Sunday, December 21, 2008

Does the Governor have the right to fight his accusers?

On this blog and perhaps on The Sixth Ward I have often indicated that I don't support Governor Blagojevich. It could be in writing blogs here (by blogs I mean essays) or I post links and excerpts to articles. I never voted for him in his two past elections for Governor and if he was deluded enough to try for a 3rd term, it's unlikely that I would vote him in for another term as Governor.

That being said there are those who belives that he is innocent until proven guilty. Indeed there are those who might believe that all the attempts to either convince him to resign or remove him from either office or his gubernatorial powers is just a way to get rid of one part of a strained relationship. I do try to bring things back to perspective.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's failed attempt to use an obscure law to either remove the Governor or strip him of his gubernatorial powers might be seen as evidence that this is personal. To that I can only say that under the circumstances, that is the Governor's arrest and questions about his ability to perform as Governor, what she did wasn't so out of line. Although it is unfortunate that an arrest was the only reason anyone decided to make a move against the Governor that resulted in his ultimate removal.

I've read plenty of stories especially since 2007 that have indicated that there were signs of discontent with the Governor. Some sources might state that it started in 2003 with the death of a revered state Senator or how he renegged on an agreement with regards to the state budget in his first term (well you know trust issues). And we can also talk about 2007 and his inability to convince state lawmakers on giving him more money for a state health care plan. The seeds were sown even if the situation didn't become what it is until the Governor was inaugurated for his second term.

Let's keep in mind that Gov. Blagojevich does have the right to defend himself against impeachment and an eventual (or possible) indictment against him. The unfortunate thing about this is that we do have to worry abotu the political aspect of this. Will the Governor be so pre-occupied with his current legal troubles to be able to perform his duties? Might these trouble force him to temporary hand over his duties to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, the man whom he doesn't really have much of a relationship? Might the state be better off if the Gov. instead handed over his powers to his Lt. Gov. especially if Blagojevich chooses not to resign?

The Governor has the right to face his accusers, unfortunately he has to juggle the issue of running the nation's fifth largest state. It's a big responsibility that he seems to have largely neglected up until his arrest (well that what it seems to me according to news reports for the past two years since his second inauguration). One wonders if the reports of him signing bills into law or ruling on some overdue pardons or even approving a contract is an indication that he'll take his job seriously. Could it be too little, too late?

I would say it's too little to late. He's had the better part of 6 or 7 years to prove that he can do the job. There are those who will still say that the wrong person got elected Governor back in 2006. And surely there are those who might wince because they elected him again the second time especially if he was a disappointment to them before his second gubernatorial campaign. Indeed I wonder if either Emil Jones (the outgoing Senate President) or Speaker Michael Madigan regret their support for the governor. Indeed Speaker Madigan (father of Lisa Madigan) was Blagojevich's 2006 re-election campaign co-chair.

Unfortunately for right now we are in this boat. Impeachment could take some time as long as the Governor thru his legal team are able to continue to fight this. It looks like we're in for a good fight and it almost does seem one-sided against the Governor, but that's what we will have. While we have this fight, we may see more stories about the Government of Illinois in paralysis.

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