9 12 2008

Sorry, not a food related post, but many of you know that I have commented from time to time on Illinois politics.  Today’s news that Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruptions charges has made me giddy.  I’ve hated the man from day one.  I was at his Whistle Stop Tour of the state the weekend before he was inaugurated in 2003 and the theme of the weekend was “End Pay to Play in Illinois.”  I knew then it was a joke.  I was amazed in 2006 when Blago was elected to another term, but in Illinois, votes really don’t count.  The AP declared Blagojevich the winner a mere 30 seconds after the polls closed based on exit polling in Chicago.  The rest of the state didn’t even matter. 

It’s always amazed me how much people seem hate Jennifer Granholm.  Whatever your grievances are with her, they are nothing compared to what’s unfolding in Illinois right now.   Do you realize that in Illinois, the Democrats controlled the House, had a veto proof majority in the Senate, and all the Constitutional Offices yet they haven’t passed a Capitol Construction bill since George Ryan was governor?  They had a record setting overtime session in 2007 (Illinois is a part time legislature usually wrapping up in May with a veto session in October) in which a state budget wasn’t passed until the last minute in December and that was only temporary until they could get back to a regular session where they didn’t need a super-majority to pass.

Governor Blagojevich is a cancer on Illinois politics.  He is the stereotypical Chicago-Machine politician (his Father-in-Law is on the Chicago City Council and even they’ve feuded over some of Blagojevich’s decisions) and the best thing that could happen to the state happened today.  Hopefully, House Speaker and the Governor’s main rival, Mike Madigan (who is also a Democrat, but his daughter is Attorney General and will probably run for Governor in 2010, so he’s made Blagojevich look bad every chance he gets) will convene the House of Representatives and start impeachment proceedings.  The only thing that has held up impeachment in the past is Senate President Emil Jones who is now on the verge of retiring (at the end of current term).  Jones is rumored to be Senate Candidate 5 (along with Jesse Jackson, Jr.) named in the indictment as the candidate willing to grease the wheels to get Obama’s seat.  As Senate President, he was the Governor’s only ally and held up impeachment by refusing to bring the Governor to trial should the House find cause.  With Jones on his way out and Blagojevich in jail, there should be nothing stopping an impeachment.

…and that’s you’re primer on dirty Illinois politics.  Anything you’ve heard about the way things are done in Illinois is probably true.  Sorry for the distraction, and now back to all things food….

If you’re at all interested in following along, I’d suggest checking out Illinois’ premier statehouse newsman, Rich Miller’s blog.  Think MIRS, but better and the blog is free.




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