The Senate deliberates
Thursday, Jan 29, 2009
* 2:10 pm - They’ll have five minutes each…
* As I predicted to my subscribers this morning, Sen. Rickey Hendon is asking that the question be divided so that some of the charges can be separated out from the single article of impeachment.
Chief Justice: I believe that the only one at this late juncture even possibly authorized to make such a change would be the House itself. The CJ also cited a trial rule that prohibits such motions.
Sen. Cullerton will now preside over the deliberations.
The evidence is clear that this governor and his associates… not only misused a position of great power and authority… but he misused good public policy to enrich these associates and himself to further his political gain.”
The governor’s argument is “consistent” with his patter of abuse in office. “He did not present any evidence to contradict the sworn statements under oath.”
“We must act consistent with our oath and we must find him unfit for this great office.”
“Repeated and intentionally and apparently without reservation, violated federal law [and his duties].” Said the governor should be removed and forbidden from ever holding office again.
* Sen. Dillard (R) - “How pathetic is it that we have a governor who says he’s concerned with healthcare” and then tries to shake down a hospital administrator for a 50K contribution?
* Sen. Murphy (R) - “He reminded us today in real detail that he is an unusually good liar.” “He lied about the process [rules].”
* Sen. Delgado (D) - Very, very sad day in the state of Illinois. We’re here to restore that public trust, to make sure that our communities are at the table and not on the menu. (He didn’t actually talk to the issue, however.)
“It’s a lie for him to say that he didn’t have an opportunity to present evidence. A lie… The governor presented absolutely no evidence in this case, absolutely no evidence.”
* Sen. Rutherford (R) - “The greatest offense by this governor is that he effectively paralyzed our state government.” As he played his “bizarre political theater,” families have suffered. “Rod Blagojevich has actually hurt real people, and you know what? I know that.”
“If he was sincere about providing healthcare he wouldn’t be trying to shake down the chief executive of Childrens Hospital.”
“All the evidence is overwhelming.”
* Sen. Viverito (D) - Offers prayers for the Blagojevich children and the rest of the family, as well as for the citizens of Illinois “who have suffered through this ordeal.”
* Sen. Noland (D) - No one is above the law. Illinois needs a new business model for politics
* The Senate GOP has posted all the audio from earlier today (prosecutor and governor) on this page.
* Sen. John O Jones (GOP) - “The governor put the icing on the cake today when he said ‘I did not intend to break the law.’ He did break the law.”
“He named those people [potential witnesses] for a reason, because he knew they could not come here and testify.”
* Sen Bomke (R) - “Instead of cleaning up corruption and pay to play, he’s epitomized it.” Auditor General Holland had the most compelling testimony when he said this governor has violated both state and federal law.
“We’ve been duped again. You were (pointing to Republicans) with the last governor, we were (Democrats) with this governor.”
“We in this chamber can do something about this now. This isn’t a partisan problem.”
What we do today is history, but… “It’s not going to be a footnote that you’re going to be happy that your grandchildren are reading.”
* Sen. Syverson (R) - “The governor gave a good speech today. But his speeh doesn’t change the facts of this case.”.
* Sen. Sandoval (D) - “This day truly will go down as a day of infamy.”
* Sen. Schoenberg (D) - There is no disputing, as the evidence and testimony has overwhelmingly proved, there is a consistent thread tying all the behavior together that demonstrates an abuse of power.
* Sen. Sullivan (D) - “His appearance today was, to say the least, too little, too late.”
“As a colleague told some of us today, ‘I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.’”
* Sen. Koehler (D) - We shouldn’t use impeachment for policy reasons, “and I don’t think we’ve done that in this case.”
* Sen. Martinez (D) - Claimed she heard a joke on CNN this morning, but said she wasn’t sure it was a joke, that nothing would come to Illinois from the federal stimulus package as long as Blagojevich was governor. Not true, of course.
“I think tonight I’m probably going to sleep a little better.”
* Sen. Meeks (D) - Praising the constitutional process of removing a governor from office without any need to resort to violence.
“We have this thing called impeachment and it’s bleeping golden.” Quote of the day, particularly since it came from a minister.
* Sen. Hendon (D) - “This is a sad day. It’s a sad day for the citizens of Illinois.” Hendon criticized some for blaming all corruption on George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. He said he was for recall, and criticized the House for “playing games” with the recall measure. He pushed publicly funded campaigns. “Let’s get something out of this for the people of Illinois, for the people of America.”
Hendon also predicted the impeachment vote would pass 59-0.
* Sen. Hutchinson (D) - Mentioned “the absence of a defense” as a main reason for believing that Blagojevich should be removed from office.
* Sen. Watson (R) - Teared up while saying he might have played a role in the this tragedy. Talked about the strain put on staff during this process.
“Yesterday’s testimony by Bill Holland was it… It focused the attention of all of us to what was going on….
“We’re only as good as the people we have around us… Where were the good people who were around Gov. Blagojevich?”
“He wouldn’t look at me when we talked about I-Save RX.”
* Sen. Radogno (Republican Leader) - “This isn’t about disagreement with the governor, as he would have us believe.”
“The totality of evidence shows the governor has abused his power repeatedly and over a long period of time.”
* Sen Clayborne (Majority Leader) - In my previous life I was a prosecutor. “They did an excellent job.”
Clayborne is making an excellent point. The governor talked about how he wanted to call Rahm Emanuel, Dick Durbin, etc. as witnesses for his defense. But Clayborne asked why didn’t the guv want to call his brother? Why not others mentioned as alleged co-conspirators? This is a point that has been way overlooked by everyone, but particularly by the NY bloviators who took up Blagojevich’s cause as their own. He didn’t mention calling them because they wouldn’t have helped his case.
“I believe that, governor, you are unfit.”