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December 16th, 2008
01:00 PM ET

Blagojevich scandal: Illinois moving quick enough?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

We're now entering the second week since Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested by FBI agents who arrived at his home to take him into custody. Released on $4,500 bail, Blagojevich is charged with practicing pay for play politics including trying to sell President-elect Obama's vacant Senate seat. The evidence against him includes numerous federal wiretaps of his home and office.

Everyone from local leaders to the President-elect have called for Blagojevich to resign but he hasn't done so or given any indication he intends to. On the contrary, with an arrogance that is breathtaking, he goes to work each day as though nothing has happened. And pretty much nothing has happened.

An Illinois House panel met today to decide whether or not to impeach the Governor. But they adjourned almost as quickly as they convened and said they'll meet again on Wednesday when the Governor's lawyer can attend.

Even if impeachment goes forward, it could take weeks or months.

Yesterday the Illinois House of Representatives delayed revoking Blagojevich's power to name a replacement for Barack Obama's Senate seat. No explanation - they just didn't do it.

Here’s my question to you: Is Illinois moving quickly enough to deal with the Gov. Blagojevich scandal?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Robert writes:
Of course not! He's on tape. His own words ought to be enough cause to have the Illinois State Police to bar him from the Governors office.

Paul from Columbia, South Carolina writes:
There is no "swift" in justice anywhere in America anymore. The longer it lasts the more money the lawyers make. The victims no longer count.

Ron from San Francisco, California writes:
I'm sitting on a jury now and let me put it this way. You don't go slow for any reason other than to make sure you did it right. Before destroying a man, make certain, beyond any doubt, that you're doing the right thing. If I were in the Assembly, I would want to go slow for my own conscience. Imagine if you impeach him and then U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald later fails to prove his case?

Tony in Michigan writes:
Not really, but this is how these things are done. Look at how long the Scooter Libby thing took or how the U.S. Senate did nothing after Stevens was convicted. Right or wrong this is what we get for tolerating scandals and corruption on the whole from elected officials. They should suspend his power to fill the vacant Senate seat until the investigation is complete, immediately.

Gary from El Centro, California writes:
I think they did the right thing in giving him a little time to decide whether or not to resign. He's not moving, so now it's time to kick it into high gear and get him out of there.

Kevin from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania writes:
Is he still Governor? Yes? Well then it's not quick enough.

Tom from Boston, Massachusetts writes:
Illinois would be moving faster if they didn't have such a hard time just pronouncing his name.

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Mike S.,New Orleans

    I'm impressed by how fast the Illinois government is addressing the Governor's improprieties. Here in Louisiana we have to re-elect them four times before we're allowed to send them to prison.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  2. karen-phoenix

    Yes! As fast as the law will allow. They have wanted to impeach him for over a year!!! Obama would not even let him talk or be part of the democratic national convention!!!

    December 16, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  3. Steve in Milford,MA

    The scumbag still has a job and is not in jail. The answer is NO!

    December 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  4. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    This is Illinois’ problem. They have their own way of dealing with their own brand of corruption just as New York has (or New Jersey for that matter).

    December 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  5. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    They are moving as fast as the wheel can be greased and in Illinois and other states that takes considerable time. The biggest thing about this scandal is that we all know about it how much happens that we do not know about. It is also a divertion to try to insinuate that President Elect Obama is corrupt which when all is said and done will show in fact he is not and is a person that really wants to make things better.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  6. Hummer girl, South Carolina

    No!! When have you ever known Legislatures to act quickly – unless it was to thier individual benefit?

    December 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  7. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    If the President of the United States says you should resign, guess what he should be looking for another line of work. That being said the impeachment process should already be in place, apparently this guy aint giving up with out a battle.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  8. Anthony Smith

    Quicker than Pelosi is moving to impeach Bush!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  9. Allison Sloan

    It boggles my mind that this idiot won't resign.Get rid of him as soon as possible, in whatever way that your system allows.
    Allison,
    Vancouver,B.C.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  10. Sherrol in Canada

    As fast as the law allows, I guess. However, they should not drag their feet, the sooner Blagojevich is banished and a decision made on how the next US Senator of Ill will be determined, the better.

    The scandal is detracting from people's perception of Pres-elect Obama and his cabinet getting down to business. Our curiosity has still not been satisfied regarding what type of dealings Rhambo had with Blago.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  11. John

    Jack: I live in Alabama. It would have taken us until sometime in 2009 to move on this issue. Therefore, I think Illinois is moving at light speed.

    John
    Alabama

    December 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Frank from Peterborough

    It would seem they are moving quicker than most states do when faced with similar issues. Remember no one is following the corruption case in Minnesota where their incumbent Senator has just as serious a charge against him and he is in a recount.

    I guess the reason Governor Blagojevich is getting so much attention is just because the press and their Republican masters are hoping to somehow tie Obama into this one.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  13. David in Granville, Ohio

    As quick as the speed of politics will allow!

