Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Blagojevich: If you fire me, fire Rahm Emanuel. An explainer.

| 27 Comments

WASHINGTON--While much of the focus of Gov. Blagojevich's impeachment has focused on accusations he was trying to auction off President Obama's vacant Senate seat, there are many other elements to the Articles of Impeachment.

Blagojevich, in addressing the state Senate on Thursday chose to dwell on some of the weaker parts of the impeachment charges. He never addressed the significant abuse of power allegations, including trading contracts, legislation and appointments for campaign cash.

Two of weaker charges filed against Blagojevich stem from ill fated actions taken during his first term involving purchase of flu vaccines without proper approval, making the sale illegal and trying to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries a few years ago without consent of the Food and Drug Administration.

Blagojevich correctly told the state Senate on Thursday that the mover behind the drug importation issue was then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, now President Obama's chief of staff. The FDA proved to be a toothless tiger in the drug importation movement and never seriously tried to either approve or block any importation plans put in place by a relatively small number of cities and states.

That's the context. Blagojevich said he the state senate fires him, than Emanuel should be tossed out too.

Referring to having Illinois bring in prescription drugs from other states, Blagojevich said, "And I loved the idea, and we did it. And then so did Wisconsin,
and so did Kansas, and so did Vermont. If you're impeaching me for
providing safe and affordable prescription drugs by going to Canada
and getting the same medicines made by the exact same companies, then
the governor of Wisconsin ought to be impeached, the governor of
Kansas ought to be impeached, the governor of Vermont ought to be
impeached.

"And while we're at it, let's reach right into the United States
Senate and let's expel John McCain and Ted Kennedy because I worked
with them on this issue of the re-importation of prescription drugs.
And then let's not stop there. Let's demand that President Obama fire
Rahm Emanuel because Rahm Emanuel was the one who gave me this idea.
If you're going to throw me out of office for something like this,
then how can those guys stay in the offices that they have?


"Here again is an issue that happened in the first term, not the
second term, and everybody knew about it. And in spite of the
criticism, and I understand all that, the people of Illinois elected
me a second time knowing what I did with regard to prescription drugs
for our senior citizens. "

27 Comments

Thank you for writing this article. It explained a lot.

I just wanted to respectfully bring to your attention two typos. You wrote:

"Blagojevich said he the state senate fires him, than Emanuel should be tossed out too."

I believe you meant: Blagojevich said IF the state senate fires him, THEN Emanuel should be tossed out too.

I hope I am not out of line for pointing them out. I'm just trying to be helpful.

Thanks again for the information.

The public will not be satisfied with the unknown impeachment process in Illinois. The Senate should have taken more care to protect our confidence in the process and their actions. The institutions of the governorship and the legislature are most likely to lose credibility and trust. If they act quickly without more deliberation to remove the Governor from office (even as Lieutenant Governor stands with his hand on the Executive office door knob)the men and women who built our political system in Illinois will further harm it.

I don't watch Blago on T.V.--I don't watch t.v.-it's too sensational. So I don't know what people see when they say he's 'crazy'--what I do know is this:
1. The action today do not vindicate the people who voted to impeach him from the same 'pay to play' political charge.
2. The action today do not implicate Blago in any wrongdoing that's been proven.
3. What has occurred is that the income for a person not yet charged with a criminal complaint has been yanked away from him.
It has a certain circle the wagons feel to it that does not seem like justice--kind of just the appearance of justice.
It seems like McCarthyism round 1002.

The impeachment and removel from office of a public servant is not and should not be like a normal criminal trial, with its ruls of evidence etc. The ability to govern effectively depends critically on the confidence of the electorate, which Blogojevich lost the moment those tapes were made public. People heard him attempting to sell the senate seat for money, and no amount of legal argument could bring him back into a position where people were "confident" that he would serve them well as their governor. Consider another famous impeachment case, that of Bill Clinton. The people were confident in him as a political leader, and the fact that he wanted to keep his sexual dalliance private, even at the expense of lying about it, did not persuade so many that he was unfit for office.

After reading the Blago comments in their entirety...I was chagrined to find no references to Jesus, Mother Teresa, Mandela, etc.. However, he redeemed his gooned reputation by mentioning almost everyone else except Mae West, or possibly Milosovich, to whom I thought he might claim some family tie. His future, if not in a prison cell, would be to become a speech writer for those who find it necessary to lie. I wouldn't look for him on The View tomorrow morning. What a total relief for all of Illinois, and the country. Cheers and good luck to Quinn. Quinn intends to fumigate the state government. The actual physical fumigation should begin with the office area in which Blago used to operate. Spray it well. Genug!!!!

