Court, former Arkansas Gov. Faubus, a Democrat, in 1957 ordered the National Guard to prevent African American students from integrating Little Rock Central High School. Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, also a Democrat, proclaimed “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” and spent much of his life preaching racism. Former Birmingham, Alabama, Public Safety Commissioner and Klansman Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor, also a Democrat, unleashed dogs and turned fire hoses on peaceful civil rights marchers.

    When it was pointed out that President-elect Obama — who unsuccessfully challenged Rush for his congressional seat in 2000 — also believes Burris should not be seated because of the Blago taint, Rush said, “all these folks who are opposed to Gov. Blagojevich, they need to take a chill pill, we are still a nation of laws.” He predicted “the U.S. Senate will have to accept him.”

    All of this is a huge turnaround for Mr. Rush. On December 9, the congressman said, “I believe that the acts that are alleged to have been committed by the Governor are so heinous that he has forfeited his right to appoint someone to fill the seat of President-Elect Barack Obama. My bottom line is that the Governor should not be the one to make the appointment to this important office.”}


  5. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:18 am:

    Well done!

    I have been lambasting the Illinois Democrats over their refusal to deal with their governor and with the Burris nomination, I once again felt a need to remind folks that this wouldn’t have happened if the Party did was it was supposed to do.

    That said, this is where we could go from here…

    Roland Burris is a boring man and as Illinois standards go, pretty clean. But he publically demonstrated a willingness to lie down with dogs in order to add another line to his mausoleum. The quiet guy in the back of the room exposed his ugly side yesterday.

    We know he gave Blagojevich money - $20,000 of it, and some of this money was sent to Blagojevich after the Governor was under federal investigation. We know this.

    We go with it and take it to the next level. Roland Burris gets called to testify before the Impeachment Committee. Knowing what we know about Blagojevich on these tapes, Mr. Burris will need to prove a negative. He needs to prove that he wasn’t the top bidder for the senate seat. But the fact disprove him here. Mr. Burris will need to become a star witness next week and he will need to be shown as a less-than-pure Senate appointee.

    By doing this, there will be enough evidence available for the Democratic Congressional Leaders to stall his nomination. They can do this if they have a reason to believe that the nominee is tainted. Burris is tainted enough if the Illinois Democrats wish to cast doubt on this guy. By doing this, they left a lot of people off the hook; Obama, Reid, Durbin, Quinn, White and a whole lot of concerned Democrats will breath a sigh of relief when this is done.

    White can stall the nomination procedurally long enough for the Impeachment Committee to turn Mr. Burris into a less than virginal appointee. After his testimony, Reid and the US Senate Democrats can deny his seating based on his testimony.


  6. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:20 am:

    So the indictment waits until April now… awesome. This circus isn’t ending soon and the clowns won’t stop drinking in their VW Bug.


  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:23 am:

    As to Mr. Rush - Mr. Quinn should at this time commit to nominating an African American after Blagojevich is impeached. There are plenty of highly qualified African Americans in Illinois without having one deal with Blagojevich, smearing their reputation.

    Mr. Rush’s embarrassing statements yesterday are applicable to any African American nominee. Quinn should publically affirm this.


  8. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:25 am:

    As to the extention…when do we start planning Rod Blagojevich’s presence at the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial ceremonies?

    This should not stop the Impeachment Committee - impeach Blagojevich next week! Illinoians need relief from this horrible mess!


  9. - Scooby - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:27 am:

    Web polls are unscientific and easily manipulated so please be careful to not take too much from this, but here are the current results of a web poll on the Chicago Defender’s newspaper website:

    QUESTION: Do you want former Attorney General Roland Burris as our next Illinois Senator?

    1) Yes - 25%

    2) No, because of Blagojevich’s legal issues - 50%

    3) No, and not because of Blagojevich - 25%

    4) Undecided - 0%

    It doesn’t say how many people have responded. It could be as few as four people or possibly thousands, it doesn’t say.


  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    Bobby Rush’s hypocrisy is astounding, even by his standards.

    But it’s not nearly as vulgar as invoking the specter of Faubus, Wallace and O’Connor in this sordid mess. In doing so, he cynically abuses the legacy of the real Civil Rights heroes who risked everything and faced the fire hoses, dogs, beatings, bombings, and REAL lynchings to topple institutional racism and its henchmen. Disgusting.


  11. - Linda - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:34 am:

    VM,

    Get a grip … its only politics.

    1) Fitzgerald has a weak hand.

    2) Who has clean hands here … name one.

    3) The appointment is legal. Are you going to pick and choose the laws to be followed?


  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    Simple ways to keep Rod away from the Lincoln stuff

    - Have it in Springfield
    - Have it start an hour before the time they tell Rod, since he would be late anyway


  13. - walter sobchak - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    File under “it can get stranger”:

    Lynn Sweet reports in today’s Sun-Times that the Governor sent as his emissary to Danny Davis, offering him the Senate seat, none other than his criminal defense attorney Sam Adams, Jr.


  14. - Frank Booth - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:44 am:

    Walter,
    It’s “Sam Adam Jr.”
    But I think we could all use a few Sam Adams


  15. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:45 am:

    Jesse White’s refusal to certify; mostly symbolic:

    {While senators in Washington weighed their options, it was uncertain how efforts here to block the appointment would proceed. Jesse White, the Illinois secretary of state, said he would refuse to sign paperwork that Mr. Blagojevich must present to the Senate offering Mr. Burris’s appointment. Still, after Mr. White’s lawyers scanned the legal precedents on the question, there appeared to be no statutory requirement that Mr. White’s signature be included, his spokesman said, so the move seemed likely to be mostly symbolic.}

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/us/31illinois.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1


  16. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:48 am:

    Walter, if that’s true, Adams has a big problem with representing the Governor. It could be enough to get a court to bar him from continuing his representation. I’ve never heard of it happening in a criminal case, but I’ve seen it happen in civil cases where opposing counsel gets a lawyer with a conflict like this kicked off the case. Oy, wouldn’t that taint the jury pool, having the governor’s lawyer tossed off the case because he is part of the problem!


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:50 am:

    The Senate Rule requires the certification. Nowhere in the rule does it say it’s symbolic or ministerial. It’s a requirement.

    It will certainly be a factor to use in running out the clock on these guys. Burris never gets that seat.

    From the feds: “thousands of phone calls.” That’s a lot.

