The news of a possbile narrow reprieve, in the form of dismissal or resentencing, for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich eclipsed the seemingly routine summer session at the state Capitol.
His case still rattles through the courts, and his legacy, says the longtime speaker of the Illinois House, is still a drag on the state.
“He was greatly responsible for a lot of the overspending that happened while he was the governor,” said Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), finding a way to return to the central theme of his now weekly news conferences. “and that's one reason why the Number One problem facing the state of Illinois today is the budget deficit. And everybody would be well advised to give all of their attention to eliminating the budget deficit. That can not be done by functioning in the extreme. Only by functioning in moderation.”
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who says it's possible the former governor will see a few years shaved off his sentence when his case returns to court, reminds everyone Blagojevich has not been exonerated.
“He was still convicted of twelve criminal charges that were affirmed by the appellate court,” Durkin said. “Five were remanded; they were not outright reversed. It's a very small victory, I believe, for Rod Blagojevich.
“There is a public fascination with Rod Blagojevich that is never going to go away.”