    I don't quite understand why the state representatives cannot get together, have an hour long debate, pass the impeachment resolution, send the result to the state senate for ratification all in one day.

    THEN things would be moving quickly enough for the real world!

    December 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  14. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    the answer to this is easy. Make haste slowly. There is a reason to be quick about this, but if you want a win a conviction you must go slowly to insure the case proceeds correctly.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  15. Dave in Saint Louis

    I don't think so. The creep just signed a bill into law. The guy needs to hault everything and go away.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  16. Mickie

    No, but I'm not sure what can be done without a conviction. After all, even the scum are innocent until proven guilty. However, I do believe there should be a law passed that once you have been charged with a "felony", any political powers should be suspended automatically until the case is over. Our political system is disgraceful.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Quick or slow what doe it really matter. What matters is the process is done correctly and with justice.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  18. Billy G in Las Vegas

    they can't move fast enough for me in getting rid of that little weasel.

    "Ebay Blagojevich" is a TOTAL embarrassment and distration to the Democratic Party in general and President Elect Barack Obama in particular at a time when EVERYONE in government needs to be focused on the economic problems facing this country.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  19. Ann from S.C.

    I like what the official handling a possible impeachment of the governer said – that they wanted to get it right. To me that is better than fast.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  20. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Jack,

    What has happened to innocent until proven guilty? Does the governor get a day in court? This whole mess is going to quickly, everyone is reacting like whirling dirvishes. The world as we know it will not end if the Gov. Blagojevich scandal is not resolved right away.
    Lets give the entire process time and stop spinning our collective wheels.

    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    December 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  21. garrick

    hi jack
    i think they are,but Blagojevich isnt moving fast enough,he should just leave and never come back,plus the only one that will miss him is his hair dresser.
    clearwater,fl

    December 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  22. Daniel Ambrose

    Jack,

    Yes they are.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  23. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    The Illinois Attorney General moved quite swiftly in requesting that the state Supreme Court remove the governor. Now the ball is in their court. How quickly it comes out is anyone’s guess. If it is left to the legislature to decide to impeach or have an election, I don’t see Obama’s seat getting filled by Jan.20. Given the republicans penchant for gridlock even against their own administration, the democrats are going to need every seat filled on day one.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  24. Patrick in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – nothing moves quickly when Lawyers get involved. They get paid by the hour.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Ann from Newton, New Jersey

    Why is it that politicians are so "untouchable"? If he was the average Joe, he would be in jail right now. In the days of the wild west, he would have been dragged out into the town square and hung. I don't wish to go that far, but have one of those bounty hunters bring him in and put the whole thing on TV for the world to see.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  26. carol in Oregon

    It depends on what your defination of quick is. In my state I would have been arrested on day one and could depend on being in jail a year or two (couldn't afford bail) waiting to go on trial. Since I have no money I'd have a court appointed lawyer who would probably get me twenty years. If I had money, and a good lawyer, get my trial postponed for three years and be parden shortly after by the president. It would be nice to have equal justice under the law but It's hard to find. Oh! the answer to your question is NO.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  27. Jenna Wade

    Is Illinois moving quickly enough to deal with the Gov. Blagojevich scandal?

    No.

    Impeachment is not the answer because then there will be a special election. Since he is a corrupt Democrat and Illinois is in the news so much – a Republican will be elected and we don't want that!

    Either he is ousted because he is unfit to serve or Blagojevich sucks it up an choses a Democrat that should have been tapped without a payoff.

    Will he do the right thing?

    It doesn't look like it.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    December 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  28. Bill in NYC

    Any notion that Illinois politicians have the people's best interests at heart have been completely erased through the ridiculous process they've initiated to "determine if there is a basis to impeach" the Governor. A snail will move faster than this gang that can't shoot straight. What a sham. Daley & Co. are laughing in their graves.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  29. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I think they did the right thing in giving him a little time to decide whether or not to resign. He's not moving, so now it's time to kick it into high gear and get him out of there.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  30. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    It seems that they have their hands tied by the whole "innocent until proven guilty" maxim. That said, in my opinion the only person who is not acting quickly enough in Illinois is Gov. B. The best thing he can do is to resign and allow Illinois to rebuild credibility. If he is holding out for a cabinet post he should look to Venezula. I am certain he could bring the proper skill set to serve in the Chavez administration.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    The Illinois legislature is moving as fast as they legally can. Much of their efforts are in uncharted water. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Blagojevich has not even been charged, but the media and others want him impeached, without any form of formal hearing.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  32. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Jack,remember that Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.

    December 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  33. Dennis Proteau

    Jack,

    The answer is no. He was still the Gov. last week.