Illinois senate tells Rod Blagojevich to not let the door hit him in the butt on the way out

Personally, I am going to miss this guy. He epitomizes the worst of Democratic politics.

I think this is a travesty.Rod Blagojevich is a victim in this political witch hunt. I just hope he continues to sing if the corruption extends past his office.

I am now hearing that Pat Quinn is saying that taxes are going to be raised here in il...any truth to this? Blogojevich did say that the minute he was ousted that Taxes would be raised.....?

Blago stepped out of line. He did not cowtow to Israel's man in the White House. He spoke up for the working man the day before he was arrested. Blago went against the big pharma in importing drugs from Canada. He wanted a better price for the people. He did not give in to Rham's demands on the Senate seat. So three strikes and you are out.
No, the American people are shit out of luck, and Rahm Emmanuel will let anyone else get the same as Blago or even worse.
The cry should not be God Bless America, it should be God Help America.

Wow, 3 governors bite the dust in a row in ILL-inois. Sick ain't it?

Obama, one week into his administration and already people are getting served subpeonas. I always thought that New York was the most corrupt state, but I do believe that ILL has taken the lead.

No amount of excuses excuse this dufus for trying to sell Obama's seat. He's guilty, guilty, guilty.

I wonder if he'll be forced to resign from the board of directors at the University of Illinios?

Search on youtube for the speech Blagojevich made prior to his arrest.

He threatened to go after Bank of America for enriching themselves with the TARP $$$ rather than using the funds as mandated by Congress.

Most of the players have dirt on them that is why they are players.

When he went against one of the FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS this is what happened.

The little people will not be permitted to IMPACT the outcome. It is blatant in YOUR FACE.

What a cry baby. You got kicked out of the sandbox, so pick up your toys and move on...

What we must never forget:Action against Blago became public after he went to the site of the union takeover of a closed factory and promised to quit doing the state's business with Bank of America as punishment for their part in said factory closing its doors.
Always look at things from the elite's point of view to get the big picture. Remember Eliot Spitzer and his instant loss of power when attacking the bush slapdown of state's rights in preventing consumer fraud re the housing crises.
Almost all politicians are vulnerable in some form to control by the fascist wiretappers that really rule us.
L. White

I'm curious..............how is it that the senate can impeach a governor for possibly commiting a crime, yet they can't find it in themselves to impeach a whole administration (bush, cheney, rice, rummy etc.)for clearly committing criminal acts? (WMD, War through lies, 911 etc.)
Oddly, Mr.B, stated on national TV, (the day BEFORE he was called a criminal) that the state of Ill. would no longer do business with Bank of America due to the fact that they (BoA) were bailed out to insure their ability to loan funds, and instead decided to bail out their own CEO's. Could it be that someone was a little pissed about that? After all, if the Fed's had been investigating Mr.B for 3 years as they stated, and he was guilty of a crime, wouldn't they have arrested him BEFORE he made that statement?
Maybe it's just me, but something stinks to the high heavens here. I'm just not convinced it's Mr. B.

jarett, rezko, leon finney, obama.

I, too, smell something fishy...the only time a politician ever gets thrown behind bars or impeached is if they've stuck up for the working man and woman and against the powers that be.(Perhaps not Clinton...) He no longer conducted business with BoA because they bailed out their CEOs and gave them golden parachutes instead of scrapping their bad investments or lending money to people to get credit flowing again? And he imported drugs from Canada so his seniors can actually afford medications? If we only had MORE Blagojeviches.

Yes, this big brewhaha all started when Blago publicly turned on the banker elite in the Republic Windows shut down episode. Fact is they didn't like it when Blago suspended all state business with the bank.
Check the comprehensive annual financial reports for almost any state and the federal govt. and you will find that we the people are being told of massive losses when there are masive profits on the other side accruing to the banks and politicians.
We get to pay, and they get to play. Malfeasence and fraud, send them all to the gallows.

Blagojevich is right to suggest there is a double standard. Let's see if Emmanuel losses his job, if not then there is a double standard.


Yes heads are rolling, but somehow I don't think it's the guilty parties'.

The government is defrauding all of us and all we get is the shady impeachment of a low level upstart.


