The governor speaks *** Refuses to resign: “I have done nothing wrong” ***
Thursday, Jan 29, 2009
* 11:04 am - I’ll be live-blogging this one. Fasten your seatbelts, campers…
All quotes are paraphrased. Mistakes are my own.
The guv said he’s been talking to people about his desire to appear before the Senate and tell the “whole story” and tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Never intended to violate any law.
Once again trashes the Senate rules and talked about all the witnesses he wanted to bring, like Rahm Emanuel and Dick Durbin, etc.
When he made his case to people, he said, they were “mostly sympathetic,” over his claim that he couldn’t confront his accusers. Emanuel, by the way, is not an accuser.
So, people said that he should go to the Senate and tell them this.
Think about if you knew were you right and you knew you were innocent.
The guv said he wanted to tell the truth. Warts and all, the truth. Unadulterated truth. And there was never a conversation where I intended to break the law.
There was no criminal activity on those four tapes. You can express things in a free country, but those four tapes speak for themselves. Those are conversations… that all of us in politics do.. to win elections.
That’s why I am appealing to you, that unless I’m allowed to bring this evidence in [then it should be heard in a court of law.]
Articles 1 through 8 don’t prove a criminal case. So how can you throw him out of office. Used impact it could have on other officeholders here and out of state.
I’m appealing to you and your sense of fairness. Since the articles don’t prove any criminal activity, I don’t know how you can throw me out of office.
He’s on to the health care stuff now and the JCAR fight. JCAR members, he pointed out, are in good standing with legislative leaders. In nine other states, he said, there have been court challenges to their JCARs. I’ve respected that committee. My legal advice, and I believe they’re right, that JCAR is an advisory committee, that it cannot dictate to the executive branch. If you want to stop an executive branch, the House and Senate passes a bill, I veto it, it goes back to you and then you override my veto.
12 lawmakers picked by the legislative leaders cannot constitutionally thwart the executive branch. In nine states, this has been upheld.
Flu vaccines: In 2005… there were warnings coming from the Center for Disease Control about the worst flu season in American history. There was a shortage of vaccines because of a contaminated supply.
So, take the flu vaccine, bring them in. Wouldn’t be the first time I’d be criticized. Bill Richardson asked for help.
If it is an impeachable offense, it should’ve been done during the first term. The people chose me again. They evidently approved of what I did.
Drugs from Canada. How many of us talked about those things in speeches? How many of us railed against the FDA because they wouldn’t allow seniors go to Canada? How many of us believe in free trade? Yet, somehow, we don’t have free trade on this issue. So, we found a way.
Rahm Emanuel came to me and suggested the solution. Go to Canada. I loved the idea and we did it. And so did Wisconsin, and so did Kansas and so did Vermont. Those governors ought to be impeached if you’re impeaching me for it. Expel John McCain and Ted Kennedy. President Obama should fire Rahm Emanuel.
Auditor General. And what did I do there? The AG had a misunderstanding with CMS. Almost nothing I’ve done, couldn’t have been done without you in the state Senate.
We streamlined to save money. They saved over $500 million for taxpayers. In this particular case, they found a way to save money, but then the AG got involved and said stop, don’t do it.
When the Inspector General and the Auditor General said don’t do it, we didn’t do it. How can that be an impeachable offense? And, again, this was an issue that took place in the first term, not the second term.
* Inspector General report on hiring. Allegation, nothing proven, nothing shown yet to be true, that someone may have violated some of the hiring rules. Never an allegation that I ever knew anything about it. How can I be thrown out of office for something that was never claimed that I knew anything about? Again, it took place in the first term, not the second term.
* So far, a crime has not been proven. How can you throw a governor out of office for insufficient and incomplete evidence?
Again, pleas with Senate to allow him to bring in witnesses.
I know, we’ve had ups and downs. Praises SDem caucus for working with him. Philosophical differenes with Republicans, honest differences.
But we worked together on public works program.
We’ve had disagreements, but isn’t that how a democracy is supposed to work?
Talking about his past, his parents, his dream of higher office.
Said he came from humble beginnings, wouldn’t have dared mess up his chance. Wanted to help people and change priorities of state government.
* So far, this has been a pretty darned good speech. Perhaps the best of his life. He’s made some decent points, but glossed over the criminal complaint, asking members to trust his word that he didn’t do anything illegal, or intended to do anything illegal. That’s his biggest problem.
“I confess, maybe, I pushed too hard. I confess, maybe, I fought too much.”
Is it the right precedent to set to throw a governor, twice elected, out of office. Think about the dangerous precedent you’ll set… Quoting prosecutor Ellis, the ends don’t justify the means.
Impeachments are very rare… designed to be used only in extreme cases. That’s why I stand before you in a unique and lonely place.
You haven’t been able to show wrongdoing in this trial. If I could call witnesses I could show that I haven’t done anything wrong and have done a whole lot of things right.
Appealing to the Senate’s sense of fairness, sense of responsibility. “I’m asking you to aquit me… or extend this process to allow me to bring my witnesses in to show I did nothing wrong.”
”Walk a mile in my shoes.” Imagine going to bed one night thinking everything is fine… And then the next morning your whole world changes… Not even aware or knowing what it’s all about… Then the whole world is outside your house. And before you can even catch your breath the whole world has convicted you.
*** “I didn’t resign then, and I’m not resigning now because I have done nothing wrong…. Let me show you I have done nothing wrong.” ***
* The governor has finished speaking. Both parties will caucus until 1 o’clock.
* Sen. Mike Jacobs walked over to the press box a few minutes ago and quoted an old legislative proverb: “I’ve heard a lot of great speeches in my life. A few changed my mind, but none of them changed my vote.”
* Something to keep in mind: The governor was not under oath when he made his statement.