    Dennis
    Hartsville,Tn.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  34. Gigi in Alabama

    It seems to me that this governor should just step down and save the people of the state of Illinois a lot of grief and money.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  35. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    They are doing what they can within their laws and constitution. This limits what they can and can't do and slows down the process.
    They are also up against this pesky legal right called "innocent until proven guilty". It shouldn't apply in the case, but it does.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  36. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I think that they are moving as fast as they can legally. The AG and the Legislature keeps putting the pressure on but Govenor Blagojevich is digging in his heals for a long fight. Let him sign into law that there will be a special election for Obama's seat. Eventually he'll be gone.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  37. Dan, Chantilly VA

    He still has his job, so I'm going to have to say 'no'. Wouldn't you expect them to start the impeachment hearings within an hour of finding out that he broke several federal laws? Only in the world of politics does it take several weeks to fire someone.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  38. Ken

    The longer this goes on, the more distractions to incoming administration. It taints any and all Illinois and Chicago related appointees. It's obvious that the Governor thinks he's God and wants to control the whle political world.... or at least his word according to Blago.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  39. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Is he still governor? Yes? Well... then it's not quick enough.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  40. Marieth, Chicago

    When you ask "quickly enough," does that mean that the whole thing should have been wrapped up in 72 hours? Everything cannot and will not be done in micro-wave speed. How about a thorough investigation instead of piece by piece information coming out every other hour. Patience is a virtue.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Ray, Florida

    Sting him up ! We'll worry about the trial later!

    December 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  42. Carl Deshazer

    Jack,
    I live in Illinois, in my opion, it not going fast enough, i have wanted this political Leech, Gov. Blagojevich gone for a long time now.
    Carl in Illinois

    December 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  43. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Yes. They seem to have several options going forward at the same time, Patrick Fitzgerald, resignation, not fit for duty and the nuclear option, impeachment. All of these options will take time.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  44. Kerry Diehl

    Come on Jack.....

    These things take time.....they're still trying to figure out how to also blame this one on Bush!

    December 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  45. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    The only time politics move fast enough is when they are giving the rich more riches, as in bailing out Wall Street.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  46. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    There is no "swift " in justice anywhere in America anymore. The longer it lasts the more money the lawyers make. The victims no longer count.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  47. Ryan from Indiana

    Considering all the evidence against him as well as all of his past treachery, I'd say they should move him out as quickly as possible. Not only does a guy like Rod not deserve any sort of power in government, he also has a ridiculous helmet full of hair. There's something to be said about that.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  48. Elizabeth Brooks

    Illinois is moving at a snail's pace. It makes no sense to me! That governor is a disgrace and so is his foul-mouthed wife. Just my 2 cents worth!

    Elizabeth
    Port Angeles, WA

    December 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  49. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    I think they're dancing as fast as they can to remove the sleaze. Look how long it took for Nixon to resign.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  50. Anne from Vero Beach, FL

    No. There should already be a new governor in place. What if he had murdered someone? Would we all still be waiting around to see if anyone has the power to kick him out?

    December 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  51. Silas, NC

    Personally, I think the Government is doing good, but I feel that the voters should have a say, and an immediate reaction to him. The voters voted him in, why can't they vote him out? Hold a special election tomorrow, and get that clown out of office before he sells his own position to someone!

    December 16, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  52. Jim/NC

    The Blago scandal will go on for months and years. Oftentimes justice is a slow moving train with lawyers, politicians and masters of verbage involved. Honesty has forever left this country, especially when politics is the very core of the scandal. Politicians are scramblong as we speak to cover their behinds.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  53. JR in Norfolk VA

    Due process, due process, due process.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  54. gerald williams elsmere,ky.

    i cant believe its taken this long and still this guy can give the seat to who he wants unbelieveable jack the circular motions of the political process

    December 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  55. Tom

    Jack, what criminal offenses he has committed? He has been charged with solicitation of bribes but has not yet been convicted. Let the courts do their job. If convicted, then and only then, should the State of Illinois impeach him.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  56. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    Think they are probably moving as fast as they can. The problem with our politicans is getting them to agree on anything. There is so much in fighting, Dems versus pubs, they never unite to resolve or pass
    anything.
    The governor should step down, Lt gov put in place and allowed the pick a senator. Our state is almost bankrupt and cannot afford the cost of an election. Course, the republicans are fighting that idea,
    so here we go again.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  57. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Jack, I'm from Illinois and have been waiting for his removal long before this latest incident. I think it's going pretty quickly. Many of our legislators have been discussing impreachment for a long time now they have the best reason ever. Blogo made it easier for them by handing them his head on a platter. I just want them to do it right so I'm willing to wait for the process to play out. When he goes away, I want him to stay away forever.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  58. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    You would think that a Federal indictment would be enough to put any office holder temporarily out of commission.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  59. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Illinois Assembly is going too slow. State Attorney should move a petition to temporarily remove the scoundrel from Office.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  60. Dick Aurelia, Iowa

    Did I miss where he had been convicted?

    December 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  61. Marvin

    Why the big fuss over the Illinois governor selling a senate seat? Isn't he just doing what Congress does when the lobbyists come running with their bags of money? He isn't any more guilty of selling out to the highest bidder than our other elected officials. As Lou Dobbs frequently notes, "The best government money can buy!"

    December 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  62. Annie, Atlanta

    Jack, it appears the only time politicians actually move quickly is when they’re voting themselves a pay raise.