    Poor Rod. If he wanted to run the state like a Mafia Capo he should have followed the example of Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas and stayed off the phones.


  18. - walter sobchak - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    I apologize to the beer, the attorney, and my sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Raley. Here’s the web address for Sweet’s reporting:

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/12/blagojevich_offered_obama_sena.html


  19. - Wondering - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    Rush states “It is imperative that President-elect Barack Obama’s replacement be African-American, he said.” And I suppose now that there is going to be a black President, that office will be considered a “black” seat. While I agree with diversity this isn’t the place for using it as an affirmative action tool.


  20. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    Pat Quinn should state that if and when he becomes governor following impeachment and trial of RB, he should only state that he will consider qualified persons for the US Senate appointment of any race or gender or national origin. Illinois has already sent two of the three Af-Ams who have ever served in the US Senate. Therefore our racial “conscience” is clear; it may be an Af-Am, but it need not be.

    I’m tired of Jewish and Af-Am seats on the US Supreme Court and demands that every time an AF-Am leaves a city, county, state or federal position that only another Af-Am should replace them. This is what Cong. Rush was trying to say - that this is a position that only another Af-Am can fill. I’m sure the Greeks, Asians, Latinos, and Irish Catholic community residents of this state disagree…


  21. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 11:57 am:

    {The Senate Rule requires the certification.}

    The Illinois Constitution also imposes the DUTY on the Secretary of State to apply his signature and affix the State Seal as well.

    Nowhere in the Illinois Constitution does it say it’s subject to the Secretary of State’s discretion as to whether or not to perform this DUTY; it’s a requirement.


  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    Blago Sphere, yet JWs signature is nowhere to be found. This too will take some time to sort out. As everyone tries to sort this out, hopefully the GA will continue to move toward the inevitable and remove this stone from our collective shoe.


  23. - babs - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:03 pm:

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    One attorney was offering the seat while another was telling the GA that his client would NOT offer the seat.

    And I thought the only people you couldn’t believe were the Gov and his aides - I forgot to include anyone who has something to do with him. Roland - pay attention.


  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:06 pm:

    Blago Sphere, where in the Illinois Constitution does it require the SOS to certify a gubernatorial appointment?


  25. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:08 pm:

    It took two days for Danny Davis to turn down the offer? At least he did the only honorable thing and turned it down.

    Burris accepting the appointment gave Blagojevich a new set of downs to work with.


  26. - 2ConfusedCrew - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:11 pm:

    Good to see Capt. Fax is out of the haze.
    Fresh thong?…we keep getting this Richard Simmons-like vision of the Capt on the beach.

    Yikes!

    Meanwhile I think it is safe to say that SOS White so-called “symbolism” is at least as bad as mailing the ComEd bill without stamp….they don’t accept it.Bill don’t get paid.

    BTW VanillaMan several wings of the D Party have been warning all hands to stay away from Blagoof for a long, long time. Not everyone was listening —- including StateWideTom.

    Slick Willie must be telling lots of stories if Fitz needs another 90 days.


  27. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:13 pm:

    I still don’t get why anyone believes that appointing Burris (or anyone) is a good move for Blago, or gives him any advantage. It’s interesting theater but it changes nothing.

    Blago will be removed as Governor- that is a certainty. The House will impeach and the Senate (minus First Pal Emil Jones) will remove him.

    The charade yesterday will not stop the prosecution by the federal government. You would think that Blago’s attorneys would be telling him to concentrate on avoiding a conviction and a jail term.

    Whether Roland Burris ever serves a day as a U.S. Senator makes very little difference to the fate of state government in Illinois. Let’s not forget that we have an ongoing budget crisis along with our political corruption problems.


  28. - John - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:16 pm:

    The 90-day extension is the worst thing to happen. It keeps the Governor around. And it makes it look like the Feds jumped too soon, which will only bolster the Governor that he is in the clear.

    Maybe 2ConfusedCrew, aka Steve Brown, can tell us when Madigan plans to set the impeachment vote.

    Lets get this over with. Blame can easily rest with Madigan now for not passing a special election bill. Don’t keep the blame for not moving forward with impeachment ASAP.


  29. - Just My Opinion - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:16 pm:

    Blago Sphere, I was of the belief that it was a Federal requirement that the Governor sign the form and the state’s SOS sign the form and affix the seal of the state. I, too, would like to know what ILLINOIS State law says this has to be done.


  30. - Just My Opinion - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:18 pm:

    Linda - “Get a grip … its only politics.”

    None of us should “get a grip”. We should all be extremely angry over what is going on in our State and we should take our state back. If you think what will cure the political problem in Illinois is to just “get a grip”, then you are part of the problem.


  31. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:18 pm:

    This is all very difficult to sort out. As a state, we were providing the United States’ Senate with its only African-American member. I think that’s pretty significant.

    Now we are providing the country with its first African-American President. That has to be significant.

    So, now that we have already chipped in big time, does that mean we (and the country) no longer need an African-American Senator? Or, does it mean that we no longer have any obligation to provide that Senator, whoever he or she may be?

    As President-elect Obama has famously stated, I think those questions are getting way above my pay grade.

    None of those issues, however, in my opinion taint the qualifications of the person the Governor has appointed. They are solid, and on his qualifications alone the US Senate would never refuse to seat him.

    So, we are left with the question of whether the means of Burris’ appointment taint him such that he should not be seated. I feel qualified to have an opinion on that. His recent arrest does not mean that every action Governor Blagojevich has taken during his six-year term is tainted, much less invalid.

    Many of them will probably be carefully scrutinized over the next few months, and many of the people or institutions that benefited from them are probably going to face some hard questioning. In the end, though, each will stand or fall on its own merits, not because of some other action the Governor had taken on some other issue.

    Burris’ nomination stands on his merits. He is qualified. Blagojevich is still Governor. He is acting pursuant to unchallenged state and federal law. There is not even remote evidence that Burris secured the appointment thru improper, much less illegal, means.

    I know many people will disagree strongly on me with this. Unlike, most of them, I make this statement under my own name. Because I post under my own name, I am thoughtful about what I say, and I try to be certain that I believe I am correct (Some of the rest of you should try it). Burris should be seated.


  32. - Just My Opinion - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:21 pm:

    The extension means there is now no conflict on January 14 and Blago can show up to preside over the Senate, thus allowing him to bask in the limelight yet another day. I’d like to be in the gallery for that day.


