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Illinois suffering; Blagojevich must resign

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

You almost have to wonder whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich is clicking his heels when he speaks publicly.

Remember Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”? Clicking her heels three times, Dorothy chanted, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

That’s been a Blagojevich theme.

In Vandalia for the first time, in 2002, Blagojevich said, “I want to bring jobs to Illinois. I want to bring jobs to Illinois. I want to bring jobs to Illinois.”

Then, after his arrest on federal corruption charges last month, he said, “I will fight. I will fight. I will fight.”

Maybe, like Dorothy, Blagojevich believes that if he repeats something three times, it will be true.

But, the sad reality is, regardless of whether Blagojevich is convicted on the federal charges, he should follow the advice of one of his lawyers. That lawyer told the press that he would, indeed, resign if the people of Illinois were suffering.

A 114-1 impeachment vote in the Illinois House last Friday should tell the governor that we are suffering. He has left state government in disarray, because our legislators will spend much of their time dealing with the governor instead of concentrating on such issues as the state budget.

In addition to leaving Illinois politics in disarray, Blagojevich has found a way to leave his mark on national politics. His choice of Roland Burris as Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate has caused federal legislators to continually change their positions on whether Burris should be seated. Over a span of several weeks, our lawmakers have gone from clamoring for a special election; to saying that they would not appoint a Blagojevich appointee because that appointee would be “tainted”; to saying that Burris is OK as a senator.

At a time when C-Span and other national networks should be focusing their coverage on another Illinois son, Barack Obama, they are giving considerable airtime to the efforts to remove Blagojevich from office.

It’s way past time for Blagojevich to step aside.

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