Blago blusters on
As if politics in Illinois weren’t troublesome enough right now, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has decided to make things more contentious.
Blagojevich promised two weeks ago through his attorney that he would not use his authority to appoint a successor to Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich, has been accused by federal authorities of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat for personal gain.
But on Tuesday, Blagojevich changed his mind and held a press conference to announce he was naming former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the seat.
That announcement sets an all-but-certain showdown with fellow Democrats in the U.S. Senate, who have pledged to prevent any person Blagojevich appoints from being seated in the Senate. They have the authority to do so under the U.S. Constitution.
Of course, Blagojevich could avoid such a confrontation by not making the appointment, by calling for a special election or by temporarily stepping down and allowing his lieutenant governor to make the appointment.
But Blagojevich has displayed no interest in stepping aside, even though he was arrested earlier this month by the FBI and is facing impeachment proceedings in the Illinois Legislature. He seems to relish the controversies as much as being governor.
So, the Springfield soap opera continues, much to the dismay of Illinois residents, we suspect, since a poll earlier this month showed the vast majority of them just want Blagojevich to resign.