  33. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==You would think that Blago’s attorneys would be telling him to concentrate on avoiding a conviction and a jail term.==

    I think they were advising the Governor to avoid conviction. The Governor was given the green light to make an appointment when the legislature made no move to craft new legislation temporarily suspending the gubernatorial power to appoint a replacement. They also failed to impeach him ASAP and remove him from office ASAP.

    The Governor has a free reign to restore his image in any way he can to improve his chances with a jury since he has not been impeached and he has not been removed from office.


  34. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===His recent arrest does not mean that every action Governor Blagojevich has taken during his six-year term is tainted, much less invalid.===

    What about actions taken by Blago AFTER his arrest? I would expect those to be closely scrutinized. And don’t underestimate the power of the press and/or the people to dig deep into Burris’ background to prove/disprove any improper, much less illegal, means. Those campaign contributions and State contract(s) will be looked at very closely, with perhaps too much being read into them. But that’s the chances one takes when not wanting to miss the dance.


  35. - Levois - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:30 pm:

    Well Happy New Years!


  36. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:36 pm:

    LE, so far this appointment appears to be the only official action (other than refusing to resign) that Blagojevich has taken since his arrest that is drawing much criticism. He’s been signing bill, etc, and that’s not drawing much attention.

    I agree with you that the media (and the blogs) will make Burris’ life hell over this, and I agree that Roland’s been around long enough that he surely walked into this with his eyes open.


  37. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:38 pm:

    Wordslinger;
    For all we know JW could well be at the Excelsior Casino in Aruba with DeLeo.

    When the Texas Democrats fled the state General Assembly to Oklahoma and New Mexico to prohibit a quorum and avoid Tom DeLay’s redistricting session in the Texas legislature, Governor Perry sent the Texas Rangers (state police) out to enforce their return, and even tracked one legislator down at the neonatal unit in Galveston where his new born twins were being cared for. Tom DeLay also appears to have accessed DHS and FAA resources to track one of their private planes in order to find them and bring them back to session.

    Do you really think Jesse White will go on the lam for this? Do you really think that Blago; in an effort to exercise his executive authority, would not use all resources at his command to track him down?

    The Illinois Supreme Court will most likely intervene to get the Secretary of State to fulfill his constitutional duty in this regard. After all; JW did swear an oath to uphold the constitution didn’t he? He wouldn’t want to be seen as exercising the same logic as the Governor with respect to JCAR, suggesting that the constitutional DUTY is just “advisory”, would he?

    Perhaps this could be another advertisement for re-posing the question about a Constitutional Convention on the Special Election Ballot.


  38. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:41 pm:

    Steve, why should any governor signing bills be newsworthy like it has been the past few weeks with Blago?


  39. - Ahem - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    Happy new year and thanks to all the people who have helped to make sense of all this craziness, especially Rich Miller.


  40. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:45 pm:

    Blago Sphere, I’m not suggesting anything of the sort.

    The Senate Rule requires the SOS cert. It’s not there. Nowhere in the Senate rule does it say that doesn’t matter.

    Where in the Ill. Constitution does it say that the SOS has to certify a gubernatorial appointment?

    Now somewhere down the road a court might say the cert. doesn’t matter or that Jesse has to do it. But that takes time — maybe a lot of time. Meanwhile, impeachment moves forward.

    Your Texas reference was refreshing in that it should remind us all that we haven’t cornered the market on govermental nonsense.


  41. - MikeintheSuburbs - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    A couple of legal points. (1) It doesn’t have to actually say in the state constitution whether an act is “ministerial”. This is interpreted from the language. The certification is clearly a ministerial act by its nature and nothing vests any discretion in the SOS. If it did, it would say so.
    (2) The Senate may very well have authority to refuse to seat Burris, at least pending an investigation, under the theory that his appointment may have been obtained by fraud, given the Gov’s prior attempts to sell the seat. This was done nine times in the 19th Century before the 17th Amendment was ratified. In some cases, including one involving a Chicago politician, Lorimer, they refused to seat the appointee after the investigation disclosed corruption in the appointment process in Illinois. The language in the Powell decision should not be controlling as that involved an attempt to effectively reverse the results of an election, rather than pursue an impeachment inquiry, which would have been the correct way to go about it. This was rightly rejected by the SCOTUS.

    The real question is whether an “investigation” into the appointment could be used to deny the seat if it didn’t turn up anything illegal, which it probably won’t, and how long they could drag it out. In the meantime, what happens if Quinn succeeds to the Gov position and appoints someone else? We may need to revist the special election after all. Once there is an election, the whole thing may become moot.


  42. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 12:47 pm:

    LE, in the past (pre-Blago) every bill signing was reported to the media (many of the signings were done in front of the media), and pretty much anyone else who wanted to be on the mailing list. In the summer, some newspapers would routinely report all the bills the governor had signed the previous day, or that week. I’m just making the point that I don’t hear much complaining about the fact that he’s signing bills.


  43. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:01 pm:

    Wordslinger;

    Right Here:

    SECTION 16. SECRETARY OF STATE—DUTIES
    The Secretary of State shall maintain the official records of the acts of the General
    Assembly and such official records of the Executive Branch as provided by law. Such
    official records shall be available for inspection by the public.

    He shall keep the Great Seal of the State of Illinois and perform other duties that may be prescribed by law.

    Here is the law that prescribes the DUTY that the Secretary of State SHALL perform with regard to this appointment by the Governor:

    (15 ILCS 305/5) (from Ch. 124, par. 5)
    Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State:

    1. To countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor.

    2. To make a register of all appointments by the Governor, specifying the person appointed, the office conferred, the date of the appointment, the date when bond or oath is taken and the date filed. If Senate confirmation is required, the date of the confirmation shall be included in the register.

    Here is the law which requires the Governor to fill this vacancy:

    (10 ILCS 5/25‑8) (from Ch. 46, par. 25‑8)

    Sec. 25‑8. When a vacancy shall occur in the office of United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election, and the senator so elected shall take office as soon thereafter as he shall receive his certificate of election.
    (Source: Laws 1943, vol. 2, p. 1.)

    The Governor must make the temporary appointment by law since the vacancy has occurred. Up until now the vacancy was inconsequential because the Senate was in recess. The new Senate is due back in session to be sworn in on Monday, an absent the temporary appointment by the Governor; Illinois would not be fully represented.

