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If he won’t resign (and he won’t) impeach him now

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My Sun-Times column today demands that the House get off its duff and start working on impeachment

Enough, already. […]

What Illinois needs most right now is to excise this fatal tumor on our body politic.

Rod Blagojevich has been an astoundingly bad governor. His list of achievements is short and unimpressive. He has alienated almost the entire political establishment in Illinois. He is the most unpopular governor in the United States. And now we learn that he allegedly tried to sell a U.S. Senate seat, “like a sports agent,” according to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Illinois has, according to Fitzgerald, been subjected to a “political corruption crime spree.”

It’s time for that crime spree to end.

The Illinois House needs to convene as soon as possible and begin impeachment proceedings. Fitzgerald’s criminal complaint has basically given the General Assembly a 78-page road map.

We’re not talking a lot of hearsay. Much of Fitzgerald’s criminal complaint is composed of the governor’s own words caught on federal surveillance tapes.

All the House has to do is stipulate that Blagojevich’s words caught on tape are facts and then vote on whether that should be an impeachable offense.

For instance, the governor is quoted as saying this about Obama’s people refusing to go along with a quid pro quo for the Senate seat appointment: “They’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F - - - them.”

Here’s our governor talking about using the Senate appointment for financial gain: “[T]he immediate challenge [is] how do we take some of the financial pressure off of our family.”

The governor sure has a way with words: “I’ve got this thing and it’s f - - - - - - golden and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f - - - - - -nothing. I’m not gonna do it.”

Blagojevich also was caught talking about using $8 million in state pediatric funding to extract a $50,000 campaign contribution from Children’s Memorial Hospital: “I’m going to do $8 million for them. I want to get [Hospital Executive 1] for 50.”

There’s more, but you’ve probably already read most of the quotes yourself.

The Illinois Constitution’s guidelines for impeachment are pretty bare-bones. Impeachment requires just a majority vote in the House. There’s no “high crimes and misdemeanors” language as in the U.S. Constitution.

After the House votes to impeach, a two-thirds vote in the Senate is all that’s needed to remove Blagojevich from office.

And then he’d be gone. Forever.

Blagojevich’s attorney said Tuesday that his client did nothing wrong and has no intention of resigning. He’s expected to be back in his office today.

Knowing him as I do, I am absolutely sure that Gov. Blagojevich thinks he’s in the clear. So nothing will stop this man except impeachment. This necessity can no longer be delayed.

Get it over with.

* As I noted to subscribers this morning, Speaker Madigan’s office distributed an impeachment memo several months ago which argued that there was enough evidence to impeach him back then.

If Blagojevich could’ve been impeached then, he most certainly can be impeached now.

* The House Democrats are being way too timid on this topic

But Madigan spokesman Steve Brown cautioned there are several complications to proceeding with impeachment, including timing.

A new legislature will be sworn in Jan. 14, and if impeachment proceedings start before then, there’s a question of whether they could continue with new lawmakers or have to start over.

Rep. Gary Hannig, D-Litchfield, said the timing issue is why legislators might wait a few weeks to push impeachment. Hannig agreed that Blagojevich should resign first.

Just start holding the committee hearings now. Forget the holiday break. Get this over with.

* As I told you yesterday, this is what House Speaker Madigan had to say…

On the question of impeachment, I am prepared to discuss the suggestions of the House Republican Leader.

The House Republicans have taken the initiative and filed a resolutionwhich creates “a Special Investigative Committee to investigate the conduct of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and make a recommendation as to whether cause exists for impeachment.”

Why let the minority party get ahead of the curve? Blagojevich is a Democratic governor. Madigan was his campaign co-chairman in 2006 and is the state party chairman. He’s also the Speaker of a House with 70 Democratic votes. This is his responsibility.

* Democratic Rep. John Fritchey is trying to take the lead…

A leading member of the Illinois General Assembly says he’ll begin immediate impeachment proceedings against Rod Blagojevich if the governor doesn’t quit first. […]

Mr. Fritchey said he already has phoned House Speaker Michael Madigan about moving an impeachment bill.

