UPDATE: More pols weigh in on Blagojevich situation
Former Governor Jim Edgar
Like, Daley, Edgar reminds reporters at a press conference that not all state government is corrupt. He says the Blagojevich allegations are a new level of corruption. As a lifelong politician he invokes his personal experience to contradict press reports calling Illinois the most corrupt state in the country.
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis
While Davis notes all are innocent until proven guilty, he says it's hard not to subscribe to the old adage of "where there's smoke, there's fire." As someone considered in the running for Obama's now vacant Senate Seat, reporter Tony Arnold asks Davis if the Gov. ever approached him about any improprieties related to the seat.
Sen. John Cullerton
Cullerton explains more about what a special session will mean for the Governor. If impeachment proceedings occur, Cullerton and his fellow senators would become the Gov.'s jury.
Sen. Martin Sandoval
Sen. Sandoval says he thinks the Gov. should step down in order to best serve the people of Illinois. Sandoval called the arrest a sobering day for Illinois, but amidst recent allegations it seemed inevitable.
As the day unfolds, Illinois state leaders are releasing statements and making themselves available to the press. Below is a collection of our local leaders weighing in on the Blagojevich arrest.
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
At Daley's press conference this morning, he didn't know the complete allegations laid out in the complaint, but emphasizes how sad a day it was for the state. However, the Mayor says that the behavior of Blagojevich (and imprisoned former Gov. Ryan) is that of individuals, not indicative of all politicians.
Representative John Fritchey
Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky caught up states politicians to gather their reaction to the Gov.'s indicment. Rep. John Fritchey was the chief sponsor of the Pay to Play ban which takes effect January 1. He told says that he faced resistance from the Gov. on passing the bill.
Senator Larry Bomke
Sen. Larry Bomke tells Amanda the process for impeachment, which he predicts will happen with Blagojevich. He also thinks this is the first time in Illinois that a sitting
Gov. has faced indictment.
Senator Christine Radogno
Sen. Christine Radogno believes that despite all the allegations, the Gov. will not resign. She says the blatancy of the allegations is what's most surprising. She and other legislative chiefs of staff recieved a call from the Gov's liasion letting them know that the Governor is still the Governor, ie. he's still in charge.
Secretary of State Jesse White
White thinks that the Gov. should resign immediately, but says he's a "fighter" and most likely will not step down. If Blagojevich does resign, White is third in line to take the seat, after Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn
At a press conference this afternoon, reporters excitedly jump at the chance to hear if Quinn will demand Blagojevich's resignation. The reporters are eager to learn just what Quinn means by the phrase "step aside" versus "resign."
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna
Andy McKenna wonders how people did not see anything wrong when allegations against the Governor surfaced. His other question: Why did it take the U.S. attorney to come in to clean up the state's mess?
Cross says that today is a sad day in state government, an embarrassment. Cross also says that we're in crisis mode with the desperate state of the economy and the state budget.
Dawn Clark Netsch
Law professor Dawn Clark Netsch, who made an unsuccessful run for Governor in 1994, thinks that the Gov. should resign...but doesn't think he will.‚