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Rezko reaction and impact

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2008

* This week’s tun of events have set the Statehouse ablaze with talk about Tony Rezko’s trial and the impact on Gov. Blagojevich

Reverberating through the Capitol was the question of whether the governor’s political standing had been mortally wounded by the official connection to the corruption case at a time when state finances are sinking.

“It doesn’t help anybody. It doesn’t help him. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t help the people of the state,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who’s often quarreled with the governor.

“This is just something that doesn’t help the cause,” Madigan said. “Better that it had not have happened.”

* Others weigh in

“I don’t think the revelation yesterday will do much practical damage to him,” said Chris Mooney, a political studies professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “I think the damage of this investigation has already been done, at least up to this point. The fact that everybody now knows he is Public Official A, rather than just assuming it, isn’t going to make much difference.” […]

“People who thought he was a liar will be satisfied because they now have confirmation,” said David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “And people who stood by him for other issues will perhaps acknowledge that he’s got bigger legal troubles than they thought.” […]

“The George Ryan experience suggests that once the U.S. attorney puts the light on the incumbent governor, the media will chase that public official in every venue to try to get them to expose themselves,” said Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

* This administration statement didn’t go down too well

A Blagojevich press office statement said, “We don’t know anything. The governor was never involved,” echoing what the governor’s been saying since these allegations first 2 ½ years ago. […]

“I think the governor has a real disconnect with reality,” Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) said in a phone interview. “To continue to deny that he’s Official A is tantamount to lunacy.”

* But the governor’s office modified its response somewhat with other reporters

“Yesterday’s disclosure repeats what’s already been reported, and doesn’t change our position,” Ottenhoff said. “So our hope is that legislators will base their decisions on the stimulus plan and other important issues based on their communities’ needs.”

What do you think will be the legislative impact of the Rezko trial?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - phocion - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 9:57 am:

    The legislative impact will depend on which legislators are involved in any of this mess. Did any of them have names placed on the “clout list?” Were any of them at Levine’s Lincolnwood or Springfield bacchanalia? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. - The Doc - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    As inane as this may (will?) sound, the impending Rezko trial may serve as a catalyst for action in Springfield. In the minds of many who distrusted Blagojevich before this bit of news surfaced, it confirms their suspicions. For those in the Blago camp or on the fence, this may provide the “proof” they need to join the majority of legislators that are wary and skeptical about the governor’s motives and ideology. It makes Blagojevich even less relevant in enacting and approving new legislation. Emil Jones’ stance on an income tax hike is the first shoe to drop.

    Perhaps a scandal of significant proportions is the jump-start needed for the GA.

  3. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:07 am:

    There will be a second, third and fourth verse of the 2007 GA campfire singing as long as POA is still at the helm. POA has no intentions of backing down and playing fair. He’s in deep denial as indicated by the press release from his office, “We don’t know anything…” That’s probably the first time I’ve heard a true and factual statement come out of that office.

  4. - MOON - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:08 am:

    The legislature has always thought and believed that Blago was “PO-A”. Nothing will change with regards to the impact with the legislatures.

    What in my opinion will change is Blago’s actions. He will become more isolated, frustrated, and erratic.He will blame everybody but himself for his current and future problems.

    This session will be even worse than the 2007 session. The only way things could get better is if Jones comes to his senses and realizes what a nut Blago is.

  5. - Ghost - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:12 am:

    I think they will head into an even bigger budget battle then last year. Depedning on what comes up in the trial, if enough of the legislature gets fed up with the Govs wakiness in negotiating the budget deal they may actually move to impeach him. In short, the trial may embolden the legislature to get rid of the Gov before the 2010 election.

  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:19 am:

    Blago bunkers down. Senate Dems persuade Jones to deal with Madigan.

  7. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:23 am:

    No impact. Blago is stubborn and these goofball legislators get what they deserve. THey fight for more taxes, but are their solutions much better than the gov’s? They will cave to his plans anyway like they did on the everyone else pays for old people to ride trains funding plan

  8. - DumberThanYouThink - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    Mooney sez no imact….that should confirm how little the academics know about is really happening…They all lied about POA
    Now who will wander down to ask the SpinSisters who directed Cini and Thomas to meet with TR????
    Perhaps the same query (good word today considering the SL Party info) should be lobbed at BoyToy Doug over at the campaign HQ too.

    QOTD still has be who was on SL’s guest list….What about … oh I’ll stop before Capt. Fax starts blocking….Did the Blaggo actually appear with the new building idea or just hurl a release as his limo hurtled down the street?

  9. - Doug Dobmeyer - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 11:16 am:

    I better understand why my offers of assisting this administration in 2002 by being on a board were idnored. I wanted to think that Blago was above linking contributions to appointments.

