21-0 Committee Vote Recommends Rod Blagojevich Impeachment

That was the vote of the Illinois House Impeachment Committee about 5:40 this afternoon.

The committee report recommending the impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich slid out of the committee faster than my feet on the driveway ice this afternoon as I was shoveling.

McHenry County Democrat Jack Franks, a long-time nemesis of the governor, said he was “sad” when Blagojevich was arrested, but “Today is a great day.”

“The only was Rod Blagojevich can communicate with the legislature is through his criminal attorney,” Franks noted.

The Marengo resident noted the flu vaccine purchased that was never used, the Ali Ata and Joe Cari guilty plea agreements, the Tony Rezko conviction.

Southern Illinois Republican Mike Bost pointed out that all but three of the items in the impeachment report occurred before his call for impeachment hearings to be held in July 2007.

He noted that he was criticized for that request.

Indeed, Bost makes an excellent point.

Why did the General Assembly wait a year and a half more before taking action?

Why did the Republican Party fail to follow Bost’s lead in a timely fashion?

Democrat Lou Lang pointed out that the Illinois Constitution only refers to “cause” as a reason for impeachment.

Lang said what had been uncovered was “well sufficient to meet any standard of evidence,” while adding that “we can’t hold people to competence.”

“We have been thorough. We have been fair,” Republican Jim Tracy, a Republican attorney from Brown County elected in 2006, avowed.

“We can hardly reach any other conclusion,” she said. “We have no other evidence brought before us.”

Previous to the vote, Roland Burris testified.

Republican state representatives didn’t lay a serious glove on him, it seems to me.

Pulled from him was a July conversation with former Blagojevich Chief of Staff Lon Monk, a fellow lobbyist at the time, about how Burris would appreciate Monk passing on a good word for him with regard to the Senate appointment.

And, it was interesting to watch Burris’ face when he was asked how he felt when he heard Blagojevich had been arrested.

Burris did reveal that he had already opened a Federal political action committee, something he all but announced in the rain the day he was turned away from the U.S. Senate door.

Left hanging was Blagojevich attorney Sam Adams’ side of the story of his visit to Burris to make the offer of the U.S. Senate seat.

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