Online, the Trib called this story a “Surreal day in Springfield”. We’ve had a lot of those lately here in Illinois.
Less than two hours after Gov. Rod Blagojevich today
made his first appearance at the Capitol since his arrest last month on
federal corruption charges, the Illinois House once again voted to
The 117-1 vote came after Blagojevich oversaw the swearing-in of an
Illinois Senate that will serve as the jury during his impeachment
trial. The second impeachment was necessitated by today’s swearing-in
of a new legislature reflecting the results of the Nov. 4 general
election. The House voted last Friday to impeach Blagojevich 114-1-1.
The only “no” vote this time was cast by freshman Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), Blagojevich’s sister-in-law.
His political family is down to about one now.
It’s still the center of attention for national media, this Illinois
political show involving the Senate seat of Barack Obama, days before
his inauguration as president.
Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat and top
Madigan deputy who chaired the panel investigating Blagojevich’s
impeachment, noted that the inauguration of a new legislature is
traditionally a day of celebration. But, she said, “the oath we have
just taken requires we immediately take up the governor’s lack of
fidelity to the state constitution.”
Blagojevich is “a man who has betrayed his oath of office, who has
betrayed the public trust, who is not fit to govern the state of
Illinois,” Currie said to applause from the audience.
But…..he did an end-run around the Democrats and got his senate pick appointed after all. Just in time.
The Senate rules for conducting the impeachment trial,
scheduled to begin in earnest Jan. 26, will sharply limit Blagojevich’s
ability to try to sway senators.
Though nearly all analysis and prediction concerning the governor has been wrong to this point.