Breaking: Illinois AG files motion to declare Blago “unfit”

posted at 12:28 pm on December 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Illinois’ Attorney General moved today to disconnect Governor Rod Blagojevich from executive power through the judiciary today, rather than wait for the legislature to act.  Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court finding Blagojevich “unfit for office.”  That would not impeach Blagojevich per se, but it would force executive power into the hands of Lt. Governor Pat Quinn:

The Illinois attorney general has filed a motion with the state’s highest court asking justices to remove scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vich) from office.

Lisa Madigan took the action Friday as pressure on the governor intensified to step down. The motion challenges his fitness to serve and asks that the Supreme Court oust him.

Madigan scheduled a news conference in Chicago Friday morning to discuss the motion.

Reports do not include what defect Madigan will use to argue for unfitness.  Normally, one would expect that to rely on a mental or physical defect so obvious that the Supreme Court would have to intervene immediately rather than rely on the legislature.  We’ve speculated that Blagojevich had to be crazy to think he could get away with the kind of corruption he planned to commit, but that’s a form of political insanity, not a mental defect.

While I sympathize with Madigan’s motives, this is the wrong approach.  The judiciary should not be the judge of political questions.  That responsibility lies with the legislature, which can act immediately if it chooses.  The court will also have to consider the fact that the defects Madigan will use — the wiretap evidence — has yet to be tested in a trial.  They really have no basis on which to make this ruling as a matter of law, and that’s the limit of their jurisdiction.

The Illinois state legislature should open a session immediately and remove Blagojevich’s authority, either temporarily or permanently.  This is a political question, at least at the moment, and that falls entirely within their purview as the representatives of Illinois citizens.


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Why is the Dem machine so eager to get Blago out of office so fast?

So he can join Jimmy Hoffa? Does Blago loose his special security if he resigns?

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:10 PM

I have this recurring vision of Blago holing up in his Governor’s office, refusing to come out ala the Waco religious sect….

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM

This is a massive a$$ covering move to protect the Illinois political machine.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on December 12, 2008 at 1:08 PM

That’s what’s driving it mostly, I think. The Dems are in damage control mode, searching for a way to change the subject and get Chicago politics away from public view ASAP.

petefrt on December 12, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I have this recurring vision of Blago holing up in his Governor’s office, refusing to come out ala the Waco religious sect….

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM

That just made me laugh. (And considering the delusions he is under it is probably very true).

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Are they going to criminalize political trading that occurs every day at every level of government? (Why wasn’t Hillary indicted for swapping her endorsement of Obama for a pledge to help retire her campaign debt?)

I agree. On every level of government there are quid pro quo relationships. And they tend to center around money in some way. For example, I don’t think it’s untoward if all they prove is that Jesse Jackson agreed to fundraise for a Blagojevich campaign. That’s a pretty standard quid pro quo and it keeps the money within the political process where it is (more) monitored than money just used to stuff Blago’s pockets.

But there’s more to it than that. As an IL conservative you are aware of the culture of “pay to play” that Blagojevich has expanded. It’s not just political quid pro quo. If you even want to have a *meeting* with this guy you have to have donated to his campaign and possibly enriched him in other ways. And so in that overall culture of corruption these conversations need to be taken without a grain of salt.

There’s no question, however, that the MSM is playing its usual game. Which is where it become moralistic, while dissapearing themselves from any culpability. The MSM has so much evidence of these kinds of quid pro quo relationshpis some less problematic and others more. And they refuse to cover them because these kinds of things don’t generally drive ratings. Which is all they care about. If thsi was about political corruption we would’ve seen some effort by the media before last week. Instead they’ve sensationalized, rather than analyzed the situation. And frankly, the speculation that has this going up through Obama (I even saw someone blame Hillary, saying she was from IL, wow so am I!) So I think we all need to chill.

DeathToMediaHacks on December 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Lynn Sweet has zero credibility as a reporter. She was Obama’s number one fluffer throughout the presidential campaign.

Sheerq on December 12, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Not going to happen. Lisa Madigan will run for Governor in 2010, so that her Daddy can control the entire state gov’t.

