Senate Democrat calls on Gov. Blagojevich to resign
Fed up with allegations emerging from the federal corruption trial of a top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a state senator wants Blagojevich to step down from office.
Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said Wednesday he is troubled by what he’s reading about the testimony in the Tony Rezko trial in Chicago. He added that he thinks Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat, has been "derelict in running the state."
Further, Jacobs believes that Illinois Senate President Emil Jones will not permit a Senate vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would let voters oust top elected officials, including the governor, before their terms expire. The House of Representatives voted for the proposed amendment on Tuesday.
Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch had a succinct response when told about Jacobs’ request for a gubernatorial resignation.
"State capitols are known for being full of hot air. That’s all this is," she said via e-mail.
But Jacobs said anyone who is following the Rezko trial "should be really concerned."
Rezko, a top fundraiser and a close adviser to the governor, is being tried on federal corruption charges. Rezko, who also raised money for Sen. Barack Obama and other Illinois politicians, has said he is not guilty. Neither Blagojevich nor Obama have been charged with any wrongdoing.
"I’m hardly a reformer. But I’m shocked by what I’m reading," Jacobs said.
"And if it isn’t true, then the governor should come forward and say, ‘Look, these are the facts. It’s just not true.’ But the governor won’t even talk about this issue. So it suggests to me, it suggests to me that he is in a position where it’s untenable. He can’t govern."
Last June, Jacobs said the governor threatened him with political ruin unless he voted for Blagojevich’s universal health-care plan. The two since have patched up their differences, Jacobs said Wednesday.
"I’ve always liked the governor," he said. "I’ve found him to be an engaging person. But corruption’s corruption, and I don’t have any tolerance for it."
Adriana Colindres can be reached at (217) 782-6292 or email@example.com.