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Impeachment hearings *** Monk’s cell phone tapped? ***

Monday, Dec 29, 2008

* 11:25 am - Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson is flailing away at the impeachment process. Listen or watch here.

* 21:12 pm - In case you missed it whilst listening to the scintillating debate…

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is seeking to release portions of recordings made in the criminal probe of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to a panel of lawmakers considering his impeachment.

Fitzgerald said four intercepted calls in redacted form should be released to the impeachment committee, according to a filing today in Chicago federal court. The conversations relate to calls between Blagojevich and “Fundraiser A” about a bill that would direct a percentage of casino revenue to the horse racing industry, prosecutors said.

“Fundraiser A” is the governor’s brother and chairman of the governor’s campaign committee.

* 1:25 pm - For those of you who continue to claim that this thing is being deliberately slow-walked

The head of the panel has said a recommendation on impeachment could go to the full House as soon as next week.

* 1:46 pm - USA Fitzgerald discusses some of the ways the G got their info within his motion to release some tapes…

On October 29, 2008… this Court entered an order authorizing the interception of oral communications, for a thirty-day period, on the residential phone of Governor Rod Blagojevich. On November 26, 2008, this Court (through the then-acting chief judge) extended the authorization for another thirty-day period.

In November 2008, this Court authorized the interception of oral communications on the cellular phone of Lobbyist 1.

Lobbyist 1 is said to be Lon Monk.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    Qon Quixote meet Ed Genson

  2. - Big Mac - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    This guy is a fish out of water. How many times is he going to call the hearing a court room?

  3. - Juice - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:33 am:

    Is CNN no longer doing a live feed?

  4. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:34 am:

    How many times is he going to call the hearing a court room?

    Considering the last impeachment in IL was in the 1830’s, it is especially difficult finding an experienced impeachment attorney in the state.

  5. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    Genson is doing a good job building a record and he has a good point that compared to the Heiple hearings this is a slipshod sham with the sole purpose of giving the House and Senate cover when they vote to railroad Rod out of office.

  6. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    This guy is a fish out of water. How many times is he going to call the hearing a court room?

    Remember Genson is talking to the fish out side the bowl of springfield. Trying to add to that 7% who will refrain retribution on the 20 Illinois State Senators the Guv will need in a Senate trial.

  7. - Dznuts - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    I think he’s trying to create sympathy for his client and plant a seed of doubt that the process is tainted. That’s the only possible argument he could make. The last six years worth of evidence to the contrary, however, is nearly impossible to defend.

  8. - Big Mac - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    Six Degrees, very true. However, most attorneys can figure out what room they are in.

  9. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

  10. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:42 am:

    Interesting how he talks about separation of powers when that is one of the key points on which impeachment will be based.

  11. - Secret Square - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:43 am:

    Isn’t breaking laws he himself signed comparable to criminal conduct?

  12. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:43 am:

    I would say trying to run the state without heeding the legislature is extremely serious.

  13. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:45 am:

    So Rod’s “magnitude of gravity” is not letting Madigan get his way all of the time.

  14. - Captain Flume - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:45 am:

    Mr. Genson is aware he is on a statewide stage, and to some lesser extent, a national one. He is doing what every good lawyer does, confuse the issue in the jury’s (public’s) mind. This is NOT a criminal trial, nor even an impeachment trial. That will happen in the Senate. But to the uninitiated or the fence-sitters on the Governor’s official performance of his duties, he is planting the seed of obfuscation, if not a half-grown tree.

  15. - One of the 35 - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:45 am:

    Genson is wasting everyone’s time. I don’t believe there is an appeal process for impeachment hearings, so all of his histrionics are for naught.

  16. - BandCamp - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:46 am:

    Genson speaks of Rod being elected by the people. Folks, as Rich has pointed out, Rod has nil support from the people who have elected him, much less the people who didn’t vote for him.

    Bill, even you must concede that RB is bad for the State of IL.

    Genson arguing all this is just prolonging, what I would hope is the obvious. What state legislator could hope to get re-elected by NOT impeaching. Even MJM.

    CNN probably isn’t covering anymore for the same reason I am probably going to turn my audio feed off…this is redundant and boring. And not news anymore.

    My how times have changed…

  17. - Captain Flume - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:48 am:

    There is no appeal process if the Governor is impeached and removed from office, but won’t he appeal it in the courts anyway, and won’t that delay his removal from office?

  18. - casual observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:50 am:

    This is history. He has to argue that the committee use reason and restraint and look at precedence. Then he can shut up and go home.

  19. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:51 am:

    Times have changed. Last week everyone here thought that endless bloviation by that washed up FBI guy or the JCAR lady lecturing committee members like they were 5th graders was of the utmost importance. Now the Governor’s advocate is “wasting everyone’s time.”

  20. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    Are the State Legislatures catatonic or are they stuffed versions of themselves and the real legislatures will come in later?

  21. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    Every American has the constitutional right to redress grievances in a court of law, even Rod.

  22. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:54 am:

    Bill is right…he gets a chance to be heard. The real stuff won’t even come out until the Senate trial, and we’re a long way from getting to that point.

  23. - Captain Flume - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    ++ Genson is wasting everyone’s time. ++

    He is not wasting Rod Blagojevich’s time, and that is the only person to which he has an obligation.

  24. - John Bambenek - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    And to think this whole freak show could have been avoided if they just ran this impeachment as a vote of no confidence instead.

  25. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    Genson’s right. Why don’t they just let Fitzgerald decide whether to impeach? Even if the “affidavit” is true where is the crime, or, malfeasance, or whatever they are charging?

  26. - Big Mac - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:55 am:

    Well, he just have the title of his upcoming book, “Fighting Shadows.” Gus goal here is to show that he is willing to stand up for his client. He is doing a fine job. Let him finish and then impeach his client.

  27. - Marco - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:56 am:

    This episode has diminished everyone involved, from that room in Springfield to a collection of offices in Chicago, state and federal.

  28. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:57 am:

    Captain/Bill –

    Blago can appeal (presumably on due process grounds) but that’s not guarantee that he will stay in office (much like criminals can appeal a conviction, but they might still be forced to serve time). Only way he’d stay in office if he’s convicted is if a court grants a temporary restraining order.

  29. - Captain Flume - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:58 am:

    Bill, that’s my point. Rod has used the courts in many instances when other may have gone other routes. There would be no reason to think he would not follow that avenue, if he is impeached and found “guilty” in an impeachment trial. For a C studentin law, he knows enough to make the law work for its living.

  30. - casual observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:59 am:

    Why wouldn’t Genson argue to vote to impeach, NOW? Then insist on a speedy trial in the Senate. The House wants to drag this out a little longer and he is letting them.

  31. - Big Mac - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:00 pm:

    Note to self, when you type “gave” and “his” your blackberry will think you typed “have” and “Gus.” I love technology.

  32. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:00 pm:

    A TRO is not out of the realm of possibility depending upon whether the real trial by the Senate is fair and impartial. These hearings are neither but they are also pretty meaningless.

  33. - From the Sidelines - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:00 pm:


    Try reading the constitutions of our country and state. The courts have no jurisdiction in an impeachment case.

    Quite frankly, it would be an impeachable offense for a justice to intervene in a impeachment proceeding.

  34. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:00 pm:

    Art Turner look catatonic and Mary Flowers just looks perplexed. Genson is smarter than the entire legislature put together — too bad he has a (soon to be convicted) criminal for a client.

    If this is a preview of G-Rod’s criminal trial, it promises to be pretty entertaining, especially because Genson will be matched up against folks who might be able to match his brainpower.

  35. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    You should probably re-read or get a better copy of the US Constitution.

  36. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    The accusations in the federal complaint are just ta small part of what is at issue here. The more important issue is: can the Governor do as he pleases without the consent of the legislature. Gensen wants this to be about the selling of various and sundry executive acts, because he can then argue the merits of the fed’s case and, if that does not work, say we must wait for an indictment, or trial.

    It’s really about the limits of the Governor’s power to act without legislative approval.

  37. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:03 pm:

    From the Sidelines — the courts wouldn’t be ruling on the results of an impeachment case, but they do have the right to review the case if Blago argues his due process rights have been violated.

  38. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:03 pm:

    ==Genson is smarter than the entire legislature put together==

    Kind of makes you proud to be an Illinoisian. I guess Edgar was right–this is all our fault!

  39. - City Voter - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    Genson is doing what any good attorney should do - bank billable hours…cha-ching Rod, cha ching.

  40. - Fed Up State Employee - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    “The fact of the matter is”….this is not a court of law! No matter how much Genson runs on and on and on…….

  41. - TheFactOfTheMatter - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    The fact of the matter is that it’s a fact of the matter that the gravity of the matter is a magnitude of the fact of the matter.

