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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blagojevich Saddened, but not Surprised at Removal

George Wenschhof Bio

After just four days of the state senate impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich, the vote this afternoon was 59-0 to oust the Governor from office. Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn was immediately sworn in as Governor. The vote followed testimony from the Governor who continued to deny any wrongdoing. has more as well as video here.

The removal of Governor Blagojevich ended the two months of scrutiny he has been under ever since his arrest for allegedly being involved in a pay-for-play scheme involving the filling of the vacant Barack Obama senate seat.

The Governor spoke to reporters at 7:15 PM ET expressing his sadness but no surprise at the vote removing him from office. He thanked the voters and expressed how grateful he and his family were to have been able to serve the citizens of Illinois. In a brief question and answer period with reporters he continued to say the fix was in and he looked forward to his date in court and the opportunity to clear his name.

The circus surrounding Blagojevich was further exacerbated with his appointment of Roland Burris to the vacant senate seat. After initial efforts by Democratic leadership to block the appointment failed, Burris was sworn into office. This situation, as well as the media frenzy surrounding the filling of the vacant Hillary Clinton senate seat in New york prompted Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to offer a constitutional amendment on the manner vacant senate seats are filled. He is calling for special elections similar to what is done for vacant seats in the House.

The interesting question that will remain for pundits and constitutional lawyers to discuss remains "is it allowable to impeach and remove a Governor who has not been convicted of a crime"? Do not expect this issue to go away.


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