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December 13, 2008

John Kass: Legislators Want to Avoid Impeachment to Avoid Blago Spilling Dirt on Them

As suspected, the AG's curious creation of a judicial power to remove an elected governor is a bit self-serving:

[Illinois AG] Lisa Madigan's father is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

He's another big time ward boss in the Chicago Machine.

Kass says, "They don't want a Blogojevich impeachment hearing which would basically allow Blagojevich to talk about all of the deals they've done."

The Chicago Tribune spins this as Madigan just wanting "ownership" of the issue, not wanting the legislature to "steal her thunder" by doing the task they are constitutionally charged with doing and she is not.

I think Kass is right that there's a bit more to it than thunder and ownership.

Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson, Jr. joins in the media-Democratic narrative that Blago is just kah-razy, and so, I guess we're to infer, cannot possibly be representative of Chicago machine politics.

And also: Jim Leherer actually asks of Blago's corruption, "What's the big deal?"

Yes, he really says that. He argues that political horse-trading goes on all the time in such matters.

Political horse-trading, perhaps, but not direct pecuniary benefit. One can always argue that political horse-trading is, um, politics. A favor for a favor, political priority in exchange for someone else's political priority.

One can't really argue it's "politics" when all we're talking about is stuffing money in someone's pocket.

I understand they fail to grok this distinction in Chicago. But need Jim Lehrer join them in obscuring distinctions? According to the Lehrer Test, paying a building inspector $5000 to overlook your building's problems is just an informal political donation.

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posted by Ace at 04:19 PM

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