From the State Journal Register: Tempers boil over in House amid talk of Blagojevich's radio comments
By RYAN KEITH
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Legislative tempers flared as House Republicans and Democrats tossed political barbs over government reform and allegations made by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The latest dispute on the House floor today came when Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, proposed House Resolution 80. That measure would ask Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Schmidt to look into claims made by Blagojevich about legislators trading services for Blagojevich agreeing to hire legislative secretaries.
Blagojevich appeared on a Chicago radio show early last week and called lawmakers who booted him from office drunks who cheat on their spouses. He said one legislative leader, without naming names or party affiliation, approached him about hiring the secretary of a legislator when the lawmaker’s wife found out about the pair’s affair.
Franks said the investigation should help clear up any question of inappropriate, illegal behavior by lawmakers.
“We need to clean up our mess,” Franks said.
An irate House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, responded that the resolution was merely designed to punish Republicans for repeatedly rapping Democrats in the ongoing Roland Burris flap.
Republicans say Democrats have tried to downplay and cover up additional testimony from Burris that he had contacts with Blagojevich allies about fundraising – details he didn’t disclose for the House impeachment committee a few weeks ago.
“We’re going to teach you a lesson,” Cross said of Democrats. “Thank goodness we are now a state that’s open, transparent. Thank goodness we have learned from Rod Blagojevich. Oh wait, we haven’t.”