Standing up for a Bad Governor

Man! I can’t believe I’m doing this! I’m writing an article standing up for the rights of Rod Blagojevich.

In an Associated Press article I see that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to declare embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich "unfit" to hold the office of governor. The reasonong is that his current legal troubles represent a "disability", thus applying a standard drawn from succession clauses founded in concern over medical or mental disabilities.

Quoting from the article-

The attorney general asked the court for a temporary restraining order or an injunction that prevents Blagojevich from serving as governor. The filing says he is "unable to serve as governor due to disability and should not rightfully continue to hold that office."...
..."Mr. Blagojevich is unable to distinguish between his financial interests and his official duties and between illegal acts and legal conduct, rendering him incapable of legitimately exercising his ability as governor," Madigan says in the motion.
This is a broad and dangerous form of legal creativity. The Illinois Supreme Court would do well to deny , or better yet, IGNORE this request.

I stand with many others, including President-elect Obama, in calling for Blagojevich to resign and deal with his legal troubles as a private citizen rather than selfishly dragging the people of Illinois through the mud. If he chooses, for whatever reason, not to do so, however, the laws of the State of Illinois provide for a process by which he may be removed from office. It is a long an painful process but it is the process envisioned as a way of protecting the rights of the accused, even if the accused is a sitting governor.

Don't set precedents you'll regret later if creative law becomes the norm for people who are not governors, or some future president you like uses an intern for a humidor and then lies about it.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at December 12, 2008 4:10 PM
Comment #271894

No doubt he should be afforded his rights.
I wonder why the hurry to discredit, remove and forget him?

Posted by: kctim at December 12, 2008 4:48 PM
Comment #271915


There must be some cover-up. Why else would they want to remove a likely felon from an important office in a hurry. Maybe he has a copy of Obama’s TRUE birth certificate,proving BHO is a Muslum terrorist born in Kenya. More likely,if there is any undue pressure for haste, it is to get a governor who’s senate appointment will be respected and the people of Illinois will have the representation they are constitutionally entitled to.

Posted by: bills at December 13, 2008 5:37 AM
Comment #271921

Lee, outstanding. I wouldn’t stand up for the man for a million bucks. But, I would give a million bucks to stand up for his rights under our Constitutional legal system.

Why aren’t there more Republicans and Democrats with this capacity for healthy discrimination between the rationally relevant and irrationally emotive?

Your article does your education proud. Your article errs however in implying disability under Illinois statute as referring to only mental or medical disability. That is not how the statute is written. It is much broader than that. The AG is legitimate in seeking the removal under this statute for the reasons she cited in her press interview yesterday morning.

The Gov. will be disabled in his credibility dealings with the Legislature, Courts, and in his dealings with civil service personnel who must now second guess the Gov’s motives in his directives at to the use of the State’s resources. This does constitute a serious disability in the position of Gov. as held by this individual. Removal under this statute is temporary, and therefore constitutes no permanent harm to the Gov. should he be absolved of the allegations before him in Court.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 13, 2008 8:01 AM
Comment #271928

Lee J, this is old news to us in Chicagoland. Other people are already attempting to argue an insanity defense for Gov Worthless. One of the most interesting things about his administration is that he lives in Chicago and operates as governor out of the State of Illinois building at 100 w. Randolph in Chicago, rarely going to Springfield. The building itself was purchased by the state after a previous real estate boom and bust cycle.

People here are also curious about the timing of Fitzgerald’s charges, after such a long investigation, as compared with others like Conrad Black. Fitzgerald’s offices and the BHO transition teams offices are across the street from eachother at 219 and 230 S. Dearborn. Dearborn street is pretty narrow. Some people here believe that Rahm E was trying to get the Governor dumped as quickly as possible before a new administration begins. I noticed in his original press conference that Fitzgerald plans on staying in his office for a long time. Remember, he has Rezko ( Rezko/hospital board/U of C hospital/ MRO employed). I also thought it was odd that BHO resigned his Senate seat about Nov 16, when he actually wouldn’t be elected for another month.

On the Senate seat, JJJr had a hilarious press conference the other day, usurping BHO’s place as the biggest drama queen in Chicago. Some people have been slow in distancing themselves from the Gov, because they want the next Senator to be black, and he was their only hope for that. I’ve posted numerous times about the flukish characteristics of BHO’s election to the Senate. In a special election, Rpblcns would be able to point to pics of the Gov with almost anyone they ran against, especially Danny Davis, my favorite black candidate.

