* 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?