    December 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  63. Tommy Pullman

    I think Illinois is certainly moving fast enough. Anything faster wouldn't be legal, like slapping the governor upside the head, which he deserves.

    Tom
    Bedford, IN

    December 16, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  64. Darren

    What I really want to know is why there is a different set of rules for criminals in government and up on Capitol Hill.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  65. Jerry from Jacksonville

    They've been investigating the jerk for three years a few more weeks won't hurt.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  66. Philip A. Williams

    No. The Illinois legislature is not moving quick enough to remove Gov. Corruption from office. The State Attorney General should file a criminal complaint against him immediately and force him to either resign from office or be handcuffed and escorted out of office.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  67. James

    When does justice move fast?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  68. Lynn

    It doesn't matter how fast the State of Ilinois moves. Blagojevich has already been tried, convicted, and sentanced by the media. His fate was sealed the moment reporters started screaming for his resignation and then whining and calling him nuts when he didn't comply before the next news cycle. All this from a country that proclaims "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law". This is an embarrassing example of how our democracy really works and probably why other parts of the world think we are hypocrites.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  69. John in Arizona

    It seems that the Illinois legislature is probably moving about as fast as any legislature could. It's Blago who's not moving fast enough – as in moving out.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  70. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Why hasn't the Illinois legislature thrown this man out of office?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  71. Tony in Michigan

    Not really, but this is how these things are done. Look at how long the Scooter Libby thing took or how the US Senate did nothing after Stevens was convicted. Right or wrong this is what we get for tolerating scandals and corruption on the whole from elected officials.

    They should have suspended his power to fill the vacant Senate seat until the investigation is complete, immediately.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  72. Eric VanSickle (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

    Jack:

    Unfortunately, political movements on removing someone from office is slow. They have to set up committees and investigate everything, much like the GOP did in 1998 before drafting the Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Clinton. However, the Illinois Legistlature needs to speed things up, because Jan. 6 is not that far away, and the state needs to find a person to fill in for Pres.-elect Obama when the new Congress convienes then.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  73. Sam, Seattle

    Politics, corruption, (insert name and State name here), all in the same sentence. Is this really news?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  74. D. R. Texas

    No I don;t think so

    December 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  75. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    Illinois would be moving faster if they didn't have such a hard time just pronouncing his name!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  76. David

    Hey Jack, he is moving a lot faster than House Speaker Pelosi did to remove Bush. If the Iraqi can throw a shoe at bush she should be able to throw the book at him.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  77. Dan Warner

    This is still America and even though he may appear to be guilty as sin he is entitled to a fair trial. Politics is a dirty business and what may appear to us to be scheming and arm twisting is business as usual in the world of politics.

    Let's not hang him just yet...

    December 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  78. corey smith

    of course not... he isnt the only dirty one in chicago. They have to figure out a way to punish him without him bringing down the whole house

    December 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  79. Howard in Novato, CA

    Hey Jack, have you ever been in IL in the middle of the winter? Nothing moves quickly there that time of the year. Besides, politicians love nothing more than getting face time on television. Expect all the key players in this drama to milk this for all the network face time they can get.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  80. James W. Blevins

    Have you not seen the play/ movie Chicago? This is SOP for Chicago.
    Really, Chicago does not play by the same rules as the rest of us.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    December 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  81. Aaron, Oak Lawn Illinois

    NO! This arrogant fool has gotten away with enough. It's time to get him out! The General Assembly crushed a recall bill last spring. Too bad, huh?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  82. Colleen-Champaign, IL

    I've lived in Illinois for my whole life and one thing's for sure-the legislature's response to the Blago incident is the same as its response to everything else. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are falling further and further behind, and small business owners consider themselves lucky if they actually get paid from government contracts! Everyone else around the country seems appalled nothing has happened, but everyone around here is unfortunately unsurprised.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Marie

    No they are not doing enough to remove the Governor from office, but maybe they are waiting for a bailout? It seems nothing gets done until someone cleans up a mess for someone else, but since that's what's happening in the highest office, I guess we shouldnt be surprised it has trickled down to the state level.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  84. Steven

    I am still amazed in the reaction time of dealing with these scandals. Why is it that it takes so long to deal with such issues.

    Just imagine, if Obama was cornered around a scandal such as this during the election. He would have been torn apart by now.

    My point here is that, if someone in power is missusing just that, why do we wait? Why do we move through the slow process of impeachment.? Let's speed it up.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Robert Chin

    What part of "do you want to buy a Senate seat" do we not get? This stuff isn't just embarassing for Chicago or Illinois, it is embarassing to all Americans. He should be out and whoever the Lt Governor of Illinois is should be in. He's on TAPE!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  86. George

    For years the US has been pointing a finger at other countries and their corrupt governments however they did not look at their hand while pointing, that 3 fingers of the same hand pointed right back at them
    George from Toronto

    December 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  87. Ostaad (Princeton, NJ)

    Mr. Cafferty, the reason the impeachment proceedings are taking longer than they should is the fact that, on a daily basis, all government employees in state of Illinois are entitled to a lunch hour and 2 coffee breaks that are even longer!

