You’ve got to give it to Blago. He has been arrested, taken the public perp walk. He is corrupt; he may be tried and convicted; he has no friends in Springfield, Illinois and will probably be impeached in the next few weeks.
But he’s still Governor of Illinois with all the constitutional and statutory powers inherent therein. Unable to sell Obama’s Senate seat, he’s now giving it away, causing great problems for the Democrats in doing so, and creating a constitutional crisis and racial divide.
The beneficiary of his largess is 71 year old Roland Burris, the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois, former Secretary of State and Attorney General of Illinois, and as far as is known, free from scandal in his decades of public service in Illinois.
Blago is daring the Senate Democrats to reject or expel an African-American, a Senate without an African American with Senator Senator Obama’s resignation from the Senate.
Blago is a diabolical, in your face, street fighter. He is sending a message. If he goes down, he will go down fighting, and take many with him. Just imagine what he can testify to that is not on a tape.
He is also tainting the jury pool in Chicago. If he goes to trial with a typical Chicago jury pool, he might obtain a hung jury.
The Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, Michael Madigan, he whose daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan aspires to become Governor, is calling for an impeachment vote next week. The Lt. Governor, Pat Quinn, who will become Governor, is fueling the flames of impeachment.
They play hardball in Chicago!
He’s also thrown a monkey wrench into the rush to judgment. Patrick Fitzgerald, the United States Attorney who rushed to arrest Governor Blagojevich and publicly humiliate him four weeks ago, is now seeking an additional three months to indict him. The legislature seeks to impeach prior to indictment, much less trial and conviction. So much for a presumption of innocence!
Upon Blago’s arrest, Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, announced that the Senate would not seat any appointee by Governor Blagojevich, presumably on the premise that any appointee would be tainted.
The rectitude of the Senate Democrats in upholding the integrity of the Senate is quite a sight to behold. Reid himself has been the multi-million dollar beneficiary of questionable real estate transactions. Christopher Dodd, the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, received a sweetheart mortgage from CountryWide, as did Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. Senator Dodd also received more campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other Senator or Congressman.
Next Tuesday is Senator designate Burris’ Day of Reckoning for that is when the new Senate will be sworn in. Will Burris be seated, rejected, sent to Committee or arrested for trespass? Will he be given an office, a seat, a telephone, a vote, even a prized Senate parking permit? Or will he be shunned?
Senator Reid said “no way” will Burris be sworn in, but is now wavering and will meet with the Senator designate on Monday.
The Governor is probably patting himself on the back for his brilliant move.
What was the Repu blican culture of corruption is rapidly becoming the Democratic culture of corruption.