The legislature is going into a special session Monday, in Springfield, to bring impeachment charges, but hijinks may ensue. Some Democrats have already drawn up charges, which Emil Jones Jr has been blocking. Lisa Madigan is hoping the SCOTSOI will make honest guy Pat Quinn governor temporarily. Quinn looks most likely to appoint Tammy Duckworth to the Senate seat. She also has connections to the Gov which could cause her problems. Quinn previously wanted a special election, but now says he objects to the expense.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 13, 2008 11:27 AM
Comment #271937


I watched much of the AG’s presentation…some of her reasoning may be of interest, i.e., the state is near default in payment of some due bills. Illinois normally gets short term loans to pay those types of bills. After the governor signs off to get those loans, the paperwork comes to the AG’s desk for verification of need. and an additional signature. In that verification, she is required to sign off on the reliability, honesty, and ability of the signatory. She states flatly that she would hesitate, for obvious reasons to verify for Blag…do you blame her now for the action she is asking the court to take?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 13, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #271939

PS: Above answer is for kctim as well as Lee…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 13, 2008 2:55 PM
Comment #271946

David Remer,

I actually did consider the probable differences in laws between states like Texas and Louisiana, with which I am more or less familiar, and Illinois. My concern is that the “disability” with which Madigan is dealing is a disability of the state, due to the problems the governor has brought on himself while he himself is in good health and in full possession of his faculties, while the laws she is trying to invoke are predicated on an organic or intellectual disability of the person holding office. Yes, his situation disables him to a certain extent, and it clearly presents hazards to the people and government of the state, but could not someone propose similar disabilities in situations like the Teapot Dome scandal, much of the Hoover presidency, President Clinton’s impeachment ordeal, or events surrounding President Bush’s handling of the worst periods of the Iraq war? (Admittedly we didn’t have a disability clause in the Constitution for the first two crises, even after the period of Wilson’s actual disability proved the real need of one.)

The point is that the law was not devised with this kind of situation in mind. That is why Illinois can impeach its governor.

If they want a clause that allows a temporary removal for the period of an impeachment, extraordinary legal distress, or some such they can make the law, override Blagojevich’s, veto, and from then on the problem is addressed in a law created by the people’s representatives rather than someone’s creative massaging of old legal intent.


I’m not saying I blame the AG for trying, but what she is doing is extralegal. It solves one immediate set of problems but creates awful legal precedent in the process. What happens after that is an exploration of Pandora’s Box.


I always enjoy your insights on Chicago politics. They remind me so of Louisiana, where I spent much of my youth. Fitzgerald’s connectedness inside political circles is a matter of particular interest to me, especially after his handling of the Plamegate investigation and the Scooter Libby trial. That this would have suddenly become a matter of great urgency speaks to the dangers Chicago politics present to the Obama administration and to the Democratic Party

It reminds me of how it took the consumate Tammany Hall insider, Chester Arthur, to clean up New York’s machine politics. (Cleaning up New York politics in the 1880s is highly relative. At least the depth of the muck was reduced.) Could Obama be this generation’s Democratic Chester Arthur?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 13, 2008 6:25 PM
Comment #271953


There is nothing extra-legal about it according to the Illinois Constitution. It may set a precedent, but precedents are set all the time. And, the AG has good reason to file…perhaps you’ve got that windmill in your sights again?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 13, 2008 7:16 PM
Comment #271967

Why do we get rid of scandal-ridden, corrupt politicians like Blagojevich? Because that’s what you’re supposed to do. What, should we embrace him, defend him, do our best to get him out of trouble? No doubt, I think the legal creativity may be problematic, but I can’t fault Democrats in Illinois for wanting him out as soon as possible.

I would argue that given the God-forsaken mess that has been made of this country, being President-Elect is not a part-time job.

As for suspicious timing? How about non-suspicious evidence? When they investigated Rezko, Nothing much at all came up on Obama. Same could be said of Blagojevich. The complicated explanation is a conspiracy that Republican Patrick Fitzgerald is in on, the simple explanation is that Obama is a much cleaner politician than his colleagues.

But he may very well be the Anti-Christ, and will grow horns from his head upon being sworn in. That would explain what a persuasive person he is.

I mean, if you’re going for paranoid fantasy, why settle for doing things half-way? Throw in the illuminati and the Freemasons, if that is more to your tastes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 13, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #271974

Blag is a Democrat, and it is Democrats who are after his skin…anybody know where I’m going with this???