  42. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:05 pm:

    The fed’s so called case is the reason we are here.

  43. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:06 pm:

    I wish someone on the panel calls Genson out on his tactics, saying something like:

    “Mr. Genson, we understand what you are doing. You are trying to confuse the issue by bringing up irrelevant points, by trying to create ambiguity where none exists. It may be a tactic that works in front of some juries, but it’s not a tactic that plays here with knowledgeable members of the Illinois General Assembly.

    “There is one serious question here: did the Governor make the statements contained in the FBI affidavit? And if he did, what was the context? We have no reason to doubt that the Governor was quoted accurately, and we have even less reason to doubt that the quotes show that Governor was dealing away his power to appoint a US Senator for personal gain.

    “The Governor has declined to explain his actions to this committee. And, through you, he has shown a willingness to run a defense of confusion. Unless you can explain the statements contained in the FBI affidavit, unless you can show us that the Governor never made those statements, all we see is a Governor who is abusing his office and violating the public trust.”

  44. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    The Governor has no responsibility to respond to this committee especially with regard to the supposed transcription of an illegal wiretap.

  45. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:10 pm:

    == Every American has the constitutional right to redress grievances in a court of law, even Rod. ==

    Actually, every American has the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. As Bob Schultz of the We The People foundation learned when he tried to get the federal courts to enjoin collection of income taxes until the IRS answered some of his questions, you don’t have any right to an answer to your petition, much less a favorable answer. Schultz and his foundation, BTW, are among the idiots suing over Obama’s citizenship.

  46. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:14 pm:

    == The Governor has no responsibility to respond to this committee especially with regard to the supposed transcription of an illegal wiretap.


    And, if he chooses not to respond, he has no complaint when he is impeached.

  47. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:18 pm:

    No individual act of the governor is necessarily impeachable (pay to play aside). It’s the on-going pattern of activity that is at issue. The governor has consistently bypassed the legislature on issue after issue.

    Time to shut down the wind bag.

  48. - What planet is he from again? - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:19 pm:

    I think we need to teach Genson a new phrase besides “The fact of the matter is…”

  49. - Emily Booth - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:20 pm:

    Oooooo, Genson almost said Obama’s name.

  50. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:20 pm:

    He is responding right now through his advocate. His complaint is that he should not be impeached based on what was presented to this committee. I think that point is well taken, however, the Il Constitution allows these types of political witch hunts to result, eventually, in the Governor being removed without any evidence of wrongdoing.

  51. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:26 pm:

    Is anyone else having trouble with the Trib’s feed? It’s breaking up badly on me.

  52. - BandCamp - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===The Governor has no responsibility to respond to this committee especially with regard to the supposed transcription of an illegal wiretap.===

    I’ll give you that Bill…however, since he speaks of how is always working “for the people”…I think he should come forward at the Seante stage and speak for himself. I don’t care if he repeats the stuff Genson is saying. BUT. For someone who wants to stay Governor w/a SEVEN percent approval rating, the PEOPLE deserve to hear from the guy.

  53. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:27 pm:

    Rich —

  54. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:28 pm:

    I’m pretty sure that before the end Rod will definitely be heard.

  55. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:28 pm:

    == He is responding right now through his advocate. ==

    Now, surely, Bill, you should understand after hearing this advocate argue about the rules of evidence that statements of a party’s lawyer are not evidence. And when he argues burden of proof, he and you should be aware that the only evidence that has been presented is 100% against him, so the burden has clearly been met.

  56. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anon —

    It’s not simply who has more evidence. It’s whether the totality of the evidence presented gives rise to an impeachable offense.

  57. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:31 pm:

    No “evidence” has been presented so far.

  58. - dupage progressive - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:32 pm:

    Aha, now we know who knows…

    The shadow knows!!

  59. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:39 pm:

    Genson’s getting more TV advertising than Peter Francis Geraci.That’s why he is there.

    Bill, how were the wiretaps illegal? I missed that. It wasn’t really a judge who signed the order?

  60. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    I’m sure that we will get to that. The point here is that the tapes weren’t introduced. Only the FBI recollection and impression of what were on the tapes was introduced. We didn’t even see a complete transcript. You can trust the FBI and USA if you want, I don’t.

  61. - Sometimes I get Confused... - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    Is Bill actually the governor???

  62. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    Not yet, LOL!

  63. - bored now - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    bill is trying to confuse the issue. that’s the governor’s tactic, atm. i really enjoyed his comment about reading the u.s. constitution. as if these impeachment hearings are under the auspices of the u.s. constitution…

  64. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    Here in America everything is “under the auspices of the US constitution”,even Madigan’s House of Represnetatives.

  65. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:54 pm:

    Sorry, Lou.
    Nobody made any offers to anyone.

  66. - Marco - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:54 pm:

    Lou Lang likes himself. A lot.

  67. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:56 pm:

    == Here in America everything is “under the auspices of the US constitution”,even Madigan’s House of Represnetatives. ==

    True, but somewhere in that lovely document, it provides, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    State sovereignty, national unity!

  68. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 12:57 pm:

    Bill 1. Bored Now 0.

    Bill was responding to another poster. The Gov WILL have the right to run to court to claim his due process rights have been violated.

    Note: just because he appeals, doesn’t mean he will win his appeal. In a similar vein, just because people recognize the Gov’s right to appeal does not mean that they necessarily support him, we merely support his Constitutional rights.

  69. - BIG R.PH. - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:01 pm:

    In Re Flu Vaccine:

    The Governor knowingly broke the law by importing the flu vaccine. He knowingly broke the law by facilitating the importation of medications from Canada.

    These are and were at the time impeachable offenses!!!

  70. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:06 pm:

    Big R.PH –

    Do you really believe that the Gov is being impeached because of flu vaccine? Because the timing of the flu vaccine transaction, the Gov’s arrest, and the impeachment proceedings suggests otherwise.

  71. - Rob_N - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:10 pm:

    The only way Genson can change the impeachment process is by running for State Rep and winning… Even then, he’ll be about 20 months too late and a pretty lonely voice.

    Bored, Bill and Cynic are all correct and all incorrect.

    The US Constitution states those rights not enumerated to the Federal gov’t fall upon the states.

    The State of Illinois has its own Constitution which declares the State House of Representatives has the right to investigate the governor for possible impeachment and can do so in any manner it desires.

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  72. - John Bambenek - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:13 pm:

    Rod won’t go to the courts after he’s thrown out (or if he does, they’ll do nothing while they deliberate)… He’ll go to courts before the impeachment vote in house or before trial in Senate. All everyone wants to do here is run the clock. Rod wants to finish his term, Madigan wants his daughter to be gov so he needs to keep Quinn out of the way, the Senate Dems hate Quinn more than Blago and GOP wants this freakshow to be fresh in mind come Nov 2010. Only person who wants this done soon is Quinn. And hopefully he gets enough time to slap down the reforms he’s talked about for decades.

  73. - David Starrett - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    FOM: LOL!

    Is anyone keeping track of how many times Gensen says “the fact of the matter?”

    BTW, is the media ever going to figure-out how to pronounce his name?

  74. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===He’ll go to courts before the impeachment vote==
    I don’t know about that. After four years and untold ten of millions of dollars they can’t even get an indictment.

  75. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    Well said, Cynic

  76. - Tim - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    David Starrett, re Genson’s name:

    Even he doesn’t know how to pronounce it. Have a listen -

  77. - Emily Booth - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    What does it say on a law license?

  78. - Concerned Observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:21 pm:

    Blame him, David. “The Media” has asked him point blank, and he has said he doesn’t care or stick to one or the other. I heard the audio on the radio.

    Besides. Don’t blame “the media”. Blame HALF “the media”. The other half is probably right, by default.

  79. - John Bambenek - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:24 pm:

    Can we just call him “Smith” so all the media is wrong?

  80. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:24 pm:

    ===Only person who wants this done soon is Quinn.===

    The committee is likely to release its recommendations next week. Your theory is blown.

  81. - Emily Booth - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:25 pm:

    In one of Rich’s post below, I believe he states that the legislature’s decision cannot be overruled by the judiciary. Genson may try to show JCAR is not legal. But, that’s a different journey.

  82. - just ducky - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:28 pm:

    how many times can they (especially genson) use the phrase, “the fact of the matter is,” or, “the fact is” ???? it’s worse than “joe the plumber.”

  83. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:28 pm:

    Rob N. — feel free to point out where I said anything that contradicted what you said. My point has been that Rod can challenge on due process grounds, nothing more, nothing less.

    Actually, I think he’d have a decent argument of a due process violation, but any court that heard his case would be desperate to deny his appeal. They, too, are not free from political influence.

  84. - John Bambenek - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:30 pm:

    Releasing recommendations is a meaningless step, especially considering they’ve been investigating minutae in comparison to the indictment (when they don’t need to investigate at all).

