Thursday, May 1, 2008

Illinois Senate rejects recall by narrow margin

From Clout Street today, I shouldn't be surprised. There were apparently two different versions of a recall bill one was a bluff apparently to the state House of Representatives while the state House passed their own version recently. This might have to wait until a constitutional convention:

A measure aimed at letting Illinoisans recall embattled Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich failed in the state Senate on Thursday, and lawmakers said the rejection effectively kills the issue this year.

Some House and Senate lawmakers were pushing hard to get the recall issue in front of voters at the November general election, but that would have required agreement on a bill by Sunday. The Senate adjourned after the vote and won’t be back until next week.

Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), Blagojevich’s top legislative ally, opposed the measure. It got 33 votes, three shy of what it needed to pass.

The proposal would allow voters to recall public officials ranging from the governor to county board presidents. But the bill’s sponsors have said the measure was aimed at Blagojevich, who they blame for gridlock that has paralyzed state government. The measure picked up steam amid a continuing stream of pay-to-play allegations against the administration and the federal corruption trial of Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Much of the fiery debate on the Senate floor Thursday from both supporters and opponents of recall was aimed at Blagojevich.

Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline) called recall a “giant hoax” that would be too costly when lawmakers could simply move forward by ousting the governor themselves.

“We have a chance to do what we want to do, and that’s impeach the governor of Illinois,” Jacobs said.

But Jacobs called on Blagojevich to “do the right thing” and quit.

Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) maintained the idea of recall is a “lot of hype” and would undercut the one-man, one-vote standard because losers in elections could get a “second bite of the apple.”

Capitol Fax has more on today's proceedings. Oh and take a look at the Roll Call. I know what killed this bill three who didn't vote and two called present. I can see how some took umbrage at Barack Obama voting present, it seems like it's not taking a stand.

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