* Today’s Tribune editorial makes a stunning prediction in its opening paragraph…
After what has happened in the last few days, it’s more likely that Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be indicted or impeached or both.
* The Trib goes on to reference the allegations of a stepped-up investigation against Blagojevich and his wife, and last week’s appellate court ruling which stopped the governor from implementing a new program without legislative approval. The Tribsters say all we can do is wait and see what Patrick Fitzgerald does, but…
Blagojevich’s attempt to go around lawmakers and spend money they didn’t approve for a vast health care program may be just as insidious as his pay-to-play politics. His effort to expand health care through the program known as FamilyCare was soundly rejected by the Illinois legislature. But he did it anyway, spending millions of dollars to broaden eligibility for state-funded health care to people with higher family incomes.
* And that leads us to the Tribune’s flip-flop on impeachment…
Earlier this year, this page strongly supported a movement to give voters the chance, through a constitutional amendment, to recall public officials. We said at the time that impeachment of the governor shouldn’t be pursued. But this court ruling on his health care gamble gives reason to revisit that.
Democratic Rep. Jack Franks has encouraged House Speaker Michael Madigan to convene a committee to investigate if articles of impeachment are warranted. That seems like a sound idea.
So, they’re not exactly in favor of impeachment, just in favor of holding hearings to see whether impeachment is warranted. But that’s a start. The Blagojevich administration was spinning last June’s wishy-washy editorial as a stern warning against holding preliminary impeachment hearings. I can’t wait to see the react to this one.
…Adding… But will the governor even read the editorial?
[Blagojevich was] appearing on WGN on a panel of Tribune sportswriters and a couple former Cub players assigned the task of compiling the best all-Chicago baseball team of all time.
Upon his introduction, the governor said it’s great to be with all the sportswriters.
“It’s the only part of the newspaper I read.”
Yeah. I’m sure.
* Blagojevich can’t expand state-subsidized health care without lawmakers’ approval, appellate court rules
* Court denies Blagojevich health care expansion
* Court blocks Blagojevich’s health-care expansion
* Rezko saga hits big time in SNL debate