Posted by: Marysdude at December 13, 2008 10:50 PM
Comment #272019

Lee J, Fitzgerald is being criticized by a lot of Rpblcns this morning for pompousness and grandstanding, but I think he feels pretty secure in his job with BHO becoming POTUS. He literally knows too much. Personally, I think he should look into Sam Zell next. I’m hoping John Cullerton, Emil Jones Jr’s successor, will clean up Illinois politics. It looks like a lot of things will be up in the air here for the next two years, with a temporary governor and senator. Everyone here wants this to go away immediately. The Olympic Committee will be making it’s decision in 2009 for the 2016 Olympics. People are dismayed at the level of international coverage.

O/T, you might enjoy a movie called The Still Life from last year, now on dvd.

S.D., I don’t understand your comments. Is BHO a freemason? Anyway, I lump this generation of politicians together, from Gov Worthless to JJJr to BHO, all arrogant self entitled bloviating liars. Your attachment to BHO is based on faith (the substance of things hoped (the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best) for, the evidence of things not seen), which I don’t have in him. Blagojevich sounded exactly the same when he was coming up. I will grant you this, by his cabinet choices, it looks like BHO intends to reign instead of rule. He could take some waving lessons from Elizabeth Windsor.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 14, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #272035

He knows too much? Mister, I’ve seen too many movies, and I at least know the line between conspiracies in fiction and conspiracies in fact. I would bet you that if Fitzgerald withheld evidence like that, it’d get leaked the next day.

Barack Obama, so far as I can tell, is not a Freemason. I merely brought them up because you brought up all these conspiracy theories.

Let me ask you a question: If Obama really was at the center of this web of lies and deceit, and Fitzgerald was in cahoots, would the investigations not have fallen far short of landing on Obama’s doorstep?

It would have been much more convenient for Obama if Rezko’s prosecution had never gotten off the ground, or if Rezko had ended up dead by his own or somebody else’s hand. It would have been equally convenient for Blagojevich to be exonerated, or barely investigated in the first place.

The investigations would have never gotten this far were Barack Obama really some kind of criminal mastermind.

My attachment to Obama is based on the notion that he is politically creative and proactive enough to get things done. He seems to have the kind of leadership attitude that’s necessary to go down something other than the path of least resistance. I wanted somebody in the oval office who could truly be what the media annoyingly called “a gamechanger”.

That’s what we got. This won’t be a Democrat in a rearguard action against the conservatives, trying to keep the Reagan Revolution from biting on his heals, this will be a Democrat who can match wits with the Republicans and capture the ground from them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2008 8:53 PM
Comment #272058

The party wants this off the radar and forgotten before Obama is sworn in and only a naive fool would believe they are not pushing for quicker action. One doesn’t have to believe in any of those conspiracies to see that.

I don’t blame them for wanting to get rid of the guy, but the rush is clearly more for politics than for the people.

Why do you want to get rid of scandal-ridden, corrupt politicians like Blagojevich, but let others linger? Because of politics. I don’t believe there is anything but a normal political link between this guy and Obama, but they are from the same state and have had political interaction and damage control is why this is so rushed.

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2008 10:07 AM
Comment #272065


You delineate the reason for the rush yourself.

The longer the sucker stays in office the more blather we’ll hear from the right about the Blago-Obama connection. We know a crook when we see one, unlike those on the right, and we recognize ‘conservative’ blather when we hear it…get him out, so we can go about the serious stuff we still have to face…much of which is to be faced because of ‘conservative’ blather, obstructionism, and out and out interference.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 15, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #272067

Of course the right is going to try and get as much out of this that they can Dude. Its politics.
To say you guys know a crook and want him/her out as soon as possible, “unlike those on the right,” is laughable. If this guy wasn’t in Obama’s own backyard, the left would be fine with letting the law run its normal course or leave it to the voters.

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #272069


How many Democrats have vouchsafed for Jefferson? We all want these crooked jerks off the table. But, name one on the other side whom has not had cover, after cover, after cover, until it just became so onerous it could no longer be accepted even by other crooks?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 15, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #272071

PS: ‘Poiltics’ does not have to be a four letter word.

>Of course the right is going to try and get as much out of this that they can Dude. Its politics.

Politics can also be people of good intent just not agreeing on policies, and using political (compromise) to come to solutions on those policies. Politics really does not have to be a game of ‘gotcha’!

Posted by: Marysdude at December 15, 2008 1:51 PM
Comment #272075

It doesn’t have to be a game of gotcha, but it is, both sides do it, and we “common” folk are to blame for letting them play us against each other.

