12/31/08 — Governor's coup: Illinois governor's latest scheme should be undone

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Governor's coup: Illinois governor's latest scheme should be undone

As you review the pluses and minuses for the year gone by, count one big one when making your list.

You don't live in Illinois.

The saga that has become the filling of President-elect Barack Obama's seat rivals any prime time soap opera.

After being accused of trying to sell Obama's seat to the highest bidder -- and being caught on tape saying so --  current Gov. Rod Blagojevich has decided to defy warnings from everyone and their brother and to announce his appointment for the seat.

Why? Because he still, legally, has the power to do so. Morals, honor and responsibility seem to have played no role in the governor's decision.

The current nominee, former state attorney general Roland Burris, maintains that Blagojevich's troubles should not penalize him, and he plans to remain the appointee for the seat.

That bit of stupidity alone should be enough to disqualify him from serving in the U.S. Senate.

Anyone who is politically naive and irresponsible enough to accept an appointment from a man who is facing federal indictment is looking for an easy way in -- not looking out for the best interest of the state of Illinois.

Burris should be immediately jettisoned as the nominee and removed from contention.

In the meantime, Blagojevich continues to proclaim his innocence and to vow to continue as the state's chief executive.And it is more than past time for the rest of the Illinois leadership to do something about it.

The official indictment comes next week -- that was the rush for the appointment. Perhaps that will be the deadline that will give the state leaders the facts they need to start impeachment proceedings.

And if they don't, Illinois voters should clamor for such proceedings, before Blagojevich finds some other loophole that allows him to make a decision that can't be undone.

Published in Editorials on December 31, 2008 3:22 PM