If Blagojevich does not resign, then there should be a movement to recall him from office. There's already pressure on forcing his resignation from office.
House Republican leader Tom Cross said Blagojevich should resign and impeachment hearings should begin immediately in the Illinois House.It's good seeing both Democrats and Republicans are in agreement on this fact of matter.
"Today our state is facing a crisis," Cross said. "Illinois citizens are victims of a corrupt governor."
Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) said if Blagojevich doesn't resign, he will seek to put together a House committee to go forward with impeachment hearings.
"I'm not going to let it drag on. I'm just not going to let that happen," Franks said. "I'll do everything in my power to bring a swift conclusion to this dark episode."
Blagojevich should quit "in the near future," Franks said. "For the good of the state, he should step aside."
Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes suggested the alleged corruption is "perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the history of Illinois government and a stain that will not be easily removed."
"While this investigation is still ongoing, our state cannot afford to remain engulfed in this unfolding scandal," Hynes said. "Our government's ability to deal on a daily basis with the fiscal and economic crises we currently face demands leadership and integrity. Our governor cannot provide either, and he needs to do what's right for the people of Illinois."[...]
Mayor Richard Daley called today "a sad day."
"If it's true, it's a very, very sad comment because the selection of the U.S. senator is vitally important to the future of this state and of this country," Daley said.
As for how this reflects on Illinois political culture, he said, "It's an individual. ... It doesn't reflect upon all politics."
Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), Blagojevich's father-in-law, said: "It's a terrible day, terrible. ... My main concern right now is for my daughter and my grandchildren. That's all I want to say right now."
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has called it a new low in Illinois politics.
U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said today that federal authorities arrested Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich this morning because the governor went on "a political corruption crime spree" that needed to be stopped.You don't just go out and sell a seat in the United States senate.
Fitzgerald said secret tape recordings showed Blagojevich was attempting "to sell the U.S. Senate seat" that President-elect Barack Obama recently vacated. Fitzgerald said, "We make no allegations" that Obama was aware of any alleged scheming by Blagojevich.
The governor has the sole power to pick Obama's replacement under the state constitution.
"The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," Fitzgerald said, quoting Blagojevich as saying the Senate seat is "a bleeping valuable thing. You just don't give it away. ... I've got this thing and it's bleeping golden."
Blagojevich wasn't against the corrupt deal for the Senate seat, he was against "being stiffed in the corrupt deal," Fitzgerald said.[...]
Robert Grant, FBI special agent in charge of the Chicago office, characterized Illinois' place in the pantheon of political corruption.
"If it isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor," Grant said. "Even the most cynical agents in our office were shocked."
Grant said he called Blagojevich about 6 a.m. and told the governor two FBI agents were outside his door and that they had a warrant for his arrest.
After initially asking, "Is this a joke?" Grant said, Blagojevich was "very cooperative."[...]
Fitzgerald thanked the Chicago Tribune, which had been reporting on the investigation, for honoring a rare request about eight weeks ago not to report on certain aspects of the investigation that he said could have been jeopardized.
Tribune Editor Gerould Kern said today that the newspaper delayed publishing some stories at the request of the U.S. attorney's office during the course of reporting on the accelerating investigation of Blagojevich.
"On occasion, prosecutors asked us to delay publication of stories, asserting that disclosure would jeopardize the criminal investigation," Kern said. "In isolated instances, we granted the requests, but other requests were refused."
In the criminal complaint, authorities allege that Blagojevich and Harris sought to pressure the Tribune to fire editorial writers who were critical of his administration. Tribune Co. had been negotiating with the Illinois Finance Authority to purchase Wrigley Field as part of the company's efforts to sell the Cubs baseball team.
The Chicago Tribune has a timeline of corruption that dates back to June 2004!
Here's the press release detailing the arrest.
Dick Durbin is calling for a special election to replace President-elect Barack Obama, who resigned the seat in November.