Blago-Rahma: Chaos in Springfield

posted at 10:18 am on December 15, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

When Ezekiel spoke of wheels within wheels, he might have had a vision of Illinois state politics in 2008.  The legislature returns to Springfield today to sort out the mess created by Governor Rod Blagojevich and his pay-for-play attempts to sell Barack Obama’s open Senate seat.  While the legislature debates impeachment and special elections, the Chicago Tribune points out the underlying political game between Pat Quinn and Lisa Madigan that may be driving their public positions on the scandal:

Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday with plans to disarm and dislodge Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose arrest in an alleged attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat has thrown state government up for grabs.

But with Republicans looking to turn the tables on Democrats who control the Statehouse, and disagreement among leaders over whether to proceed with impeachment and how to handle the Senate dilemma, the only certainty on the agenda is chaos.

While that drama plays out, the Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General have started their own pas de deux.  Lt. Governor Quinn staked out his third position in the last week on the solution to the crisis yesterday.  After first backing a special election and then deciding that he wanted to make the appointment himself, Quinn decided to have it both ways:

Quinn said he is considering legislation that would allow for a temporary appointment to the Senate to fill the Obama vacancy until a special election could be held. That’s somewhere between his first position in support of a special election and his second position that he should make the appointment if Blagojevich resigns or is tossed out through impeachment proceedings in the legislature.

Why make a temporary appointment at all, then?  The entire process could piggyback on municipal elections and finish by April.  The seat could remain vacant that long — hell, it remained all but vacant for the previous two years while Obama ran for President — and that would avoid any hint of back-room deals of the kind favored by Blagojevich for this “f*****g valuable thing”.

It turns out Quinn has someone in mind for the spot — and it’s none other than the AG who wants Blagojevich declared politically incompetent by the state Supreme Court.  Quinn wants Blagojevich’s job for a much longer time than as a succession after impeachment, and Madigan might be his toughest opponent in the primaries:

Appointing Madigan to the Senate could give Quinn a clearer shot in the 2010 race for governor, in which she is expected to be a strong candidate with the backing of her father.

As long as he has the interests of Illinois voters in mind, eh?  Illinois needs a special election for the Senate seat just to get the fingers of Machine politics off of it.  Afterwards, Illinois needs to clean house entirely, getting rid of their entrenched political interests and starting over.  Calling this sewer “The Land of Lincoln” is a bad joke.  If Illinois voters aren’t inclined to make the kind of necessary changes, can they change the license plates to read, “The Land of Capone”?  It’s certainly a more accurate description.


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Ed, it’s really unfair to blame the rest of Illinois for Chicago politics. It’s sorta like saying all the bridges in Minnesota were defectively built because the one collapsed.

jim m on December 15, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Illinois needs a special election for the Senate seat just to get the fingers of Machine politics off of it.

Illinois needs an enema.

fogw on December 15, 2008 at 10:26 AM

There has always been chaos in Springfield. Three of Illinois last four governors have been indicted and/or gone to prison.

Tommy_G on December 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM

The seat could remain vacant that long — hell, it remained all but vacant for the previous two years while Obama ran for President

Touche.

TooTall on December 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

.. and of course, his seat wouldn’t be vacant right now if he hadn’t insisted on resigning so quickly.

Phoenician on December 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Appointing Madigan to the Senate could give Quinn a clearer shot in the 2010 race for governor, in which she is expected to be a strong candidate with the backing of her father.

So essentially they are talking about getting rid of one individual for seeking personal gain out of this appointment to clear the way for another filthy Chicago politician to gain personally from the circumstances? That’s like Christ clearing out the moneychangers so the local bank can come in and provide the service!

highhopes on December 15, 2008 at 10:37 AM

My advice.

Lisa Madigan: Publicly disclose you do not want the open US Senate seat. State that it would be improper to pursue the seat at the same time you are handling your IL constitutional duties as AG.

Lt. Gov Quinn: Urge impeachment. It’s the political process available that does away with the Governor.

