A case untested in state history

Even in a state steeped in corruption, this is new.

The Illinois Attorney General is asking the state Supreme Court to remove Governor Rod Blogojevich from office so the state’s business can get done.

(Attorney General Lisa) Madigan said she is asking the
court to intervene because it would be quicker than impeachment. She
said papers related to the motion were being delivered to the governor

In the motion, Madigan argues that, given the nature and severity of
the federal corruption allegations against Blagojevich, the Supreme
Court should stop the governor from performing his duties.

She wants the Court to hand over duties of the governor’s office to Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, and if they don’t…

Blagojevich should be blocked from appointing a senator to fill the Obama seat.

That’s about the clearest step the Court needs to take at the moment, by nearly everyone’s count.

She also sought to prevent Blagojevich from acting on
legislation sent to him by the Illinois House or Senate, directing
state agencies in the negotiation and execution of contracts or
directing activities of the Illinois tollway.

Some of this involves the state’s ability to cover Medicaid payments
as well, tying up financing that in turn impacts patients needing
service and/or doctors needing compensation, if the state does not
receive loan money from skittish financial institutions waiting for the
current criminally charged governor to leave.

Madigan also said she wanted the court to prevent
Blagojevich from directing the activities of the Illinois Finance
Authority, an agency caught up in a funding controversy with Tribune
Co. Blagojevich allegedly threatened to withhold state financing to
Tribune Co. for assistance with Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago
Cubs, unless the Chicago Tribune newspaper fired critical editorial
board writers. The writers are still on duty.

Trouble is, so is the Governor.

And people are looking into whether Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is in any way tied into this dealmaking scandal.

One source confirmed that communications between Emanuel
and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved
wiretaps…Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be
“acceptable” to Obama, the source said.

What would that mean if Emanuel were caught on tape discussing these acceptable candidates?

Any recordings of the newly appointed White House Chief
of Staff speaking to Mr Blagojevich about Mr Obama’s former Senate seat
would prove an acute embarrassment to the incoming Obama
Administration, even if no illegal deals were discussed, and could even
force Mr Emanuel’s resignation. Mr Obama has promised to release
details of any contacts between his staff and the Governor’s office but
told a news conference on Thursday that he was “absolutely certain”
that none of his aides was involved in any deal-making.

Mr Emanuel skipped Mr Obama’s press conference, which he typically attends.

He chose to attend a concert at his children’s school, instead.


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