    The constitution requires that the Secretary of State perform all duties required of him by law. The law requires that he countersign and affix the seal of state to all commissions required by law to be issued by the Governor.

    That’s my read on the issue. Do you somehow se this differently?


  44. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:02 pm:

    In seeking the extension, which Blagojevich’s defense attorneys are not opposing, prosecutors said they have intercepted “thousands of phone calls” by tapping Blagojevich’s home phone between late October and early December.

    They also said “multiple witnesses have come forward in recent weeks to discuss their knowledge of criminal activity” connected to the case….

    Thousands of intercepts, multiple witnesses… it will be a bleepen plentiful year for Chicago political bloggers…


  45. - Gregor - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:06 pm:

    I’m sure the only thing slowing Mike Madigan and the impeachment wrecking ball from swinging is the wait for Emil to slink out and Cullerton to be sworn in. If they want our trust, or more importantly, perhaps, any chance of re-election themselves, they’d better move the impeachment bills immediately after the first new roll call.


  46. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:07 pm:

    Leaving aside all the legal maneuvering, which, in summary, seems to point in the direction of yes, he’ll be seated, how much damage can he do in less than 2 years. He’ll vote for whatever Obama wants, as would any senator approved by a Democratic governor. And, let’s face it, the special election was a long shot. We citizens are wasting our time mulling over all of this.

    What we should be doing is making up a list of what we want Pat Quinn to do when he takes office and sending it to him. Given our lack of time and resources, this Burris thing is so not worth our time.


  47. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:09 pm:

    Steve, Does Jesse need to sign it for it to be valid? What is your take on that?
    I like you think Burris will get seated (although under a lot of heat)


  48. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:13 pm:

    Steve, I think your points are valid about Burris. However, despite the fact he is qualified, he should not be seated under current conditions. And here’s why:

    The governor said it, and his attorneys said it: The governor had no intentions of picking a replacement. It is obvious he is doing this as a power play. He can blame the legislature (and he has every reason to!). He is an embattled governor, to say the least, has no confidence from the people of Illinois, and shouldn’t be making decisions FOR THE PEOPLE under these current conditions just because he can.

    Steve, I have doubt in my mind that as he left the press conference yesterday, RRB was saying to himself, “[bleep] those [bleepers](the people of the State of Illinois). Don’t [bleep] with me. I’m still the Governor of this [bleepin] state.”

    He’s a narcissist. And while he may in past have made some decisions that some people don’t agree with, this one takes the cake. Burris, like D.Davis before him, should have said no (like a true senior statesman of the State of Illinois would do).

    What do you think Paul Simon would have said?


  49. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Boy, do I think many people here are reading it wrong. I see it this way.

    Assumption: the Governor has zero chance of prevailing in the impeachment hearings in the House.

    Assumption: the Governor has zero chance of prevailing in the certain-to-come Senate trial.

    Assumption: the Governor and Genson both know this.

    Conclusion: they have to fight this in different forums than those two.

    Once I think that way everything that’s going on makes sense; diversions, building a record, goading people into intemperate words and actions, etc.


  50. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    There is no time frame for the SoS to certify anything. Let’s give him the same 60 or 90 days expected of other public officials. This should also be the response of the State Supreme Court or AG, if asked for an opinion or ruling.

    If our governor does not like it, he can ask Madigan to begin impeachment proceedings against Jesse White!


  51. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    BC: he shouldn’t be seated because the Governor changed his mind for what are probably impure reasons?


  52. - BandCamp - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:23 pm:

    Steve, quite frankly, yes. I think this goes a long way in showing the kind of person R. Burris is and has been his entire career. What kind of ego says “yes” to a Governor who has been told by the very Senators who would seat BO’s successor they will not seat ANYONE he sends them?

    I don’t want that type of representation in Washington. It sickens me. Rod, now Burris, under the HOAX of doing what’s best for the State, are only trying to improve their positions personally.


  53. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:24 pm:

    Burris has already missed a prime opportunity to tweak Reid. He should have come out and stated that his first order of business after being sworn in is to call a meeting of the Senate Black caucus, for the purpose of holding leadership elections.

    Upon the election of officers Burris could then stipulate that he intends to move for the adoption of by-laws, and the establishment of a legislative agenda consistnt with the public policy principles and Mission Statement of the NAACP-

    To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

    In pursuit of this mission he could then the Senate Black Caucus adopt the NAACP Objectives:

    To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizens

    To achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United States

    To remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes

    To seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights

    To inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination

    To educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and its Constitution.

    Burris could then point out that Reid’s efforts to block his admission to the Senate appears to be an effort to block the Senate Black Caucus from meeting, electing officers, adopting by-laws, and establishing a public policy and legislative agenda, which as a consequence may be a violation of his civil rights.


  54. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:26 pm:

    Well, it won’t take long to organize the meeting or pass the motions.


  55. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Steve, I recognize that previous governors and bill signing sometimes was a big deal with press coverage. And they should have been. A lot of bills were specialized bills for a particular cause or purpose, often prompted by a citizen’s actions.

    However, I hope you would agree that this governor has made a big deal of NOT signing most bills until the very last day. You will also recognize that this governor doesn’t govern in a rational way. He prefers Friday 5:00 p.m. press releases. He seldom holds a press conference (and at this point I don’t blame him). He’s not good at thinking on his feet. He’s great with statistics and one-liners he can recite over and over again. Since he has been governor, I don’t recall many, if any, public bill signings. There still aren’t any. It is just being announced that he is signing bills. I’m surprised we don’t hear an announcement when he takes a phone call. He’s just trying to prove to the national press that he is doing the business of the state, something he hasn’t been doing for quite some time and a fact that the people of Illinois are very aware of. He now has a whole new national audience (press) that he’s playing to it.


  56. - Pat collins - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    You know, I actually think Burris’s mausoleum is very cool. We could use more cool graveyard tombs.

    If I have the bucks, I would not mind one myself, in about 60 years or so :)


  57. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:34 pm:

    Tribune has up that Jesse blocked the pick….on to the Supremes.


  58. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:34 pm:

    LE; of course that’s what he’s doing, demonstrating that there is no reason to deem him incapable of governing. Though we may resent it, what’s the harm in it from our point of view?


  59. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:38 pm:

    Rush just told the POTUS-elect to take a chill pill! I love it.

