Editorial: Join us in demanding Blagojevich’s resignation

Our View


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI on Tuesday for a number of corruption charges including selling Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.


The Eastern community should join The Daily Eastern News in demanding the governor’s resignation by writing letters to the editor.

We’re not the first or the last to say this: Gov. Rod Blagojevich needs to resign from office. While we support the legal system’s stipulation that defendants are innocent until proven guilty, the evidence against Blagojevich is overwhelming.

Even if he is innocent, we doubt his ability to perform his constitutional duties as governor. But again, the evidence against the governor is so vast and compelling that a repeat of the O.J. Simpson murder trial would be Blagojevich’s only hope for freedom.

But because this scandal deals with billions of Illinois tax dollars, we all have a vested interest in finding the truth and putting our state back in good standing. However, Illinois’ poor financial situation and Blagojevich’s 13 percent approval rating prior to his arrest is what many media outlets say will not help his case.

We agree. The state of Illinois is dire, and having a governor with a bad rap will not get us more interstate commerce or a new U.S. senator. The Senate would not in its right mind accept any appointment by a governor arrested for conspiring to sell that seat.

Not to mention, if the Illinois Senate decides to impeach him, the lengthy and expensive process would take many elected officials and much money away from needed public causes.

So, we feel the best way to combat this governor who is accused of so many heinous crimes is to have the citizens rise up. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has asked Blagojevich to “do the right thing,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, D – Chicago, has called for Blago’s resignation and even Charleston’s State Rep Chapin Rose, R-Mohment, has already demanded what we’re asking for.

“Now, officially facing serious corruption charges, Gov. Rod Blagojevich should immediately do the honorable thing and resign from office,” Rose said. “If he refuses to resign, any and all options to remove him from office should be on the table, including impeachment.”

What we ask of you, the readers, is to utilize us, the media, and demand Blagojevich’s resignation. Submit a 200 word or less letter to the editor in room 1811 Buzzard Hall or e-mail your letter to [email protected] from your Panthermail account.

Tell the Eastern community what you think is the funniest part of Blagojevich’s incrimination, the worst action within the laundry list of accused crimes, the Blagojevich quote that most damages Illinois’ integrity, the most unexpected piece of evidence and so forth.

Read the seven-page transcript of the phone tap or gather facts from news stories and vent your frustrations in our op-ed section. We even encourage letters defending the governor.

Our goal is to encourage discussion and awareness to what’s transpiring because, as Illinois citizens, we’re all on the national stage. What’s almost sad is how the atmosphere at Eastern, and most likely at other Illinois universities, was filled with joy and praise for U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Very few people were shocked or surprised by the arrest.

A political science professor was even seen running down the hallways of Coleman Hall while yelling in delight.

The Daily Eastern News‘ own Jason Duarte decided to show his animosity by posting a sale for President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat on eBay. Duarte started the bid at 99 cents and by the time eBay decided to shut the account down, the price had soared to $99,999,999. However, the winner of the bid would have been mailed a photograph of Obama and Blagojevich.

Duarte said he was informed by eBay that his post was receiving more than 4,000 hits per hour, which landed him in a Southtown Star article and in a CNN national broadcast.

The citizens of Illinois must not stand by while our government falls to shambles. As voters and taxpayers we need to stand up for what will keep our state functioning and not let this arrest become “business as usual.”

Larry King was even surprised when he said these accusations are worse than any Chicago pay-to-play stereotype he’d ever heard.

For crying out loud, Blagojevich might become cellmates with his predecessor former Gov. George Ryan, who has served a little more than a year of his six and a half year sentence on federal fraud, racketeering and related corruption charges after being convicted by a jury in 2006.

Not rising up in protest would almost be worse than what either governor has done because a lack of public accountability becomes a mockery of the democracy we cherish so much as Americans.

Start a campus march calling for Blagojevich’s resignation, like 300 Eastern students did in October of 1968 while conducting one of the nations first protests to the Vietnam War.

Roam the campus asking students to sign petitions that you’d mail to Blagojevich’s office. Create public meetings in 7th Street Underground or in university lecture halls to talk about the facts of this case. When you go home, put signs up in your yard or buy anti-Blagojevich bumper stickers.

But at very least, send us a letter to the editor for our Friday or Monday publications. We want Blagojevich out of office, don’t you?