I never said any Dem vouched for Jefferson and in fact, I believe most of them detest what he did. But the urgency to get rid of him was not there as it is with Blago and the reason for that is damage control. It happened with clinton and Bush and will happen with Obama.

Posted by: kctim at December 15, 2008 2:19 PM
Comment #272089

S.D., you are weaving a fictional conspiracy theory of your own beyond anything I wrote. BHO resigned from the Senate in a letter dated Nov 13 effective Nov 16. Rahm E has not resigned his USHOR seat, which the worthless gov wanted for his sister in law, to bring it back in the family. IMO, that is what is behind the rush to dump now. Apparently, Rahm E cares more about his USHOR seat than BHO ever cared about the Senate seat, except as a means to an end.

As a historical footnote, 2 Chicago mayors were assassinated, Carter Harrison in 1893 by a “disappointed office seeker” and Anton Cermak in 1933 in an attempt on FDR’s life in Miami.

Posted by: ohrealy at December 15, 2008 5:25 PM
Comment #272101


I don’t feel the urgency is because of damage control, I think it’s because there is a serious decision to be made and Democrats don’t want this crook to be making it.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 15, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #272122

Why I do understand your idea that the Governor is not sick and thus should be allowed to stay in office while waiting for trail; however, I have to wonder where is the rights of the Citizens of the State.

For if an argument can be made that through his own actions and words harm has been done to the Citizens of Illinois and he has thus lost the Authority to Govern. Than should it not be the responsibility of the Other Democratic and Republican Elected Officials to remove an unfit Elected Official?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 16, 2008 7:59 AM
Comment #272124

I wonder what the right would be saying if Dems were not calling for his removal…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 16, 2008 10:07 AM
Comment #272126

>Man! I can’t believe I’m doing this! I’m writing an article standing up for the rights of Rod Blagojevich.


The lead line of your piece is misleading…you’ve been standing up for bad GOVERNMENT all along, a little more for a Democratic crook is almost understandable.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 16, 2008 10:10 AM
Comment #272129

Lee, again, you are mixing jurisdictions as if they were all equal with the same statutes and Constitutions, which of course, they are not.

Illinois’ provision for disability IS NOT predicated on other jurisdictions more narrow and specific definitions of disability. Illinois’ provision does NOT limit disability in its statute to only mental or physical infirmity, which is PRECISELY why their statute ALSO provides that such removal under the statute shall be temporary, and not permanent.

Illinois’ statute contemplates many forms of occasion which could disable a governor, including having their family held hostage to blackmailers, thus providing the State the option of temporarily removing the Gov. from office to negate the blackmailer’s strategy, until such time as the threat to the removed Gov. is removed, at which time the Gov. would be reinstated. This is just one example. Many other potential disabilities are possible, and the State of Illinois contemplated such in drafting their provision for temporary removal from office.

There CAN BE NO comparison with Hoover or any president or any other state’s provisions on the matter, precisely because their statutes and constitutions do not afford the same provision and are not written to address such broad forms of disability.

You cannot logically compare Blog’s and Illinois’ statute with any other jurisdiction whose language for disability is different.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #272131

Jefferson, and to a lesser extent, Stevens, were also “serious decisions,” and they lingered.
Blago is a loose-cannon and a black eye on Illinois politics. Obama is from Illinois.
It is in the best interest of the Democratic Party, who conned voters into believing the Republicans were corrupt and Democrats were not, to get this Dem corruption out of the limelight as soon as possible.
Blago must go, but he is still entitled to it being done right.

“I wonder what the right would be saying if Dems were not calling for his removal…”

They no doubt would use it for political gain.
But if you notice, people aren’t questioning the call for removal, they are questioning the how and why.

Posted by: kctim at December 16, 2008 11:12 AM
Comment #272142

I get it. The Right wouldn’t question the sensible approach of impeaching Bush now, they’d just want to know, why now?

Posted by: ray at December 16, 2008 1:17 PM
Comment #272147

Its only a “sensible approach” if you have evidence, that is why Blago will be impeached and Bush will not.
They know why you want Bush impeached, Ray. He isn’t a liberal Democrat.

I thought with Obama, we got change? He was going to restore our rights, be transparent and we were going to quit living in the past? That didn’t last long.

Posted by: kctim at December 16, 2008 1:55 PM
Comment #272170


It is not Obama calling for immediate removal…the most he’s said is that the state of Illinois would suffer less if Blago resigned. That does not indicate a rush to judgement or a panic to remove from office.