IL State Assembly: Organize impeachment proceedings asap. Set a special election date for the US Senate.

IL State Senate: Prepare to remove Governor Blagojevich from office.

gabriel sutherland on December 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Meanwhile, Obama continues the arduous task of gathering data on what his staff actually does so he can share with the public.
Good clock managemnet, an effective ground game, and a couple of first downs should get him to inauguration unscathed.

a capella on December 15, 2008 at 10:53 AM

All this corruption and wheeling & dealing in Illinois? Just imagine how bad it would be in North Dakota, which the MSM is happy to point out is the most corrupt state snicker, snicker

rbj on December 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Lisa Madigan is a career pol from Chicago whose daddy is Michael Madigan, a Chicago ward boss and speaker of the IL House. Lisa Madigan and her daddy want her to run for governor in 2010 so they can control the entire IL state gov’t. Both are probably as corrupt as Blago, but like Daley aren’t stupid enough to get caught.

Pat Quinn is a decent man, but is really quirky, unpredictable, and slightly off his rockers. He reminds me of an eccentric university professor and would make the subject of a good movie, but I’m not sure that he’s the best person to run the state.

Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM

This is what’s about to run our country in a time of war and economic collapse.

Nice.

jeff_from_mpls on December 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM

All this corruption and wheeling & dealing in Illinois? Just imagine how bad it would be in North Dakota, which the MSM is happy to point out is the most corrupt state snicker, snicker

rbj on December 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

Leftists specialize on history revision.

Their campaign to vilify the South and make the North into pristine pure angels is nearly complete. Forget the fact that IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS in the NORTH refused to admit women, blacks, and Jews.

Okay, so they’re burning the history books. I’m sure they’ll stop there. Really I am.

jeff_from_mpls on December 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM

I have no problem with having a temporary appointment until a special election is held. Especially if the caretaker is barred from running in the special election.

MarkTheGreat on December 15, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Three of Illinois last four governors have been indicted and/or gone to prison.

Tommy_G on December 15, 2008 at 10:27 AM

The last 2 Mass “Speak-ahs” were convicted felons and the current one is well on his way. We also have a State Senator and Boston City Councilor up on Fed extortion charges, it’s all the same now-a-days, no matter where ya go.

Alden Pyle on December 15, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Close down the Governor’s mansion. Run it all out of the state pen.

faraway on December 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM

What a laugh.

The criminals who haven’t been caught yet are fighting over who gets the spoils from the criminal who has been caught.

notagool on December 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM

If you really want to know what ticks off a lot of us here in Illinois is back in 2006, despite the fact that it was being reported all over the place that Blagojevich was being investigated by the Feds, he was still re-elected to a second term as Governor. People in this state back then could see all the red flags going up about this guy, but they went ahead and retained him back into office anyway.

I think it is due to the fact that most of the people in this state are so used to the corruption, that this is the only viable reason why they re-elected this loon to another term.

So now we are stuck with the task of getting him out of office before he can do any further damage.

pilamaye on December 15, 2008 at 11:19 AM

We still have more criminals. They are up in Washington DC! We need to do some serious house cleaning too!

sheebe on December 15, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Lisa Madigan is a career pol from Chicago whose daddy is Michael Madigan, a Chicago ward boss and speaker of the IL House. Lisa Madigan and her daddy want her to run for governor in 2010 so they can control the entire IL state gov’t. Both are probably as corrupt as Blago, but like Daley aren’t stupid enough to get caught.
Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 11:01 AM

And whatever Lisa wants, Lisa gets. Mike Madigan is the most powerful politican in Illinois and works hand in hand with Richie Daley. And then throw in the likes of Emil Jones, and we’re no cleaner or better off than when we started.

Please don’t hate me cause I live in Chicago. I just wish everyone would wake up and vote all of the career encumbants out of office at the next election and the Repub’s would get in here and get their sheit together. Southern Illinois is predominatly Republican and it can be done.

Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Lisa Madigan: Publicly disclose you do not want the open US Senate seat. State that it would be improper to pursue the seat at the same time you are handling your IL constitutional duties as AG.
.
gabriel sutherland on December 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

+1

Mark30339 on December 15, 2008 at 11:31 AM

I had heard Ill. law precluded a special election. Is this incorrect?

HawaiiLwyr on December 15, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Is the governor guilty of any crime? Maybe, but that has not been prooven in a court of law. I hate it when people presume guilt. While he may be guilty, the rats jumping off the sinking ship are desperately trying to avoid getting caught themselves. I say go slow and catch as many of these crooks as possible.

Vince on December 15, 2008 at 11:33 AM

“Power tends to corrupt, and, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Do not trust any Left Wing elitist!
Truth and Integrity over Lies and Slime!

DL13 on December 15, 2008 at 11:40 AM

And whatever Lisa wants, Lisa gets. Mike Madigan is the most powerful politican in Illinois and works hand in hand with Richie Daley. And then throw in the likes of Emil Jones, and we’re no cleaner or better off than when we started.

Please don’t hate me cause I live in Chicago. I just wish everyone would wake up and vote all of the career encumbants out of office at the next election and the Repub’s would get in here and get their sheit together. Southern Illinois is predominatly Republican and it can be done.

Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I don’t hate you. I live in Evanston which is just north of Chicago and love Chicago despite the awful weather (like today), high taxes, and corruption. It’s a really colorful city once you get past some of its issues.

Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 11:44 AM

Which blue states are worth targeting to infiltrate and save, and which should be excised?

JiangxiDad on December 15, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Do not trust any Left Wing Left Wing or Right Wing elitist!
Truth and Integrity over Lies and Slime!

DL13 on December 15, 2008 at 11:40 AM

faraway on December 15, 2008 at 11:46 AM

Illinois needs an enema.

Not to mention, now that Obama is leaving, another douche.

Jim Treacher on December 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Ed, it’s really unfair to blame the rest of Illinois for Chicago politics.

You (collectively) voted this bozo into office not once but twice. You’ve coutnenanced the corruption in Illinois poltiics for years. If you don’t like how Chicago politics works, then quit electing crooks.

mrmanley on December 15, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I live in Evanston which is just north of Chicago and love Chicago despite the awful weather (like today)

I had a half-inch of ice on my windshield this morning. Had to wait 20 minutes for it to defrost enough to scrape off.

Tom_Shipley on December 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM

All this corruption and wheeling & dealing in Illinois? Just imagine how bad it would be in North Dakota, which the MSM is happy to point out is the most corrupt state snicker, snicker

rbj on December 15, 2008 at 10:58 AM

In ND, we are not corrupt anymore than anyone else.
I have lived all over the USA. My opinion of North Dakotans is that:
1. they are very accepting of outsiders on the outside, but not on the inside (they’re suspicious, what can I say)
2. They are very helpful to their neighbors
3. They are hardworking and honest
4. They are kind and generous to those in need
5. and everybody knows everybody
It’s a small populated state-the lowest except for WY.
So I believe they root out corruption more often and far better than some of these other big political machines.
ND is a good place to live. To hell with the weather-good jobs, good people, good weather in the summer, deal with the winters-it’s a good life up here.

With that said- It’s interesting that all these people who Obama has been hanging around over the years are such seedy characters, and yet, The One has not been soiled?
Hmmmm…..

Badger40 on December 15, 2008 at 12:26 PM

I had a half-inch of ice on my windshield this morning. Had to wait 20 minutes for it to defrost enough to scrape off.

Tom_Shipley on December 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM

I would rather have had that than the -24 degrees F my thermometer read this morning. We are getting a high of -15 degrees today.

Badger40 on December 15, 2008 at 12:27 PM

I had a half-inch of ice on my windshield this morning. Had to wait 20 minutes for it to defrost enough to scrape off.

Tom_Shipley on December 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Same here. My windows also fogged up and iced over while I was driving to work.

Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Please don’t hate me cause I live in Chicago.
Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Please don’t hate me cause I live in Ca. LOL!! Don’t hate you. We cannot choose where we live. Ca. has it’s crooks too! And some hard core sick Liberal’s. Not to mention some twisted Right Wings. At times I hesitate to mention Ca. Ca has a lot of beauty. Some great people, but you just have to sift through them.

sheebe on December 15, 2008 at 12:49 PM

I would rather have had that than the -24 degrees F my thermometer read this morning. We are getting a high of -15 degrees today.

Badger40 on December 15, 2008 at 12:27 PM

From 50 degree’s on Sunday to 9 degree’s on Monday morning in Chicago, I don’t know what the wind chill is.

Where’s that global warming crapola, Mr. Gore????

Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Ed, I thought Ezekiel’s wheels were UFOs.

Brat on December 15, 2008 at 1:01 PM

From 50 degree’s on Sunday to 9 degree’s on Monday morning in Chicago, I don’t know what the wind chill is.

Where’s that global warming crapola, Mr. Gore????

Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

You’ll notice how instead of global warming, it is now “climate change.”

Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 1:38 PM

From 50 degree’s on Sunday to 9 degree’s on Monday morning in Chicago, I don’t know what the wind chill is.

Where’s that global warming crapola, Mr. Gore????

Knucklehead on December 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Same thing here in MI. Warm enough yesterday that there literally wasn’t much snow left in the back yard to a day of blizzard like wind and snow. I could do with a little of that global warming about now!

highhopes on December 15, 2008 at 2:16 PM

You’ll notice how instead of global warming, it is now “climate change.”

Illinidiva on December 15, 2008 at 1:38 PM

I guess the left got tired of all those global warming events that get “snowed out” to everybody’s amusement.

highhopes on December 15, 2008 at 2:17 PM

So essentially they are talking about getting rid of one individual for seeking personal gain out of this appointment to clear the way for another filthy Chicago politician to gain personally from the circumstances? That’s like Christ clearing out the moneychangers so the local bank can come in and provide the service!

highhopes on December 15, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Didn’t the Democrats already run this play with the White House travel office? I guess if it works once, try it again!

jerseyman on December 15, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Initially, the left approached the workers. When the unions went too far for the average worker and resisted their agenda, the left moved on the the civil rights movement. That worked for a while, then minorities resisted again. Then the left moved on to the feminist movement and that worked for a while before women started questioning the real goals and motives. Then the left moved on to the animal rights, under the assumption that everyone loves animals and animals would not be in a position to resist or challenge the ‘support’ given by the left. Then pet owners said this is too much. So the left moved on to the environmental movement. Everyone wants to save our planet, and besides the Earth won’t object. But then it became apparent that our planet wasn’t dying and now Earth is not cooperating with the global warming crowd, as the Earth has turned the corner and has begun ‘cooling’. It seems no one wants to cooperate with left when their true motives and intentions surface. Even Mother Earth!

jerseyman on December 15, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Afterwards, Illinois needs to clean house entirely, getting rid of their entrenched political interests and starting over.

That’s a joke, right?

Madigan’s play to get Blagojevich ruled incompetent struck me as being somewhat hysterical. IL must have a body of law to handle political malfeasance so why is this AG running to the court? As I said, hysterical.
The fact is that this is run of the mill skulduggery. The only thing that makes it special is the glare that Obama brings to anything right now. If the president-elect wasn’t tangentially involved, you wouldn’t have heard of this matter in the national press.

thegreatbeast on December 15, 2008 at 3:44 PM

As long as there is a Daley around, you can forget about reforming Chicago. It’s a dynasty.

I’m from Chicago, and I moved out West 30 years ago. Now the entrenched power brokers have messed up CA too in the same fashion as Chicago, Detroit, NYC. Sad. Maybe Texas is next…

PattyJ on December 15, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Sad. Maybe Texas is next…

PattyJ on December 15, 2008 at 4:14 PM

TEXAS WILL NEVER YIELD!

ThePrez on December 15, 2008 at 5:04 PM