Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blagojevich not leaving governor's mansion anytime soon

Fran Eaton at the Southtown:
I've also observed Blagojevich's Democratic archrival House Speaker Mike Madigan arrange for the House Special Investigation Committee to be dominated by vengeful Democrats who've been after Blagojevich's hide for years. In the rush to initiate impeachment hearings rather than opt for a special election to fill Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat, Madigan - usually very politically savvy - appeared to have lost his cool and perhaps lost the opportunity to oust Blagojevich.

Had Madigan thought it through, he should have wanted the special investigation committee's recommendations to be as credible as possible. Had the committee been set up as Supreme County Chief Justice James Heiple's impeachment committee was in 1999, with bipartisan co-chairs equipped with subpoena powers, the committee's recommendations would have seemed more palatable. Instead, this looks like a political vendetta, with Blagojevich's longtime House enemies Lou Lang, John Fritchey and Jack Franks leading the charge.

Not only is the committee dominated by Democrats, Madigan structured the investigation to bestow only himself and his Democratic floor leader, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, the authority to summon witnesses. Republicans will have little or no impact on the House committee's final decision on whether to impeach the governor and send the question to the Senate.
I showed the video here where Madigan seemed to have turned this issue partisan. I thought that was a mistake then. Of course I won't speculate on whether a misstep was made or not.

At 3PM today, the special investigation committee will meet. Tune in thru the General Assembly website. Look for House and then find a link for audio/video. I hope you have broadband.

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