Trouble is, Madigan hasn’t returned Fritchey’s call, which Fritchey said he made yesterday morning. What the heck?

* This is a good summary of how it can be done quickly

Under legislative rules and the Illinois Constitution, the House can convene in a committee of the whole and move to a fairly fast vote, or first hold a separate committee hearing, Mr. Fritchey said. If a majority of the House votes to impeach, the matter then moves to the Senate, which could remove the governor if a supermajority of at least 37 of the 59 senators so vote.

* History

Only one other state official has been removed by the process in the history of Illinois, Mr. Fritchey said, a judge in 1832.

* IL Constitutional provisions


(b) The Governor may convene the General Assembly or the Senate alone in special session by a proclamation stating the purpose of the session; and only business encompassed by such purpose, together with any impeachments or confirmation of appointments shall be transacted. Special sessions of the General Assembly may also be convened by joint proclamation
of the presiding officers of both houses, issued as provided by law. […]

The House of Representatives has the sole power to conduct legislative investigations to determine the existence of cause for impeachment and, by the vote of a majority of the members elected, to impeach Executive and Judicial
officers. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, Senators shall be upon oath, or affirmation, to do justice according to law. If the Governor is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators elected. Judgment shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office of this State. An impeached officer,
whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

* Related…

* Governor’s arrest brings hope to Pontiac, but prison ‘fight is not over’

* Park supporters warm up to idea of new governor

* Some Illinois lawmakers call for Blagojevich to resign

* Message To Blago: Resign Or Face Impeachment

* Blagojevich should resign immediately as governor

* It’s time to scuttle Blago’s pirate ship of state

* Governor should resign immediately

* SJ-R Opinion: Blagojevich must resign now

* Governor Blagojevich, resign

* Blagojevich editorial cartoons

* Our bleeping governor must quit now

* He let us down: Blagojevich should resign

* Netsch: Blagojevich ‘Should Think About Going Elsewhere’


  1. - Amy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:08 pm:

    Right on, Rich.

  2. - Illinois.Pundit - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    Fritchey is all over the news. Is he throwing his hat in the ring before there is a ring?

  3. - Ahem - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:10 pm:

    Attack on all fronts.

  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:15 pm:


    But I would also like to see how many more flies will land on this smoldering pile of crap so that we can better know who will side with Illinoians during a crisis. What we will be witnessing is who has leadership skills, backbone and courage. I’d like to separate the wheat from the chaff here.

    So let whoever wants to drag their feet, drag their feet, because it will make it easier for us to know who the foot draggers are to better dump them in the future.

    The General Assembly has failed us miserably and repeatedly over the past few years. It is high time to call them or drive them out!

    To the barriers!

  5. - PeoriaBob - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:17 pm:

    Rich, you said it right.

    Why not get it done by this weekend? This is an honest question, not a joke.

  6. - tanman - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:18 pm:


    On Facebook there is an event to get people to call the Governor’s office asking him to resign. Last I checked, 918 people have said they’ve called or will call. It’s not just the IL papers, but the people too. We all want him gone.

    Link for the fb group:

  7. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:18 pm:

    And then he’d be gone. Forever.

    Gone from the Gov’s Office… but he’ll be around for sure.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:20 pm:

    I agree 100%. I’m very troubled by this knee-buckling in the House and talk of kicking it to the Supremes.

    I, too, thought of a Committee of the Whole to expedite matters.

    I wonder: is there a concern there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to convict?

  9. - Amy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:21 pm:

    meanwhile, Daley picks Volpe as chief of staff as Healy goes over to the Olympic bid.

  10. - St. Lou - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rich et al,

    I would appreciate your response to this:

    1. Can everyone who was on the conference call/meeting to sell the senate seat can everyone be charged & convicted under RICO?

    2. Does the group in #1 comprise all/most of Blago’s inner circle?

    3. Does this mean that the inner circle will have to look to figure outside the circle to sell out to make a deal?

  11. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:22 pm:

    Thanks for the run-down, Rich. I wonder, what’s the motivation for Mike Madigan’s caution? Does he think acting too aggressively today will somehow hurt Lisa’s career? Or does he want to confirm there are sufficient votes in both chambers to 1) get impeachment to the Senate and 2) make sure the Senate will vote to remove Rod?

