Illinois Senate Seat for Sale?

This story is a couple days old now, but I hadn’t had a chance to blog on it yet.  Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested and charged with basically trying to auction off the open Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama to the highest bidder.  The Democrat was apparently got red-handed by a wiretap that taped conversations where he discusses the plan.  So far he has resisted urges that he resign his office and could theoretically still make the appointment to the Senate.

What is probably most shocking about this whole affair is the naked greed involved.  I don’t think a governor has been this obviously and pathetically greedy since Spiro Agnew.  I mean, there are plenty of tried and tested and not overtly illegal ways to curry political favor that have been used for centuries.  Now the Illinois legislature is looking at rushing through legislation taking this decision out of the governor’s hands and just hold a special election for the unexpired term.  Of course, that would leave the seat vacant longer as that would take time for the parties to make nominations and for the election to be held and the results certified.  Blagojevich should probably be impeached, but that also takes time.  Theoretically, the United States Senate could simply refuse to seat the person Blagojevich sends their way, but its a rather drastic step and would unfairly tarnish the spurned person, especially if Blagojevich made an above-board nomination; people would never fully believe it was above-board.  Hopefully Blagojevich resigns and his successor sends  someone reputable to Washington.

For a detailed accounting of this matter:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/us/politics/10Illinois.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

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