    I’ve been always an “action” kind of guy… I don’t see producing white papers as “action”.

    You and I could get together over a three mantini lunch at the Sangamo Club (you’re buying ;) and bang out an Articles of Impeachment same day.

    The rubber hits the road once they actually start impeachment and stop talking about starting it.

  85. - David Starrett - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    Tim & Concerned,

    I guess you guys are right; how totally bizarre! I guess his concern for “the fact of the matter” doesn’t extend to the pronunciation of his own name.

  86. - Concerned Observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    If he mentions “Wall Street” and “Main Street” in the same sentence, David, I think we all get to take a shot :)

  87. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    Bloomberg is reporting Fitz is going to selectively release tapes of the taps on phonecons between the Guv and Fundraiser A.

    Genson ought to be able to make some hay out the unfairness of that selective dripple of info…

    …Salem would have given real witches some rights to get the full story.

  88. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    Witches have no rights in these impeachment hearings. None.

  89. - John Bambenek - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    Re: due process

    Federal courts only intervene in due process cases when a federal right is at play (ie life, liberty or property). Rod has no right to his job, so no federal due process claim. Doesn’t mean he won’t try but I suspect itd be one of the fastest dismissals in the history of the US District Court of Illinois - Northern District (because you know he won’t file in Springfield).

    Re: committee recommendations

    So the committee issues their foregone conclusion this week. Will the House come back before Jan 14? More importantly, will the Senate?

    They could have wrapped this up earlier this month with a “no confidence” style impeachment.

  90. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    The arrogance of the USA is approaching absurdity. Who does this guy think he is?

  91. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:35 pm:

    And. BB, the Bloomberg story is posted already.

  92. - Secret Square - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:39 pm:

    Genson keeps bringing up the Heiple case, and I think he said something about the House having decided, in that case, that only criminal conduct or something equally as serious could serve as grounds for impeachment. Is that true, and if so, how relevant is that to this case?

  93. - Narcoleptic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:39 pm:

    There are three standards the committee should use: 1) does it make them feel good personally? 2) does it advance their career politically? and 3) does it meet legal guidelines suggested by the constitution? Personal. Political. Legal. The first two are easy to satisfy; the third one, tougher, but nevertheless the committee may meet even RRBs standards.

  94. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    There has also been a crisis of confidence in the General Assembly.

  95. - Marco - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    “Witches have no rights in these impeachment hearings. None.”

    And Fitzgerald’s not releasing them for purposes of impeachment. Just like Genson, his end game is the jury pool.

  96. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    Witches have no rights in these impeachment hearings. None.

    Less than the Gitmo guys. Genson ought to play that card.

  97. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:44 pm:

    Bill, you are right that is why there needs to be a special election for the Senate Seat.

  98. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:46 pm:

    Move to adjourn!

  99. - Blago Sphere - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:48 pm:

    I think Genson missed an opportunity to support his argument relative to the absence of a consistent standard upon which impeachable offense should be determined. I think is especially true in light of the precedential nature of a previous Special Investigation Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives, some of the members of which are also sitting on this Committee.

    Genson should have asked each committee member; one by one,first of they agreed or disagreed with the standards adopted by the Heiple Committee. Next, if any of those that said they disagreed, previously served on the Heiple, he should have asked them specifically why they did not author, or offer a dissent as to the standard during their previous service on the Special Investigative Committee.

    Finally what he should have asked each member of this Committee what they believed the standards of an impeachable offense are in this particular investigation.

    It is possible that he would have gotten as many as 21 different opinions as to what they each individually believed the standard should be.

    Before all the more learned Illinois constitutional scholars; many of which have no law degree, legal training, or formal education in this jump down my throat to remind me that the standard can be whatever the majority of the Committee decides it is, I know that already. I am simply pointing out for that Genson’s purposes of representing his client in this forum it would be better for him to establish for the audience the nature of this hearing, rather than allow the members to suggest what the nature of the hearing is, and allow them to infer that it is fair, just because the constitution allows for it.

    It would be worthwhile for him to point out a fundamental flaw in the constitution, and a flaw in the Illinois House Rules, which fail to establish a consistent set of rules and standards for impeachment proceedings at the commencement of each legislature; and prior to any such proceedings taking place.

    If Genson did this, It is my opinion that he would be better representing the interests of his client.

  100. - Blago Sphere - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    The Governor’s conversation with Lon Monk; on the matter of the signing og the legislation would seem only to be valid if it is corroborated by the sworn testimony of “Contributor 1″.

    If “Contributor 1″ is not identified; or does not corroborate what “Lobbyist 1″ indicated, and affirm either an offer of quid pro quo, or a threat to take or withhold official action based on the making; or the failure to make a political contribution prior to the taking of that official action.

    It would seem that the same corroboration would also be necessary from someone at the Tribune as well with regard to the charge of the taking or witholding of official action of the Governor based on either a quid pro quo, or the specific threat of action or inaction by the Governor.

  101. - Can't wait for the movie - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 1:59 pm:

    Genson(paraphrased): “Had this governor BUT KNOWN that all these “subalterns” such as agency directors and deputy governors and chiefs of staff and wives, were doing all these evil things, surely he would not have approved them”.

    yeah, riii-iiight….

  102. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    It doesn’t matter if Contributor 1 was even contacted. If it can be established that the Governor was personally offering to take official action in exchange for cash, he should be tossed. (for example, Lobbyist 1 may not have repeated the offer because he did not want to be involved in a crime) If the Governor made such offers (even one such offer) he violated his oath.

  103. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    Genson ought to ask the committee to bring Fitz before them to explain the selective disclosures here. What’s his game…

  104. - Blago Sphere - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:12 pm:

    Another point of interest in this regard is that; at least what is quoted above here, does not indicate when in November that the Chief Judge of the court authorized the wire tap of the cellular phone of “Lobbyist 1″.

    The former FBI agent that testified before the SIC indicated that the authorization for a wire tap comes with a 30 day limitation. Once approved a wire tap also allows for an opportunity for the request of a 30 day period of extension; following the same process and all of the procedures as that of the initial petition for the approved wire tap.

    In this case; if the initial wire tap was approved at any point after November 9th, then that wire tap order could have remained valid and in effect without need for an extension request, for an extended period of time after the Governor was arrested. If the initial wire tap order was granted as late as November 30th, the approved wire tap could remain active until tomorrow.

    Some of the more interesting and criminal information obtained from the cell phone of “Lobbyist 1″ may have been obtained after the Governor was arrested, and may not have even been initially included in the previously released Criminal Complaint.

    Information obtained from the approved wire tap of “Lobbyist 1″ after the Governor was arrested may be included in a superceding Criminal Indictment of the Governor, or a separate Criminal Indictment of “Lobbyist 1″, “Contributor 1″, or others not previously named or referenced in the Criminal Complaint.

  105. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Bill, nice to hear from you today.

  106. - Bill - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:17 pm:

    Thanks, Little e!
    I’ll be in Little Egypt soon. I hope it is warm there.

  107. - Tipper - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:17 pm:

    Genson hust left the hearing room.

  108. - Pass the popcorn - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:19 pm:

    Sweet Lou destroyed Genson today. Remind me again why we didn’t vote for him for governor? Oh, yeah, the gambling thing. But I forgive him for that due to his great service today.

  109. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    So many amateur attorneys online today. Genson is still wrong to treat the hearing as a courtroom. He should be concentrating on beating the federal rap and not trying to keep Blago in his seat as governor. As Rich has said, that train has left the station.

  110. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:26 pm:

    I thought it pretty funny how Genson wants Emmanual, Jarret and Jackson to testify before the committee under the argument that if you tell the truth it shouldn’t matter where you say it but he won’t let his client testify here.

  111. - Anonymous45 - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:36 pm:

    Pass the popcorn and I are in agreement-

    I don’t care how much Lang likes himself, he did a great job letting Genson know that the committee won’t be confused or dazzled by his obfuscation…ride him and his client outta Springfield ASAP…the electorate will be mighty obliged to ya…

  112. - Tipper - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    I saw the aggressive attorney side come out of Lang during the hearing. It was a terrific no-nonsense and reasonable approach as opposed to Genson’s B.S.

  113. - unspun - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:45 pm:

    You should keep in mind that Emmanual, Jarett, and Jackson are not facing criminal prosecution. They don’t risk self-incrimination, but the Gov does. No way should he testify before a committee that is tranparently conducting a trial before the hanging.

  114. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 2:57 pm:

    John B, IMHO the governor or any elected official, especially one who receives a salary, almost surely has a property right in his job.

  115. - Ghost - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:10 pm:

    John Bambenek, you are incorrect when you say the Gov has no federal property right to his job. orperty rights in the federal context are often the creation of State law. Illinois law holds that an elected official has a property right to their term of office. If you seek to cut the term short, you are hitting upon a protected property right.