    While I can’t imagine anyone not named Debbie Mell voting against an impeachment resolution, perhaps one worry is having too many members recuse themselves from voting. Enough “present” votes or absences could make “the vote of a majority of the members elected” difficult to reach.

    That said, any member who did not vote for the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich ought to have to answer to the voters. That would be a hard thing to live down at this point.

    Maybe Mike Madigan is getting all his ducks in a row. I can’t imagine he wants to squander the opportunity to be rid of this governor.

  12. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:24 pm:

    The Gov knows a lot stuff about a lot of people. He’ll use it in an impeachment. That’s why no one wants to vote on it.

  13. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:31 pm:

    I agree that the Dems should be leading the charge on removing the Governor. But this is Illinois, so what politcially (and ethically and morally) ought to be and what will be hardly ever intersect. The Speaker is counting chess moves out for First) the effect an impeachment will have on the electability of his members in 2010, Second) the effect of a Pat Quinn governorship will have on other potential gubernatorial candidates in 2010, Third) how to let the Republicans do the heavy lifting in this environment but to get the Democrats the credit, and Fourth) I ish I could read his mind sometimes.

  14. - Justice Delayed - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:32 pm:

    {Why let the minority party get ahead of the curve? Blagojevich is a Democratic governor. Madigan was his campaign co-chairman in 2006 and is the state party chairman. He’s also the Speaker of a House with 70 Democratic votes. This is his responsibility.}

    Was this the first in a long line of missed opportunities?

    Dave McKinney is Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Illinois Issues, October 2002

    {Of more immediate concern are signs of a split between Madigan and Blagojevich. Before the broom-hoisting at the State Fair, the Democratic nominee for governor criticized Madigan’s “arrogance” for securing a $300,000 state grant for a college pal and horse show afficionado at a time when vital state human services were on the chopping block.

    In a clear warning shot, the speaker said he could have revealed past “indiscretions” by the party’s candidate for governor, but chose not to in the name of political unity.

    What indiscretions? Neither side would say.}

    This is what can happen when “political unity” is placed ahead of an opportunity for voters to be fully informed and have a chance to objectively assess the fitness and character of a particular candidate for office.

  15. - Gadfly - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:34 pm:

    This is all theory on my part.

    I think Madigan wants to make sure everything is in order for impeachment before announcing anything. Just because there are already memos doesn’t mean that there isn’t new information to consider. Madigan always makes sure that he knows everything he can before moving forward and he never jumps for the sake of jumping.

    Two, Madigan is a gentleman. I think not immediately announcing impeachment proceedings sends a message to the governor to do the right thing. Surely Madigan knows he has enough to impeach and convict under the Constitution, but full-on impeachment is not beneficial to anyone in the state and further harms our perception to outsiders. Better to give the man one last opportunity to take himself out like a gentleman.

    Finally, if the governor should decline to resign by Monday, Madigan could simply announce then that the House will immediately consider impeachment proceedings.

    Madigan likes things done the “right” way and the right way in this case would be for the gov to resign. Personally, I don’t think he will, and honestly, I doubt anyone who knows him thinks he will, but maybe he does deserve that opportunity.

    Off topic — but regarding the Senate seat, there are innumerable reasons to be opposed to a special election. One, we might not have a Senator until mid-2009. Two, the cost of a special election, estimated at $45-50 million, is ridiculous to spend when the state can’t pay medical providers in a timely manner. Three, it’s generally bad public policy to enact new policies because of one individual. The Senate will never seat an appointment by the current gov, so simply resign/impeach and have Quinn select someone.

  16. Pingback ArchPundit | Fritchey On Top of It - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:35 pm:

    […] His Facebook updates are hysterical with constant updates about the most recent interviews–Rich has this: […]

  17. - North of I-80 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:38 pm:

    Nice summary Rich. It is imperative that Gov be ejected asap. If you caught an employee of yours stealing/attempting to steal from you, would you tell him/her that you discovered it, go back to work until we vote to fire you next week/next month?? Of course not… look at the additional damages that can be done every day he/she is using your office, computers and phone!