    Is there any wonder why anything ever gets done in that state?!

    Ostaad
    Princeton, NJ

    December 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Diane Treider

    Jack,

    This is a problem for the people of Illinois. If they don't believe they deserve better by their own legislature and DEMAND better, that's their problem. The Senate will not seat anyone Blagojevich chooses. I trust the US Senate if not the state of Illinois. (did I just say that?)

    Diane Treider
    Dallas, Texas

    December 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  89. lynn Kent, New York

    No, they are moving at their own sweet time. Chicago time which means someone is waiting for their money to come in. This money and deals will help slow the process and keep him in office for as many paychecks as he can get. Saturday night live wants him and they are sending him movie offers as you read this.. Lynn Sr, Kent, New York

    December 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  90. Marcus, Seattle

    No. They need to convict him and replace him. I'm tired of this story about an uninteligent liar who makes poor decisions dominating the news. Let's take this to court, where the evidence and his arrogance will speak for themselves, so we can all move on to more important issues.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  91. Vivian

    No they are not moving as quickly as they would if this had been an everyday American citizen this man would have lost his job. It should not be a question of whether or not he should be impeached, he should not have the power he is given considering the situation.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  92. Michael

    Politics as usual. Its time that the American peoples voices that are screaming for change, and disclosure of the real facts are not only heard, but are taken seriously. Most politicians soon fail to hear the majority voice, and fail to be effective accomplishing anything other than creating more wealth for themselves.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  93. Jerameel Rodriguez

    I do not think that illinois is moving fast enough. He should have, at the least, been suspended from his office of governor when these charges were brought up. It amazes me to think that somebody in political power can stay in office while being charged with corruption, and still have the power to choose who will have President-elect Obama's vacant seat. How broken must our political system be before they realize it needs to be fixed? Some sort of legislation should be passed to make sure that a politician charged of a crime can be suspended till a full investigation convicts, or clears said politician.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  94. Roland

    The people of Illinois need to do what we Californians did and have a special recall election. Heck, the Legislative Assemblies couldn't even be counted on to balance the state budget by the due date. So, voters need to organize and take this into their own hands. That's also part of our great American democratic process.

    Roland (native Californian)
    now living in St. George, UT

    December 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  95. Bill - Morris, Illinois

    Jack

    You failed to mention that the Illinois Attorney General has already filed a motion with the State Supreme Court to declare him unable to fulfill his duties. That has moved quickly.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  96. John Johnson

    I don't understand why the Illinois legislature doesn't just do a straight-up vote on impeaching the governor. How many times do they have to read the transcriptions of the phone conversations before they accept that he belongs in the prison rather than the governor's mansion?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  97. Bruce Whistance

    The Illinois governor is not being removed from office fast enough because citizens are not demonstrating enough outrage! If the same number of demonstrators filled the streets of Chicago as did during the 1968 Democratic Convention things would be different. Democracy is in the streets, if the streets were filled with angry folks calling for his removal they could not be ignored.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  98. Bob Hartley

    It is impossible for us on the outside to know whether or not they are moving too slowly. We don't have the inside info that they have. However, I'm sure there will be many who will critcize anything they do. I've never understood how those without the knowledge can believe that their opinions are worth 2 cents. Ego I suppose.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Jennifer from Maryland

    What's the holdup? It makes you wonder what dirty deals are being struck.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  100. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    this is just par for the course, how else could the attorney's justify the out of this world fee's they charge, by the way , i couldn't or anyone i know couldn't afford. if i were in his shoe's i'd never see daylite again.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  101. Robin Bruzdzinski

    Why is the media making such a big deal about the governor of Illinois? We have been lied to and cheated out of our hard-earned money for the last 8 years, not to mentions the "war" and the economy! If anyone should be impeached, it should be George W. Bush! Why haven't we been hearing anything about those impeachment proceedings?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  102. Tim K.

    As a resident of Chicago and an avid reader of the Tribune, its disappointing that the US attorney's office did not wait until Blago actually committed a crime. All they have now is circumstantial evidence of disappointing behavior unbecoming an elected official. I think had a crime actually been perpetrated (which knowing Illinois politics – most likely has occurred, just look at Chicago's Aldermen and the coincidence in their voting in relation to campaign donors and what would benefit those donors) the Illinois State House and Senate would be able to move much quicker. Personally, the recorded conversations indicate a man whose character is not consistent with what is expected, needed, and deserved in the office of Governor and his words and conduct necessitate his removal from office – or at the very least a curtailing of his power until the next election. No one is above the law in this state, this country, and most certainly not one whose job it is to execute that law and serve it. Go get 'em Fitzgerald.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Bob Wampler

    The governor in Chicago Ill, even makes Texas politicians look like good guys. You gotta be sneakier than he is to be sucessful in a job like his.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Tiger

    Pleasse ,Illinois don't do any thing to Blagojevich.
    i am trying to close a deal with him.
    i will pay him $1,000,000.00 if he can get me the shose from Iraq.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  105. scott - DFW Texas

    How quick are hypocrites to indict one of there own? Like he is the only one?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  106. Rick Omaha, NE

    Jack, I think Governor Blagojevich is well aware of how long it takes to get anything done in politics. His term will probably run out before an impeachment panel comes to a decision. Blagojevich is just as lucky to not be in jail as Bush is for not giving a speech at an indoor ice skating rink in Iraq. Typical U.S. politics at its finest.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  107. Chet Zukowski

    The guy should have been placed on a "leave of absence" without pay until either found guilty or not guilty. If guilty, he should forfeit his pay. If found not guilty, then give him backpay.

