Obama frustrated, Supreme Court dismissive, Blagojevich runs
Today's Illinois corruption capsule:
The Illinois Supreme Court chucked out -- with no comment -- the state attorney general's effort to have embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich suspended from duties in general, particularly naming a replacement to Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.
Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan had sought the long-shot legal bid while the state Legislature's time-consuming impeachment process grinds on under the leadership of her father, House Speaker Mike Madigan.
Republicans are also seeking to have expensive but air-clearing special statewide primary and general Senate elections by April because that way they have a chance of winning. The Democrats tend to frown on that idea and like the notion of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn automatically succeeding Blagojevich and naming the replacement. You'll never guess which party Quinn belongs to.
At another one of his Cabinet-naming news conferences in Chicago, President-elect Obama, a one-time political ally of the governor's with a common (now imprisoned) fundraiser in Antoin "Tony" Rezko, said he found it really "frustrating" to be unable to list and explain his office's legitimate contacts with the governor, who's accused of trying to sell the seat. Obama says the U.S. attorney has asked him to delay the release.
As foreseen by The Ticket last week, the contact list will now not be released until next week at the earliest. That's when, oh, gee, look, Obama will be out of camera range in Hawaii on vacation and unavailable for questions for 10 days while the world focuses on the holidays and maybe stops wondering what Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and/or possibly others were talking about with Blagojevich.
The governor in this Tribune video (top) also appears to be running off. However, he's just jogging through Chicago's snowy streets, which he says he does daily to clear his head.
-- Andrew Malcolm