Reaction from legislators regarding the announcment that Blagojevich is Public Official A.
Lawmakers weigh in on Gov. Rod Blagojevich officially being named as "Public Official A" in the Antoin "Tony" Rezko political corruption case. They were asked for reaction and whether they think the revelation changes his effectiveness as governor.
State Sen. Dale Risinger, R-Peoria:
"I’m not surprised. I don’t think it’s good for the state for the governor to be implicated. But if he’s done things that are wrong, he has to pay the price.
"His effectiveness was pretty low anyway because his popularity with the people has gone down so much. When you have a governor that isn’t trustworthy, that’s a real problem."
State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria:
"I don’t think it’s been that much of a front-burner issue in terms of how things work in Springfield. The story has been pretty much out there all along, so I don’t think naming him as Public Official A was any real surprise.
"I don’t know that this is going to make any difference in terms of the work the legislature does."
State Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Pontiac:
"For someone who went out there to campaign and represent that there’s going to be a change in the way business is done in Illinois, it’s sad to let the public down in the way (the scandal) is perceived to be. There’s still a trial to be had … but even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable.
"This was a very loud secret. From all news reports it was pretty well known that he was Public Official A. This may be one of the stronger overshadowing matters out there, but I think his ability for leadership really is coming together as a culmination of many things."
State Sen. David Leitch, R-Peoria:
"I think it falls under the heading of old news. I think everybody in the state knew this. I think it may explain his more subdued state of the state and budget message, where he didn’t vilify any group or individual. His talk was mercifully short.
"Whether this revelation results in a changed behavior remains to be seen, but certainly, more communication with the General Assembly would be a vast improvement."
State Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria:
"I think it’s sad. This was a man, in 2002, that promised to change the way business was done in the state of Illinois. I think it’s quite apparent that the positive change many of us were hoping for never happened, and in many ways, things changed for the worse. He came into office and, it appears, turbocharged corruption. Ultimately, the matter of guilt and innocence will be decided by a jury, but so far it doesn’t look good.
"I’m not too sure he’s proven very effective thus far, and so I don’t know how his effectiveness can be any further diminished. Certainly, it hampers any ability or any hope, as many of us had, for him rebuilding trust or rebuilding relationships."
State Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Morton:
"I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody. Maybe to the governor. But anyone who’s followed the situation at all believes that it always has been the governor.
"I don’t know if his effectiveness can be any less, but it surely doesn’t help him (in) making the case for whatever he’s proposing this year. Who’s going to want to cozy up to Public Official A now?"
State Rep. Mike Smith, D-Canton:
"I’ve been disappointed long before now. In some respects, I wasn’t surprised by the announcement. I think it just solidified what was already thought to be the case.
"I think that it may have a considerable (impact) because now it’s out in the open and the fact that he has denied that he was that person, I think, he can’t do that any longer. It just makes that cloud over him and his office that much darker. It’s not good to see someone in higher office involved or implicated in those types of situations, whether it’s a Republican governor or a Democratic governor. We’ve had our share of both."