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Tuesday, Dec 9, 2008

*** 3:28 PM *** Here we go, campers…


CHICAGO — House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“Today’s events are shocking and disappointing. It represents a new low for conduct by public officials. I believe in the rights of individuals to due process, but I also believe action must be taken to avoid certain functions of state government from being irrevocably tarnished by Governor Blagojevich’s continued exercise of power.

I am prepared to convene the House next Monday to change state law to provide for a special election for the U.S. Senate replacement. I would urge U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to take note of this action.

On the question of impeachment, I am prepared to discuss the suggestions of the House Republican Leader.

We have many important issues to confront. Today’s events do nothing to help us attain solutions.”

* Here’s the relevant passage from House GOP Leader Cross’ letter to Blagojevich…

Should you decide to remain in office as the legal process determines your innocence or guilt, please be aware that I have requested that Speaker Madigan immediately create a bi-partisan committee for the purpose of investigating grounds for impeachment.

* From a letter to House members…

The House will convene session on Monday, December 15, 2008 at 3 p.m.

The House Elections Committee will meet Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, December 16, the House plans to convene at 9 a.m.

Session will take 2 days, as House Members should be able to depart on Tuesday, December 16, 2008.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - HoBoSkillet - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:36 pm:

    Sounds like impeachment hearings are on the way. Rep. Fritchey was just on WLS suggesting impeachment as an option as well.

  2. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:42 pm:

    Rich, your site is the gold standard for today’s news. Just wanted to point that out in the avalanche of information and speculation. Thanks for what you do.

  3. - Railfan - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    Two questions:

    What will the Legend in His Own Mind do with the special elections bill?

    And what’s the over/under on how long impeachment and conviction will take?

  4. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:47 pm:

    Can you do the first half of impeachment (the charges) in two days?

  5. - Levois - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:47 pm:

    In maybe the 3 or so years that I have been a regular reader of this blog, this has gotta be the best coverage of a state political story I have ever seen. Well done!

    Oh and I look forward to either impeachment or the outside possibility that the governor will resign!

  6. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:51 pm:

    As I understand the rules of the House and Senate,they are pretty sparse in terms of rules for an impeachment largely giving the presiding officers the ability to move as they wish. I could be wrong, but you could theoretically impeach and convict in a day.

    That’s not how it’s really thought to work, but I think it’s possible.

  7. - True Observer - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:53 pm:

    Welcome to the GOP Caucus, Sen. Kirk.

  8. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:53 pm:

    So if he doesn’t resign — I assume he has no plans to resign because he considers himself innocent — he’ll simply pick up business as usual?

    I mean, this really is a time we don’t want “business as usual” right?

  9. - He makes Ryan look like a Saint - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 3:57 pm:

    I too think Rich did a great job today. I think MJM is going to have to Impeach the Gov, because he will NOT resign. The Governor has lost the trust of the citizens of Illinois and can no longer function in his offce.

  10. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:02 pm:

    Special elections bill won’t stop rod… Takes 6 session days to move a bill through ILGA (not counting shortcuts). Blago has 30 days to sign or veto. That Senate appt is the only leverege he has with feds right now.

    That and I’m sure the only reason he gets to go home is because he agreed to resign to keep Patti out of prison and their kids out of foster care.

  11. - GA Watcher - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:06 pm:

    It’s clear we need the other leaders of the State to come together and get us through this situation. It’s good to see them agree to work on the quick passage of special election legislation.

    Hopefully, the Governor will do the right thing and resign voluntarily so the State can move on. But if he is like one of his heroes, Richard Nixon, he made need a push. Initiating impeachment proceedings may provide it.

  12. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:09 pm:

    Rich - First, great job today on the coverage (not that you need me to say that). Second, do we know whether the special election legislation will be permanent or just temporary? Also, will it include a special election for Rahm’s seat too? Seems to me that the two should happen together. Again - thanks for all the hard work!

  13. - TaxMeMore - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:09 pm:

    Michael Madigan and crew should make the requirements to get on the ballot for this special election the same for everyone of any political label. And then Madigan should be impeached for not impeaching Blago long ago, or at least investigate Michael Madigan based on the complaint filed by Ralph Nader to the Federal Election Commission.

