Politicians react to Blagojevich verdict
Illinois Republican Party Chairman
“I'm glad that the verdict is finally in on Rod Blagojevich. However this closes only one chapter of Democrat corruption in Illinois. Illinois Democratic politicians who now try everything they can to hide their past support of Rod Blagojevich should look themselves in the mirror and remind themselves that little has changed since the day Blagojevich was arrested.
“Our current governor (Pat Quinn) has appointed lame duck legislators to high paid positions after they changed their views and voted for late night tax hikes. The Speaker of the Illinois House (and state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan) is partner in a law firm that has reaped millions in appealing tax assessments in a relationship that even Forrest Claypool (now a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Administration) said ‘has caused our taxes to go up and the level of faith in government to go down.’”
Statement from Illinois Senate President John Cullerton:
"Once again, the former governor's pattern of dishonesty has been confirmed. I thank the jury for its public service. Just as it was sad but necessary for the Senate to remove him from office, today is another sad event for Illinois. I would hope that this verdict would further allow us as a state to move on and ahead."
Deputy Director, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
“The jury today has ratified the sense of millions of Illinoisans, that Rod Blagojevich was a pox on Illinois' political system. His conviction also serves as a warning that no one is above the law and that anyone today thinking of abusing the public trust for their private benefit should consider the very real consequences. The jury today made clear that criminal acts are not "just politics." Blagojevich, and many of his advisors and staff, are facing serious prison time, financial penalties, and separation from their families and friends.
“Illinois has taken great strides to ensure that the next scandal will not follow the Blagojevich blueprint. Today's laws make it much harder to commit yesterday's actions. But preventing tomorrow's scandals require more vigilance. Voters must accountability from candidates. Officeholders must stand ready to call out their wavering colleagues. Staffers must understand the risks they take when they follow criminal orders. Reform is possible, one step at a time, and Illinois has a long road ahead.”
Illinois State Treasurer
“The guilty verdict against former Governor Rod Blagojevich closes a long, embarrassing chapter for the citizens of Illinois. He deserves everything he’s going to get.”
Judy Baar Topinka:
"I am heartened by the Jury's verdict against Rod Blagojevich, and pleased to see justice after many months of waiting. But make no mistake: this is nothing to celebrate. Through his unconscionable behavior and reckless leadership, Blagojevich inflicted damage on Illinois that will take years, if not generations, to repair. He broke the public trust and mismanaged dollars with a zeal that was unique even in our storied state.
"I find his behavior reprehensible and am personally pleased to see him held responsible. But more important, I hope that today's verdict delivers a reminder that elected leaders serve the public, not the other way around - and they will be held accountable, even if it takes a while.
“While I look forward to turning the page on Blagojevich, I hope that the lessons learned from his prosecution live on. Ironically, it would prove to be his greatest contribution to our state."
Republican U.S. Representative
“Rod Blagojevich never seemed to understand the difference between serving the public and serving his personal self interests. The evidence presented and verdict confirms that he was found guilty of seventeen of the twenty counts including wire fraud, attempted extortion and attempting to sell President Obama's old Senate seat, but far worse, he abused and shattered public trust. The shame and national embarrassment Blagojevich cast onto our state has only created further financial bearing.
"I applaud the U.S. Attorney’s office for their hard work, dedication and effort to see to it that justice has somewhat been served. Unfortunately, Blagojevich's verdict and punishment will not restore statewide, much less nationwide certainty in Illinois. We must now move beyond Rod Blagojevich and turn our focus toward working together to rebuild Illinois.”
Senator, 9th District, Assistant Majority Leader
"With this guilty verdict, Illinois has now been shamed once again as its second consecutive chief executive has failed its citizens in the most fundamental way possible. We must all redouble our efforts to restore confidence and integrity to Illinois government."
Democratic U.S. Senator
“I hope today’s verdict finally draws this sad and sordid chapter in Illinois history to a close.”
State Senator, Bloomington
“I believe our state will grow stronger as a result of the conviction of Rod Blagojevich today. Rod Blagojevich abused the office of Governor and made every attempt to capitalize on his public office for personal and political benefit.
“His overwhelming conviction today should serve as yet another reminder that public officials are in office to serve the public and not their own personal interests and ambitions. We have made some progress in ending pay-to-play politics in Illinois, but the decision today underscores the need for us in government to continue our work to earn the trust and confidence of our citizens.”