    Why wasn’t I born rich? Oh, I still would not have made contributions and expected to be appoiunted to a board. I want to say its his loss, but its really the People of Illinois’loss.

    Doug Dobmeyer

  10. - one of the 35 - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 11:35 am:

    I agree with the first line of the administration response. They don’t know anything.

  11. - DumberThanYouThink - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 11:42 am:

    Doug —- perhaps you did seem like their kind of party guy?
    Count your blessings

  12. - RMW Stanford - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    The only impact that it will have on the legislator is if some of them end up being involved in the mess. I suspect pretty much all of them already have a pretty good idea that the Governor was Public Official A and the relations and general climate is already so bad, that I dont see this having any added effect.

  13. - Gregor - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 12:31 pm:

    Well, the governor is going to be in an ever-weaker position as this drags on. Everything he does is based on press coverage and considering its sweeps now and will be again during the trial, he can pretty much count on being asked questions about this case from now until he retires… its the reporter’s job, after all, to keep asking the questions. So pretty much every press event of Rod’s is going to devolve into shouting matches and some very entertaining dodging and ducking. I hope the press gals didn’t have vacation plans, because he’s going to hide behind them for all his “responses” i.e. denials.

    As far as the legislature, they can smell the blood in the water; nobody is in a hurry to align with an Blago initiative, most everybody is going to compete to see how far the can publicly distance themselves from him. Madigan will continue to hold power and Jones will find his eroding as he governor has less and less political or economic capital to spend on Jones’ agenda. I would look to a thawing of relations between House and Senate as Jones, having gotten all he can out of it, cuts his losses on Rod and finally throws Rod under the bus.

  14. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 1:05 pm:

    Actually, a lot happens.

    Blagojevich is now dead in the water. The next gubernatorial campaign has now started. Hynes is running and considering the tune he is playing, he is on-key right now. Soon others will join him.

    The legislature knew what he wouldn’t admit. Now that it has been confirmed in public however, any relationship with Blagojevich during this election year will stick to them like tar. No one will touch him - he is now radioactive.

    Last year a means to circumvent this governor was created through sheer need. This year, what was once a path, will become an expressway as the GA move on down the road without Blagojevich.

    Its over. His governorship is now just a letterhead and a political science study for grad students interested in how politicians die while in office.

  15. - Tip of the Iceberg - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    So I guess it doen’t matter that our Governor, Governor Blagojevich broke laws and quite possibly is the vey thing he said he wouldn’t be, a crook.
    So much for being the king.

  16. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 3:04 pm:

    at the very least, Hendon and Jones discover they do not need to side with the Guv on …I say a State income tax hike is approved by both chambers and is DOA on the Governors desk–in other words, kinda like last year…only it might not take the entire summer to get to this impasse…

  17. - Silly me - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 5:19 pm:

    Campaign reform???

  18. - some former legislative intern - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 5:27 pm:

    VanillaMan is on target. Even Emil, as hardheaded as he is, will realize there is nothing to be gained and much to lose by being allied with Blago. MJM’s insistance on the addition of the JCAR language to all bills could put a damper on any cooperation, but hopefully something can be arranged.

  19. - Princeville - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 5:27 pm:

    Blago, in the AP story put up a bit ago on the Springfield paper, says he has nothing to do with this case and knows little about the case , then lapses in to how busy busy Rod is. I’m having a brain dead moment here, if this case hits on discussions one of the witnesses has on a plane with Blago a while back, would not Rod be called to testify whether or not Rod actually had this discussion. If nothing else, if the discussion never took place, then to state ‘hey that discussion never took place’. Or am I confusing things up and that part is not a part of this part.

  20. - Ramsin - Wednesday, Feb 27, 08 @ 5:28 pm:

    Nothing. If the reaction to Operations Haunted Hall through Greylord through Silver Shovel (through the Sun-Times’ reporting of Hired Truck) couldn’t provoke something, what is this gonna do? Make Blagojevich less popular?

    With the increasing Democratic majorities to come in November, it’s a moot point; we’ll be the first state in the country to have a Prime Minister, Head-of-Government style democracy.

  21. - Captain America - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 8:22 am:

    Governor A has now been transformed into a lame duck, whose goose will be throughly cooked by the feds when his band of merry co-conspirators flip,after their convictions.

  22. - OneMan'sView - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    In shaking down Planning Bd applicants and TRS vendors, Stu Levine simply found his own way of furthering Gov’s crusade for state-sponsored pharmaceutical assistance ($25k/mo is too much for anyone to bear w/o help). No JCAR advisory opinion needed.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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