Monday, January 26, 2009

Democrats Include Bill Of Attainder In Stimulus Bill To Punish Illinois Governor

The Illinois Senate begins its impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich today and some lawmakers are suggesting the impeachment trial will be over by Thursday. The Governor, himself, told ABC News this morning that the "fix is in" and he will be impeached without a fair trial. He also told Diane Sawyer he had considered appointing Oprah Winfrey to Obama's U.S. Senate seat, but that's for another conversation. Congressional Democrats aren't taking any chances on the governor being booted by week's end. They've included in Obama's federal stimulus legislation a provision that looks an awful lot like a Bill of Attainder, which is specifically prohibited by our U.S. Constitution. The provision would restrict the State of Illinois' access to the federal funds as long as Blagojevich remains as governor. It reads:

None of the funds provided by this Act may be made available to the State of Illinois, or any agency of the State, unless (1) the use of such funds by the State is approved in legislation enacted by the State after the date of the enactment of this Act, or (2) Rod R. Blagojevich no longer holds the office of Governor of the State of Illinois.The preceding sentence shall not apply to any funds provided directly to a unit of local government (1) by a Federal department or agency, or (2) by an established formula from the State.

What is it about Gov. Blagojevich which leads other Democratic politicians to commit unconstitutional acts to punish him? Democrats may want to reconsider pushing Blagojevich too far away. A new round of subpoenas by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago issued the day before the Governor's arrest in early December included requests for records involving Obama media guru David Axelrod and close personal adviser Valerie Jarrett. Both are now top White House aides.

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