Throw the Bums Out
By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 31, 2007 7:55PM
Mayor Daley chimed in on the question of recalling Blagojevich yesterday, telling the the Sun-Times that "calling [for] a recall is unnecessary. I may have differences with the governor. But I really believe his mind is on public transportation and on infrastructure as [much as] everyone else. You can't say just because I'm upset with [him about] an issue, two issues that you're gonna have a recall. I disagree with that." In case you missed it, he was referring to an editorial in Sunday's Chicago Tribune which called for an amendment to the Illinois constitution giving voters the right to recall elected officials from state office. After laying out the case against Blago (state and federal investigations, corruption, cronyism, and a fundamental inability to lead), the Tribune concludes that this amendment is really the way to go. They asked readers to write in to the paper with their thoughts.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, an overwhelming majority of the Tribune readers that responded said that Blago should be recalled. Amending the state constitution is doable, but it isn't easy. Article Fourteen, Section One provides for amendments to the state constitution:
Whenever three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly so direct, the question of whether a Constitutional Convention should be called shall be submitted to the electors at the general election next occurring at least six months after such legislative direction.
This is the flaw with the Tribune's logic. By their own admission, there is no way in hell the general assembly is going to call a constitutional convention: "it's doubtful legislators could bring themselves to such drastic action." Here's a group of people that can't even approve a budget. Which brings us back to the reason we are in this situation in the first place: the voters don't really control the political process in this state. Until the people can put together a democratic movement to remove the governor from office, the General Assembly can't be counted on. And unless the Tribune is going to make recall the centerpiece of their media activism, editorials like this are barely worth the paper (or pixels) they're printed on.