    BUT the Il constitution also identifies the extent of the protection of that property right, a vote of x. So the Gov hasa property right to his office; but that right may be constituionaly removed with the correct number of votes.

    Also having a property right to a position in the Due process context just means remove following a process that provides an opportunity to be heard. In this case the house review pre vote, and the senate review post impeahcment provide all the process that is due. the Gov gets and is geting his due process.

    The confusion seems to be the folks who think due process in this context requires some kind of showing of cause. it does not. As defined by IL law it requires only the appropriate number of votes with the opportunity to be heard.

  116. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:16 pm:

    Steve Schnorf:

    I don’t know how you can possibly argue with a straight face that the Governor has a “right” to his job. He is being removed - possibly - under the impeachment article of the constitution. Why have an impeachment article if it cannot be invoked. All of the elected officials could simply say they have a right to their job and could go to court. Who needs impeachment?

  117. - RJW - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:19 pm:


    You make a lot of arguments about process but you haven’t said anything about the conduct of the Governor in the taped phone conversations. Whether they are legal or illegal or whether anything actually came from them is irrelevant to me. The fact that he is on tape talking like that is enough for me to believe he should be removed from office. How do you defend what he said, even if it was just “jabber” - to use his lawyer’s term?

  118. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:21 pm:

    Bill, warm is not the only word for the southern part of the state. How about WET. The ground is totally saturated, streams & cricks are out of their banks, same for the Big Muddy. Don’t forget to drop a few bucks at Walt’s Pizza in Marion.

  119. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:24 pm:

    Ghost, the process you describe is procedural due process, and the governor is certainly entitled to that. During the communist regimes in Russia, political criminals received procedural due process; they got trials before they were executed. The greater question in my mind is whether that process provides substantive due process, to which the governor is probably also entitled. That question can only be answered as the matters proceed and their overall fairness can be judged.

    For example, if the Senate should not allow the governor to call witnesses on his behalf (for one example), that might well invite the federal courts into the matter. What actions/inactions are grievous enough to deny substantive due process is something the federal courts might ultimately have to decide.

  120. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:26 pm:

    Bill, the family’s personal favorite is the double decker all meat pizza. Also try the nacho cheese tacos with meat for an appetizer. Yum, yum

  121. - Rob_N - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:28 pm:

    Cynic, I did say you guys were both correct and incorrect…

    “due process grounds, nothing more, nothing less”

    …Due process to what?

    The Illinois Constitution (again, this is a state, not a Federal, matter) declares that the House determines the process of an investigation and the Senate determines the process of an impeachment trial.

  122. - Just curious - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:31 pm:

    I’ve been following this from day one of the administration and would like to present this question to the readers and subscribers. Would there even be an impeachment hearing if there wasn’t an arrest?

  123. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rob N, Bill was correc:t. every matter where someone faces losing life liberty or property is potentially a federal matter. It’s really not that difficult, folks. Google “due process” and spend a few minutes.

  124. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:36 pm:

    Rob N, Bill was correct: every matter where someone faces losing life liberty or property is potentially a federal matter. It’s really not that difficult, folks. Google “due process” and spend a few minutes.

  125. - RJW - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    Steve Schnorf:

    Why even have an impeachment article in the constitution? The Illinois Constitution seems pretty clear to me in that the GA decides what is impeachable and what is not.

  126. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    Rob N. –

    Illinois can determine what the correct procedures of an impeachment hearing shall be, but G-Rod could sue in federal court if the state’s rules violated his due process rights as set out under the US Constitution.

    In G-Rod’s case, presumably he would argue a procedural due process violation. If the system is set-up such in a way that’s designed not to get a fair result but just to convict, he’s got a legit case.

    I understand that this takes place under state law, but consider that most criminal actions violate state law. Imagine if a black defendant was convicted of murder (state crime) and the jury was composed of only white people…you see where I’m going. Does that scenario mean there was a due process violation? No. Would a federal court look at it to see whether there’s something amiss? You betcha.

  127. - RJW - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:41 pm:

    . . . and also how to go about the process . . .

  128. - Toast Man - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:43 pm:

    You can toss the Dec 9th arrest and the list of impeachable offenses are still longer than Scotty Pippen’s arms. IMHO the arrest was just the perfect excuse and reason to start the impeachment process (finally!) and not have the action pinned on one legislator making them look blood thirsty or vindictive.

    Fitz provided a great service to the state legislature. He let them all off the hook and nobody has to look like the bad guy for starting the impeachment process.

  129. - VanillaMan - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:43 pm:

    I certainly would not want a lot of you people when we have to round up a posse.

    Some of you will debate when we leave. Some of you will debate over whether the horses should be brown, black or spotted. Some of you will debate which direction to head off towards first. Some will debate whether the hanging rope should be 12 feet, 11 feet or 16 feet and then debate over the thickness of it. Some of you will argue over how anxious the posse appeared to be to capture the criminals. Some of you will debate whether our posse is legally charged with any rights to meter justice.

    Some of you will worry about when a hanging should occur. Some of you will debate over how soon a hanging should take place.

    And you would all be arguing as we surround the criminals shooting up our town, preventing us from stopping them.

    Action speaks louder than words. After six years, we know enough about how Blagojevich’s actions negated his words. We all know why he was elected and how he promised to clean up state government. We all watched as he smeared a 4-H kid publically during the State Fair, how he made sure every state employee took ethic exams, how he flew to Springfield with a list of retired state employees and claimed they milked Illinoians through their vacation pay. For six years we have watched Rod Blagojevich’s actions as he raised thousands of dollars per hour instead of governed.

    Enough with the words. Enough with the defense attorneys. Enough with posted debates over alterior motives of others. Rod Blagojevich hung himself. With his own words and with his own actions. Stop pretending these things change the facts, or somehow heal the immense damage he caused.

    Time to bury him. The longer we debate, the fouler his stink.

  130. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    Would there even be an impeachment hearing if there wasn’t an arrest?


  131. - Say WHAT? - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    Did anybody else notice how Rep. Gordon held Genson’s feet to the fire? I was impressed with her.

  132. - S. Illinois - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    The governor himself has already (recently) set the precedent that it is proper to remove a high-level government official (ALPLM Director) for merely being charged with a (somewhat insignificant) crime (that was not related to his taxpayer-funded position). I think it would be laughable at best for him to now claim he was denied due process for being removed from his job after being charged with a much more serious crime that relates directly to his taxpayer-funded position. And of course (as several others have pointed out) the criminal complaint is only the tip of the impeachment iceberg. There is significant evidence that the man intentionally and repeatedly flouted the Constitution of the state.

  133. - Lt Guv - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:50 pm:

    “Genson is smarter than the entire legislature put together — too bad he has a (soon to be convicted) criminal for a client.

    If this is a preview of G-Rod’s criminal trial, it promises to be pretty entertaining, especially because Genson will be matched up against folks who might be able to match his brainpower.”

    Cynic, clearly you’ve never had a conversation with some of these folks. I will be the first to give you that some of the members of the committee may not have the wattage to bring a flicker to a small light bulb. On the other hand, some of the members are exceptionally sharp and have more than a bit of a clue. Taking nothing away from some of the august minds of the Senate (which has some rocks and diamonds serving there as well), I know you’ve undervalued the astueness and nimbleness of at least a couple members of the committee.

  134. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 3:54 pm:

    S.Ill A good point, but maybe not on target. The Director was probably an exempt appointment, with no term remaining to have a property right in. There are maybe a couple of thousand of those in state government. More on point might be the number of people the gov fired when he first took office, some of whom were serving terms. Either way, this administration has sometimes fallen short, especially in the beginning, about employees’ due process rights.

  135. - Rob_N - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:04 pm:


    Keep in mind, I’m not a lawyer.

    Illinois is an at-will state…

    The people hired the guv. The people now want him fired. The Legislature serves as the representatives of the people. Thus, they are within their rights to fire (ahem, impeach) him.

    …Anybody can sue for anything, we do enjoy that right in these United States. But a Federal court is going to do one of two things. Reject without comment or reject based on the fact this is a state, not Federal, matter.


    The House only votes on whether or not it believes there are grounds for impeachment.

    It is the Senate which would actually do the deed.

    And there is no jury in the traditional sense in this matter. There is only the bicameral legislature.

    PS, to both Steve and Cynic: The guv took an oath upon entering office to uphold the state Constitution… Therefore, he agreed to the section which included the impeachment process, as open-ended as it is in our state. He agreed to the process in which he is now an active participant (even if an unwilling participant).

    Once more, he can sue because he doesn’t like how Rep. Currie’s hair looks today or for any other reason. That doesn’t mean his suit will be found to have merit.