  14. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rod’s “hero” Richard Nixon resigned after articles of impeachment had been approved by the House Judiciary Committee, but before those articles came up for a full House vote. He resigned on the grounds that he had “lost his political base in Congress.” If Blago follows the Nixon playbook he would probably resign after an impeachment resolution gets out of committee but before it could be voted on.

  15. - Jaxon - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:14 pm:

    Thanks, Rich — I knew where to go to get the fastest updates on this story — guess Rod won’t have any trouble finding the toilet, now — right inside the cell.

  16. - retiree - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:18 pm:

    Don’t blame me. I proudly voted for Paul Vallas, an honest guy.

  17. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:22 pm:

    So, we are removing the captain of our sinking Titanic - pass out the buckets and oars if you want to keep Illinois afloat in 2009!

    Make it quick!

  18. - ivoted4judy - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:22 pm:

    who says the G is interested in a deal with Rod and Patti. I believe that Fitz doesnt really care and would indict both if he has the goods. In about one month, there will be a superceding indictment of the Gov and Harris, and problably even more charges based on all those folks lining up at 219 S. Dearborn this afternoon.

  19. - Gadfly - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:31 pm:

    His attorney is talking — says Governor won’t resign

  20. - carbon deforestation - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:35 pm:

    Two things I need on the blog’s record:

    1) Despite being an active member of the Democratic Party I never once voted for Rod (thank you, thank you) - I don’t think too many dems (Yellow Dog, et al - can say that honestly) - I never liked him and never trusted him.

    2) I would say this is an “up day” basically.

  21. - shore - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:36 pm:

    Has a U.S. Attorney ever sent 2 Governors to jail?

    Peter Fitzgerald aka the wally pipp of Illinois politics, I hope is having a nice evening in Northern Virginia and enjoying this moment.

  22. - unclesam - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:45 pm:

    Oooh look… a dead kitty!

  23. - True Observer - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:47 pm:

    The Plea Bargain that everyone can live with;

    Blago appoints Quinn to Senate.
    Blago resigns as Govenor.
    Lisa Madigan assumes office of Governor as next in line.

    Blago does 5 years. Patti off the hook.
    All others cut their own deals or go to trial.


    The Madigan Family.
    Quinn and his accolytes, especially the Lake Front Liberals.
    The Combine.
    Obama, you betcha.
    The Capital Fax. Isn’t great to be with them and against them.


    The Jackson Clan.
    Schakowsky. What could have been.
    Kirk. No, I’m not going to risk my house seat.

  24. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 4:56 pm:

    House vacancies already require elections; the legislation would just make that apply to senate vacancies too.

  25. Pingback Illinois Governor Arrested - The Caucus Blog - - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 5:23 pm:

    […] Also the Illinois legislature is going to reconvene next week to take up legislation that would allow for a special election. […]

  26. - some former legislative intern - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 5:23 pm:

    Dec. 15 is not soon enough. Legislators should return to Springfield immediately to begin impeachment proceedings and prepare for a Senate trial. He clearly won’t resign. This clown cannot be allowed to stay in office for another week.

  27. - decatur voter - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 6:11 pm:

    Another proud Vallas supporter.
    How are the counties going to afford the special election unless it is run jointly with the 2009 Consolidated Primary and election?

  28. - Wowers - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 6:35 pm:

    The feds never get you on what your supposed get you on, but they have a long memory and will come back to get you if you slip up. It wild to wake up to Blago walking out of his home with the cops. Politics is funny

  29. - Huh? - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 6:57 pm:

    Doesn’t the constitution have to be amended to take the appointment power away from the governor? If so, will any legislation voted by the GA be unconstitutional?

  30. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 7:55 pm:

    Looks like we could be several months without a US Senator. I assume there will be a Special Primary and a Special Election (a la Hastert’s vacated seat in the 14th CD early this year) with one of the dates coinciding with a spring general election date so as to save $ and effort to the extent possible.