    My gut feeling, he's not getting any backpay!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  108. Terry in Hanover County

    I'm not sure they have the evidence to convict him in an impeachment trial unless Fitzpatrick shares what he has with the Illinois Legislature. As much as I find the Governor's behavior repulsive, he's still presumed innocent until convicted. What if he's impeached or he steps down and is found not guilty later by a jury of his peers or the charges are dropped? But as far as the speed of Illinois government goes, it's on a fast track, particularly when compared with the glacial pace that Congress works.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  109. Phil, Arlington, VA

    Are you kidding, Jack? Sometimes it feels like evolution is moving faster than those clowns in Springfield. Now we know why Blago's standing his ground - he probably believes he can finish his term before any actual political action would take place to remove him. It's all up to Patrick Fitzgerald to put his indicted butt in prison.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  110. Jeffrey Cohen from LA, California

    Given his past history of scandal, yes they are moving too slow. But the fact is that he needs to resign and if he does so, none of this needs to even happen.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  111. Jonathan

    I thought the phrase was "innocent until proven guilty." Why don't we wait until he's been convicted of a crime before we stone him.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  112. Charles

    Until there is federal conviction, I don't think it's wise to remove him from office. However, as the IL Attorney General has stated, his ability to lead the State of Illinois is in question. On this point alone his power should be suspended until the serious legal action against him is resolved.

    Should he be found innocent, then his powers should be reinstated. If he is found guilty, then he either must resign or be impeached. At that point it's an easy decision for the Legislature of IL to reach.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  113. Toby in Illinois

    These things take time, if we follow the law appropriately. Of course, it would have gone a lot faster back in the good old USSR.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  114. Joe

    this is a consitutional problem policticans across America stay in office run for re-election during indictments, they should be suspended at the least until trial, of course the laws are written and interpreted for their protection

    December 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  115. Joe Kale

    It is beyond me to understand how this man got off with a bail of $4,500. If this was you or me, and there was 70+ page indictment, the bail would have been 5 or 6 figures? Was this just more Illinois politics???

    December 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  116. Walter Boller

    The Illinois Supreme Counrt won't kick him out, cause the only thing they do well is lunch. My guess would be he has lots of cash deals still out there, and if he quits now someone else will pocket the cash. Besides, he has hired a top criminal lawyer wwho I am sure will cost a few bucks. I would also think that fundraisers won't help pay this guys fee.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  117. george c paree

    change ill. way I dont think so

    December 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  118. Debbie Duff

    Hi Jack,

    I'm from Illinois and there is an obvious explanation for their lack of action. The Democrats do not want an election because they fear that Obama's seat will be earned by a Republican (rather than purchased by a Democrat). I hope we do get to vote and that someone without connections to anyone in our State government gets that seat. It would be the true change the voters voted for.

    Debbie in Central Illinois

    December 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  119. L.M.,Arizona

    What happen to due process a man is innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of doubt. If Bush,Cheney,and the rest are walking around free then I think Illinois can take their time.

    L.M.,Arizona

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  120. KiloWhiskey

    It's their state, it's their Governor – they elected him when they should have known better. They can go as fast or as slow as they like – none of my business.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  121. Tony Ligterink

    Considering Bush should have been impeached long, long ago...I think the Illini are doing just fine!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  122. Kim - Blair, NE

    Why on earth would they want his attorney present during a meeting to decide whether or not to impeach? This country revolves around attorneys instead of what is right or wrong. RIDICULOUS!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  123. BC- Ft. Myers, FL

    The court should really step in and help the People out. He is still signing legislation including the bill that was mentioned in the charges last week. That is deplorable. He will not be deterred. I can see him being declared unfit to govern and still coming into the Governor's office trying to conduct "Business".

