* I took a quick look at some of your comments on Rep. Deborah Mell’s “No” vote on impeachment yesterday and thought many of them were unfair.
This is her brother-in-law, people. Cut her a bit of slack. Can you imagine what she might be going through?
Also, I highly doubt there will be any political problems in her district. Who’s gonna beat her in a primary? She’s Dick Mell’s daughter, for crying out loud.
Anyway, on to the coverage…
On her first day as a state lawmaker, Rep. Deborah Mell found herself facing a highly personal vote: the impeachment of her brother-in-law, Gov. Rod Blagojevich. […]
Asked whether Mell should have abstained because of her relationship to the governor, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said it’s up to individual lawmakers to decide how to vote.
She could’ve abstained, but members are not barred from voting on issues where they have a conflict of interest. But hitting the “yellow” button would’ve been the easy way out. Frankly, I appreciated her guts, even if I strongly disagree with her vote.
House Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), who led the impeachment panel, said she was “not surprised” by Mell’s vote and doesn’t think it “will have any impact on my continuing relationship with her.”
BFC is almost assuredly correct. The vote is over, the House is moving on. Mell will not be ostracized.
“Given my unique relationship to the governor, this is a vote to which I have given a great deal of consideration,” Mell said in the statement. “I have known the governor for more than 20 years and the charges in the impeachment were difficult to reconcile with the man and brother-in-law I know.”
“I could not in good conscience vote for his impeachment,” she wrote. “I regard him as innocent until proven guilty and many of my constitutents have expressed this view.
Again, I disagree with her vote and at least some of her stated reasoning, particularly that last paragraph. But, whatever.
*** UPDATE *** Eric Zorn has an ever so slightly different take: Deb Mell hits for the sleaze cycle on her first day in Springfield…
Congratulations! On your very first day in your very first official act as a member of the General Assembly, you cast a vote that was simultaneously arrogant, ignorant, blind, cowardly and corrupt.
Sometimes it takes our lawmakers years to hit all those bases.