Illinois: The Land of Obama
There's a a really great story over at Capitol Fax about the Governor using state letter-head to explicitly “support Senator Obama in his bid for the Presidency.” I certainly agree with Rich that this is troublesome...but perhaps not nearly as troublesome as an issue the Governor brought up while trying to defend himself. Rich says that Blagojevich’s office pointed “to the fact that the guv urged the General Assembly to pass a bill moving the ‘08 primary.” Let’s explore that point for a moment.
The Governor, as well as the Speaker, have both explicitly discussed this bill in terms of benefiting Obama. Madigan admitted that by introducing the bill, it was “rather apparent that I'm trying to help his candidacy,” and the press release from the Governor’s office in question above urges the legislature to pass the early primary bill in order to “send an early message in support of Senator Obama.” It seems to me that passage of this bill would be tantamount to a political endorsement of Obama by the Government of the State of Illinois.
Perhaps the Governor should wait until after the bill passes, then he can send out all the letters in support of Obama he wants under state letter-head. Then he can say that he's just promoting an official state program.
Also posted, with comments, at Illinoize