Saturday, December 13, 2008

Illinois Attorney General, House Speaker: Father and Daughter Conspiracy

Rahm Emmanual, President-Elect Obama's political confidante and new Chief of Staff, once said never let a good crisis go to waste.

It seems that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her father, Illinois State House Speaker Michael Madigan, agree with Rahm-Bo!

Today's Chicago Sun Times speculates just that:

But if Blagojevich stays put and his saga drags out, then questions inevitably will grow louder about whether delaying impeachment is a tactic by Madigan not to divert political thunder from his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

On Friday, she took the unprecedented step of petitioning the state Supreme Court to declare Blagojevich unfit for office and remove him, under an obscure rule never used before against an Illinois governor.

"The speculation is that the speaker is sitting back on this so Lisa can take the lead and get ownership on the issue," said one House member who favors impeachment but requested anonymity.

The attorney general made clear Friday that she backs impeaching Blagojevich and noted her legal maneuver would be another front against the governor while lawmakers go about trying to impeach him.

"Attorney General Madigan's call for the governor's impeachment has been crystal clear since the charges against him were announced Tuesday. [Her] filing in the Supreme Court does not take the place of impeachment. Rather, it seeks to bring immediate relief to the people of Illinois," said Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for Lisa Madigan.

By having a prominent role in ousting Blagojevich, the attorney general and potential 2010 gubernatorial candidate further insulates herself from the same type of do-nothing charges that Blagojevich employed against his 2002 rival, then-Attorney General Jim Ryan.

Nothing like Chicago politics to make a scandal out of investigating and correcting a political scandal.

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