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 2:18 PM

That just made me laugh. (And considering the delusions he is under it is probably very true).

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM

I’m not so sure he’s that delusional; it appears he layed the Chicago game by their rules. As far as him wanting torun for President, now that is delusional.
But overall, his behavior seems to be pretty reasonable for a probably crooked politician.

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:19 PM

But overall, his behavior seems to be pretty reasonable for a probably crooked politician.

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:19 PM

How do ya figure? He’s been under federal investigation for at least 4 years and gets on TV this past Monday and when questioned about the wiretaps, he say’s “Let em tape me I have nothing to hide and it’s a sunny and beautiful day”

Sounds like a man on the edge to me.

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:23 PM

DeathToMediaHacks on December 12, 2008 at 2:17 PM

I’m not excusing or overlooking any personal venality on the Governor’s part…but so far it is just talk of same. Let’s get it proven in a court of law before the lynching.

Sheerq on December 12, 2008 at 2:24 PM

I have this recurring vision of Blago holing up in his Governor’s office, refusing to come out ala the Waco religious sect….

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Get away from my castle, you dirty rats! You think I’m ‘goin let ya in here for free?
- Blago

MB4 on December 12, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Sounds like a man on the edge to me.

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:23 PM

I chalk that up to bravado or cockiness. And it’s not a lot different than a politician predicting victory on the eve of an elction defeat. Some times you just say what you need to say. I think he didn’t expect to get caught. I’ll agree that was stupid, given that he knew he was under investigation.

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:29 PM

I’m not so sure he’s that delusional; it appears he layed the Chicago game by their rules. As far as him wanting torun for President, now that is delusional.
But overall, his behavior seems to be pretty reasonable for a probably crooked politician.

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:19 PM

I think that selling the Senate seat while you are under investigation shows someone who isn’t really thinking straight. (Along with thinking that he couuld run for a third term, run for President, etc.)

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Sounds like a man on the edge to me.

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:23 PM
I chalk that up to bravado or cockiness
Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:29 PM

OK, I’ll give ya that one, but who walks around in this day and age with that nutty looking hairdo (Donald Trump not included). That alone makes him a just a little goofy lol.

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

I think that selling the Senate seat while you are under investigation shows someone who isn’t really thinking straight. (Along with thinking that he couuld run for a third term, run for President, etc.)

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Well, this may just be Business as Usual for him, and he may have a history of getting away with similar behavior.
Don’t know for sure… So often we common folks look at the idiotic behavior of politicians, sports stars, etc, and ask ourselves “What were they thinking?” when they do things that appear afterwards to be extremely irrational.

OK, I’ll give ya that one, but who walks around in this day and age with that nutty looking hairdo (Donald Trump not included). That alone makes him a just a little goofy lol.

Knucklehead on December 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Well, the soon-to-be-ex-Gov is innocent until proven guilty, and I just hope he is judged ‘by the content of his character’, not the ‘quality of his coiffure”.
( I guess I’ll add the /s tag here)

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Actually, the Illinois legislature’s impeachment options are fairly limited. In fact, they can’t do anything if he isn’t even indicted.

LFRGary on December 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Actually, the Illinois legislature’s impeachment options are fairly limited. In fact, they can’t do anything if he isn’t even indicted.

LFRGary on December 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM

The radio had an “impeachment” expert on today. Apparently, the language is very broad and vague. The impeachment process will however take a long time. The IL House could quickly pass the actual articles of impeachment, but the trial will take at least a few months. Blago will be entitled to put up counterevidence, defend himself, cross-examine witnesses, etc. like at a real trial. Blago would probably drag the process out as long as possible.

Illinidiva on December 12, 2008 at 4:27 PM

They promised Skunky Harry Reid that the seat would not fall into GOP hands. How better than to avoid an actual election?

