* 4:19 pm - The Senate just proved what a complete waste of time and money these special sessions are. They convened today’s special session (#5, in case you’re keeping track) and adjourned it almost immediately and without conducting any business whatsoever.
What a farce.
* 4:30 pm - There’s a new website up for those of you who think that Gov. Blagojevich ought to be impeached. The domain Impeach Blagojevich is owned by Dennis LaComb, the executive director of the very conservative organization United Republican Fund.
Twice-failed statewide candidate Jim Oberweis is the group’s secretary, and Steve Rauschenberger, another guy who couldn’t move up the ladder, is the organization’s president.
Rauschenberger was on the Illinois Senate Republicans’ payroll earlier this year as a budget advisor. Not sure if he’s still drawing checks, but I have a call in to the SGOP to see how they feel about this new website. [UPDATE: Rauschenberger is no longer on the SGOP payroll.]
I would caution you again, as I did in comments earlier today, that the comments about impeachment here are getting way out of hand and are borderline delusional. Please try to tone it down. Impeachment of the governor on the facts at hand today has ZERO chance of happening. Thanks.
* 4:33 pm - The House convenes at 5 pm today. The leaders meeting is scheduled for 6 o’clock.
* 4:45 pm - I put this in Capitol Fax today, but forgot to link to it here…
Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH may have to give a deposition in a case brought by more than 65 former Department of Corrections captains whose rank was eliminated by Blagojevich back in 2003. […]
A lawyer who recently joined the governor’s legal staff in the case is former Gov. JIM THOMPSON, a Republican whose firm also represented former Gov. GEORGE RYAN in his corruption case. Thompson on June 28 participated in a telephone hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge BYRON CUDMORE, who is based in Springfield.
According to U.S. District Court records, it was agreed during that conference call that Blagojevich will not have to provide the testimony “until after the current Illinois legislative session ends — probably late August 2007.”
Legislature watchers can only hope that doesn’t mean the overtime legislative session will go that long — but that arranging for the deposition will take a while after the end of the session.
* 5:04 pm - Another special session proclamation is expected soon. Legislative leaders have been told the time will be 1 pm tomorrow, but that’s apparently not completely set in stone.
The leaders meeting has been moved to 6:30 tonight.
* 5:09 pm - Just 79 House members responded to the attendance roll call.
* 5:12 pm - Oh, for crying out loud. Check out the Rifle Association’s latest “action alert” issued to its members. Emphasis added to point out how goofy the group’s prediction is…
Governor Blagojevich and State Senator Dan Kotowski are planning to ambush gun owners on July 9th by calling for a special legislative session on so-called “gun violence.” It is expected that Kotowski will introduce legislation that would result in the banning and forced confiscation of most of your guns. The hope is to ramrod this legislation through the General Assembly while the public is distracted by failed budget negotiations.
Senator Kotowski is quickly establishing himself as the most dangerous anti-gunner in the nation. He is using every trick in the book to find a way to take your guns away from you. He doesn’t care if you are a hunter, target shooter, or trap shooter. He wants to take your guns away from you. He is obsessed with the notion of a gun-free Illinois. He is obsessed with the desire to humiliate you and strip you of your guns.
* 5:17 pm - Rep. Lou Lang just claimed that the governor worked out an “arrangement” with the Senate Democrats and Republicans allowing the members of the Senate not to show up at the Statehouse today.
Madigan responded that, to his understanding, it was confirmed that Senators would be told that they would not be required to attend today. He answered “Yes” when asked by Lang if members of the two chambers were being treated differently.
Lang suggested that all members attend tonight’s scheduled leaders meeting.
* 5:23 pm - The House is convening itself into a Committee of the Whole to discuss the teachers and judicial retirement systems.
* 5:34 pm - The Senate Republican spokesperson just said that her leader was not contacted by the governor or his office about allowing people to stay home today. The spokesperson said that the members knew nothing was going to be done anyway.
I’m also hearing that Senate President Emil Jones told his Democratic members yesterday that they didn’t have to be back to town until Tuesday even though there was a special session today and another will likely be scheduled for tomorrow.
* 5:47 pm - The governor’s spokesperson said just now that she didn’t know anything about what Madigan and Lang were referring to regarding telling Senate leaders that their members didn’t need to show up for special session today.
Another inside source said she has been pretty heavily involved in caucus discussions and would probably have known if such an advisory had been issued. She didn’t hear anything about it, either.
* 5:53 pm - The official proclamation for Special Session 6 (tomorrow at 1 o’clock) has been issued. Download it here.
Tomorrow’s topics will be the State Universities Retirement System and funding for FY08 for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services “to provide assistance to sexual assault victims and for sexual assault prevention activities.” No specific legislation was defined in the proclamation.