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st. john fisher college


Blagojevich Impeached

Megan Baker

Posted: Jan 9th 2009 3:36PM

Filed under: Politics, St. John Fisher College

The Illinois House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously (114-1 with three not voting) to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich in light of corruption charges brought against him, including the accusations of attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

"Today is the day that we begin to give back democracy to the people of the state of Illinois," Democratic Rep. Jack Franks, a panel member, said Thursday night as he cast his vote in favor of impeachment. "I believe that Rod Blagojevich is a liar, and I believe he is a thief. He has stolen the trust of the people."

According to ABC news, "The article of impeachment now goes to the state Senate for a trial. A two-thirds vote is required there to convict Blagojevich and remove him from office. The trial will be presided over by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and could begin as early as Jan. 26."

Blagovich was arrested on December 9, but has not yet been indicted. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald initiated the criminal complaint after listening to wiretaps of Blagojevich's phone calls. He now has until April 7 to decide whether or not to charge Blagojevich.

Aside from discussing Blagojevich's future, the committee also heard testimony from Roland Burris, the man Blagojevich appointed to the Senate seat. Burris assured the room full of lawmakers that he "had nothing to hide" and that his appointment was not tainted. Burris must now await the court's decision to determine whether or not he will be sworn in at the junior Senator from Illinois.

Blagovich is scheduled to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. today, so stay tuned.At his press conference today, Blagojevich said that the actions taken by the House was "not a surprise." He said that there have been issues with the House of Illinois since the summer of 2007 when there were difficulties creating a budget for the state.

He blamed the House for standing in his way when we has tried to pass property tax relief for his constituents since his re-election in November of 2006.

Apparently trying to sell a Senate seat doesn't matter because he tried to get legislation passed that the House did not agree to. Hopefully his lawyers that helped him "get around the legislation" will help him "find creative ways" to get out of this one.

It's amusing that he wants the House to pay more attention to the issues rather than focusing on him, maybe so he can get away with more than he already has?

Blagojevich clearly does not feel that he has done anything wrong, and that's the real problem.

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