As a resident of Illinois I have to admit Rod Blagojevich really made my day. Reading about the allegations against him I am quite astonished by some of the accusations that have come to light. His predecessor George Ryan is now sitting in a federal prison for selling drivers licenses while good ol' Rod decided to engage in some wheelin' and dealin' with the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. I can see it now, listed on E-Bay, next to the airplane once occupied by Sarah Palin. Normally we are polite enough to wait until our governors are done with their terms before putting the cuffs on them; however the current situation made such niceties impossible.
Now, some people may wonder why the voters in Illinois put him in office in the first place. When Blagojevich first ran for office it was on the heels of the license for sale scandal left by George Ryan. Since then the Republicans who have run for the office came off as being part of the same network that Ryan circulated in. So when Blagojevich ran for the second term he managed to get re-elected even though there were already some whispers about his shenanigans. In other words the competition sucked more than the incumbent.
I live in Champaign Illinois which is around 120 miles south of Chicago and depending on what part of the state you are in the culture is often quite different. I've met a few people from the Chicago area who seem to harbor the notion that modern civilization ends beyond the borders of Kankakee. I once heard Champaign being referred to as a bullshit town by a Chicago transplant. At the other end of the spectrum I have relatives in the southern parts who consider Charleston Illinois to be as far north as you can get.
So with the current shenanigans in mind there are folks here who may well consider the issues that surround Blagojevich to be strictly a product of Chicago politics and the fact that our governor has kept his digs in the big city is something that has managed to rub people the wrong way. After all our state capitol is in Springfield Illinois and visitors can always go to the house that good ol' Abe Lincoln lived in before he became president. You can even take a look at the outhouse in the back yard - although you might not want to.
I’m sure the coming weeks will be quite interesting to observe. It is important to remember that the man is innocent until proven guilty, however I also believe it would be best for Blagojevich to resign. It doesn’t matter if you live in Chicago, Champaign, or Charleston – we are part of the same state and we can’t afford a leader who is now facing criminal charges