* I forgot about this anniversary while blogging yesterday, but tweeted it out last night…
* Let’s go back to Dan Vock’s interview of Senate President John Cullerton…
Blagojevich swore Cullerton in as Senate president on Jan. 14, 2009, and, almost immediately, the Senate began preparing for the governor’s impeachment trial. Even though Blagojevich was a Democrat, he could count on little support from his fellow Democrats in the legislature during the impeachment. The House approved charges against him on a 117-1 vote, with the only dissent coming from Blagojevich’s sister-in-law. Two weeks later, the Senate voted unanimously to remove Blagojevich from office. Cullerton called it a “shameful low” in Illinois’ history.
“I personally voted to remove Mr. Blagojevich, the former governor, from office today for three reasons,” Cullerton said after the vote. “He has demonstrated a clear inability to govern. He has shown disdain for the laws and the processes of the state. And he has deliberately and pathologically abused his power without regard for the people he was elected to serve.”
Cullerton now says the impeachment trial also set a tone of bipartisan cooperation in the chamber. Both he and Radogno, the Senate Republican leader, had just assumed the top spots in their caucuses when the trial began. Illinois had not had an impeachment trial since the days of Abraham Lincoln, so the staffs had to work together to develop the procedures for how to handle the governor’s trial. […]
But it also helped that both caucus leaders were new, Radogno says. “There had been a bitter, unproductive relationship between previous leaders,” she says. “We said, point blank, we’re not going to perpetuate that kind of dysfunction. It’s not good for the institution… We did try to conduct matters in a way that was obviously partisan, but at least respectful.”