* We’re not sayin’, we’re just sayin’…
Impeachment, rather than recall, would be the better option to pursue if people think that Gov. Rod Blagojevich should be ousted from office, two Democratic state senators said Monday.
Sens. Mike Frerichs of Gifford and Kwame Raoul of Chicago made it clear, though, that they’re not saying the governor ought to be impeached.
“If you have a problem and if it has to do with dereliction of duty, you know, that (impeachment) is the route to take,” Raoul said.
* Meanwhile, the great game continues on the ethics bill…
Illinois lawmakers are close to an agreement to outlaw “pay-to-play” politics — an agreement that may include an unusual public vow that the Legislature will override any attempt by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to change the bill.
A Blagojevich spokeswoman hinted on Monday that the governor might, in fact, change the bill by “amendatorily” vetoing it. The governor says it doesn’t go far enough — a stance his critics allege is designed to prevent any reform at all from passing. […]
“I want a public statement from Senate leadership that there will be … an override of any veto of the bill,” said Fritchey, who believes Blagojevich may use his amendatory veto powers to stall the reforms.
Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, the lead Senate negotiator on the issue, confirmed that the negotiations included a “mutual understanding” on how to respond to a gubernatorial veto.
It’s not difficult to understand why Fritchey would want such a public vow. The broken promise on last year’s budget deal has completed poisoned the Statehouse waters, and those who believe that Senate President Emil Jones would just go along with the governor again and not override a veto - which would kill the bill - are well within their rights.
* Speaking of ethics, this press release just landed in my in-box…
A university professor who aced an ethics test has won a legal battle with state officials who wanted him punished for completing the written exam too quickly.
A settlement agreement has been reached between the state and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) professor, Marvin Zeman… The settlement agreement states that Zeman and Wallis read and understood the material and successfully passed the test when they originally took it in 2006.
What a stupid thing to punish college professors for understanding the ethics materials too well.
* Comptroller Dan Hynes is keeping up the drumbeat…
“For a long time, this state has been without effective leadership out of the executive office. Now, at the worst time possible, we have an administration that is retrenched and in hiding. Our deficit is growing, our bills are mounting, our roads are crumbling, hospitals are closing, revenues are disappearing and our governor is hiding,” Hynes said.
* My intern asked me yesterday when the 2010 campaign would kick off. I said it already has. Petition filing for the primary begins in something like 16 months. Hence, the Hynes statewide tour and, possibly, Paul Vallas’ return visit to Chicago…
Illinois Democrats are already looking past Gov. Rod Blagojevich and to the future. Paul Vallas, who lost to Blagojevich by a scant 21,000 votes in 2002, is back.
As CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, Vallas looks like he’s getting ready to run again.
A standing ovation greeted Vallas Monday at a City Club luncheon. The former chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools, who now runs the system in New Orleans, used the forum to send the strongest signals yet that he wants to replace Blagojevich as governor of Illinois.
Vallas told the crowd he plans to work in New Orleans only one more year. He said he’s now a commuter, and that he and his wife, Sharon, moved with their children to a home in the southwest suburbs last summer.
He’ll be starting with a very big disadvantage if he waits until next May to begin campaigning and raising the big bucks. There are reports floating around that he wants to the education job if Obama wins the presidency, and this is his way of putting pressure on Obama, who would likely support Alexi Giannoulias for the governor’s job.
* More reform and renewal…
* Vallas re-run would be a mistake
* ‘Fitzgerald would be terminated’
* Witness: Hastert linked to alleged plot to dump Fitzgerald
* Hastert’s Name Comes Up in Rezko Trial
* Hastert Named In Alleged Scheme To Oust Fitzgerald
* Second witness refers to hint of Fitzgerald ouster
* Witness: Rezko said ‘Fitzgerald would be eliminated’
* Rezko Quoted As Saying Prosecutor Would Be Replaced
* Obama to donate funds received from Rezko friend