Friday, January 09, 2009

13 impeachable offenses

The Illinois House voted 114-1, with one voting "present," to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The move follows the recommendations of a 61-page report that lists 13 impeachable offenses. The special investigative committee used a "totality of circumstances" as the standard, alleging that the governor demonstrated a pattern of abusing his powers. (Or, click on the top item to see the final report.)

Here’s a quick summary of the allegations:

  1. He attempted to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for campaign contributions or personal gain.
  2. He pressured the Tribune Company to fire members of the paper’s editorial staff that had been critical of the governor by threatening to withhold state funding.
  3. He tried to get campaign contributions for signing a bill into law that would give a percentage of casino profits to the horseracing industry.
  4. He [CORRECTION] schemed to get $500,000 campaign contribution from a state highway contractor in relation to an upcoming Illinois Tollway expansion.
  5. He withheld $8 million from Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago in an attempt to extort campaign contributions from a hospital executive.
  6. He appointed Ali Ata as the executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority in return for a $25,000 campaign contribution. Ata has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
  7. He awarded multiple government contracts in exchange for campaign contributions.
  8. He traded state permits and authorizations for campaign contributions.
  9. He mishandled “efficiency initiatives” that consolidated functions of state agencies and advised them to violate the state Constitution and spending laws in order to comply with the initiatives.
  10. He expanded the state-sponsored Family Care health insurance program without legislative approval or funding.
  11. He ordered doses of European flu vaccine that the state didn’t need without federal approval. The doses were never used before they expired.
  12. He illegally imported prescription drugs from foreign countries through the I-SaveRx program.
  13. He violated state and federal law when hiring and firing some state employees.

We'll have much more soon. The governor's scheduled to speak in Chicago at 2 p.m., and the special Illinois Senate committee drafting rules for an impeachment trial could release a draft of rules this afternoon.


No CMS fan,  1:30 PM  

Many of the movers and shakers in the "Efficiency Payment" scheme are still about, and at least one has ties with Quinn going back to the Walker era. Removing Blagojevich does nothing if these same people still are around.

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