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Rod won’t go; Possible staff mutiny; Impeachment on the agenda

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* The Sun-times had an excellent piece this morning

Late Sunday night, [Gov. Blagojevich] said he would not resign, according to another person close to Blagojevich.

“He’s decided not to,” the source said. “He has no intention of resigning at this time.” The source cautioned, however, that the governor could change his mind as he continues to contemplate his situation.

* But there may be a mutiny afoot if he doesn’t leave soon…

A source says some of top deputies in the governor’s office have already written letters of resignation, but have not yet turned them in, fearing their departure would further paralyze a state in crisis.

I’m hearing pretty much the same thing.

ABC7 News has learned some of the governor’s dozen or so top staff members are considering resigning. Others in the group fear a mass exodus at the top would leave the state further adrift.

One top aide says staff members are encouraging Blagojevich to step-aside, at least temporarily. In that scenario, the governor would still collect a paycheck, but the legislature would be able to block him from returning to office.

* From the latest Rasmussen Reports poll

* Should Rod Blagojevich resign as governor?

84% Yes
9% No
7% Not sure

And…

* How likely is it that Rod Blagojevich will resign as Governor?

18% Very likely
22% Somewhat likely
34% Not very likely
19% Not at all likely
7% Not sure

* More

There is a growing push by rank-and-file lawmakers to impeach Blagojevich. House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego is expected to meet with Michael Madigan to discuss it on Monday. Jones has not taken a position on impeachment, which could culminate in a trial in the Senate. He has cautioned against a rush to judgment against the governor.

* More

Madigan, a Democrat representing Chicago, hasn’t taken any public position beyond saying Sunday that he will talk to the House Republican leader about the issue Monday.

David Dring, spokesman for House Minority Leader Tom Cross, said Republicans will step up the pressure on Democrats to remove Blagojevich, perhaps raising the issue on the House floor.

“If they won’t work with us, you’ll probably see some good theater,” Dring said.

* Related: Impeachment raises questions for lawmakers

* Earlier: Legislative survey on impeachment, resignation; Plus: Which state is the most corrupt?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments
  1. - Zora - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:40 am:

    His senior staff could be the real heros here. Time for an intervention.


  2. - this voter will remember - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:40 am:

    A source says some of top deputies in the governor’s office have already written letters of resignation, but have not yet turned them in, fearing their departure would further paralyze a state in crisis.
    Are these the same ‘top deputies’ that got their jobs by donating to the Governor’s campaign? Encourage them to leave, most of them are ineffective ‘yes men and women’ anyway.


  3. - Tired of the Mess... - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:41 am:

    Can someone ask Obama to call Jones and explain what impeachment means? No one else seems to be able to talk to that arrogant clown.


  4. - Narcoleptic - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:47 am:

    Methinks the top advisers doth protest too much. Resign. There are plenty of good people out there.


  5. - Cassandra - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:48 am:

    Unfortunately, a number of the folks who are actively pondering resignation are probably the ones who have some sense of responsibility and mission.

    Out in the agencies, where a lot of “fumigating” is badly needed in the upper echelons, I’m sure it’s business as usual.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:50 am:

    The public is incensed right now. If the Democratic leadership holds up impeachment, they do so at their own risk.


  7. - Deep South - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:51 am:

    These “advisors” don’t really want to quit. I mean, like Blago, their prospects of finding a new job are just about nil. Who’s gonna hire ‘em? “Former advisor in the IL gov’s office? Welcome aboard…you’ll start Monday.” Riiiight!!!


  8. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:51 am:

    The state has continued to operate in SPITE of this Administration, thanks to the hard working State employees (yes Cassandra, there are many dedicated state employees), the state will continue to operate even if this mass exodus occurs.


  9. - fed up - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:53 am:

    How is Blago trying to sell the senate seat any differnt from Clinton taking huge donations from Denise Rich and then giving a pardon to Marc Rich. Clinton did the same thing no one cared then, but throwing Blago under the bus is ok.


  10. - Ghost - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:53 am:

    Dean Martinez was just appointed to be a Deputy Governor from hios position as Secretary of DFPR. He seems like a bright guy, it would be beneficial to the State if he was to hang around and help with a transition. Same for Martinez former GC Seder.