    Also, yesterday someone analogized to Baby Face Nelson on the way to the gallows. I keep thinking of Jimmy Cagney in WHITE HEAT: “”Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”


  60. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:39 pm:

    A friend of mine who sold mausoleums always said “Any day above ground is a good day.”


  61. - lincoln street - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:50 pm:

    Steve Schnorf,

    I respect that you use your name. However, many people here post under aliases precisely because in a vindictive state where people are fired or not hired all the time because of their political beliefs and actions, many can’t afford to speak honestly in their own name. Anonymity actually lets them say what they believe.


  62. - lincoln street - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:53 pm:

    On the idea that no one cares the governor is signing bills, I think the problem is that he has taken an action directly related to the criminal complaint. I think if the Governor signed off on a $100 million loan to Tribune Co. today, you’d also hear people screaming.


  63. - Maggie - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:56 pm:

    I’m amazed at what Burris has gotten away with over the years. Someone should check on some property he owned and leased to the state in the early 90’s at 87th and King Drive in Chicago. This was an old Jewel store. In fact it might be a good idea to check his real estate holdings over the years.


  64. - Team America - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:56 pm:

    I tried to post a link about an hour ago regarding a new report by Crain’s that the special election bill was placed on a committee calendar for next week, but perhaps it got blocked by the spam filter. Head over to Crain’s or Team American for the link.


  65. - lincoln street - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:57 pm:

    pat,

    Are you going to put your resume on your mausoleum too? I like the old way — just a name and maybe a couple words “Liberty and Union” or something. And I’m not sure an Attorney General who always insisted that people call him General is the best candidate for such an elaborate tomb.

    As for me, I’m having myself cremated, along with a parchment-paper copy of the state Constitution, and then the ashes will be scattered across the barren wasteland of the Executive Mansion’s grounds.


  66. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    OK, let’s all just ignore the rule of law and let VanMan decide what laws we are all going to follow. He hates the governor so in the name of all of the people of Illinois he wants him out. He has to be right because the governor is unpopular. I wish we could have applied this logic to Bush when he lied to the American people and engaged in an illegal and immoral war that resulted in over 4000 US deaths and uncountable Iraqi deaths. If we forgot the law and just threw him out we’d all be a lot better off today.
    The governor has not been indicted. No evidence has been made public. All we have are rumors spread by the politically motivated US Attorney and his lapdog from the FBI. Blagojevich is the Governor. He is innocent until proven otherwise. He has the right, duty, and legal authority to appoint the Senator. He did so. Roland Burris will be the next junior US Senator from Illinois.
    Isn’t there hipocrisy involved when Reid and the Repubs allowed a convicted fellon (Ted Stephens)to keep his seat but are trying to prevent the esteemed former Attorney General from Illinois from being seated?
    Is there some other agenda involved on the part of Reid and the Senate Dems?
    Maybe there is some racism involved. Maybe they don’t want some coffee mixed in with their cream.


  67. - Gregor - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    Bill, it’s nowhere near 4:20 yet, you’ve got to learn to slow down.


  68. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:15 pm:

    Bill, there you go again getting me to agree with you - on the Ted Stephens issue (principle only). With that said, Ted Stephens lost his re-election bid in November. I don’t know the schedule of the U.S. Congress. Have they been in session since the election, giving them an opportunity to kick Stephens out before the new Congress begins in January?


  69. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    What is the purpose of having the SOS countersign official documents such as appointments? Is it to acknowledge that everything was done appropriately? If so, can the SOS refuse to sign on the grounds that the Gov’s actions are currently in question based on the allegations that he was trying to sell the Senate seat? If so, the SOS could say that he cannot sign until that particular issue has been cleared up.

    The SOS’s position on this is especially problematic if he has countersigned and stamped other official documents signed by the Gov subsequent to the Gov’s arrest.


  70. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Isn’t there hipocrisy involved when Reid and the Repubs allowed a convicted fellon (Ted Stephens)to keep his seat but are trying to prevent the esteemed former Attorney General from Illinois from being seated?

    Yes, I think Burris will be seated. Without having to go to the Supreme Court either. Obama’s managed to alienate Gays. Now he’s on the wrong side here. He’s not going to want to tear the party apart on this.

    Is there some other agenda involved on the part of Reid and the Senate Dems?

    More panic than thought out plan. The agenda is save their seats and limit Blagojevich from talking.

    Maybe there is some racism involved. Maybe they don’t want some coffee mixed in with their cream.

    The language in some of those 1,000 phone intercepts should be a linguistic bleepen goldmine of Chicago street language used by our political elite. It may be brutal stuff about what they thing of voters and constituents.


  71. - Plenty Chilled - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:18 pm:

    I can understand the General Assembly not amending the law providing for the Governor to make the Senate appointment to instead require a special election (cost, timing, GOP, etc.), but they missed an alternative that would have worked (though Crazy Boy likely would not have signed it. Still, it would have been worth considering.

    This Constitution gives the Senate confirmation power over appointments “not otherwise provided by law.”

    SECTION 9. GOVERNOR - APPOINTING POWER
    (a) The Governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a majority of the members elected concurring by record vote, shall appoint all officers
    whose election or appointment is not otherwise provided for. . .

    The GA should have just amended 10 ILCS 5/25‑8 (concerning the Governor’s power to appoint) to reference this provision of the Constitution and then seen what happened.


  72. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:20 pm:

    TA,

    Based on this contradictory posting notice it is difficult to discern f this meeting is on; or has been cancelled. Irrespective of whether it is on or not, the Bill posted; as amended for now, only has to do with the election procedures for a question pertaining to the holding of a Constitutional Convention, and says nothing of a Special Election.

    95th General Assembly
    Elections & Campaign Reform Committee
    CANCELLED

    Hearing Scheduled for Jan 07, 2009

    ————————————————–

    Chairperson Elaine Nekritz
    Vice-Chairperson John D’Amico
    Republican Spokesperson Timothy Schmitz
    Scheduled Date: Jan 07, 2009 3:00PM
    Location: Room 115 Capitol Building
    Springfield, IL
    Posting Date: Dec 31, 2008 10:00AM
    Subject Matter:
    Clerk of the House Mark Mahoney

    Bill # Sponsor ABR - Short Description Last Action

    SB761 John A. Fritchey ELECTIONS-TECH Assigned to Elections & Campaign Reform Committee

    Of interest however is that the Senate Special Committee on Impeachment Procedures is scheduled to meet this coming Monday the 5th and Friday the 9th at JRTC in Chicago.