  18. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    Fight this Blago! Innocent until proven guilty, I thought this was America People! Since when do we operate in the court of public opinion and not the court of law!

    Good job Rich

  19. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    Madigan better not play games with this impeachment. Why he had to wait till Monday to call the house back is already a question and why his top priority isn’t impeachment instead of a special election is another. If he tries to string this thing along for political reasons he should be removed from leadership. He is the guy who months ago created a list of talking points on why this Governor should be impeached. Well his list just got a lot longer and he better act decisively.

  20. - vole - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    Until all the posturing, positioning, and horse trading gets done, the mess will have to do until we return to the normal muddle. Rats! Another crisis wasted in Where Mine Land.

  21. - St. Lou - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:52 pm:


    Unless you can figure out how to throwout a wiretap signed by the District Chief Judge, and renewed by the Acting Chief Judge one month later, Blago’s toast.

    Unless, of course, the tape vanishes….

    Furthermore, it was suggested yesterday that Lincon is rolling in his grave.

    I would suggest that NIXON is rolling in his grave.

  22. - living in the wrong state - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:54 pm:

    What is the point of this whole impeachment exercise, other than political? It would be more effective for every citizen of the State to call the governor’s office, flood his phones, and tell him to resign. Impeachment requires charges and evidence. Obviously, the House can’t use the Government’s tapes. Do we think the US attorney wants his criminal witnesses put under oath and possibly mis-testifying or getting tripped up by legislator questions? This is nuts. Put the pressure on to get him to resign. What about Harris? Anybody called for Harris to resign yet?

    Frankly, I think Quinn ought to ask for the resignation of the top 100 employees as they are all complicit in the contract dealing, and the political firings, and all of the other stuff that doesn’t deal with the Senate seat.

  23. - carbon deforestation - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:01 pm:

    Weren’t these the quotes last spring?
    “What would it take to impeach the Governor?”
    Speaker Madigan “60 votes”

    I agree with you 100 percent Rich. We know that the Speaker is a deliberate and detail oriented person, but he needs to move quickly on this one. Blago is not going to resign. The Illinois House needs to remove him from office ASAP.

    I keep saying this (and will) but why haven’t you or someone whipped out that photo of Blagojevich getting Richard Nixon’s autograph? It appeared in a Chicago Magazine feature on Blago maybe around 2003.

  24. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:02 pm:

    Does anyone think it is a possibility that the gov won’t resign and that the GA won’t impeach and convict? What are the chances that Blago may actually continue to be the governor for the next two years?

  25. - Gregor - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    Everyone was sad for Old Yeller too, but Mike must do the right thing now, and not prolong the agony. As state party head, this is a man’s job to do. Get in front of this thing or be under it. It could be done in 48 hours. Emil can’t fight it. There is absolutely no down side. The thanks of a grateful state and nation await you, Mr. Speaker. Schedule it officially, today, so Rod has one last chance to resign this week. Then close your eyes and pull the trigger.

  26. - vole - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:05 pm:

    Governor’s online contact form:

    Ask him yourself!

  27. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:05 pm:

    MJM is in a tough situation. If he calls impeachment proceeding he risk the backlash of the voters against the Dems in the next election cycles, ala the Republicans after Ryan. Lets not forget He was the Co Chair of Rod’s reelection campaign. He may also hurt his daughters chances of becoming Governor.

    If he Does NOT call for impeachment, public opinion will be heavily against him, and the Republicans have a forum to pin lack of ethics and Pay to Play on all Dems.

    It is all very interesting, and a decision I would hate to make.

  28. - Finally! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:07 pm:

    The impeachment process must be “unimpeachable” itself, or Rod will have the ability to challenge its outcome. Madigan and the G.A. are right to use caution and take time to plan. They have the time n ow anyway since Harry Ried is circulating a letter to Blago for all of the Dem Caucus to sign that urges him to resign and that they will not seat anyone he appoints:

  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===The impeachment process must be “unimpeachable” itself, or Rod will have the ability to challenge its outcome. ===

    The only venue for challenging impeachment is in the Illinois Senate.