  11. - Captain Flume - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:56 am:

    == but have not yet turned them in, fearing their departure would further paralyze a state in crisis. ==

    Don’t make me laugh. The only loyalty these folks have is to their paychecks and post-Blago employability. If any of them cared about not putting the “state in crisis” they would have flipped on this guy long ago.


  12. - Narcoleptic - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:01 am:

    Sorry, Cassandra, but the fumigation should start at the top and filter down–not the other way around. These advisers have a mission alright–to convince Quinn–and anyone else who is watching, for that matter–that they are worth keeping. Offering up their resignations is one way to do that.


  13. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:15 am:

    I think Robert Kennedy once opined that there’s always 15% of the people against anything new.

    If one considers the governor resigning as a change to the status quo, the RFK observation implies there will be 15% of the people opposed to the resignation just b/c there’s always 15% opposed to changing things.

    If a poll shows 84% in favor of resigning that’s effectively like unanimity if you accept the RFK observation as being mostly accurate.


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:16 am:

    If I were an advisor, I would resign immediately for my own safety.

    What happens if you’re in a room and someone says something inappropriate? You end up mentioned in a proffer, get hauled before a grand jury and have to spend big cash to lawyer up just to be one the safe side.


  15. - Way South of the Border - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:20 am:

    I would hire someone who resigned to protest their leader’s corruption. In a heartbeat.


  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:25 am:

    Way South-

    There’s a difference from resigning immediately upon knowing something’s not right (as I suspect Z Scott did), and holding your finger to the wind and leaving when it blows the right way.


  17. - Way South of the Border - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:29 am:

    Shhh Six, we’re trying to get them to leave.


  18. - Judgment Day Is On The Way - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:33 am:

    Wouldn’t the smart money to be to wait to do anything until the Feds formally release a GJ indictment? There’s your trigger to actually start things rolling.


  19. - Cowboy from the West - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:49 am:

    It boggles my mind that Illinois politicians get away with obviously illegal activities in the name of politics. Maybe this governor going to bunk with Ryan might give some of them a heads-up, that business as usual isn’t acceptable.


  20. - Leave a light on George - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    Let’em resign. He makes Ryan is correct. The state ran inspite of these boobs. Z Scott is the only person in the whole mess I have any respect for. She figured out he was a phony first and resigned right away.

    There are so many more stories to be told about this administration. Unless they all come out we as a state are bound to repeat the mistakes.


  21. - anon2 - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:56 am:

    It is interesting how everyone is beating up on the staff when the governor never comes to the office! I believe you have some very capable and competent people who are caught you in the Governors’ mess.


  22. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 10:07 am:

    Anon2

    There is a difference between the “grunts” that do the daily grind of state work to be done, and the “enablers” at high levels who went along with the gov’s schemes. The state could easily lose the latter of the two and the work would still get done, as long as they receive good direction or are simply left alone to do their work.


  23. - bockrand - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 10:22 am:

    Who are the 8% (+/- 4%) giving Idio-Rod an approval rating and the 9% that don’t think he should resign.
    How can anyone, ANYONE support this idiot, even before last Tuesday?


  24. - Cassandra - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    One hopes that if and when Quinn takes over, all of the agency heads and their high level deputies (the at-will folks, not the ones with civil service protection) submit their resignations, although I am not certain that they are legally required to do so.

    This will allow Quinn to do a housecleaning with maximum speed. He doesn’t have to, and probably shouldn’t, get rid of all of them. But a housecleaning is badly needed in many state agencies, not just on the basis of political derring-do but also on the basis of competence and ability to implement reform.

    The new agency heads can–and should–make decisions about employees further on down the management line. Although, with the public service administrator classification about to or just having joined the bargaining unit, that probably just leaves the four-year-termers. The rest, like
    already-unionized employees, have lifetime employment, courtesy of us taxpayers. I’d expect to see a fair number of folks trying to get “voluntary demotions” into those union ranks asap.


  25. - Narcoleptic - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 10:42 am:

    Gotta agree with you on that issue, Cassandra: All Directors and double exempt employees should be asked for resignations and then be required to explain what they do. That’s fair and exactly what happens when most administration’s change–D or R.