    95th General Assembly
    Hearing Notice For Senate Special Committee on Impeachment Trial Procedures

    ————————————————-
    Members Notice of Hearing Bills

    Hearing Scheduled for Jan 05, 2009

    ————————————————–

    Chairperson John Cullerton
    Scheduled Date: Jan 05, 2009 9:30AM
    Location: 16-504 James R. Thompson Center
    Chicago
    Posting Date: Dec 29, 2008 3:00PM
    Subject Matter: SUBJECT MATTER ONLY
    Secretary of the Senate: Deborah Shipley
    ————————————————–
    95th General Assembly
    Hearing Notice For Senate Special Committee on Impeachment Trial Procedures

    ——————————————————————————–
    Members Notice of Hearing Bills

    Hearing Scheduled for Jan 09, 2009

    ——————————————————————————–

    Chairperson John Cullerton
    Scheduled Date: Jan 09, 2009 9:30AM
    Location: 16-504 James R. Thompson Center
    Chicago
    Posting Date: Dec 30, 2008 3:35PM
    Subject Matter: SUBJECT MATTER ONLY
    Secretary of the Senate: Deborah Shipley

    ————————————————–

    I wonder if the Governor will be in the office on those dates?


  73. - Team America - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:26 pm:

    Thanks, BlagoSphere. If you’re right, it seems that Crain’s might be off-target. Sure it’s the same thing Greg Hinz at Crain’s was talking about?


  74. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    TA,

    I am not sure what Hinz is referring to; only pointing out what has actually been posted to the GA website for Committee meetings.

    Now it is possible that there are pending amendments to be introduced to the posted Bill that Hinz is aware of (perhaps from Fritchey or others) that would re-direct the posted Bill to address the Special Election issue, but he cites no source, so I am only going by what has actually been posted to date.

    It is also possible that Hinz has no clue what he is writing about, bit the odds that I don’t either could be pretty good as well.


  75. - Scooby - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:47 pm:

    I found it telling that in Lynn Sweet’s reporting of the story of Danny Davis turning down the offer of the Senate seat that the emissary sent by Blagojevich was not one of his many staffers or advisors but by his personal criminal defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. I wonder if searching for a candidate and making an appointment is part of a coordinated legal strategy rather than a political one. So far during the impeachment proceedings Genson has claimed that the recordings demonstrate nothing more than “just talk”, without any action that would demonstrate a quid pro quo deal. Was yesterday’s appointment intended to further solidify their defense?


  76. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:54 pm:

    Maybe by working through his atty Blago can cite atty-client privilege if anyone questions what kind of deal was made.


  77. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    {A spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (D) confirmed to Election Central that White knows he does not truly have the authority to stop the appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate, but he withheld his signature from it earlier today in order to make a statement. But the door does appear to be open to some legal ramifications.

    “His feeling is we studied the constitution of Illinois, we looked at the statutes, and there was nothing there that said he had to sign the paperwork,” said David Druker, White’s press secretary.

    “We don’t believe he has the authority to hold up the appointment or veto it, to put it that way,” Druker added. “How the U.S. Senate views the action, that would be for the U.S. Senate to determine.”

    As for whether the lack of a signature on Burris’ certificate of appointment would be a real basis for the Senate to hold an investigation and delay seating Burris, Druker said he was deferring any of those legal questions to the Senate itself.}

    I am not sure they were looking at the same Constitution or statutes that I was, but it seemed pretty clear to me that he has a DUTY to sign the paperwork under both the Constitution and the law. There is likely no specific penalty under the law for not doing so however so I am sure he figured he would take his chances, rather than to be a party to this appointment.

    What does he have to lose?


  78. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 2:56 pm:

    ==The governor has not been indicted. No evidence has been made public. All we have are rumors spread by the politically motivated US Attorney and his lapdog from the FBI.==

    This is pretty callous attempt to defend the Governor. What evidence is there to support your charge that Fitzgerald is a “politically motivated US Attorney”? Do you have any at all?

    ==Blagojevich is the Governor. He is innocent until proven otherwise. He has the right, duty, and legal authority to appoint the Senator. He did so. Roland Burris will be the next junior US Senator from Illinois.==

    No complaints here. Just recognize the gigantic political bond the Democratic Party in Illinois is floating to do nothing as this charade continues. Until Blagojevich is impeached(regardless of his Federal defense), all of this is going to pummel the majority party that has dragged its feet every step of the way in the last three weeks.

    ==Isn’t there hipocrisy involved when Reid and the Repubs allowed a convicted fellon (Ted Stephens)to keep his seat but are trying to prevent the esteemed former Attorney General from Illinois from being seated?==

    The Republicans told him to resign. They had no power to kick him out of the Senate. He was already seated. He was elected to the seat. This is the weakest argument I’ve seen to bolster the fictitious “hypocrisy” charge.


  79. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==Maybe by working through his atty Blago can cite atty-client privilege if anyone questions what kind of deal was made.==

    Hah. Try that with a Federal judge. Is Sam Adam Jr. the Governor’s general counsel or his criminal defense counsel?

    The Governor has made another error if Sam Adam Jr. was the emissary talking to Danny Davis and Roland Burris.


  80. - Plenty Chilled - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:15 pm:

    Did anyone see Donne Trotter on Chicago Tonight last night (the video of the Brackett panel is on its website). Without going all Bobby Rush about the appointment, he strongly endorsed it and the right of Crazy Boy to make it.

    When Greg Hinz tried to point out the taint, saying, “the Governor is charged with trying to sell the very seat that is involved,” Donne cut him off and said:

    “It’s an accusation. He has not been indicted. There is a due process that we have not only in this state but in this country. And he has not gone through that process. There has not been an impeachment hearing. As a matter of fact, the House has not even determined are they going to impeach or should there be an impeachment. In the absence of that, he has every right to go forward in what he’s done.”

    Today, it became clear that the indictment would not issue anytime soon and so if the Senate gets the case, it will be without an indictment.

    Am I crazy in thinking that some in the Senate are going to fight the conviction?

    Oh, and BTW, Donne also called Obama out for his post-appointment statement, saying, “But he doesn’t have that decision. That’s not his decision to make. He certainly can have an opinion. But if we follow the letter of the law, the letter of law says he should be seated.”

    It could be a long trial in the Senate. No wonder Madigan did not want to give this to Emil. But at this point, I am similarly wondering about the House votes.


