Blago, Do You Recall?
By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 18, 2008 10:10PM
The CTA bailout passed, and now we can move on to that other chronic political problem: Governor Blagojevich. Just how much of Mr. Testicular Virility are Illinois residents willing to take? Judging by a new Chicago magazine article about the embattled gov, "Mr. Un-Popularity," not much. In that article, the Capital Fax Blog's Rich Miller suggests that Blago is the most unpopular governor in the country, with approval ratings that have sunk as low as 16 percent (which, Bernstein notes, is worse than President Bush polls in Illinois, one of the country's bluest states).
Why is Blago so loathed? [Ed note: Game show-host hair?] There are the allegations of 'pay-to-play' schemes, cronyism, patronage, and corruption. There's also Blago's abuse of taxpayer money for personal joyrides, and of course, the Hannah Montana concert and the Blackhawks game that he shouldn't have gone to. Blago is also a horrible politician; he authored a tax proposal that was famously rejected in the Illinois House by a vote of 107 to 0, and he is, according to one Trib editorial, "the governor who cannot govern."
California voted to recall Gray Davis in 2003, so why don't we do the same? The legal authority doesn't exist yet, but in a November state-wide poll, 51.9 percent of respondents said they would recall the governor if they could, so the support is there. Rep. Jack Franks introduced executive recall legislation last year, but it hasn't been passed yet. Of course, the other option is to hold a constitutional convention. Every 20 years, voters are asked if they want to hold a "con-con," and this November the question will be on the ballot. --Mark Boyer