  136. - One of the 35 - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:05 pm:

    Schnorf: Tell me about it!

  137. - Ghost - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:07 pm:

    steve schnorf, the substantive due process to which the Gov is entitled under Il law (constitution) is a vote in the house to impeach, and a vote in a senate on his impeachment hearing. This defines both his procedural and substantive due process rights. Stated another way, his substantive right is the requirment of X votes in the house and x votes in the senate, before he can be removed.

  138. - Toast Man - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:07 pm:

    == Either way, this administration has sometimes fallen short, especially in the beginning, about employees’ due process rights.==

    Steve - You sure hit that nail on the head.

  139. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:07 pm:

    I don’t know if Genson’s smarter than anybody else but what he has going for him is so many in Springfield either went along with the Guv, or knew better but didn’t speak out.

    A scoundrel can fare better in the public’s perception than a hypocrite (which is the trendy intolerable sin for politicans of late).

    That’s the card Genson should be playing. He might be able to make it work.

  140. - Crystal Clear - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:08 pm:

    -Little E-
    Is the new headquarters for the Traffic Safety Division surrounded by water again?

  141. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:12 pm:

    Lt Guv — In my experience talking with pols, they tend not to be terribly bright. That said, was I painting them all with a broad brush? Sure. I still think that Genson impresses me more than any singular member of the committee.

    Of course, I resect your right to differ.

    Rob N — I understand how the process works (House doesn’t convict, etc.). The fact that there is an “open-ended” process doesn’t mean the process can be a sham. Please make no mistake, I’m not saying the process IS a sham, but they seem to be making up the rules as they go along.

    I’m not sure the fact that he took an oath of office holds any weight for me with respect to the process. There’s an expectation that the process will be fair and impartial. Imagine if you were a defendant in a criminal trial with this sort of set-up — wouldn’t you think that the chips were stacked against you?

    To clarify, I DO think Gov is going down and I also think he’s guilty. I also think Genson is making some legitimate arguments, despite my personal distaste for his client.

  142. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:16 pm:

    BB, public perception? That ship has sailed for Blago.

    If I wanted to win in the court of public opinion, I’d certainly have someone other than Genson out front for me. I’d hire him to, hopefully, keep me out of jail.

  143. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:16 pm:

    CC, I don’t know about that part of the state. I don’t go east of Marion, except for rare occasions. I prefer the area south of Marion, God’s Country, The Shawnee National Forest. I doubt the flooding is that bad over in H’burg but you can bet if it is, we will all hear about it. If you go to, they may have something on their website about flooding, if there is any.

    BTW, Traffic Safety isn’t going anywhere. We all knew it when the announcement was first made. It was just another late Friday afternoon press release to deflect negative attention from whatever was going on in Blagosphere at the time.

  144. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:17 pm:

    If Genson is all that, why was Conrad Black convicted? The guy has been coasting on his reputation for years.

  145. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:17 pm:

    Wordslinger, am I the only one NOT impressed with Gensen? Seems to me like he’s a member of the Over The Hill gang. And if he’s grooming Sam Adams to take his place - GOOD LUCK!

  146. - Bill Baar - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:20 pm:

    BB, public perception? That ship has sailed for Blago.

    But it hasn’t sunk.

    He just needs to work on those twenty votes in the Senate….

    He’s got to be having some effect for Fitz to decide he’s going to release a few tapes to move this thing along… release a few, release them all, and bring the actors before the People’s Representatives to explain themselves.

    Otherwise it’s real back room stuff without the pleasure of nice cigar.

  147. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:22 pm:

    Genson doesn’t win a lot of his big-name cases, not in recent years anyway (R Kelly being the exception). He seems to be the lawyer for those who are willing to go all-or-nothing at trial rather than make a deal.

  148. - Ghost - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:22 pm:

    Cynic this is not a criminal proceeding. FYI the State of Illinois takes away licenses from people, makes finding of neglct and abuse etc in various administartive proceeding based upon hearsay. The admin code allows in various proceeding in this State for the hearing officer to make decisions effecting peoples rights and livelihoods to consider hearsay evidence. Genson has not made any points other then to show he is locked in the mindset of a criminal proceeding. If he does not adapt to the far looser system of apolitical proceeding, his strategy will be misdirected.

  149. - Been There - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:28 pm:

    If Blagojevich has a “property right” that is being violated then I would think the 12 million people of Illinois also have a “property right” in their government that is being violated. Last time I looked the rights of 12 million was greater than one.

  150. - True Observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:34 pm:

    Review of Motives-

    Obama supporters want Blago out of office so that the mud doesn’t get splattered on Obama.

    Blago wants to remain in office. It’s a lot better to put up a defense as an office holder than out of office like Ryan. At this point, to mollify everyone, he would gladly sign the special election legislation the day it is enacted.

    Fitzgerald- Wants to put Blago at a disadvantage by doing what he can to get him out of office. Coordinating his criminal case with another tribunal to advantage his case is unethical and may be illegal.

    The Machine- No way Jose on Quinn. Blago is the lesser evil. Strike that. He is one of them. He just caught a bad break. But no way do they want the Republicans to have a shot at the Senate seat.
    They want things to drag so that later when Blago makes the appointment Harry will seat him/her given that he’ll be worried about his own poll numbers and wondering whether he’ll make it back in 2010.

    The Republicans- Just keep it up. Good Government. Peoples’ right to elect their senator.
    Ain’t life grand. If we can pull off the Senate, the Sky’s the limit. Who knows, could sweep all statewide offices in 2010. Heck, Cook says 70 Dem house seats are vulnerable in 2010.

    IPO-IVI - What do we have to do to get these machine guys to impeach and remove. We’ve been waiting for one of our since Bill Singer. Just because he went to the dark side doesn’t mean anything. Didn’t Houlihan sell out too?

    Newspaper readers/TV News Viewers - Please don’t let it end. The the sheer entertainment value is priceless.

  151. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:35 pm:

    I don’t know where these defendants get the idea that big-name attorneys guarantee favorable outcomes. Ryan got lengthy delays because, although there are 70,000 attorneys in Illinois, he just had to have the magical Dan Webb. Then Webb lost the case, something any attorney could do equally well.

  152. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:38 pm:

    Ghost, you may be right, but I doubt it.

    Rob, the problem is, they hired him not open-ended, but for a term, of which he has two years remaining. That’s probably where the property right comes in.

  153. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:41 pm:

    Bam-bam, would you walk us through your “no confidence” theory?

    I haven’t checked closely, but I don’t think the IL Const requires high crimes or misdemeanors, as I recall someone saying, in IL you can be impeached for walking across the street WITH the light. No crime is necessary. So you’re saying if this had been structured as a “no confidence” vote rather than attempting to mimic the fed impeachment standard, it would have been a lot easier case. A 7% approval rating certainly suggests a lack of confidence. It seems this would be much tougher for blago to defend.

    And everyone, Gensen does actually understand that this isn’t a courtroom. Bombast and indignation are the only tools at his disposal. They want to draw this out, draw others in, and make it a circus.

    To the other attorneys on this thread, here’s a question, do you think the Committee will have sufficiently provided Blago w/ an opportunity to present evidence/ witnesses if they merely let him enter whatever he wants into the record for the Committee members to review before they issue their final recommendations?

  154. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:45 pm:

    TO, IPO-IVI? If there was still a phone booth anywhere, would they have a large enough caucus to fill it?

    Anon, Ryan got the resources of Winston Strawn and Webb for free. I’d take my chances with that if I felt I had to go to trial. Let’s remember, the feds pick and choose who they go after, and they don’t like to lose. And they rarely do.

  155. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:51 pm:

    Word, but wouldn’t a good attorney tell you that you should plead where there’s no chance at beating it? And others do pay full freight for the same quality representation.

  156. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:53 pm:

    Ghost - I understand that this is not a criminal proceeding. I used criminal proceedings as examples because they are illustrative.

    The fact that “the State of Illinois takes away licenses from people, makes finding of neglect and abuse etc in various administrative proceedings based upon hearsay” doesn’t support your argument. These types of administraive actions are also appealable. DCFS, for example, has been found to violate due process rights in some cases and, as such, they are under a number of federal consent decrees that dictate how they must operate.

  157. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:57 pm:

    Anon, I don’t presume to know what Webb told Ryan, but I’m absolutely certain that as a former U.S. Attorney he knows that the feds conviction rate is north of 90%. Ultimately, it’s up to the defendants to make the call as to whether they want to go to trial.

  158. - Just My Opinion - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 4:59 pm:

    Steve, your property right schtick is really irritating. Is that the only thing you have on which to hang your hat?

  159. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:03 pm:

    Here’s a thought:

    Durbin could call upon Blagojevich to make an appointment based on the recommendation of other party leaders/state “elder statesmen” and promise to make sure the pick is seated if Blagojevich goes with the recommendation.

