Sometimes our government agencies – local, state, and federal – move at a snail’s pace. The news release on Friday January 9 that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached was welcome news. But the Illinois elected officials took way too long to take this action. Their delay allowed Blagojevich to appoint a replacement for Barack Obama’s senate seat - Roland Burris. Mr. Burris may be a very capable person, but his appointment by a man who allegedly was trying to sell the senate seat and who was arrested for his actions certainly can cast doubt on Burris’s worthiness for the job. As I mentioned here in early December, I think we need to change the whole process of allowing a governor, or any one person, to appoint replacements for senate and congressional seats.
But the secondary part of this issues is the fact that the Illinois state government seemed to move at a snail’s pace. Blagojevich was arrested in early December and released on bail, and it seems it took the state officials a month to decide to impeach him. Sure, a person is innocent until proven guilty, but maybe the standards should be set just a little higher for our elected officials.
My opinion is that if you are an elected official and are arrested or indicted for a crime – ANY crime – then the people should have the right to suspend potions of your authorities immediately. And by immediately I don’t mean it should take a month to do it. Our elected officials must find a more expedient way to protect their constituents from other elected officials who are not operating within the confines of the law. We can’t afford a government that moves like molasses and makes life just as sticky!
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