Blago was sacrificed like Spitzer for being too blatant in his power grabs. The truth is that ALL politicians from city to federal ALL act like this for their own benefit as well as their political 'parties'. From Cheney's carving up the middle east amonst his oil buddies to the Clintons selling nuclear secrets to the fake 'terror wars' the health and wealth of average Americans comes in LAST place. From Pelosi's 2006 'end the war' mandate that once the election was over was forgotten to OBama's 'no lobbyists' pledge that is already broken to his 'change' being the appointment of the same criminally corrupt power players to the 'banking crisis' that no one seems to understand except that continual trillions of our dollars are only maintaining the rich with NO benefit for the workingman you need to understand this is NOT 'our' government but rather a government of criminals who all think they are above the law ignoring subpoenas, creating fake security clearances, claiming non existant 'priviledge' to having their crimes covered up under false 'national security' claims unless you are a lobbyist with deep pockets then you simply do not exist.


"H.R.1
SEC. 1112. ADDITIONAL ASSURANCE OF APPROPRIATE USE OF FUNDS.
None of the funds provided by this Act may be made available to the State of Illinois, or any agency of the State, unless (1) the use of such funds by the State is approved in legislation enacted by the State after the date of the enactment of this Act, or (2) Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of Governor of the State of Illinois. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any funds provided directly to a unit of local government (1) by a Federal department or agency, or (2) by an established formula from the State."

Is Illinois the only state that had to oust their governor in order to get these federal funds?

Shame on Americans. He have a politician who cares for the little guys.Don't you question why FBI arrested ,raided Blagojevich middle of the night and chained him up ? It stinks you fools of a witch hunt. Fitzgerald is a scum bag. Good cop verses bad cop but both the same.
Big deal he wanted a cut in chosing a replacement. How do you think most of every politicians get their million$ after 1 1/2 trems in office. Take Rahm Emanual, enlisted in the Israel army as a truck repair, comes back to USA works in a deli, cuts his finger and too stupid to get medical help,gets gangreen,then sucks up to Delany and in 3 years as a finicial consultant makes $11 million.
Support Blagojevich -- guy is tops :^)


Yes, George you are right when you said that most politicians get their millions after such terms in office. I heard that years ago after Obama become a senator, his wife Michelle got tripled salary raise when she was promoted to Vice Pres. of the Hospital she was working, because Obama got the earmarks from congress and was given to the Hosp? I am not sure how true but, I heard it somewhere. So, is'nt that Pay-to Play?

Well, anyway I felt sad for Governor Blagojevich. His impeachment is fixed! They just want to get rid of him with no chance of probing himself. That is sad.

Let me see. Marc Rich makes it publically known that he is "shopping" to get a Pardon and that he is willing to pay 200 Million dollars for the Pardon; then, at the last minute of Bill Clinton's Presidency, without any discussion openly or fanfare, Clinton issues a Pardon out of the Blue. Do people REALLY believe this was a "Freeby" for Rich? Now, Governor B. gets caught on SPY TAPES, making a joke or truism (it matters not which) about "selling a Senate Seat". Is it now against the Law to speak in confidence over the phone and be charged for a crime for SPEAKING it? If one were to say, for instance, "I'm going to ROB a Bank (in jest) because I need money". Is this person now GUILTY of Bank Robbery? EVERYTHING does start in the Mind, then is usually spoken into existence, THEN becomes an ACTION; or not. So says the Bible. In my opinion, Governor B. got the SHAFT. He would have made a Great Senator.

YOU ARE DISTURBED AND YOU NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION!
STOP DEFENDING PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE WRONG!
A PARDON GETS A PERSON WHO HAS DONE WRONG OUT OF
THAT SITUATION, HE STILL HAS DONE WRONG!
YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP, GET IT QUICK, SEE YOU
WHEN YOU GET OUT!
THE GOV WRECKED HIS OWN CAREER, AND EVERY TIME HE
SEES THAT FINAL PAYCHECK IT WILL BE A REMINDER OF
STUPIDITY!
HIS WIFE LOST HER JOB, HE LOST HIS, I BET THEY
GET BIGTIME UNEMPLOYMENT MONEY!
TO ALL THAT WANT TO BECOME PUBLIC SERVANTS, DO
THE JOB CORRECTLY, NO SHORT CUTS!

Blago's problem was his honesty. Where any other politician would have done the same thing, sell the senate seat, Blago did so unabashedly. By doing so he exposed politicians for what most of them are, whores.

At least with a guy like Blago, you know where you stand. To me it was a breath of fresh air to watch Blago admit what he was doing. Honesty however, in politics, is the greatest sin.
You should have known better Blago.

As far as I'm concerned, Rahm Emanuel is an Israeli double agent who's going to make sure Obama behaves himself and maintains allegence to zionism. He's a bad tooth that needs to be pulled. Blagojevich might just be the useful idiot to do this.

One can only hope.


x

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 29, 2009 1:11 PM.

Michelle Obama's first official First Lady function, with Lily Ledbetter. Pool report. was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich articles of impeachment and supporting documents is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.