  81. - Princess - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    Steve Schnorf “Though we may resent it, what’s the harm in it from our point of view? “—

    I’ll certainly bet while signing bills he won’t try his “Rewrite to Do Right” bit with his jabber about being the only way he can get anything done routine.

    —–
    I kinda always liked R Burris and if it were not for Rod and his ‘Blago Ways’ I would not have a problem with this appointment–it’s just a shame that it was made under these conditions. I do find Rush out of line with his racism play. US Senate perhaps not seating Burris has nothing to do with his skin color. Perhaps it is Rush who needs the ‘chill pill’. I did notice Rush this morning stop mid sentence and change his wording of ‘them’ to ‘him’ . Seemed as if scolding us to seperate appointee from appointed was difficult even for him.


  82. - Blago Sphere - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:20 pm:

    As far as any more Blago-Blogging is concerned, I am taking up the Cub fans mantra; WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR!

    I am off to celebrate the end of 2008 and the begining of 2009; both of which are really cause for celebration; at least for me.

    The rules of engagement for all will be that if the good reverend comes out of his hole like Puxatawney Phil; before midnight tonight and does not see his shadow, then it signals another 6 weeks of Blago for us all.

    If this occurs then pass the chalice and it will be Pflegermeister shots for everyone.

    Happy New Year one and all!


  83. - Emily Booth - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:22 pm:

    All Blagojevich did is cause further investigation into his appointment of Roland Burris and Roland Burris himself. Because, to borrow Genson’s oft repeated phrase, the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter that Blagojevich is exercising his legal duty. The fact of the matter is, there is a lack of confidence in Blagojevich.


  84. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:36 pm:

    What evidence is there to support your charge that Fitzgerald is a “politically motivated US Attorney”? Do you have any at all?

    It’s not evidence, but I thought Ray Hanania was making some sense today about it. Does Fitzgerald owe Illinois an apology for a mess he created?

    Well, Mr. Fitzgerald. The entire system has been throw into turmoil. And while everyone will blame Blagojevich, I think the blame falls on your shoulders. I think your actions beg the question: Did you disclose this incomplete prosecution of Blagojevich because you wanted to achieve your own political goals?

    Were you afraid that Obama was going to replace you as the US Attorney for this district? Were you thinking that exposing a scandal that also touched on Obama – several of his own aides have been implicated in conversations with Blagojevich about the Senate seat appointment and we haven’t heard all the facts on that.

    Just maybe, you recognized this scandal would make it impossible for Obama to replace you.

    The Impeachment Panel ought to call Fitz to explain a little too.


  85. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:39 pm:

    The fact of the matter is, there is a lack of confidence in Blagojevich.

    Less than before Fitz’s compliant?


  86. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    Maggie -

    Who was Governor in the early 1990’s?


  87. - Gabriel - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 3:55 pm:

    ==The Impeachment Panel ought to call Fitz to explain a little too.==

    Please do. Call everyone. The longer the ILGA and ILS drag this out the deeper the hole they dig.

    Fitzgerald’s request to the Federal court today says the investigation of Blagojevich began in 2003. It’s obviously led nowhwere — fat chance — or it’s led to more investigations — bet on it
    – and the dirty water just keeps on getting dirtier the more the Feds listen. All we know about the wiretaps on the Gov are that they began around mid to late October OF THIS YEAR.

    Maybe you could make a case that Fitz is playing politics. It’s not like we don’t know that the people he investigated for federal crimes weren’t trying to pull some strings to fire him.

    Furthermore, Fitz tells us in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich and Harris that he’s only revealed the least amount of information necessary to support the arrests.

    It’s an uphill battle both ways to paint Fitzgerald as a political tool.


  88. - 2ConfusedCrew - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 4:04 pm:

    OMG
    Could an evil New Year’s Eve gremblin made mischief and caused a little rise in StateWideTom causing a prema….opps…strike that…early release(so to speak) on that special election bill????
    How cruel
    What could be next?
    Trib FOI request for the MOUs
    Yikes


  89. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 4:08 pm:

    Smitty:
    Blago - 2002 to present
    GRyan - 1998-2002
    Jim Edgar - 1990-1998
    Jim Thompson - 1976-1990 (3 4 year terms, 1 2 year term, the last constitution changed the years a Governor would be elected to non-presidential even years; hence the two year term for Thompson = 14 years)


  90. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 4:34 pm:

    Little Egypt -

    Thanks. The point of the inquiry was Maggie questioning Democrat Roland Burris’ early 1990 real estate transactions with the State. First, he was an elected official until January 1995 - if he was really owner in properties leased to the state prior to his leaving office, she should forward the information to the media (and Patrick Fitzgerald, if the statute of limitations has not expired). If after January 1995, then the leases occurred under Republicans Jim Edgar or George Ryan - which means the leases were above board. And if they weren’t above board, again, she should forward the information to Patrick Fitzgerald.


  91. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 4:36 pm:

    Little Egypt - Smitty knew. The issue is that Roland Burris could not have been getting Republican governor, as Maggie suggested.

    Although Jim Thompson was a pretty gracious guy to friends on both sides of the aisle…


  92. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:01 pm:

    I don’t remember signing any leases at CMS (1991-1995) where Roland had a disclosed ownership interest. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any, but I don’t think so.


  93. - Bookworm - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:01 pm:

    Oh Lord, what a year it’s been. Sounds like the “real” Fitzmas is going to be closer to Easter; I hope it will be worth the wait, and that Pat Quinn is right about Blago being gone by Abe’s birthday.

    You know, I actually tried giving up this blog for Lent last year… that lasted about 3 days :) Constant Cap Fax blogging is one “bad habit” I’m leaving untouched by my New Year’s resolutions, such as they are…. it’s going to be more addictive than ever.

    Thanks to Rich, Paul, Kevin and now Mike for all their good work. I’d also like to add a shout out to all the fine Illinois journalists who are “no longer with us” due to all the newspaper industry woes… especially Aaron Chambers and Jeffery Meitrodt… and anyone else I might be forgetting. Hope you are enjoying the show even though you can’t be part of it : - (

    Happy New Year everyone!


  94. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:03 pm:

    I’m glad somebody sees the humor in all of this. I don’t see a speck of humor. People losing their jobs and homes in the midst of the toughest econmic recession in our lifetime, 2 wars, a state that can’t pay it’s bills, adequately fund its schools, or anything else for that matter, in no position to participate in any economic stimulus, and we still have a governor we can’t trust and has no credibility, and the GA, which has the only direct and quickest remedy to ousting Blago is “investigating” whether the Gov. should be impeached. Really hilarious.


