It’s barely once a year when news is worth calling friends about at work. Kerry Wood is pitching a one-hitter and striking out almost everybody (1998); IU Athletics fired Bob Knight (2001); the Feds arrested the Governor (Tuesday). On her Air America radio show last night (Dec. 10), Rachel Maddow made an amusing and unsettling observation: that four of the last eight Illinois governors have been indicted. (I think she is referring to Blagojevich, Ryan, Walker and Kerner. I would need to check.) So she sardonically said something like, “The rest of us are shocked at the sight of a governor being arrested, but in Illinois, they call it Tuesday.” In his usually-interesting blog Change of Subject at chicagotribune.com, Eric Zorn made a fascinating comment about all the Illinois politicians apparently saddened at the downfall of one of their own. (I think they were actually upset that the Governor was caught.) Just a few examples he quoted:
“This is a sad day for the people of Illinois.” --U.S. Rep. Jan “I love big government programs” Schakowsky (D.-Ill.) – my Congresswoman
“It’s a terrible day.” --Former Gov. Jim “Taxaholic” Edgar (almost ten years out of office, and I still can’t stand him)
“This is a sad day for my state of Illinois.” --U.S. Sen. Dick “Pardon Ryan” Durbin (D.-Ill.) No, Senator, the sad day would be if either of these Governors are pardoned.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Congresswoman, Governor, Senator. You are completely wrong, and it shows how disconnected from the public you claim to serve (“served,” in Edgar’s case) that you see this development so differently from the rest of us. I’ll repeat what I previously wrote: This is a great, great day for the people of Illinois. Justice is finally being served.
BTW Jan was also annoyed to find out how far out of the running for the vacant U.S. Senate seat she really was. (She thought her five terms in the U.S. House—has it been 10 years already? Yeesh—would give her some credibility and consideration.) But Blagojevich knew she had no ability to donate $0.5 mil or $1 mil to his campaign war chest. So he didn’t take her interest seriously.
Former Gov. Edgar was on Chicago Tonight last night, Dec. 10—I guess he really has nothing to do besides offer his “Elder Statesman” opinion of everything—opposing the idea of a special election for U.S. Senator, which would cost us taxpayers $12 mil. On this point, I agree with him. I think Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn should be permitted to make the appointment, so long as he picks someone who was not in the initial running. Sorry, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D.-Ill.)—it sounds like you were ready to buy the seat! The appointment should go to someone in business or academia—NOT someone already entrenched in Illinois politics.