    This is good for Blagojevich because it gets the appointment out of the way which is one of the exigent circumstances making some want to act quickly to toss him out of office. It is good for Democrats generally because there is no special election, and no risk of losing. It’s good for the people of Illinois because their Senator has more seniority. It’s good for the Madigans, if you buy into the “slow-walk” theory, because it removes an exigency for bouncing Blagojevich. It’s good for Durbin because it shows leadership in a difficult time, and any “taint” of working with Blagojevich is overwhelmed by doing the business of the people and the fact that this proposal gives Blagojevich no real input on who the pick will be. And it’s good for U.S. Senate Democrats and Barack Obama because they are one vote closer to sixty from day one.

    The only person it’s bad for is Pat Quinn.

  160. Pingback Comment on Capitol Fax’s Question of the Day : Urbanagora - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:04 pm:

    […] Impeachment hearings *** Monk’s cell phone tapped? *** […]

  161. - Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:11 pm:

    True Observer — Keep it up, good government? In case you didn’t notice, the Republican who most recently help the Govship differs from Blago in one major regard — he’s already been convicted.

    Corruption in Illinois is not limited to either party. That’s why people like Cellini have been able to cut deals with the Dems in charge and with the Republicans in charge. It’s time we all put down our party banners and realize that if we want better politicians, we need to hold EVERYONE to a higher standard, no matter their political affiliation.

  162. - jake - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:23 pm:

    ==He just needs to work on those twenty votes in the Senate….==

    He’ll be lucky if he gets one vote in the Senate…maybe somebody named Jones, but even there I am not sure. Otherwise I can’t imagine where the votes would come from. Anybody who does not vote to impeach (House) or convict (Senate) would get absolutely hammered for it in the next election cycle, and they know it.

  163. - Anon3 - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:31 pm:

    If they really tapped Monks phone, how are all of his clients reacting? I have not checked with SOS but I believe he or the frim he works for has to register him and the clients names. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the Trib/Sun Times starts calling them. Or just to see what other insider intetests he represents or represented.

  164. - Toast Man - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:40 pm:

    ==He just needs to work on those twenty votes in the Senate….==

    Unless it is secret ballot, how would you like to be one of the twenty not to vote to impeach?

    Illinois is already a national joke just imagine if Blago got off and was allowed to just go along on his merry way. Talk about a governmental body sanctioning corruption. That is what would be implied if he wasn’t impeached. I’m sure the new Prez would be real happy because he will get splashed with mud if Blago is allowed to continue as Guv. He’s done stick a fork in him.

  165. - Anon3 - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:45 pm:

    Toast Man you are so correct. With Obama in the White House they will not give up this story. I am sure Madigan and Cullerton understand this more then my little brain can wrap around it. Otherwise both even the barely functioning GOP in Il can make hay with this

  166. - True Observer - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:45 pm:

    “Unless it is secret ballot, how would you like to be one of the twenty not to vote to impeach?”

    Can they vote present?

  167. - Toast Man - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 5:54 pm:

    ==Can they vote present?==

    Maybe, I don’t know, but wouldn’t “present” be the equivalent of turning a blind eye? That would be seen as just as bad. I wouldn’t want to be a senator who votes present. You would appear either complicit or so stupid you can’t see the forest for the trees.

  168. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:01 pm:

    Does anyone know if it’s going to be a secret ballot?

  169. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:13 pm:

    Joshua, when’s the last time you saw a secret roll call in the GA? We’re in the United States, daddio.

  170. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:13 pm:

    Bill, don’t leave town just yet. Blago has released subpoenas to the BGA, 2 1/2 years after the initial request. I wonder why now. Oops, court order. But why would that make a difference? Go here:

  171. - Old Elephant - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:15 pm:

    It pains me to say this, but I think Gensen is running rings around the committee. Currie (who I have always respected) is embarrassing herself and the speaker. Clearly, no one on the committee is taking this seriously.

    I am particularly disappointed in the Republicans. They should be demanding more information about other instances involving the Governor. Asking about political hires and fires. Focusing on the many patronage violations of the administration. Asking for details of lump sum appropriations put into the Budget at the request of Emil Jones and the Senate Democrat caucus. Demanding that the chairman honor Gensen’s request to subpoena Obama administration officials. Inquiring into the political firing of corrections officials (that, I remind everyone, directly led to the death of a former warden in Kosovo) and above all, asking at every juncture — if this is an impeachable offense in 2008, why weren’t these impeachable offenses before 2006, when the Speaker co-chaired Blagojevich’s re-election committee.

    True, the committee’s only responsibility is to determine if they want to recommend impeachment and ultimately, the House need only vote to impeach. But, the House will then be required to prosecute the case in the Senate and at that point they must go toe-to-toe with Gensen.

    All in all, I am completely unimpressed with the House and hope they don’t intend to send a sloppy case like this to the Senate. There are plenty of good and valid reasons to impeach Rod Blagojevich, but in the hands of Rep. Currie, this truly does look like a Kangaroo court. They are rushing through this for purely political reasons, hoping to contain the damage. They seem totally indifferent to the historical precedent they are setting. Quite frankly, I expected far more of Madigan and Currie.

  172. - "low level paper pusher" - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:27 pm:

    To the tune of “the Jetsons”

    “Meet Ed Gensen
    Sam his sidekick
    Rod’s in trouble
    distort - confuse”

    I am not impressed whatsoever by Genson. Among other things, he introduces the Obama internal report as evidence for his side? Uh, Ed…the report says no one from the Obama camp did anything illegal. It says nothing about Rod.

    Also, Bill…your statement at 12:42pm: “Only the FBI recollection and impression of what were on the tapes was introduced. We didn’t even see a complete transcript. You can trust the FBI and USA if you want, I don’t.”

    So, basically you are saying that the US Attorney is distorting what was said and the whole thing comes down to Rod’s word vs. the US Attorney’s word.

    Good luck with that one.

  173. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:28 pm:

    The odds of the Federal Court stepping in, in effect, declare the Illinois Constitution’s impeachment provision a violation of Rod’s due process rights is something close to zero.

    This is clearly a political process under the Illinois Constitution and it would be a remarkable intrusion on the Federal System for the Federal Courts to intervene. As has been mentioned repeatedly here, the members of the House and the Senate have sole discretion over the governor’s fate in office.

    I’m not really sure why people keep confusing the criminal proceeding with the impeachment proceeding. Probably the only area where the Fed courts will intervene is where they’ve been asked to rule by Fitz on the release of the wiretaps. The court is really being asked to decide whether the gov’s due process rights in the criminal proceeding would be violated by the release of the tapes. As much as I would like them to, I’m doubtful Holderman will allow the tapes into the impeachment hearings precisely because it will be hard to preserve the gov’s due process rights with a partial release of redacted transcripts.

    Oh, and Bill, earlier you asked who Fitz “thinks he is.” My guess is he thinks he’s the US Attorney upholding Federal law by prosecuting a crooked governor. It’s his job and he’s doing it rather well.

  174. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:30 pm:

    Low Level, I have to agree with you on the value of the Obama report to Blago. It says the president-elect, Jarrett, Emanuel and Axelrod had no whiff of any pay-to-play or quid pro quo emanating from the Blago camp. That can’t hurt.

  175. - 2ConfusedCrew - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:31 pm:

    Speaking of releasing subpoenas — has the Trib ever released theirs?

  176. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:45 pm:

    Wordslinger: A secret ballot is unlikely, but since there hasn’t been an impeachment in like 75 years, I’m not sure how firmed up the procedures are. I remember working in Spfld when the budget wasn’t passed on time, so the clocks in the chamber were stopped, and in the ILGA time effectively stopped. In Illinois politics, take nothing for granted!!

  177. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:47 pm:

    LE, do I read this correctly that besides the internal records regarding the listed individuals, did they ask for all correspondence for more than three years from Intergovernmental Affairs and administration personnel offices (Attachment A)?

    Doesn’t that seem rather broad? I wonder what the response and/or compliance was?

  178. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:49 pm:

    Joshua, there are those who would say that time in Springfield has stood still for quite some time, and by no fault of the GA.

  179. - Bookworm - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:52 pm:

    Joshua, I think you meant to say there hasn’t been an impeachment in 175 years.

  180. - Little Egypt - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 6:58 pm:

    Word, your guess is as good as mine. I’m just surprised that Blago complied with a court order. Two months ago he wouldn’t have.

  181. - What Property Rights????? - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:02 pm:

    I believe that the group of 16 former IDOT employees who have had litigation pending for 4.5 years also had property rights to their jobs, but Blago and I’m A Little Teapot Short And ….., didn’t seem to care about that then. What goes around comes around.