  95. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:04 pm:

    Bookworm -

    Like to add Kate Clement, who ran the Capitol Bureau for the Champaign News-Gazette. Her coverage of the 2004 AFSCME agreement, particularly the health insurance coverage changes, was light years ahead of the SJR’s coverage.


  96. - Bookworm - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:15 pm:

    Yes, Smitty, thanks for mentioning Kate… I was having a mental block on her name. I’m probably still forgetting some others who got let go or not replaced this year. What a time for newspapers to be cutting back on their state government coverage, eh?


  97. - Steve Brown - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:47 pm:

    Our dedicated Beach Warrior asked that I post the following missive sent to the working press earlier today.
    Happy to help
    Mission Accomplished
    Happy New Year

    Several Illinois House committees are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to accommodate members with unfinished business in the current GA in the event the full House returns to Springfield.

    The decision to return will be determined following the Monday court hearing on the release of the tapes in the Governor’s criminal case

    Should the House not return, the committees will be rescheduled for the days already set for the following week.


  98. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 5:56 pm:

    Smitty, I agree that Kate Clements did a great job under the dome for the N-G. AA thinks we haven’t heard the last of the Health Alliance funny bid process from 2004 yet.

    I think you have some date confusion in your earlier post re: the leases, though. Burris, IIRC, was Comptroller for 3 terms, then AG, serving from 1979 to 1995. He served with Thompson for 12 years and Edgar for 4. I’m assuming that you are not saying that all State leases signed during Thompson’s entire tenure were not “above board”, to use your words, as that is obviously a bag of hooey.


  99. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:03 pm:

    Arthur Andersen -

    To the extent that Burris got leases that were not “above board” under JRT / JE / GR, it would be to show Maggie that corruption in Illinois did not skip from Len Small to George Ryan to Rod Blagojevich. Rather, to show it is a long time bipartisan statewide problem - that will be here after Blagojevich.


  100. - Maggie - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:04 pm:

    I was very careful to make no accusations. But my sources are good and if this comes out you’ll be more than a little surprised at who was leasing that property.
    And Oh yes surprise,surprise Illinois and Chicago have been corrupt for years. Even before Blagojevich.


  101. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:11 pm:

    Maggie -
    Would you ask your source(s) to forward this information to the media and / or Patrick Fitzgerald? The more corruption that is rooted out, the less likely the next wave of elected officials will engage in corrupt behavior.


  102. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:12 pm:

    lincoln street; I know that in many cases that is true, and I understand it. But I don’t believe that represents the case with every anonymous poster on here. I believe many simply don’t have the courage to say some of the dastardly things they say under their own names.

    In addition we see so many things stated as fact on here without having any means (a name) to know whether there’s any reason to think the poster has any basis for knowing what they are talking about. It would more than satisfy me if Rich simply attested for some of our posters by telling us “hey folks, this person has a background such that they likely know what they are talking about.”

    I don’t mind opinion, even foolish uninformed opinion. We can take it for what we think its worth. But when people make definitive statements (e.g., “Burris is a senile old man”) I would like to have some idea of how well they know Burris, how much time they’ve spent around him, over what time span, etc.

    From some of the commenters on here, I can get a pretty good idea simply based on their comments, a sense of what they’ve done and where they’ve been. But in other cases, it is far more like me saying “Bush isn’t very smart”. I may have an opinion, but for people to accept it as likely true, you would rather hear if from Cheney or Rice or someone with first-hand access to the President.

    Its why I sign my name. You can look and see if I’ve had any actual experience regarding the things I comment about and judge how much value you want to give them.


  103. - Bookworm - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:19 pm:

    In the spirit of getting everyone to think hopeful and positive thoughts for new year, I offer the following as future QOTDs: who was the BEST and/or most honest Illinois governor ever? Who was the best governor that you personally remember, and why? (Don’t need to answer right now, but think about it for a while.)


  104. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:30 pm:

    Thanks, Brownie.

    Schnorf, if u think people post dastardly things here, then u should get around more. Speaking of which, don’t u have party plans tonight? For that matter, why am I even commenting?

    Oh, yeah…

    Happy New Year!!!


  105. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:36 pm:

    Bill, don’t play the race card regarding Burris and the Senate. You’re twisted, dude, without a doubt, and I certainly don’t understand you, but for some reason I think you’re better than that.

    Reid said no Blago appointment. Obama’s on board, and so were Rush and Burris a week ago. Race wasn’t an issue. Case closed.

    Those who wantonly play the race card for spurious reasons, reveal that they don’t really care about civil rights at all.


  106. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:40 pm:

    Happy New Year, Rich, and yeah, I do every now and then check the SJR blogs and some of the others, and they appear to be populated mainly by anonymous idiots. That isn’t the case on here, and its why this is the only blogsite I go to every day. But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had more of a sense what some of these people are that I argue with or agree with. And, as you know, I’m getting better about not complaining about the anonymity; this is the first time in months, maybe the better part of a year.

    BTW, I haven’t gone out on New Years Eve (or St Patrick’s Day) for many, many years. I’m too old and there are way too many amateurs out.


  107. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 6:45 pm:

    Oh, geez. Burris has already gone to the IL Supreme Court. Back to the hotel for me. And I was so enjoying the mojitos.


  108. - A Citizen - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 7:19 pm:

    Rich, No good deed goes unpunished. So what did Roland do while visiting the SC? And Happy New Year !


  109. - Bookworm - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 7:35 pm:

    Sometime in the next week or so, before the impeachment hearings start up again in earnest, I suggest everyone go to You Tube and watch/listen to a thunderous speech Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas made to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on July 25, 1974 during the Nixon impeachment hearings. (Enter “Watergate hearings” in the You Tube search engine and it will pop up). Pay special attention to her quotes from the Founding Fathers regarding what constitutes impeachable conduct. It will cut right though the legalistic fog Genson, Adam, and various talking heads have been trying to spread for the past three weeks! If Blago isn’t impeachable, who is?


  110. - Zora - Wednesday, Dec 31, 08 @ 7:41 pm:

    And in the spirit of the holiday, a message for Bill Quinlan, as he crosses over: Take a shower my friend. It will help wash it all away.


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