Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's Chicago Tribune has a startlingly strong op-ed, in which the paper advocates a recall vote to take Gov. Rod Blagojevich out of office.
Given the multiple ineptitudes of Rod Blagojevich -- his reckless financial stewardship, his dictatorial antics, his penchant for creating political enemies -- should citizens create a new way to terminate a chief executive who won't, or can't, do his job? [...]
The bill of particulars against Rod Blagojevich is numbingly familiar. His is a legacy of federal and state investigations of alleged cronyism and corruption in the steering of pension fund investments to political donors, in the subversion of state hiring laws, in the awarding of state contracts, in matters as personal as that mysterious $1,500 check made out to the governor's then-7-year-old daughter by a friend whose wife had been awarded a state job.
Presented this year with an extraordinary opportunity -- his Democratic Party controlling both houses of the Illinois General Assembly -- Blagojevich has squandered what should have been a leadership moment: He is governor of a state in desperate need of more accountability in its public schools, of a new tax formula for funding those schools, of a meaningful attack on its swelling pension indebtedness. Today Illinois has ... solutions to none of the above.
Problem? Illinois doesn't have a recall mechanism in its constitution. But the Trib thinks it ought to.
The editorial notes that gubernatorial recalls have been extremely rare. In fact, only two governors have ever been recalled: North Dakota's Lynn Frazier 1921 and, uh, that other guy.
So is this an option citizens in every state should have? Should every governor, in addition to running for re-election, be required to face the possibility of a recall?
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.