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|Lawmakers Preview Blago Trial
|As the trial of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich gets under way with jury selection Thursday at the federal courthouse in Chicago, an Illinois politician says he could have prevented it.
State Sen. James T. Meeks (D-Chicago) considered a run for governor as an independent in 2006, but eventually backed out when Blagojevich promised billions for education through a lease of the Illinois Lottery, which didn't happen. Meeks says had he chosen differently, Blagojevich would not be on trial for political corruption today.
"If I had run for governor, I would have won, and it would have been my Senate seat to decide who to give it to and so we wouldn't have had all that controversy," Meeks said. "So he's the biggest loser from me not running for governor."
Among the accusations against Blagojevich is that he sought personal gain in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, an appointment that eventually went to Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.).
The trial will take all summer, with witnesses spilling the beans on crookedness at the Capitol. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) says that environment will hurt Democrats in November, but not at the top of the ticket. He says voters will get to know Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) well enough by Election Day and will decide that race on the merits of the candidates, but he says down-ballot races for General Assembly and perhaps at the county level will be where voters choose to exact revenge on Democrats.
Dillard says the ethics climate is improving in Illinois politics, and that incumbents seeking re-election to the General Assembly can say they voted to remove Blagojevich from office.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|06 03 10 by Newsroom
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