Saturday, January 10, 2009

As the state turns

Today’s update on Blagojevich.
On Friday the State House voted 114 to 1 to impeach Blago on these grounds:
1. Gov. Blagojevich plotted to auction off President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat for personal benefit.
2. Blagojevich tried to get members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board fired.
3. The governor signed a bill in exchange for a campaign contribution from the horse racing industry.
4. Blagojevich awarded a Tollway contract in exchange for campaign contributions.
5. The governor threatened to withhold reimbursements to hospitals and doctors in Illinois in exchange for campaign contributions.
6. The governor engaged in pay-to-play in making appointments, and plotted to award a state job to Ali Ata with the Illinois Finance Authority in exchange for campaign contributions.
7. The governor tried to award state contracts to Joseph Cari for campaign contributions.
8. Blagojevich attempted to exchange state permits for campaign cash.
9. The governor failed to abide by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and unlawfully expanded the FamilyCare program.
10. Blagojevich purchased additional flu vaccines without proper approval, making the sale illegal.
11. The governor attempted to import prescription drugs from Canada without consent of the Food and Drug Administration.
12. Blagojevich did not follow the appropriations process when he allocated money for the Agency Efficiency Initiative.
13. The governor violated both state and federal laws in the firing and hiring of various state employees.

Now, one rep voted “present”, a black woman who lost her seat in November (Keep in mind, this is the out-going legislature. The new one hasn’t been seated yet.) Elga Jefferies told the Chicago Tribune that she will be out of work after losing the election and that "I might go and ask him (Blagojevich) for one. I have no problem with asking." At least she’s honest about it. He’s probably happy to have someone who will talk to him.

One member was absent, Ken Dunkin. Dunkin was quoted a few days ago as saying: "There are a lot of political vendettas that are being played out right now," said Dunkin, D-Chicago. "It appears to be headed toward a political witch hunt, because there's not an indictment and there's definitely not a conviction."

The single vote against impeachment came from Milton Patterson. He said the presentation wasn’t strong enough for him. Here’s a photo of Patterson on the floor of the Illinois House in Springfield.

Impeachment means the State Senate can now hold a trial to determine Blago’s guilt (and fate). That will have to wait until after the coronation of Obama. They are scheduled to meet on January 26th but Blago will need to cooperate for them to convene.

Gee, if they get right to work they can announce their conviction on February 12th, Lincoln's 200th birthday. Wouldn't that be special?

No comments:

Post a Comment