  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 8:04 pm:

    No sir, MJM. I’ve admired him for years as a conservative, cautious Dem. He gets a lot of points for standing against Blago while Cross, Watson and Jones were willing to play ball. But no delay. No time for political calculation.

    No special election. Impeachment now. I dare anyone in the GA to vote against it. It’s the right thing to do. Let Quinn make the Senate appointment, and let’s wrap it all up by Christmas.

    I might add, we’re in quite an economic crisis. No time for circuses.

  32. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 8:23 pm:


    The special election is damage control, and it is necessary. No one trusts any US Senate appointment, be it from Blago or his successor. Too bad we’ll have less senatorial clout in the meantime, but it won’t, and shouldn’t, delay the immediate business at hand.

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 8:36 pm:

    Six, all respect, but I’m not with you there. There is a lot of work for the GA to do, but nothing, and I mean nothing, will have any credibility until Blago is impeached, convicted and removed. He’s a blight on the state and the first order of business is to get rid of him.

    Quinn is a smart guy. If you know him, he obviously doesn’t have or care about money. He would make a smart appointment, the goo-goo-gooiest Senator that ever came out of Illinois.

    Sorry, no other business until impeachment. Everyone’s been saying for years you had to wait for Fitz to play his cards, I never agreed, but Fitz obviously has a royal flush. It’s time the GA went all in or go home, permanently.

  34. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 8:59 pm:

    Word, FWIW I am all for a speedy resolution to the business at hand, because a mortally wounded captain of the Titanic isn’t doing us passengers any favors right now. Granted, Mr. Quinn is way more trustworthy than Blago to handle a US Senatorial appointment with due diligence, but the damage has been done and it’s a perception issue with millions of sets of eyes on it. The matter of changing state law to allow a special election to fill out Obama’s term is akin to slowing down for a speed bump on the Autobahn. It is a politically necessary side step to be handled on the way to the removal of the Current Occupant. Yes, it will slow down the senatorial replacement process, but no, I don’t see it appreciably slowing down the other “business at hand”.

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 9:09 pm:

    Six, we disagree, but I respect your position.

    I don’t know that I, and I suspect a great deal of the public, can stomach the prospect of a special election right now (the gov primary is what, 14 months away?). For this special election, are there going to be fundraisers? TV ads? Promises of reform?

    No sir. Nothing til the GA does its clear and present duty.

  36. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Dec 9, 08 @ 9:13 pm:


    And I respect yours. FWIW, I’m glad I wasn’t an election official who had to deal with the Hastert vacancy fiasco in the 14th.

  37. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 7:47 am:

    I believe BLago could be pressured to resign. If not immediate impeachment proceedings. Could not the legislature remove him temporary as unfit, allow Quinn to appoint a senator (probably Hines or Madigan), and still call for a special election next Spring or Fall. We keep seniority and move on quickly.

  38. Pingback Blagojevich Coverage (Dec. 9, 2008) | The Black Diamond Populist - Wednesday, Dec 17, 08 @ 11:13 pm:

    […] HTML clipboard .style1 { font-size: small; } A New Low & A Challenge For the Future (Dec. 9, 2008)(Illinois Issues) A Real Class Dame (Dec. 9, 2008)(An Embarrassment of Riches) Attorney: Blagojevich Has No Plans of Retiring (Dec. 9, 2008)(Politico) Blago Arrest & Allegations (Dec. 9, 2008)(ADD Radio) Blagojevich Arrested (Dec. 9, 2008)(11th Hour) Blagojevich Arrested in Probe (Dec. 9, 2008)(Black Diamond Populist) Blagojevich Criminal Complaint (Dec. 9,2008)(Capitol Fax Blog) How Blagojevich Fits into Illinois History (Dec. 9, 2008)(IllinoisIssues) Madigan: House to Convene Monday; Prepared to Discuss Impeachment(Dec. 9, 2008)(Capitol Fax Blog) Selling the Senate Seat (Dec. 9, 2008)(Capitol Fax Blog) Shaking Down the Hospital (Dec. 9, 2008)(Capitol Fax Blog) Wrong Reasons (Dec. 9, 2008)(11th Hour) […]

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