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  124. Bob

    Given, the importance of the investigation, I would say the haste to remove the Governor from office is more motivated by the politics of the naming a replacement Senator and other factors. The facts will all come out in the investigation. I'm sure that now the Governor is between "a rock and a hard place" he will sing like a canary. Small bird but big impact. He is the type of politician who will take others with him!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  125. scott lawrence, KS

    I'm not surprised as back-door deals are being made & that takes time. He obviously has something on someone or a pretty big bargaining chip. This country needs someone with a big dustbuster.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  126. Josh

    He is innocent until proven guilty so he should not have to resign or be removed from office. Its shameful how the prosecutors have played this case out in the media making it very difficult for him to eventually receive a fair trial. Keep your chin up Governor!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  127. Buddy from Dallas

    No, they are not. Here's my bet.... we're gonna find out that a lot of those Illinois Congressman who should be impeaching him ASAP, might be some of those "pay-to-players". They may need some time to try to find ways to clear their own names in advance. Come on Blago, name some names and save yourself.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  128. Ray [Maryland]

    It's not that we are moving quickly or not. The real problem is we don't have any law in place to handle public official's when they go bad. That's why they have no fear and continue to break all the law's of the people that elected them

    December 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  129. andrew , naperville ,il.

    it's all proceedure and protocol and it takes time. look how long it takes congress to get something done. the governor knows this, and needs his paycheck, so he's going to hold on as long as he can. .

    December 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  130. David - Chicago, IL

    Due process can be too slow, and we cannot "rush to judgement". I am not defending Gov. Blagojevich by any stretch of the imagination, but the process can be long and tedious. That's whay most Illinois residents I know and have spoken to want the Gov. to do the right thing and resign. It cost the state millions to prosecute Gov. Ryan and Blagojevich knows that and had referenced that during his tenure.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  131. Brad, Chicago

    So will we have to change the open road tolling signs with his name all over them?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  132. Jack

    Is it possible the Chicago corruptopus tentacles reach into many corners of the State House, hence the pussyfooting around?

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  133. Johm K./Illinois

    Illinois Legislature moves at a pace all its own. This mess may have been avoided if voters were allowed to vote in a recall election in November,a measure that passed in the house but through political maneuvering failed in the senate.Blago's sought retribution for this by closing a State prison in senate District of one of bills sponsors and closing State Parks.
    This is Chicago Politics at its finest despite Mayor Daley's assertion that this is a downstate problem.Does Daley need reminded that Blago and his family never moved into Governors mansion but chose to stay in his Chicago home and commute 200 miles at taxpayer expense.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  134. fred N.C.

    I wonder if they would be moving faster if they were voting themselves a raise? nuff said.....

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  135. Joshua Richardson

    Jack, They have been wanting to impeach him for a year, what's a few more weeks? I think they're just taking their time to make sure they are doing everything completely legal and ethical to get this horrible governor, who is an embarrasment to Illinois residents like myself, out of office.
    Joshua Richardson, Eastern Illinois University

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  136. Matt

    Are the moving fast enough? Of course not....but then again if you stop to think about it....they cant either. Like everyone says.....its one of the most politically corrupt areas in the US. Right now you have every corrupt polotician that has a connection to him pulling strings and calling in markers to cover themselves and make sure he doesnt rat them out. That means they have to work behind the scenes to protect him as much as possible. Thats what your seeing right now...meetings that do nothing....why? Because they planned the meeting....said it publicly....then someone behind the scenes said...."I don't think so....we arn't ready yet.....reschedule..." and they did.

    Look between the lines and expect the worst.....and thats more then likely whats hapening.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  137. Joshua

    It is completely obvious that the delay is a part of the epidemic of corruption in Illinois. The deal makers need some time to make a deal!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  138. PJ in Iowa

    Jack, there are necessary legal details needing to be carefully addressed in proceeding with any action against a duly elected govenor.
    Having said that, yes, it is moving too slow, throw the bum out and let the new governor (the current lt. gov.) make the appointment in accordance with Illinois law.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  139. Nick Blois

    Committing adultery our using the services of a prostitute is the the quickest way for one to be forced out. Bribery and theft in office, no big deal.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  140. terry

    I think they are incapable of acting on in thing this state is in my opinion broke and corrupt from top to bottom at the state level. The senator, and Representative have little control over the day to day actions for the state rep's. Everyone is joking for position to fill a soon to vacant seat in some shape, form, or fashion. School system ok, but still need a lot of funding in order to be able to compete nationally. city government is running a budgets that can't be substained. All in all we are in bad shape in this state, and I've only lived here for 20 monthes. Looking forward to moving in 2010, or 2011.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  141. Tony

    I can't understand why, given the gravity of the allegations, no one has said a word about the bail that judge set for his release, which was less than $5,000! This is the Governor of a U.S. state! Hello!

    December 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  142. Bill

    The only two times a legislature moves quickly is to leave town or give themselves a raise. America will be shocked when this all plays out but by then it will be too late to get rid of the BO, we will just have to stink er stick it out for four years.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  143. Carol

    If politics ever wants to clean up it's name, and become what we all can look up to with pride in our democratic system, then we need to quickly rid ourselves of the likes of Govenor, Blagovich.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  144. lu

    "innocent until proven guilty" is the standard used for criminal court decisions. If the governor was treated as a private company employee, he would at the very least be suspended, more than likely without pay. Upon listening the taped conversations, he would have then have to sign a statement agreeing to his termination and stripping him of his right to sue his employer. The entire matter would be resolved in less than a week.

