The time has come and gone when humor is the best approach to the current Illinois Budget Fiasco. The previous page in this epic tome of unreality had the State Legislature passing a budget (Senate and House) and forwarding it to Rod Blagojevich for signature. Rather than sign the budget bill, he held it for almost 60 days (after which it would have become law) before line-item vetoing expenses he didn’t like. Now he wants to use the funding he vetoed out for those programs he does want—like universal health care and loot for his union buddies. Various opinions as to the legality of this have been expressed, but this is a typical Blago approach to doing business. If you can’t get a consensus on your program, ignore the legislature and use executive powers to do what you want. Clearly, even the Democrats who run the State understand that the Governor’s position on new spending is a losing proposition.

The latest page continues to resolve around the House override of his veto, and Emil Jones, President of the Senate and one of Blago’s buddies, refusing to allow a floor vote on the override in the Senate. Veto stands. So what are the options for the people of Illinois with a run-away Governor?

1. Blagojevich could do the honorable thing and resign. Editorials should call for his resignation. Pat Quinn at least understands that Blagojevich has lost any moral imperative to lead the State of Illinois. At this point the Bush and US Congressional approval ratings look like Mt. Rainier on a clear day — Blagojevich might have a problem getting a 1% approval.

2. Lisa Madigan could concentrate on her job as Attorney General and indict Blagojevich, and in doing so seal her own run for the Governorship in the next election. This should be a rather easy job. With Blago in jail, (let the bond be determined by a panel which takes several months to settle the amount), Pat Quinn would be running things. Even though I am not a Democrat, Pat has got my vote with his comment to incorporate California style recall into Illinois law.

3. During the next election, a referendum could be established to incorporate gubernatorial recall into Illinois law. This would take a year (better start now), and after it went into effect, another two years to place a recall vote on the appropriate ballot, after which we could recall and replace the Governor. Sadly, this is three more years of Blagojevich spoiled brat rule and God knows what the Illinois deficit would be by then.

4. While I cannot advocate this, it seems likely that someone will decide to take the situation into their own hands and splatter Rod over the Chicago pavement. Look at some scenarios:

a. A State employee, doomed to be laid off in the recent round of cash-swaps and living month to month, is placed under severe financial strain and cracks deciding that, for the good of the State, Rod has got to go.

b. An unemployed State resident, not receiving his unemployment compensation, decides that he has nothing else to lose and decides Rod has got to go.

c. A State employee, on anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs, cannot make his co-pays because the pharmacy will not issue against a State account which is no longer paying, and goes off his medication causing erratic behavior which is focused on the cause: Rod’s idiocy, and decides to do something.

d. A State retiree, finding his pension (un)fund drained, and no pension payments forthcoming, decides that he has lived long enough and that Rod has got to go.

e. A dad with a son at the University of Illinois, after paying ever increasing tuition finds that, after the State declines to fund the operation of the University, and shuts it down for months, discovers that he has to fork out another seven grand for another semester because his son didn’t meet the degree requirements.

A lot of real people suffered real pain so that Rod Blagojevich could attempt to assert that he delivered universal healthcare and cradle to grave education to the people of Illinois — even though the fiscal facts from other States (California to name one) are proving that this is a chimera.

Come on Rod, do the right thing and resign.

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