It would have been nice if some of the Republican fiascos of the last eight years had had someone in power to call for resignation…great job Brownie…

It is the rank and file Democrats who want this turd out fast. He is a blight on the political landscape, and he holds up the naming of a replacement for Obama in the Senate. No one he names will go into office with any real acceptance by America, and right now it is important that Obama’s replacemant get a free ride until he/she fails in some way.

Is that political?…of course…so what?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 16, 2008 7:34 PM
Comment #272190


The righties here want to ‘protect the rights’ of Democratic governor Blago…yet were willing to frog-march Republican congressmen Larry Craig and Mark Foley out of Washington at the first opportunity.

Why? I suspect it has nothing to do with protecting the rights of the accused, but instead enjoying the opportunity to have one of the opposition in the spotlight, thereby putting the rest of the opposition in a less-favorable light.

Conversely, when someone makes the party look really, really bad or even hypocritical, they want him out of the spotlight as soon as possible.

That’s not a Republican thing, but a political thing - both parties would do the same, for I even listened to a Democratic pundit defend Larry Craig (but not Mark Foley).

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at December 17, 2008 10:04 AM
Comment #272196

Lee’s post says “Don’t set precedents you’ll regret later if creative law becomes the norm for people,” and I agree with that very much. “Creative law” for political gain is something that we have just gotten used to, IMO, and I believe we shouldn’t put up with it any longer.

Posted by: kctim at December 17, 2008 11:34 AM
Comment #272246


Only someone right handed would assume all precedents are bad…those of us on the left are aware that many precedents are actually good. ‘Change’, is gooood! If it’s done for the right reasons.

However, as we have been discussing this matter the Illinois Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case. A quick resolve is no longer at issue.

Republicans in the Illinois Legislature are already making noise about holding a ‘special election’, to see if by weird cahnce a Republican can replace Obama in the US Senate.

Now you know why we were all for booting the a**hole out quickly…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 17, 2008 7:14 PM
Comment #272293

Come on man, nobody said all precedents are bad. There are rules to everything and changing those rules in midstroke for political gain is why politicians feel they play by a different set of rules.

“to see if by weird cahnce a Republican can replace Obama in the US Senate.

Now you know why we were all for booting the a**hole out quickly…”

I already knew the reason why the left was all for “booting the a**hole out quickly,” that is how this all started.
I’m just saying its not right to bypass the mans rights to aid in reaching your political desire.

Posted by: kctim at December 18, 2008 9:29 AM
Comment #272370


If he is ineffectual as governor, and he is governor, and a solution is the hamstring him, why would that be somehow wrong? It is what the right did for six of eight years to Clinton, and Clinton was not ineffectual.

We don’t know if the man is guilty of all the things Fitz says he is or not. But we do know he is no longer effective as governor, and the state needs an effective governor. Somehow all this righteousness in favor of his continuing in a position he can no longer fill doesn’t ring true.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 8:20 PM
Comment #272371


As far as the law being somehow bent…since it has never been used, but it is within the law, why would that be somehow a change in the law? It, to me, would just be applying a law that has never been applied before. There was nothing illegal about what the AG did, it just didn’t work this time.

The Illinois Supremes have spoken. It’s a done deal. Those who had a concern for the state of Illinois, lost. Those who want to prolong the pain, won.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 18, 2008 8:25 PM
Comment #272391

It has nothing to do with wanting him to continue in his position, and everything to do with getting rid of him in the way that is right, and fair.

I never said the AG was doing anything illegal, just that I thought it was wrong for the AG to work around the process in their rush to get this out of the spotlight as soon as possible. The Illinios SC must of thought it was the wrong approach also.

Concern for the state of Illinois begins with concern for the rights of all her citizens and there is no excuse for trying to circumvent those rights. Not even for political gain.

Posted by: kctim at December 19, 2008 11:21 AM
Comment #272416


No one wanted this jerk put in jail ahead of time. All parties want the laws followed and all rights upheld. The point was not to get the matter out of the light, it was to return the state to viability. With the jerk in office, many state functions must, because of his actions, be delayed (costing more), or not done.

He has already stated that he will not name a successor to Obama’s seat…which is a good thing in one way, but now there will be delays, at a time in our history that delays can cost much.

You righties (I know, you ain’t one), want all things your way, whether it is best for the people or not. Nothing that was purposed was against the Constitution of the state of Illinois, or the United States either…there was no hidden agenda, it was all placed in the open and above-board…it is impossible to please some people…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 19, 2008 1:52 PM
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