Friday, January 23, 2009

Blago update

For those of you who don't live in Illinois and maybe CARE about the life of Rod Blagojevich, here's an update.

The state House voted to impeach Blago a couple of weeks ago as you know. Impeach means to formally accuse, nothing more.

The Illinois Senate now must weigh the accusations and decide if they warrant his removal from office. Like Bill Clinton, you can be impeached a still remain in office if the senate says the evidence isn't strong enough.

So, everyone is back from the celebration in Washington and they are set to begin the "trial" on Monday.

And Blago has cranked up the victim machine at full power. It started with his lawyers announcing a couple of days ago that they would not represent him in Springfield because it wasn't a fair fight. (That and the money involved in defending him, I suppose.)

Then yesterday Blago himself told reporters that the process wasn't fair and would violate his Constitutional rights so he was just going to stay home and let the kangaroo court go on without him.

Today he told reporters much the same thing at his home while he was out running.

Then he called a full-blown press conference this afternoon to reiterate the unfairness of it all. He laid it on thick, telling us that if the system can deny him due process then it could do the same to 12 million Illinois citizens. (What he didn't say was that a criminal trial would allow us to call witnesses, present evidence, explain what happened...all the rights we have. This trial is not a criminal one. The Illinois Senate does not have the right to imprison Blago or impose fines. Their only remedy here is to remove him from office. Does he think we're dopes to fall for the flawed analogy? Now, when the feds haul him into court to answer the corruption charges THEN he'll have all the rights of a citizen charged with committing a criminal act.)

He said if he had trial rights he would be able to call Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett as witness. Both are at the White House now which I assume was calculated to legitimize them as character witnesses, though no one is quite sure what they would say if called to testify. (I'm thinking about the timing of all this; like a good Dem Rod waits until after the inaugural balls are over before he starts dropping names and throwing a tantrum.)

Probably a lot of Rahm's and Valerie's statements would begin with the words, "On the advice of counsel...." I'm sure our state senators all have a copy of that report from Greg Craig, Obama's lawyer, on what they know about it.

Blago then went on with this sappy story about a cowboy wrongfully accused of stealing a horse and his rights. I think he needs some professional help.

To prove his "testicular virility" the gov then begged for help from newspaper editors in Illinois by telling them that the Chicago Tribune stands for justice. It seems to me that the Chicago Tribune was the victim of Blago's alleged influence peddling. Even Mrs. Blago (who just lost her job with a local foundation) was in the act in that one, calling the Trib names and suggesting that if they wanted help selling Wrigley they'd better silence the editor criticizing her husband. Not a very bright tactic on his part mentioning the Tribune, but it WAS brave.

So on the one hand Blago is claiming a lack of fairness because he can't tell his own story and on the other hand he tells us he's staying home instead of attending the proceedings. It seems to me he can tell his own story.

The good news is that if Blago doesn't show up the state senate believes they can wrap it up in a week.

Every senator in Illinois has to know they are under a microscope here. If they cave to the political pressure, they will be held accountable at election time. We are a national embarrassment and their actions can either make it worse or show some signs of hope.

Update: Oh yeah, you'll like this. Blago is saying that the only reason the state senate wants to get rid of him is so they can raise taxes. Soooo, if you want to keep taxes low, make sure he doesn't get removed from office. (Except, Rod was the one wanting to stick it to business with the inventory tax.)

And Genson, Blago's lead attorney, just resigned because the man won't listen to his advice. Wow.

And Daley says his former pal is a nut!

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