Madigan circulating memo on gov. impeachment
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan is circulating a memo in Springfield that outlines steps for a possible impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The powerful house speaker and chairman of the state Democratic party hasn't taken a personal position on whether or not the governor should be impeached or recalled. But according to Madigan spokesman Steve Brown, so many Illinois Democrats claim their constituents are asking impeachment questions that they can't answer, Madigan's lawyers have put together a memo explaining the ABCs of impeachment for lawmakers to use on the campaign trail this fall.
Madigan's memo talks, among other things, about the "cancer of corruption" that surrounds Blagojevich from all of the federal investigations and the conviction of his top lieutenant, Tony Rezko. The memo also talks about the governor's alleged abuse of his constitutional authority. Blagojevich spokesman Abby Ottenhoff calls this another example of the pettiness, silliness and backroom games of the speaker, who refuses to meet with the governor or other legislative leaders about key budget issues.
The sticking point is a $31 billion infrastructure bill that failed to pass the house because Madigan says lawmakers don't trust Blagojevich to distribute the money or the projects fairly.
One line says, "One thing we learned from the George Ryan case is that we should excise a tumor when it is first discovered." Later Madigan writes about the governor, "He shows remarkably little ability to govern. He cannot compromise. And unless people do exactly as he wishes, he is at a loss."
"None of these were invented on our own, they're in daily conversation in the streets of Illinois," said Representative Jack Franks, who introduced the impeachment proceedings earlier in the session that fell short.
"There's a lot of problems with the Blagojevich administration that people are well aware of. I think when you document them this way, it makes it easier to quantify," said Franks.
Some of the governor's allies say the battle between the governor and speaker is getting in the way of solving the state's issues.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo Tuesday.
It refers to corruption under Blagojevich as "a tumor" that must be surgically removed. It also claims the governor has violated the state constitution by abusing his authority.The talking points are likely to deepen the feud between Madigan and Blagojevich, who are both Democrats.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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