    BTW, that Harry Reid story is posted elsewhere.

  30. - Reddbyrd - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:20 pm:

    “The House Democrats are being way too timid on this topic…”
    Clearly Capt. Fax was still into the silly sauce when he got started on this piece
    By any measure, Madigan and most House Ds were the ONLY ones standing up to GRod and his schemes.
    Anybody who thinks there is reluctance is not firmly grounded
    StateWideTom was busy doing still secret MOUs and abd crafting the gamblers’ bill with the GRod.
    The Senate GOPS were doing who knows what…
    and we know about the Senate Ds.
    Let’s step back and get real

  31. - Porter - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:29 pm:

    If Madigan will not move the impeachment process forward, what will be the future standard of when impeachment would be used? What else does Rod guy have to do before anyone moves the process forward?

    This seems like a no brainer for Madigan and has a huge potential downside for the Dems if it is not handled quickly and completely. I would imagine that nearly every resident in the state would like to see Rod out and quickly.

    Call the special session and get on with it!!!!

  32. - Finally! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:47 pm:

    ===The only venue for challenging impeachment is in the Illinois Senate.=== We all know the venue for trying an impeachment is the Senate, but all I’m saying is, if he’s convicted, Rod will file petitions in any court he can find - state and federal - challenging the verdict. I’d be more than happy for someone to show me case law that denies him that ability.

    Also, sorry for the duplication on the Harry Ried letter…I didn’t find it here before seeing it elsewhere.

  33. - Ahem - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:52 pm:

    Pack up all my cares and woes,
    Here i go, singing low,
    Bye, bye, Blago.
    Where paparodzi waits for me,
    Money’s sweet, so’s Patti,
    Bye, bye, Blago.

    No one here can love and understand me,
    Oh, what hard luck stories they all hand me.

    Make my bed and light the light,
    I’ll arrive late tonight,
    Blago, bye, bye.

    Pack up all my cares and woes,
    Here i go, singing low,
    Bye, bye, Blago.
    Where paparodzi waits for me,
    Money’s sweet, so’s Patti,
    Bye, bye, Blago.

    I said, no one here can love and understand me,
    Oh, what hard luck stories they all hand me.

    So, make my bed and light the light,
    I’ll arrive late tonight,
    Blago, bye, bye.
    Make my bed and light the light,
    I’ll arrive late tonight,
    I said Blago,
    I said Blago,
    Oh, Blago, bye, bye.

  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:57 pm:

    Finally, on what grounds could he challenge his impeachment?

  35. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    If MJM does not start impeachment proceedings before the end of the year this liberal Obama supporter will not just vote for Mark Kirk in this special election they are cooking up, but I will donate money and work on his campaign. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! I tried to make you understand by voting for Eisendrath, then Topinka, then Con-Con. Democrats send Rod packing already!!! It’s bad enough Madigan didn’t have the balls to let a REAL Democratic primary happen in 2006 for the benefit of the state the way it should have with as many Dems mad at Rod as there were, but instead got in line for political expediency’s sake and joined Emil in co-chairing his campaign guaranteeing his reelection. I understand if Madigan didn’t want to impeach during Obama’s campaign or whatever, but the Blago genie is already out of the bottle already so now the best thing for everyone involved is to get Pat Quinn in as governor as soon as possible. Even if it means letting Quinn appoint a U.S. Senator rather than forcing cash-strapped county clerks to find money they don’t have in their budgets for a ridiculously expensive special election.

    Rod Blagojevich had a 13 percent approval rating BEFORE he was arrested. What the hell are these clowns afraid of happening if they impeach Rod? I’m tired of being embarrassed by my government. The only thing that can possibly get the stink of complicity off the Democrats in Springfield is a swift impeachment and removal from office of this enemy of the people of Illinois.