  182. - A Citizen - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:08 pm:

    Bill, no offense, but I think guv is positioning to give Genson the Senate seat. Paid in full!

  183. - Anon at night - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:10 pm:

    Oy - low level boy and wordslinger (who I usually respect) - do you really believe what you’re saying. The transcript released says nothing about what Team Obama knew or didn’t know. It says only that they wouldn’t play ball. The Team Obama report claims that they had no “whiff.” But the whiff has been pretty strong in Illinois for a number of years. The self-serving pre-holiday report claims essentially they had no idea that there the Senate seat was subject to pay to play. But, I mean, c’mon. They knew the Governor, and you mean to say that these guys who managed to gain the world didn’t realize this little plum wouldn’t be subject to a little sumtptin-sumptin. Get the blinders off intern and ws. They knew what was going on - they’re just plenty smarter than Rod. Don’t act as dumb as the soon to be ex-governor, boys.

  184. - "low level paper pusher" - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:21 pm:

    Ah, my friend Anon at Night…

    yes, they knew the Governor, and when they saw he was going to shake them down they withdrew.

    Your post seems very cynical, my friend, even for Illinois standards.

  185. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:24 pm:

    Wordslinger, Thanks!

  186. - Bookworm - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:26 pm:

    According to Genson, merely “jabbering” about committing a crime is not a crime. Well, why doesn’t he tell that to 1) all the suspected Al Qaeda members locked up at Gitmo for “jabbering” about bombings and hijackings; 2) all the mobsters busted for “jabbering” about having someone killed, 3) all the high school and college kids busted for “jabbering” about planting bombs on campus, Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc.; 4) anyone who’s ever been jailed for “jabbering” to an undercover cop about buying drugs, stolen goods or the services of a prostitute. Hey, if the deed wasn’t done, it doesn’t count, right?

  187. - Truth - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:31 pm:

    If Rod is going down, he should go down swinging. Tell us all about the rest of the hypocrites who are now trying to impeach you, Governor. My grandmother always told me, it takes two to tango.

  188. - Bookworm - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:31 pm:

    Next thing you know, that crazy Russian professor will be citing the impeachment hearings as proof that Chicago will secede from Illinois and declare war on downstate by 2010.

  189. - Suzanne - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 7:43 pm:

    Say WHAT?: I noticed Rep. Gordon too. She was great today and deserves a medal—or a least some kuddos—for not clocking Genson for his insults.

    Besides ticking off members one by one, Genson has been particularly rude to the women on the Committee. I don’t think it’s personal but it sure is deliberate. Genson could care less about the Committee’s opinion of him or his client. I think he’s more concerned about the jury that’s in his client’s future which is why he’s working so hard to taint the pool. Now.

  190. - Joshua - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 8:04 pm:

    Just throwing this out there, how Blagojevichian would it be for him to name Patty Blagojevich to the seat. Afterall, he wanted her to have a job where she could pull in over 150K.

  191. - Zora - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 8:20 pm:

    Re Genson’s “jabbering” defense (the alliteration of which may teach us to pronounce his name at last): From the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 30, 2006:

    SPRINGFIELD — Facing lawsuits from fired prison officials who say Gov. Rod Blagojevich broke his pledge to keep good employees, lawyers for the state offered a surprising defense: His promises were “classic political puffery.”

    In a political year, the premise that Blagojevich made promises he didn’t intend to keep could be troublesome for the governor to explain. But the puffery defense proved to be a sound legal strategy.

    A federal appellate court agreed with the administration’s lawyers who argued in court filings that the governor’s comments were not binding. (End quote)

    And there you have it folks. He’s going for the puffery defense. Words aren’t deeds. Case closed.

  192. - Fighting Ennui - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 8:31 pm:

    SJR has an article that Genson didn’t like staying at the Mansion for free, saying it was drafty and the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom too small.

    Based on his defense of Blago so far, it might be better for his client that he stay at a Holiday Inn Express for the time being.

  193. - Gregor - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 8:50 pm:

    A useful quote from Wikipedia:

    In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between natural persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement. There is no limit on the number participating in the conspiracy and, in most countries, no requirement that any steps have been taken to put the plan into effect (compare attempts which require proximity to the full offence). For the purposes of concurrence, the actus reus is a continuing one and parties may join “the plot” later and incur joint liability and conspiracy can be charged where the co-conspirators have been acquitted and/or cannot be traced. Finally, repentance by one or more parties does not affect liability but may reduce their sentence.

  194. - Wheels UP - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 9:35 pm:

    While the committee is on a break, they might want to subpoena the IDOT Aeronautics records of the gov’s plane flights to “official” events like ribbon cuttings and match them up to governor’s office calendars and executive protection detail logs of where/when he went to fundraisers, then cross-match with the billing invoices to see if the gov paid out of campaign funds for the portion of each flight to the fundraisers, or passed off the entire costs of campaign fundraising trips to taxpayers as part of normal travel on state business. I think you’ll find more than one occasion where the state plane was supposedly on state business but really used as free fast transport so the governor could attend multiple fundraisers in one day, with some bill signing in-between being the “excuse”.

  195. - Just My Opinion - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 9:51 pm:

    OLD ELEPHANT - I don’t think you and the rest of us are watching the same legislative proceedings.

  196. - Anon - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 9:53 pm:

    Wouldn’t any bed be small for Genson?

  197. - Old Elephant - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 10:11 pm:

    Just My Opinion: Maybe we are not watching the same hearing. I’m watching one that has accurately been described as an “airing of grievances” as in Festivus.

    No one wants Blagojevich impeached and convicted more than I do. But I want it done properly. The committee is simply replaying a lot of old abuses that the majority Democrats either closed their eyes to or actively participated in over the last six years.

    The Republicans are letting the Democrats skate without forcing them to take any responsibility for enabling Blagojevich’s abuses.

    An earlier commenter referenced the Tribune story of Jan. 30, 2006 in which Blago’s attorneys invoked the “classic political puffery” defense. For God’s sake, a woman died as a direct result of that “political puffery” and the Democrats still endorsed and supported his re-election. It would be easy to make a case that that kind of abuse — coupled with all of the other insider deals and abuses that have been a hallmark of this administration easily justifies impeachment.

    But…Democrats don’t want to dig too deeply because many members of the General Assembly, County Chairmen and other political operatives are equally culpable.

    The committee members are behaving like pompous jerks, but not doing any real work. There is plenty there to justify impeachment and build a case for conviction, but they seem too lazy and clueless to get beyond simply “airing grievances.”

  198. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 10:26 pm:

    Gregor, your point is dead on and I’m glad someone finally made it. Genson’s entire defense has been designed to confuse members of the committee by suggesting standards and other things that either aren’t true or are parsed to obfuscate (like when he floored the committee by saying it was illegal to use the tapes only to be exposed by Fritchey). Conspiracy simply requires agreement and an overt act or substantial step in furtherance of the conspiracy of some kind.

    Unfortunately I also agree with old Elephant on one point. This committee doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing and is really allowing it to become a venue to refight old political wars (JCAR, DHFS, etc.). It just turns what should be an outraged session over corruption into a political proceeding more suited to the gov’s turf.

    All in all, nobody is acquitting themselves well in this process.

  199. - Now it can be told... leak of the century - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 10:50 pm:


    (Begin recording 534)

    (Assistant) Hey, how’s everything going?

    RRB: Oh you know, it never stops, my hard work trying to find sources of revenue to plug the holes in that horrible budget the fine but misguided people of the Illinois General Assembly gave me. By not taking my guidance on the GRT, they’ve overspent us into a terrible hole.

    (Assistant) That’s so sad. If only they’d listened to you, we’d have a surplus right now…

    RRB: I KNOW! Oh, well, they are the people’s elected representatives and I must, as you know, honor their commitments, misguided as they may be. Fine, decent folks they are, to be sure, but just not as far-sighted as we are. Anyhow, I came up with a little project for the holidays coming up. You know that reclining office chair that Senator Obama used to sit in?

    (Assistant) Yeah, those are really nice chairs.

    RRB: Yeah, plush. When you jump into it, it’s so soft it’s like I could parachute into it. Might have some of that space-age foam in it…

    (Assistant) …that’s good for a bad back, I hear…

    RBB: … yeah, or something. And the leather is first-rate. If nobody wants it, I’m gonna keep it for myself, it’s worth it. Well, see, Obama doesn’t need the chair in Washington, the new guy in Springfield will probably want a new chair too, so I figured, it’s a pretty famous chair, and people LOVE to buy souvenir stuff, you know. Jim Thompson told me, collecting antiques is BIG money. So, I thought we could…

    (Assistant) …Sell the chair?

