Hyde Parker Barbara Flynn Currie to Head Blagojevich Impeachment Panel.

Barbara Flynn Currie, the majority leader of the Illinois [General Assembly], has been chosen to run the Blagojevich impeachment committee. She is very smart, seemingly very honest, and (I seem to recall) a friend and ally of fellow Hyde Parker Barack Obama. She is not viewed as a machine politician, but rather as a moderately liberal reformer.

Currie is the widow of long-time Chicago law professor David Currie (and she is my local state representative).


Currie and Blagojevich


Lets hope they get it over and done with in a hurry. The people of Illinois deserve to be able to elect both their new Senator and Governor, the next thing on their agenda should be arranging elections for both.
12.16.2008 3:04am
Carl in Chicago (mail):
Yes, she is generally well-liked and well-respected, particularly in Hyde Park and Kenwood.

Perhaps mostly because I closely follow gun control efforts in Illinois, I know that B.F. Currie is vehemently anti-second amendment.
12.16.2008 7:51am
Chris 24601 (mail) (www):
What's a senator doing being in charge of an impeachment committee? Article IV section 14 of the Illinois constitution has essentially the same bicameral setup as the federal constitution: "The House of Representatives has the sole power to conduct legislative investigations to determine the existence of cause for impeachment and, by the vote of a majority of the members elected, to impeach Executive and Judicial officers. Impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, Senators shall be upon oath, or affirmation, to do justice according to law. If the Governor is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators elected. Judgment shall not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification to hold any public office of this State. An impeached officer, whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable to prosecution, trial, judgment and punishment according to law."
12.16.2008 8:08am
Melancton Smith:
She's Majority Leader of the House and is NOT a State Senator.
12.16.2008 8:41am
With a view to totally eliminate in future such shenanigans with regard to filling of casual vacancies in elected posts which occur due to death, resignation, incarceration for fraud, et., serious thought must be given to fill such vacancies for posts which have no clear lines of succession, mindless of cost involved, only thru election - a salutary practice which is being followed in all, even the poorest, Westminster type parliamentary democracies. When trillions of dollars are being frittered away in bailing out bankrupt corporations, a few tens of millions spent for this purpose will not make any difference. If needed, the Constitution which has already been amended umpteen times, must be amended one more time to make this process constitutional. While we are at it, the authority vested in outgoing Presidents to pardon convicted felons and criminals from among their associates must also be stripped away in order to plug another loophole which is being widely misused to subvert the rule of law and justice.
12.16.2008 9:14am
ChrisIowa (mail):
Blagojevich could end all this by appointing Caroline Kennedy.
12.16.2008 9:52am
Cornellian (mail):
serious thought must be given to fill such vacancies for posts which have no clear lines of succession, mindless of cost involved, only thru election

What if the amount of time remaining in the term is less than the amount of time necessary to arrange for an election? What if there is a critical vote affecting the interests of that state coming up in the meantime?

I'm more or less OK with the current system of letting governors fill mid-term vacancies. Bad apple Blago doesn't mean the system is bad.
12.16.2008 10:26am
While 90% of Senatorial and Congressional appointments are probably blameless, its that last 10% that can cause ongoing problems. Whether it's Blago selling the seat, or Patterson floating a trial balloon to give a seat to a celebrity, or Frank Murkowski giving the seat to his daughter, or a Governor appointing himself, that 10% can cause more trouble than putting them all up for election, time permitting, would. And if a state has to go 60-90 days without representation, I think we'll all survive. After all New York, Illinois, and Arizona went just about two years with only one seat representing them in the Senate.
12.16.2008 12:54pm
moderately liberal reformer

Is there such a thing? I refrain from making snide comments about liberals because its rude, and i'd hate to be a hypocrite, even though it is very tempting to say nasty things about people when they deserve it.
12.16.2008 1:26pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
From today's NY Times:
But now some lawyers are beginning to suggest that the juiciest part of the case against Mr. Blagojevich, the part involving the Senate seat, may be less than airtight. There is no evidence, at least none that has been disclosed, that the governor actually received anything of value — and the Senate appointment has yet to be made.
Let's hope that Illinois finds some proof of wrongdoing before impeaching and removing the governor.
12.16.2008 2:19pm

Blagojevich could end all this by appointing Caroline Kennedy.

Oh, come now. An Illinois mayor put Ms. Kennedy's father in the White House and all an Illinois governor can do is put her in the Senate? Too, too humiliating for Blagojevich.
12.16.2008 3:10pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Solution: Appoint a placeholder who agrees beforehand not to run in the special election and hold the special election 90 days after the vacancy occurs.
12.16.2008 3:39pm
Dave N (mail):
I thought ChrisIowa won the thread.
12.16.2008 5:14pm
Dave N (mail):
Is Rep. Currie also President-elect Obama's State Rep.? Given the insular nature of Chicago politics in all of this, wouldn't the Illinois House have been better off choosing someone NOT from Chicago for this role?
12.16.2008 5:17pm
It appears that no one sees the total absurdity in giving authority to a lone individual to fill an elected post for however short the interval may be! Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!!
12.16.2008 10:25pm
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12.16.2008 11:17pm

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