Earth To Illinois: Why is Blagojevich Still Governor?

J Philip Faranda December 27, 2008

Those of us who live in the NY Metropolitan area (otherwise called the Tri-State area) know all about scandals involving our state governors. Since 2002, all three governors of NY, NJ and CT have resigned amidst scandal. And their offenses paled in comparison to Illinois Rod Blagojevich arrest for trying to sell a US Senate seat. But, they did leave office. Spitzer’s offense was literally a peccadillo in comparison, as was former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey’s affair. Connecticut’s John Rowland quit in 2004 not after a marital affair but for corruption. And at the time of his resignation he was just being investigated. But none of these governors were led out of office in handcuffs like Rod Blagojevich was.

To summarize:

  • Elliot Spitzer: Adultery, but with a prostitute, which isn’t good when you made a living prosecuting prostitution rings. Handcuff not involved, according the the hooker. Check.
  • John Rowland: Corruption. Resigned while being investigated, pled guilty, spent time in prison and house arrest. Handcuffs involved, but after his resignation. Check
  • Jim McGreevey: Ironically, seemed like he was running for his second term moments after taking oath. Resigned when his appointment to head NJ homeland security threatened to sue him for sexual harrassment. Oh, and the plaintiff would have been a guy, which would damage an ostensibly straight, married sitting governor. Came out in his resignation speech. Lost his marriage. Handcuffs may or may not have been involved. But he did quit. Check.

Now in Illinois we have a guy who has been caught on tape admitting that he wanted all sorts of quid pro quo for Obama’s seat in the Senate, been arrested and led out in handcuffs and he’s still governor! A few news outlets cover his defiance, but where’s the public outcry for his resignation or impeachment? Why isn’t Barack Obama, the rest of the Illinois government or anyone else that matters pushing in a meaningful way for this man to be removed? You would think that he had damaging information about the very people who should be kicking him out of the governor’s mansion (is it a mansion in Illinois?).

This isn’t about Blagojevich. It is about us. When a senator from a small state gets caught with his pants down in an airport mens room, it stays in the news. When a 20-year old starlet with marginal talent gets arrested for driving drunk, it stays in the news. And when a governor gets arrested for selling a senate seat? I need only direct you to this morning’s home page of the NY Times (nothing) the Drudge Report (nothing) and Google News front page (below a fluff piece on Caroline Kennedy and above Obama’s taking his daughters to the dolphin show).

What does that say about us? Where are the protesters? Are we that desensitized? We don’t have the will to sack a defiant, unpopular governor?

Now this doesn’t really relate to real estate and is admittedly off-topic and will be categorized as such. Yet even those of us that are NAR members know that if one of us gets out of line that we have a code of ethics and a grievance process to police ourselves. Can we not expect the same of our government and the free press?

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