In the Illinois House of Representatives, impeachment of a governor requires 60 votes. Rod Blagojevich skyrocketed past that number today, with 114 reps voting to impeach him, and only one voting against (Milt Patterson, a rep from Chicago’s Southwest Side). As the Economist points out, he was the only black caucus member to appear in any way affected by the bald racial appeal Blago made when he appointed Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama in the Senate (the other nineteen remained unimpressed).
Blago just went onstage at a press conference saying the impeachment was “not a surprise.” “It was a foregone conclusion, in fact,” he said. But not because he is under multiple federal investigations for corruption and is on tape trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat. No! That’s crazy.
The legislature has “been talking about doing it for the past couple of years” because Blago merely tried to expand health care and property-tax relief and other things that would have helped the citizens of Illinois. The representatives just wanted to endlessly get in his way. That’s why they impeached him, he said, “because I’ve done things to fight for families that are here with me today.” He named some policies that had helped specific people in the audience, and then thundered, “I don’t believe those are impeachable offenses!” to no sustained applause.
On the matter of the corruption charges, he maintained that he was not guilty, and that the issue should be dealt with “separately.” So yeah, anyway, the State Senate will put Blago on trial sometime in the next month, and let’s hope at that point someone can explain to him what’s actually going on.