Vashta.Nerada on December 12, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Yeah, that’s the key. Where were the Democrats 10 years ago? Why didn’t they declare Bill Clinton “unfit”?

ddrintn on December 12, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Wait if Senate seats are for sale there, and Obama is from there, uh….and now he’ll suddenly be taking the fast lane to the White House..uh… oh nevermind. I must be imagining all of this.

johnnyU on December 12, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Probably too many members of the legislature would go down if he started singing for there to be the political will for a proper impeachment process. And if they don’t have the will to get rid of the guy they should have to live with him. It would make for disgusting entertainment for America and endless embarrassment for The Great One.
But if they can taint him as crazy they can taint some of the evidence he might on others.

snaggletoothie on December 12, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Actually, the Illinois legislature’s impeachment options are fairly limited. In fact, they can’t do anything if he isn’t even indicted.

LFRGary on December 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM

I was talking to a lawyer friend today, and he said an indictment could take at least a few weeks, since witnesses need to be interviewed, and evidence would need to be presented to a Grand Jury, in order to obtain an indictment.

But then I heard on the news that the ILL Legislature is meeting next week to discus impeachment proceedings.

Does anyone know how this process works in Illinois?

Red State State of Mind on December 12, 2008 at 7:13 PM

With Lisa Madigan, the daughter of the house speaker, this is nothing but a hypocritical den of thieves. She has no more credibility as AG than she claims Blago has to carry out his job. She is nothing but a politically appointed hack and in real life would likely be a greeter at WalMart. Lying down with Illinois’ dogs they all come up with fleas which are hard to shake.

wepeople on December 12, 2008 at 8:08 PM

Get away from my castle, you dirty rats! You think I’m ‘goin let ya in here for free?
- Blago

MB4 on December 12, 2008 at 2:25 PM

You forgot a lot of F*^%$ bombs.

Sir Napsalot on December 12, 2008 at 8:16 PM

The reason the Dems are in such a rush to remove Rod is this:
The quicker Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn(D) takes over the quicker he can appoint a democrat to fill The One’s seat.
Blogo staying in power longer=possible special senate elections =possible republican senator from illinois.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 12, 2008 at 8:36 PM

Kass of the Chicago Trib says that Madigan (daughter of an IL pol) wants to have Blago declared unfit because she’s part of the machine too and wants to silence him and eventually run for governor. He would blow the whistle on all of them if there was a trial.

Blago, don’t plead out! Have your day in trial!

PattyJ on December 12, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Mike Madigan is the defacto leader of the state senate.
I agree that Rod deserves his day in court-though I think he’s guilty as sin-but he needs to get it as a former gov.
I live in Chicago-for the good of the state he needs to step down…NOW!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 12, 2008 at 11:30 PM

I used to live in Chicago–that’s why I want Blago to testify. I want him to bring down the whole Machine.

PattyJ on December 13, 2008 at 1:15 AM

This is a mockery of a motion.

It’s nothing more than an attempt to move the eye off of Chicago and Obama’s connections there as quickly as possible.

Simply declare Blago cuckoo and he’s just some lone nut.

There is no corruption machine in Chicago that Obama rose quickly from while doing little and never challenging corruption.

Mr Purple on December 13, 2008 at 5:38 AM

I’m reminded of when the man in Afghanistan became a Christian, the govt. there called him insane.

All Blago is guilty of is being a liberal. I guess Michael Savage is right. Liberalism is a mental disorder. I’d love to see Blago fight all this. He’d show just how feckless and impotent BHO truly is. We’ll see that soon enough when the Russians put nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Mojave Mark on December 13, 2008 at 11:23 AM

This is a mockery of a motion.

It’s nothing more than an attempt to move the eye off of Chicago and Obama’s connections there as quickly as possible.

Simply declare Blago cuckoo and he’s just some lone nut.

There is no corruption machine in Chicago that Obama rose quickly from while doing little and never challenging corruption.

Mr Purple on December 13, 2008 at 5:38 AM

The more I read and hear, the more prone I am to agree with you. Gov Blago hasn’t even been indicted yet, and he deserves due process. The way the DEMs in Chicago are acting, it makes me suspicious that they are rushing to get him off center stage. It may just be to make it easier to put a DEM in the Senate seat, but my suspicion is that they are afraid he’ll sing and bring down many of them. But even if he steps down, he can still tell all of his talesw. That is the part that doesn’t compute for me.

Red State State of Mind on December 13, 2008 at 5:14 PM

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