  26. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 10:48 am:

    Has Emil Jones had the chance to hear from his constituents about the governor? Has he had the chance to learn that an impeachment is not, in fact, a criminal trial requiring evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

    In case anyone is looking to contact the current Senate President, his Springfield office address and telephone number is:
    Senator 14th District
    327 Capitol Building
    Springfield, IL 62706
    (217) 782-2728

    His Chicago office contact information is:
    507 West 111th Street
    Chicago, IL 60628
    (773) 995-7748
    (773) 995-9061 FAX

    I would hope that Senator Jones listens to his constituents as events develop.


  27. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 11:04 am:

    Boone, Emil doesn’t care what his voters want, he is leaving.

    Shouldn’t he recuse himself of the proceedings since he is one of the SC’s?


  28. - cck - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    With the Governor not around much, I doubt that many of the staffers had ANY kind of relationship with him. I suspect many just wanted to work on democratic projects or policies. Quinn’s a smart guy. He’ll know who is who.


  29. - ExStateWorker - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 11:38 am:

    Fire all the all agency heads and their high level deputies. I am greatly concerned that all the corrupt dealings at the agencies will never be exposed.
    Good people have been fired by corrupt political appointees at agencies trying to get them that sweetheart deal post-gov’t work. If there were any competent high level agency heads, they have left or been fired since 2003. This also includes the boards. The governors dealings will be scrutinized, but the damage at the lower levels will proabably not be revealed. So fire em all and let the next governor sort the mess out.


  30. - Anon - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    “Way South-There’s a difference from resigning immediately upon knowing something’s not right (as I suspect Z Scott did), and holding your finger to the wind and leaving when it blows the right way.”

    The advisers and watchdogs (lawyers, auditors, regulators) who left years ago were stymied in their roles and left. Those who came after who knows how they performed, hopefully Fitzgerald does.


  31. - Narcoleptic - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 1:07 pm:

    Anon - not many of those advisers left because they were stymied or frustrated purebreads. They left to become lobbyists and make big money off their access to the Governor’s veto and approval pen.


  32. - Leave a light on George - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 3:35 pm:

    Cassie is correct. Many of the Gov’s mid level dregs have been unionized and are now here forever.


  33. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    Is (was) Z Scott an officer of the court? If so, there really might be some problem there, as well as for the Governor’s first chief legal counsel (don’t remember her name).


  34. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 5:11 pm:

    steve-

    here’s her current bio:

    http://www.mayerbrown.com/lawyers/profile.asp?hubbardid=S080089749


  35. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 6:00 pm:

    Narco, you may have been around longer than me, but I don’t ever remember it happening


  36. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 6:07 pm:

    I just did some quick reading on what it means to be an “Officer of the Court”. Don’t know if it represents a problem for attorneys who knew something or not. We can be pretty certain there is no privilege.


  37. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 7:11 pm:

    Steve-

    Not that it is directly related to current matters, but Z might still be on the state payroll. She was appointed with LM’s recommendation to oversee the state courts’ implementation of the parental notificaton law back in 2007.

    http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2007_01/20070119.html


  38. - Former State Employee 2 - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 8:08 pm:

    Steve Schnorf - The Gov’s first GC was Susan Lichtenstein. She and Z left at the same time. It was just after IDPH received the subpoenas for the Planning Board. They “broke” the case to the Gov, when he chose to do nothing, they had a duty to leave.


  39. - Anon Again - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:21 pm:

    Cassandra you seem to know all the tricks what r admin did you work for i would bet there have been more r put in the unions under blago than dems what should we do with them and what about the r still in exempt positions what should we do with them and why didnt they resign when the gov changed it should be fair play for both sides or i forgot you know all the tricks


  40. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 9:32 pm:

    The first people that need to go if/when Quinn takes over (besides the entire Gov’s office, natch) is all of the Heads of Personnel/Chiefs of Staff. This administration made sure to put the most political people in these positions — even moreso than most Directors.

    Anon Again — would love to comment on your post, but your lack of punctuation/coherence makes that an impossibility.


  41. - Someone in the know - Monday, Dec 15, 08 @ 11:40 pm:

    The next administration should interview all at will employees and decide who should be kept. There are many that the Gov employed who are competent and yes there are those who are incompetent and/or do so little that they should be fired. All salaries should be reviewed, as well.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Sen. Connelly concedes
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