Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pressure Mounts On Blagojevich To Resign

Pressure is mounting on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to step down. Well, it's the least he can do right now to spare Illinois of a real mess as the state heads into legislative session and has to deal with a faltering economy.

Since current law gives Blagojevich the right to select Barack Obama's replacement in the Senate, the legislature will have to act swiftly to strip the governor of that right and to call for a special election in its stead. That raises a question as to whether Blagojevich would veto such a bill, but I can't see him taking any actions at this point since he's pretty much secured himself a long term stay in Club Fed.
The Illinois legislature, which is currently adjourned, plans to reconvene on Monday to address the political fallout from the arrest of Mr. Blagojevich on Tuesday on charges of conspiracy and soliciting bribes. The state House is expected to draft a bill that would call for a special election to fill Mr. Obama’s Senate seat, which he resigned last month; state law authorizes the governor to appoint the President-elect’s successor. More than 50 lawmakers have already signed a draft bill to create a committee to investigate whether the governor should be impeached.

Cindy Davidsmeyer, a spokeswoman for Emil Jones, the president of the state Senate, said lawmakers could pass a bill on the special election as soon as next Tuesday. It is unclear whether Mr. Blagojevich would sign such legislation; he could veto it or delay it by returning it to the legislature with requests for changes or by taking no action at all for as long as 60 days.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for the state House speaker, Michael Madigan, said the legislature would act quickly “to try and send yet another signal that there is not confidence in the governor’s ability to make this appointment.”
Since Blagojevich isn't ready to resign, impeachment could be an option, but it's complicated, especially since if impeachment were to begin with the current legislature, no one quite knows for sure how the process would carry over if the impeachment isn't concluded by January 14 when the new legislature is sworn into office or whether the process would have to start anew. Much could be saved simply by Blagojevich resigning, but he's not going to go down without a fight.

Meanwhile, people are still trying to figure out who the other candidates mentioned on the wiretaps were, since they were identified only as numbers. It now appears that Candidate Number 5 was none other than Jesse Jackson Jr.

Oh, and Iowahawk was up to his usual self, identifying Blagojevich's eBay account (humor).

Barack Obama has weighed in and is calling on Blagojevich to resign as well. That could be out of self-preservation of avoiding juicy details from leaking out that might harm Obama and his own advisers.

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