    RRB: …yeah, sell this actual chair, like in an auction, on ebay or something, or let that fine Gianoullias boy auction it for us, I think he does that stuff, and send the money to the general revenue fund. I’m not gonna give it up for (REDACTED) nothing, though. It’s a valuable thing. We could get, I dunno, a couple thousand for it. At least. That’s just a spit in the ocean, I know, it’s not the cure for cancer or anything…

    (Assistant) How’s that project coming, by the way? Got the test tubes I sent over?

    RRB: Oh, well, you know, if I had a little more research money to throw at it, I think we’d turn the corner on it finally, this stem-cell thing I’m playing with I feel certain is the answer… but wouldn’t you know it, the money’s tied up in building excess hospitals to treat symptoms instead of more research for the cure… I wish we could do something about that…

    (Assistant) I’ll see what I can do… anyhow, this chair of Obama’s?

    RRB: Yes, I’ve got this thing here in the rec room, and it’s (REDACTED) golden: hardly worn, I just checked it over and took some pictures of it for the ebay page. I think a lot of people would be interested in having it.

    (Assistant) We should advertise.

    RRB: Well, not if that costs money, it would reduce the amount we send to the people for that budget gap. Maybe we can start the ball rolling by making a few calls and let word of mouth do the advertising. If we can get a couple of rich folks into a bidding war against each other, this seat will skyrocket. The people deserve the most I can raise for them.

    (Assistant) Can’t argue with that. Let me make some calls.

    RBB: Call up some of his friends and co-workers: I bet they’d like to buy it and surprise him with it or something. Hey, while I got you on the phone, what about the Tribune thing?

    (Assistant) They are being sticklers about the issue: they say the boy can’t throw the Sunday edition far enough to hit the front door stoop, you’re going to have to walk out there and pick it up off the walk like everybody else does.

    RBB: Oh darn, when he does that, the sudoku puzzle gets all soggy in bad weather. Patti loves to do those while I take my morning run. Do you think if they made the paper lighter, the kid could throw it a little farther?

    (Assistant) Like what, you mean, leave parts of it out?

    RBB: Why not? I don’t really need the editorials or the sports sections, I already know everybody loves me..

    (Assistant) …True…

    RBB: …and I know everything about the Cubs…

    (Voice of Gubernatorial Spouse A in background): Great idea, we don’t need the (redacted) Cubs scores, we get ‘em on the radio, and get rid of that editorial (redacted), I just want my sudoku puzzle!

    RBB: Ain’t she a treasure? (yelling) Thanks, Hon! (quietly) See, I think that’s a compromise we can all (redacted) live with.

    (Assistant) I’ll get right on it, may have to go over the circulation manager’s head tho’.

    RBB: Whatever you do, be sure to always be polite and gracious about it, and be diplomatic: that’s what I learned from my years as a politician.

    (Assistant) I’ll just ask myself, “what would the boss do in this situation”, and I know it will be the right thing.

    RBB: You’re too kind. Stick with me, and great things will come your way.

    (end of recording 534)

    *-according to Rod Blagojevich and Ed Genson

  200. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:24 pm:

    Anon at Night, you miss my point. I said Genson wanted to introduce the Obama report because it helps him; it says that the Obama people claim they had no knowledge of pay to play. I make no judgement as to whether or not that is true.

    Since this whole sordid mess was revealed on December 9, I’ve been sick to my stomach that the Whiz Kids on the president-elect’s transition team had any contact with the governor on the Senate vacancy, Have they done the same with Gov. Patterson or Gov. Minner?

    You’re right. They knew who Blago is and the danger in dealing with him. There was no upside. What’s the difference for the new president who the Illinois Dem is? Any one would be for him 100%.

    It was incredibly reckless and arrogant. The Obama Justice Department will very likely be prosecuting Blago. If it goes to trial, you can bet Blago will subpoena a slew of Obama types, starting with Emanuel.

    Whether you like Obama or not, voted for him or not, this country has a lot bigger fish to fry than who is the next 100th Senator will be. Obama could have taken a pass. The fact that right out of the box, Obama’s Dream Team got him so tangled up that he’s already been interrogated by the FBI for two hours (!) infuriates me.

    I think it’s safe to say that Emanuel and Axelrod can hold off on getting their matching “Genius” tattoos.

  201. - steve schnorf - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:42 pm:

    CC, I completely agree that the odds of federal courts overturning our constitutional provisions for impeachment are zero. I continue to believe, though, that altho they would love doing so, they might not be able to turn their back on blatant due process violations in the Senate trial, if they were to occur.

    I’m sure the federal court that allowed the Nazis to march in Skokie loathed doing so. Its one of the reasons federal judges get lifetime appointments.

    I believe Madigan has been careful to not rush to judgment, to build a record, etc, because of due process concerns, and I hope the Senate will be careful also.

  202. - Bookworm - Monday, Dec 29, 08 @ 11:43 pm:

    I just gotta make it 200 comments. I have said repeatedly that Blago almost certainly has a grudge against Obama for “ruining” his best shot at running for president, and wants to make Obama look bad. As Word points out, Emanuel and Axelrod should have known this too. Everyone in Illinois knows how vengeful Blago can be.

  203. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:13 am:

    VM, I think you may need to re-watch “The Ox Bow Incident”

  204. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 8:45 am:

    This is a political issue. Those of you diddling over legal ones completely miss the point of impeachment. Perhaps you folks are enamoured of your legalese, but playing devil’s advocate is insulting to the millions of Illinoians that have been taken advantage of.

    We want justice. Your silly mind games about who said what to whom and how this could be interpreted, has helped keep the worst politician in Illinois employed as the worst governor in Illinois. Your self-absorbed debates are like watching a cat play with a rat.

    Get this over with. “The Ox-Bow Incident” is a fiction where your concerns are highlighted. We don’t live in a fiction, and what we are experiencing is not a fiction. In the real world, we need justice, not drama.

  205. - Just My Opinion - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 8:56 am:

    VanMan, if Blago wanted to govern for another day, he should have hired you to take on the committee, because you sure gave it to Schnorf, just as he deserves. Thank you for starting my day off with a HUGE smile. Sometimes those who have been in politics should stay on the sidelines.

  206. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:08 am:

    If impeachment is a political process, that means it’s designed as a POLITICAL form of “punishment” for situations that don’t necessarily require criminal court action.
    It seems to me that impeachment was meant precisely to address situations in which a public official violates his/her oath of office or breaches the legal or constitutional limits of power in a way that ISN’T necessarily a crime. Impeachment should NOT require criminal offenses. The worst impeachment can do is remove someone from office — not send them to prison. It should not require an offense serious enough to put someone in prison. (Regardless of what Genson claims)

  207. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 9:22 am:

    JMO and VM, Schnorf is quite ably and justifiably defending the concept of due process, a cornerstone of the American way of life.

    Lack of due process was one of the grievances against the crown Mr. Jefferson cited in the Declaration of Independence. If you want to deprive someone of it, you’re not demanding justice but revenge.

    Chill out. The system’s working. The only drama here is in your bloodthirsty histrionics.

  208. - Jake from Elwood - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 11:30 am:

    Roland Burris? What?

  209. - anon35 - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 12:10 pm:

    I don’t profess to understand all that has been written on here. My child and I have attended 2 days of the hearings while I am on vacation (state employee). Much of it is boring, much of it has been very educational for both of us. Frequently, I want to shout the rather common “bleeping” BS when I hear Gensen speak. (He reminds me of an atty. I had to face once for child visitation. He used facts, but not in the correct situation! Strangely that atty. died in his sleep at a young age.)
    Gensen only likes to listen to his own droning, stammering self. Curry was much more tolerant than I could have been. He keeps confusing what the purpose of the hearing is and seems to believe that no one there was equal to him intellectually. I beg to differ.
    Nevertheless, I grew tired of his rudeness & pompous attitude. HIs strategy of trying to wear everyone down, hopefully, was ineffective. He refuses to hear what JCAR and the auditor general have said…even though I feel their testimony was crucial to this hearing.
    On a very low level, my job has been greatly affected by this administration through changes in procedures (CMS-bull) and the managers (County chairman) who have been appointed to positions via the Peter Principle. The trickle down effect has hurt even the most remote positions of our state employment…particularly if the gov has negative feelings for a specific agency. (sorry for my vagueness)
    It has been a long & frustrating 6 years for those of us who take pride in the work we do and try to go about it in a professional way…even when you know in your gut that what you are doing is total bull.

  210. - this voter will remember - Tuesday, Dec 30, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Please, please, please check the hiring records at IDOT. We had a ‘hiring freeze’ on and they still hired unqualified political people to sit around and no little or nothing. They were not put in positions where they would be effective instead they were place in ‘made up positions’ and given little or no responsiblities (i.e. in charge of collecting coats for the holiday season or put in charge of ‘Bring your son/daughter to work’ day). I am not kidding.

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