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Senate Votes To Remove Blagojevich From Office, 59-0

CHRISTOPHER WILLS | January 29, 2009 08:14 PM EST | AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Rod Blagojevich was thrown out of office Thursday without a single lawmaker rising in his defense, ending a nearly two-month crisis that erupted with his arrest on charges he tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Blagojevich becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment.

After a four-day trial, the Illinois Senate voted 59-0 to convict him of abuse of power, automatically ousting the second-term Democrat. In a second, identical vote, lawmakers further barred Blagojevich from ever holding public office in the state again.

“He failed the test of character. He is beneath the dignity of the state of Illinois. He is no longer worthy to be our governor,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, a Republican from suburban Chicago.

Blagojevich’s troubles are not over. Federal prosecutors are drawing up an indictment against him on corruption charges.

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Jan 9, 11:36 AM EST

Associated Press- Illinois House impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vich), an unprecedented step in state history.

The action sets the stage for a Senate trial on whether he should be thrown out of office for corruption and abuse of power.

House members found evidence that the two-term Democrat had abused his power, including improperly spending tax money, adopting programs without legislative approval and violating state hiring laws. He’s denied wrongdoing.

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Blagojevich Could Be Impeached Next Week

Via: Huffington Post/ Associated Press |   January 2, 2009 01:41 PM

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich could be impeached as early as next week.

The Illinois House has changed its schedule and will meet several days next week.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the chamber may vote on a recommendation from the special committee studying whether Blagojevich should be impeached.

It would take a simple majority vote for the House to impeach — which basically means accusing him of misconduct.

Then the state Senate would hold a trial to determine if the governor is guilty. A conviction there requires a two-thirds majority.

Blagojevich was arrested last month on federal corruption charges.

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown office building Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obamas vacant Senate seat. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown office building Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Illinois Lawmakers Meet To Consider Impeaching Blagojevich

CHRISTOPHER WILLS | December 15, 2008 12:33 PM EST | AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Rod Blagojevich hasn’t ruled out signing a bill creating a special election to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, his spokesman said Monday, the first hint the embattled governor may loosen his grip on the seat.

Blagojevich was arrested last week on charges he tried to profit from his power to choose Obama’s replacement and shook down businesses seeking state deals.

While Blagojevich hasn’t seen a proposed special election bill he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing such a bill, spokesman Lucio Guerrero said early Monday without elaborating.

The governor, meanwhile, remained defiant and returned to work Monday to sign a tax credit bill after earlier seeing off his wife, Patti, and the couple’s two daughters.

The Legislature was to meet Monday afternoon to consider special election legislation, but lawmakers also were likely to discuss impeaching Blagojevich.

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Blagojevich Could Decide Future By Monday

Huffington Post |   December 13, 2008 12:09 PM

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who finished a tumultuous work week with a visit to a federal courthouse, may announce his decision on whether or not to resign from office as early as Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times, citing an anonymous “source close to the governor” reports:

“He was blindsided by this,” the source said. “He needs some time to digest what’s going on. He’s going to make his position clear shortly.”On Friday, in his first public comments since his arrest, the governor did not rule out the possibility he might resign. As he left the federal courthouse after a visit to the pretrial services office, a reporter asked the governor, “Do you have anything to say to the people of Illinois?”

He replied, “I will at the appropriate time. Absolutely.”

“Are you going to resign?” the reporter asked.

“I’ll have a lot to say at the appropriate time,” Blagojevich answered.

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Illinois AG threatens to act soon against embattled governor if he refuses to resign

Staff
AP News

Dec 11, 2008 09:04 EST

Illinois’ attorney general on Thursday threatened to go to the state Supreme Court to have embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared unfit to hold office if he doesn’t resign soon.

“I am prepared to take action,” state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said on CNN.

She said the best thing would be for Blagojevich (bluh-GOY’-uh-vich) to resign. The governor was arrested Tuesday on charges that he put President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat up for sale and he has ignored calls for his resignation.

“The easiest way for us to move on in the state of Illinois is for Governor Blagojevich to do the right thing for the people and to resign,” she said. “Now, it doesn’t appear that he has any inclination to do that. Maybe things will change today or tomorrow.”

Madigan said she “won’t wait terribly long.”

“I have the opportunity to go to our Illinois Supreme Court and ask them to declare our governor is unable to serve and put in our lieutenant governor as acting governor,” Madigan said.

Several other options are being considered to force the governor from office.

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Following Blagojevich Arrest, Obama Senate Seat Put On eBay

Huffo Pos- Sam Stein

December 9, 2008 01:51 PM

Various elements of the Rod Blagojevich arrest today are unavoidably humorous — whether it is his completely cynical approach to politics, the idea that he was even considering a possible run for President in 2016, his wife’s disdain for the Chicago Cubs, or the fact that he and his aides contemplated shaking down Warren Buffett for cash (allegedly, of course).

In fact, when authorities rang Blagojevich this morning to let him know that they were coming to arrest him, he responded: “Is this a joke?”

There was an almost cartoonish-aspect to the corruption exhibited by the Illinois Governor. And now, that buffoonery has rubbed off on all aspects surrounding the case. On eBay, a poster from Illinois has put up a listing for the United States Senate Seat, a nod to the auction that Blagojevich was apparently hoping to host from within the confines of his own office.

The current bid is a mere $0.99 cents. And the end time for the bid is December 19, 2008.

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In this April 18, 2007 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks at the 45th Annual Illinois Governors Prayer Breakfast in Springfield, Ill. Authorities in Chicago have arrested Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on federal charges. U.S. Attorneys office spokesman Randall Samborn says both Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

In this April 18, 2007 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks at the 45th Annual Illinois Governor's Prayer Breakfast in Springfield, Ill. Authorities in Chicago have arrested Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on federal charges. U.S. Attorney's office spokesman Randall Samborn says both Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Arrested In Obama Successor Probe

HuffPo- MIKE ROBINSON | December 9, 2008 10:16 AM EST | AP

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to get financial benefits through his authority to appoint a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama‘s election as president.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: December 9, 2008

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CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to get financial benefits through his authority to appoint a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama’s election as president.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

Blagojevich also was charged with using his authority as governor in an attempt to squeeze out campaign contributions, prosecutors said.

Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, also was arrested. (more…)

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