Another Dem governor may lose his job

Illinois Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich is facing impeachment talk from within his own party in the wake of the plea agreement of Rezko pal Ali Ata. The Chicago Sun-Times reports
The impeachment drumbeat at the Statehouse grew louder Wednesday, a day after the blockbuster accusation by a former state official that he got his state job after pouring money into Gov. Blagojevich's campaign fund -- including a $25,000 check in an envelope he presented to the governor.

Two House Democrats said discussions on a possible impeachment resolution targeting Blagojevich accelerated after Tuesday's disclosure by Ali Ata, whom the governor appointed to a $127,000-a-year post running the Illinois Finance Authority.
Only a month ago, Democrat Eliot Spitzer resigned as Governor of New York when a Federal investigation into possible money laundering led to Spitzer's involvement with a prostitute. Spitzer resigned after he checked with leaders in the New York legislature who informed him that impeachment would be forthcoming if he failed to resign. Blagojevich may find himself in the same situation as his own party is starting to revolt against him.

Blagojevich does have a strong supporter in Illinois Senate President Emil Jones. It was Jones who
thwarted an effort recently by the Illinois House to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to allow a recall of key elective officers by the voters (currently, only the legislature can remove a Governor). The Blagojevich administration has helped Jones' wife, Lorrie Rickman Jones, secure a plum job in the Illinois Department of Public Health two months before Jones married her and a $70,000 raise after he married her. It was also Jones, a Democrat, who helped Obama in his rise to power in the Illinois Senate and thence to the US Senate.

The Ali Ata plea agreement also means that Governor Blagojevich may be getting closer to being indicted by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. It was also Fitzgerald who
prosecuted former Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan (Blagojevich's predecessor) who was sent to prison for corruption during his term as Secretary of State.

A recent Federal Appeals Court
ruling in an unrelated corruption trial of Democrat Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's former patronage chief Robert Sorich, appears to have made it easier to win convictions in cases of awarding government jobs to political allies. Sorich was also prosecuted by Fitzpatrick. The ruling will undoubtedly help Fitzpatrick should he choose to go after Blogojevich and other corrupt Illinois officials.

It is hard to predict what impact these developments will have on Barack Obama's Presidential campaign, but they cannot help since his career is tied closely to Illinois political machines.
Illinois Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich is facing impeachment talk from within his own party in the wake of the plea agreement of Rezko pal Ali Ata. The Chicago Sun-Times reports
The impeachment drumbeat at the Statehouse grew louder Wednesday, a day after the blockbuster accusation by a former state official that he got his state job after pouring money into Gov. Blagojevich's campaign fund -- including a $25,000 check in an envelope he presented to the governor.

Two House Democrats said discussions on a possible impeachment resolution targeting Blagojevich accelerated after Tuesday's disclosure by Ali Ata, whom the governor appointed to a $127,000-a-year post running the Illinois Finance Authority.
Only a month ago, Democrat Eliot Spitzer resigned as Governor of New York when a Federal investigation into possible money laundering led to Spitzer's involvement with a prostitute. Spitzer resigned after he checked with leaders in the New York legislature who informed him that impeachment would be forthcoming if he failed to resign. Blagojevich may find himself in the same situation as his own party is starting to revolt against him.

Blagojevich does have a strong supporter in Illinois Senate President Emil Jones. It was Jones who
thwarted an effort recently by the Illinois House to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to allow a recall of key elective officers by the voters (currently, only the legislature can remove a Governor). The Blagojevich administration has helped Jones' wife, Lorrie Rickman Jones, secure a plum job in the Illinois Department of Public Health two months before Jones married her and a $70,000 raise after he married her. It was also Jones, a Democrat, who helped Obama in his rise to power in the Illinois Senate and thence to the US Senate.

The Ali Ata plea agreement also means that Governor Blagojevich may be getting closer to being indicted by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. It was also Fitzgerald who
prosecuted former Republican Illinois Governor George Ryan (Blagojevich's predecessor) who was sent to prison for corruption during his term as Secretary of State.

A recent Federal Appeals Court
ruling in an unrelated corruption trial of Democrat Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's former patronage chief Robert Sorich, appears to have made it easier to win convictions in cases of awarding government jobs to political allies. Sorich was also prosecuted by Fitzpatrick. The ruling will undoubtedly help Fitzpatrick should he choose to go after Blogojevich and other corrupt Illinois officials.

It is hard to predict what impact these developments will have on Barack Obama's Presidential campaign, but they cannot help since his career is tied closely to Illinois political machines.