    California.

    December 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  145. John

    As someone from Springfield, I can say with certainty that we're all waiting with baited breath for the next resident of the Executive Mansion. Its not like Rod ever moved in to begin with...

    December 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  146. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Yes.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  147. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    errr, I mean NO!

    December 16, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  148. James Teer

    Jack,

    I believe the hesitancy is in the fact they are realizing that he didn't do anything.

    Talking about commiting a crime is not commiting a crime. And that is all he did.

    He has made no financial gain from his position as Guv and he did not really sell anything. Although the Fed prosecutor had good intentions, he should have waited until someone actually brought him some cash or they had recorded a promise of a favor that they could make stick, Then they would have had complicity in that there would be buyer and seller and that would have made an illegal transaction.

    Right now, I dont believe they have anything except intent, and I know a whole lot of people who talk about robbing a bank, but never do. Shall we arrest them too.....

    December 16, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  149. Brad Bleich (Blike)

    Wouldn't it be great if he was publicly confronted by the General Attorney's office face to face and we could see and hear him respond to the allegations. What if he was asked to step down for the good of the people of Illinois, even though he is innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of doubt. Wouldn't it be great if he could find his integrity. What the hell am I thinking.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  150. Sue from Modesto

    It would be nice if it were faster, but I'm just glad these crooks in office are getting caught. Seems to be quite a few of them getting a well deserved come-uppance lately and that's great.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  151. Bill from Palm Coast FL

    I lived in Illinois for many years before I retired. It's no surprise to me that nothing is happening yet. Blagojevich is probably buying time while cutting yet another deal with his corrupt cronies (ie he won't t reveal other transgressions, especially the Obama Transition Team's, for some consideration or relief). No one can swim in the Illinois political sewer, including Obama's team, without becomming a tainted and sleazy operative. Obama's public rightous indignation , self investigation of his staff, and promise to reveal his favorable investigative findings at some later date is more of the same Illinois/Chicgo political style.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  152. Charles

    I think the whole case is moving too fast. The prosecutor should have waited till Blago... got paid and then arrested both of them. However, you all should know that when Obama takes office he may replace all of the federal prosecutors like some of his predecessors have.

    So I think the feds moved on this case too soon without enough evidence so they are not in a hurry to move forward with it till they are sure they have enough evidence. A person could say they were aware of the wiretap and they were just fibbing on the phone.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  153. Chuck

    They should have dumped this guy by special vote on a temporary basis, then took any additional time necessary to impeach him.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  154. George in Jersey

    Innocent til proven guilty. I'm not a fan of Fitzgerald after his1993 WTC fiasco. Eliminating Democrats based on accusations by a Bush appointee is not high on my list.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  155. Edmond T

    Jack, I think Ilinois has no choice. In the eyes of the law, the disgraced governor is presumed inocent until proven guilty.

    Its not about rushing, but about following the law.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  156. Chris Spring, Tx

    I'll answer your question with another question Jack. Even if the state of Illinois moved with light speed to expedite the needed actions, do you think the state would be given justice in the end? I'm sure we can go back many years and find the 'pay to play' politics in use but since this one is watched more by the media and publicized to every scandal-thirsty American, we all just watch in astonishment like we didn't have a clue. America needs to wake up and smell the stale coffee thats been sitting for a while and realize we need to change. Thanks,
    Chris

    December 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  157. Mark McKnight

    Whenever the government, state or federal........needs to respond yesterday you can be assured they will respond next month.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  158. Ron--Ohio

    The process may take time; however, with all the hard evidence against him, he should not have been allowed to stay in power another minute after the arrest. Any other field (industry/school/etc.) he would have been suspended or forced leave until the manner was settled.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  159. Dave, Los Angeles

    Yeah, "innocent" until proven guilty. But I agree with Mickie, and I would extend the suspension to ANY indictment or criminal charge (even overdue parking tickets) that any politician (city, county, state, federal) received until their trail is over. It's OK to adhere to our presumption of innocence, but we don't need to risk the abuse of power. If they are not guilty, then they get their back pay (and if guilty: get their Pay Back).

    December 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  160. Larry

    Corrupt, self serving politicians. Well it's such a new thing, we are kinda in uncharted territory. Now had he slept with an intern.... To bad it's so cold up there, it would be nice to see the voters block him from getting to his office.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  161. Chris Cantwell, Bradenton FL

    Our government is earning a name for itself as being an entity of big wig bosses controlling the world's money empire, for corporate greed's interest, not for the will of it's people, nor for our country or the benefit of humanity & we are nothing more than the peasant servants that fuel it's engine.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  162. steven

    I dont think Illinois is doing anything too fast or too slow. People have to realize that the governor has not been charged nor has he been found guilty in a "court of law". I think he has the right to keep his position until the court prove otherwise. To impeach him now would be unconstitutional. Now i do agree that some of his powers should be temporarily suspended because of the situation and accusations against him. But to impeach him, good luck. his lawyers will eat it alive.

    December 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm |