Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Harry Reid, and the rest of the Senate Democratic leadership have elected to accept the appointment of Roland Burris as the Junior Senator from Illinois. Burris, was appointed by impeached and felony accused Illinois Governor Rod Blagoyevich.

Democratic Party leaders in both the Senate, as well as in Illinois, had been vociferous about their absolute refusal to seat any one appointed by the disgraced Illinois governor. In the end  however, the politics of  the verbose, ceded to the politics of the practical and Harry Reid will now welcome Senate appointee Burris to Washington.

It appears that Burris played no role in attempting to secure a senate seat at the Blagoyevich private auction and as such there was no practical reason for the Senate to bar him from a seat in that August body. Burris a former Illinois Attorney General should be able to join his new colleagues in the Senate by the end of the week.

The nation,  is spared further Senate embarrassment by this decision and the Senate can now begin to focus on legislation and working with the House and the new Administration to conduct the nation’s business in a prudent manner,  under the guise of the Senator from Searchlight.

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The Illinois house of representatives voted 114 to 1 to impeach embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagoyevich,  while the Illinois SupremeCourt ruled that Blagoyevich appointee, Roland Burris,  may be seated as the  junior senator from Illinois, without certification from the Illinois Secretary of State.

Blagoyevich, becomes the first Governor in Illinois to be impeached. A remarkable record in itself , given the propensity for the state’s governors to commit felonies. The matter will now proceed to the State Senate for a trial to determine whether the Governor should be removed from office.

While the State Senate in the land of Lincoln is contending with the fate of Blagoyevich,  the United States Senate will now prepare to welcome the previously ignored Roland Burris to its esteemed body. Burris,  a distinguished former Attorney General of the State of Illinois was shown the cold shoulder by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he attempted to be seated in the Senate earlier in the week.

Reid, subsequently appears to have warmed to the idea of a Senator Burris,  to fill the seat vacated by President Elect Obama, as the race card began to surface with the initial rejection of the Burris appointment. Harry Reid,  cleared the path for Burris as he passionately rejected any racial allegations in connection with his refusal to seat Burris,  in remarks made on Wednesday.

Reid will want every vote that he can rely on as the Senate takes up legislation following the inauguration of President Elect Obama. Even a leader as inept as Reid,  recognizes that minimally,  Burris may be relied upon to support the Democrat agenda of the day in the Senate and place one more vote in the yes column for the pending economic stimulus plan.

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A state that has seen three former governors serve time since the 1970’s has once again offered the nation an example of  political corruption through current governor Rod Blagojevich.

Governor Blagojevich has been arrested and will face a litany of federal charges including one of  of conspiring to leverage a seat in the United States Senate, previously held by President Elect Barack Obama, for personal benefits for he and his wife.

The Governor who has been functioning under a cloud of a federal investigation into corruption charges throughout his second term is a Democrat. This should provide some welcome relief for the much maligned Republican party, which has recently been subjected to the recent conviction of the former Senator from Alaska Ted Stevens, as well as a number of other unseemly scandals over the recent past.

Indeed, it should be a welcome relief for all Americans that political corruption continues to be proven to be bipartisan. In a political environment in which the winning candidate ran on a platform espousing change and a desire to reach across the aisle, it is particularly ironic that this most recent of political scandals erupted in the very state that the President Elect has chosen as the base for his own meteoric career.

President Elect Obama was touted by the media during the 2008 election as representing the new politics. The fact that his own political base evolved from the rough and tumble ” politics of  favor” of Chicago was dismissed by the broader media and deemed unimportant relative to his message of change. One can believe that having been exposed to the politics of old as Obama surely was in Chicago that he is  well prepared to enact change and create a new politic.

The evolution of change ofen is slow and cannot be properly assessed by its catalysts. At other times it can come swift with great force and move a people or a culture quickly toward a new day. There is a yearning in the American spirit for an ascendant change that will cure the ills of our time. Barack Obama has become the designated catalyst of that change and the channeler of that yearning today as a result of his victory over Republican candidate John McCain.

People want to believe in those that they select to become guardians of the people’s will. Elected officials that abuse that trust for personal gain remind us of the dark ugly that resides within the human psyche and is released by a power that seduces the weaker among us. Governor Blagojevich is the most recent example of this. 

Illinois is a state that has a heritage of political corruption. It is also the state that President Lincoln called home and now can claim President Elect Obama.  One can only hope that as this current case of corruption winds it way through the courts and the media and we are reminded of the nitty gritty of Illinois politics that President Elect Obama indeed is an agent of change and  not just another Chicago politico.

 Americans deserve and demand leadership that is inclusive, focused on the issues of the day and less concerned about personal gain or political legacy. Americans want a President that can transcend the politics of old and ascend to a new bipartisan politic that governs from the center while recognizing that that extremes at either end of the political spetrum both left and right are polarizing and result ultimately in endless futile rhetoric. Barack Obama has the mandate will he hear the clarion call and respond in kind.

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