* On March 8th, 2007, the Chicago Tribune editorial board compared Gov. Rod Blagojevich to a Venezuelan dictator…
This constant quest for new hills to climb conveys the governor’s eagerness to solve problems and be noticed. Unfortunately, at a moment when he wanted to sell his state on some controversial concepts, he delivered a divisive populist rant (”middle-class families,” good–”corporations,” bad, bad, bad) that only confirms the perception of him in some quarters as a lightweight. Illinois citizens might have been swayed Wednesday by the bring-us-together touch of Barack Obama.
Instead they got Hugo Chavez.
That was a way over the top comparison, even for the Tribune. But what the paper was attempting to do was ratchet down the governor’s rhetoric, so it was at least somewhat understandable in hindsight.
* On October 28, 2007, the Chicago Tribune editorial board suggested that Blagojevich be removed from office…
Should Rod Blagojevich remain as governor of Illinois?
He shows no inclination to resign from office. And while the state constitution does allow for his impeachment by the Illinois House and trial by the Senate, it’s doubtful legislators could bring themselves to such drastic action. So the realistic question becomes this: Given the multiple ineptitudes of Rod Blagojevich — his reckless financial stewardship, his dictatorial antics, his penchant for creating political enemies — should citizens create a new way to terminate a chief executive who won’t, or can’t, do his job? [Emphasis added.]
* But the Tribune has long forgotten its diatribes against Blagojevich. The proof is today’s editorial, which reads like it could’ve been drafted by Rod himself…
Turns out, to get lawmakers to sense an emergency, you have to suspend … their … pay. Quinn pulled out his red veto pen and suddenly Madigan and Cullerton sprang to action, demanding an injunction to force the state to pay the 177 members of the General Assembly. Payday is Thursday. Pony up!
Madigan’s and Cullerton’s lawsuit against Quinn and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka claims Quinn violated the separation of powers in the Illinois Constitution by stripping lawmakers of their salaries. Quinn, remember, made his move to compel action on pension reform, the single biggest issue strangling this state’s finances.
Oh, how the Constitution becomes the beacon of justice for our state’s Democratic leaders when it serves their interests. On other matters outlined in the Constitution — fair redistricting (Article 4, Section 3), bill introductions, passage and single subject (Article 4, Sections 7 and 8), special legislation (Article 4, Section 13), state finances (Article 8, Sections 1 and 2) and primary funding of education (Article 10, Section 1) — the General Assembly often takes a more relaxed approach toward constitutional obligations. Yes, when it comes to the document’s language on balanced budgets, education funding, compact and contiguous districts — well, they try their best.
How dishonest can they possibly get? They skirt the real constitutional question of the Quinn veto by insinuating that other legislative actions are unconstitutional, even though every single one of those actions have been upheld by the courts, some of them repeatedly.
The editorial board appears to desire a banana republic. So, who’s Hugo Chavez now?
…Adding… From a commenter…
I love the line “Oh, how the Constitution becomes a beacon of justice…when it serves their interests.”
But notably absent in the Trib’s listing of items in the Illinois Constitution is the pension protection clause. Probably just an oversight.
Like I said, they appear to desire a banana republic.