  36. - Finally! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:06 pm:

    word - who knows? That’s why I’m saying the G.A. needs to get this perfect. Although the G.A. is in control of impeachment, this is a quasi-judicial undertaking. So, just as in court cases, you need to make sure everything is done properly. How long does it take to bring a case to trial in a court? Sometimes years. And so many here are demanding the impeachment start today. That’s just ridiculous. Yes there is huge political pressure to begin this now, but Madigan is a masterful politician and lawyer, and is very careful about process. This would be the most important process that the G.A. will ever undertake under his leadership.

  37. - St. Lou - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:07 pm:

    “Rod Blagojevich had a 13 percent approval rating BEFORE he was arrested”

    Can it go lower? What’s the record?

  38. - Mr. Wizard - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:12 pm:

    As a side note, one of the reasons politicians are so timid today is probably the salaries they are paid. We’ve always had corruption big and small, but salaries for elected representatives were not enough to live on when I was a boy. Now, Reps and Senators make way more than the average family of four. That might make one less likely to take a risk.

  39. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Finally, Give me a break, the most important thing done under his leadership is getting this done as quickly as possible. The votes will be unanimous in both the house and senate, unless there is someone who doesn’t want to get re-elected. The only place Blago will be appealing in is federal criminal court.

  40. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    Finally, the GA’s decision is final. That’s explicit in the Constitution. His trial would be presided over by the Il Supreme Court. You can’t appeal it. No state court would touch it.

    Your argument for perfection is not credible. Just do it, already.

  41. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:26 pm:

    If he delays the impeachment I certainly will do that.

  42. - Leave a light on George - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:33 pm:

    Sun shine is the only disinfenctant that will get rid of this infection in government. I pray that before this is all over the feds get to all the other job selling, testing fraud, promotional fraud that has gone on the last six years. It is not near as sexy as the sale of a US Senate seat but in a way is as damaging. Incompetents who purchased their jobs in middle management can not serve the the public even poorly. Front line employees who had test or promotional scores altered or applications moved to the front of the line only serve the public when it’s convenient. The rest of the time is spent on personal business or politics.

    I saw it first hand. Reported it - and had it shoved you know where. Yesterday was a great day.

  43. - Gadfly - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:51 pm:

    So Rich,

    Just to clarify, you basically don’t care how it’s done, whether it’s done properly or in a flawed process, you just want it done, already?

    And while you may be right concerning the state courts, there’s no guarantee the federal courts would stay out of it if it violated due process rights guaranteed in the big boy Constitution.

  44. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    Oh, please.

    It should be done properly.

    Fair trial before the hanging.


  45. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:59 pm:

    ===there’s no guarantee the federal courts would stay out of it if it violated due process rights guaranteed in the big boy Constitution.===

    What a stretch.

  46. - St. Lou - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:59 pm:

    No Hanging.

    Don’t want to damage the vocal chords.

  47. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    The entire criminal complaint against the Governor is hearsay - the declaration of an FBI agent summarizing the investigation. But the House and Senate are not bound by the rules of evidence, and could accept the declaration as reliable evidence. I doubt that the USA would share his actual evidence voluntarily with the legislature. The sworn complaint could be enough to impeach, by itself, in my opinion.

  48. - Gadfly - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:13 pm:

    Well, if you’re gonna put on a fair trial there has to be some preparation. Twenty-four hours doesn’t really allow for that.

    If there’s no resignation and no formal impeachment proceedings announced by Monday when the legislature is in, then scream all you want. But can we please take a breath? Nobody has said no to impeachment yet, people.

  49. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===The sworn complaint could be enough to impeach, by itself, in my opinion. ===


    ===Nobody has said no to impeachment yet, people. ===

    But the one person who controls everything in the House has not yet said “yes.” So, that’s a problem.

  50. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:26 pm:

    Folks, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. Defendants are not afforded legal rights in an impeachment proceeding as they would be in a legal proceeding.

    If a majority of House members vote to impeach, and 2/3 of Senators vote to convict, then it is a final decision period. No appeal as to procedural or substantive grounds.

    Also, it only removes him from office, there are no other legal penalties that can be imposed through impeachment.

