Federal law enforcement meddles in politics…

December 31, 2008

(Copyright 2008)

Since embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich still legally holds office and apparently still has the power to appoint a senator to fill the seat left vacant by President-Elect Barack Obama and since he did just that and since even though he, Blago, was arrested by federal authorities, but then released on bail and since even though the state legislature has the power to impeach him and remove him from office or maybe call for a special election but has not been able to or done so yet (and the state’s Supreme Court refused to remove him), I would say: what’s the fuss now that Blago has made his appointment?

On Tuesday he appointed former state attorney general and former primary election opponent Roland Burris, 71, to fill the senate seat.

And besides big talk and bad language was there any evidence that an actual offer to sell the senate seat was made and that anyone responded?

Also, is it not kind of chilling that the feds can listen in on calls made by members of state or lower level governments and decide what the difference is between politics (the competition for power) and out and out misconduct in office and subversion on the democratic process and then proclaim as some type of mandate from on high without trial and the defendant being able to face his accusers that the accused is unworthy to hold office and say or imply that he must be removed?

If there were a hue and cry from Illinois voters it would seem that Blago would be forced to resign or removed from office (Illinois apparently does not have a recall by the voters provision in their law at this time, but they could inundate their lawmakers and even the governor with e-mails).

While Blago is said to be highly unpopular with Illinois voters, they have elected him two times.

So far, no one is accusing his appointee, Burris, of any misconduct or having paid for his appointment.

There is a disturbing suggestion from an Illinois congressman and some others that Burris should get the senate seat because he is black and that any attempt to remove him or prevent him from being seated would be a “lynching”.

No one, but no one deserves a seat in government because of the color of his skin. Mr. Obama is celebrated as being the first Black man to be elected president, but his support was so widespread, and continues to be so far, it is clear that he was not elected because he was black.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Secretary of State has said he would refuse to certify Burris’ appointment. And the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate say they will not accept Burris, even though they have nothing against him, it’s just that his appointment was made by someone who is under the cloud of suspicion and that as such the whole process is tainted.

And now I read that some legal experts question whether the U.S. Senate has the authority not to seat Burris, especially if he has been legally appointed and has not engaged in any misconduct himself.

Burris today asked the Illinois Supreme Court to rule that his selection as senator be confirmed by state officials.

From what I have read about Blago and about Illinois politics, things certainly don’t seem to be right there. Blago by most accounts is a jerk and seems to be up to his ears in various pay to play scandals, but he is not the only one there playing or accused of playing that game. There’s a long history (Obama himself had to wade through the morass that is called “politics” in the Land of Lincoln) .

But the timing (why now?) and manner (going to his home) of Blago’s arrest I find troubling. It was early in the morning, not much different than in the middle of the night. The police came to his door while his family slept.

Sounds kind of Gestapo-like to me.