Thursday, January 29, 2009

My two cents

Today's events made history - at least for this week. I must admit there was a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment as I watched today's impeachment proceedings. I was able to hear the now former governor's testimony on the radio while at work. Then as the senator's gathered to speak and vote we all met in my bosses office to watch in TV. It was an entertaining event as we all watched, laughed, and poked fun. I am not even joking when I tell you that Howard popped popcorn for the viewing.
I had no opinions of the narcissistic Blago before I started working. But as a result of working in my office I have learned a lot about his employment practices within the various government agencies. Many peoples' jobs were lost so that he could make room to hire his supporters, loyal democrats and relatives and friends of people who were willing to pay the price. And his administration has been smart enough not to leave tracks to their illegal hiring and firing practices. So although the repeated phrase of the day was how "it was a sad day for the state of Illinois," I would wholeheartedly disagree. Today is not a sad day for Illinois. The sad days for Illinois were when our former governor was extorting innocent people or doing any of the other many illegal activities he is charged with engaging in. To me it is not sad that we are removing a man with no moral compass from an office which he has no business being in. It is not sad that we are finally stopping him; what is sad is the the little man we called our Governor.

And while I am proud of our senators for making the right decision by removing this man from his office, I questioned the genuineness of their comments this afternoon. While they condemned the governor's pay-for-play politics, I cannot help but think many of them are guilty of very similar offenses. Perhaps my short time in Springfield has made me cynical, but I have learned that in order for anything to get done, it is all quid pro quo. This for that. If you want a bill passed you have to trade votes with others, and while this is all part of politics, I know it extended further than trading votes. While every single senator shamed the governor for his actions today, there is no way that none of them participated in his his shenanigans. I guarantee there were senators who voted for various bills, or made campaign contributions in exchange for jobs for their family members.

Although the new governor who has plans for all sorts of reform and new safeguards to prevent something like this from happening again, I question how much success they will have. In reality politics will always be this-for-that. And technically there is nothing illegal about a group or individual making a campaign contribution to support a senator/representative after their bill has been passed. So although this type of activity is accepted it is still not totally different from some of what the Governor did... it is just on the other side of the line. Another thing to note is that although the governor is gone, his administration has still been left behind. For that reason I hope that Pat Quinn does a thorough housecleaning. I will now step down from my soap box, and although this disclaimer is a little late, the aforementioned comments are merely my inexperienced and uneducated opinions.

And as a side note, I actually had dinner a few weeks ago with the lead counsel for the office of the new governor.

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