    They do not require evidence. They do not require testimony. The defendant need not be present, nor is he afforded the opportunity to rebut the charges. It is pure politics, plain and simple.

    And it needs to happen as soon as possible.

  51. - Plain and Simple - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:45 pm:

    If Madigan’s daughter were the Lt Governor we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Thank God these charges are so explosive that even the Speaker can’t hold off the ground swell. He might, however, be willing to let precious file with the State Supreme Court so she can claim to be the one that had Blago removed. This is a bad time to be playing politics-people are losing their sense of humor about all this and let’s not forget it was only two years ago the Speaker was Blago’s campaign chairman. Best take care of your mistakes and worry about your daughter later.

  52. - Captain America - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:56 pm:

    Impeachment is a “slam dunk”, because Governor Pinocchio has convicted himself with his own words. The wire recordings constitute prima facie case that the Governor is “unfit” to continue serving as our Chief Exceutive, regardless of the subsequent legal proceedings in which guilt or innocence will be determined.

    Anyone who votes against impeachment is probably committing political suicide. People will remember! It is the will of the people,as well as opinion leaders in the state, not just rabid anti-Blago Capitol Fax bloggers, that Blago resign immediately or be impeached ASAP. I don’t need a poll to tell me the obvious.

    The sooner the impeachment proceedings are initiated, the sooner he will be removed from office, whether by resignation or impeachment.

    Our long State nightmare will soon be over.Good luck, Governor Quinn!

  53. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 4:54 pm:

    I’ve been away all day, or I would have posted what 47th did. Read Rich’s quote from the state constitution. The requirement’s are minimal. The House votes, the Senate “does justice according to law” and then votes. Unless they have already passed laws about the proceeding, the requirements are minimal and there is no appeal. It is not a judicial process it is a political process.

    From a political standpoint, the Dems need to do this and get Rod out of the way immediately. The longer he stays in office, the more impact he will have on the 2010 election. Get him out now and show that you can run the state and the Dems will slide right back into all of the offices.

    If Madigan hesitates because he’s worried that Gov. Quinn will wreck Lisa’s chances for the Gov. office, he’s shooting the party in the foot.

  54. - no plan B - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 5:07 pm:

    Illinois politicians have to learn to stop behaving like Illinois politicians. Don’t they get it? We the people are fed up and want action not analysis paralysis. How hard is this: if Gov Sociopath doesn’t resign by midnight Sunday (and he won’t), the GA starts and concludes impeachment proceedings within one week max. Gov PQ thereafter appoints our new Senator thus no need for an expensive special election with all the attendant political maneuverings we abhor. So the Dems don’t want PQ’s pick - too bad, they shouldn’t have supported RB for re-election. Consequences sometimes bite.

  55. - Finally! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 5:43 pm:

    For all of you who think impeachment is merely a political process and is not subject to court review, feel free to Google impeachment appeals. You’ll find that our US Supreme Court has taken up cases. This guy has the NATION calling for his resignation and he says no. Do you really think he would leave no stone unturned in fighting impeachment? Process matters a lot and the G.A. needs to get it right.

  56. - Bookworm - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 8:22 pm:

    MJM wrote up an extensive impeachment memo last summer — not to mention an earlier letter he sent out last April (I think) to all GA members telling them they should “realize the implications” of Rod’s acting “outside the Illinois Constitution”. It would seem he’s already done most of the groundwork for an impeachment case. Therefore he should not need more than a few days to put together impeachment articles.

  57. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 9:58 pm:

    The point I was trying to make is that doing it right does not necessarily need to take a long time. As long as the constitutional requirements are met, it will be considered done right. As I said, it is not a legal proceeding; it just needs to proceed legally. And the legal requirements and minimal.

  58. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:03 pm:


    Read the Illinois Constitution first, then ask about the grounds under which the SCOTUS can intervene in this matter (hint: exclusive jurisdiction). It is solely a political process, an act of the state legislature to remove a state executive.

    There is no precedent under the current IL constitution. There will be no appeal to the SCOTUS.

  59. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:31 pm:

    The only thing you are doing by calling the govs office and reading off some resignation script is annoying an intern or low ranking assistant

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