Politics ‘I’m back’: Ex-con Blagojevich sues Illinois for right to run again
'CON laws' limit the health care competition Biden aims to deliver
States realized the issues with certificate-of-need laws while working to contain and treat COVID-19. That's why, early on, at least 25 jurisdictions had suspended or loosened their CON requirements to more effectively respond to market demands. Patients, both with and without the virus - benefited. Research from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that "states without CON laws between mid-March and late June 2020 had fewer hospital deaths than states with CON laws, and that more than half of these lives saved were non-COVID patients.
CHICAGO — Ex-con and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich sued his home state Monday for booting him from the governor’s seat after his 2008 arrest for corruption and stripping him of his right to run for elective office in Illinois.
Before filing the lawsuit, an unapologetic Blagojevich addressed reporters outside the same federal courthouse in Chicago where he was convicted, declaring: “I’m back.” He said he hasn’t decided, however, if he will seek to run for anything if he succeeds in eliminating the legal hurdles to doing so.
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“I haven’t thought about running for office,” the 64-year-old Democrat said. “But I am not going to rule out any options either.”
Then-President Donald Trumpin February 2020 after he had served eight years of a 14-year sentence, including for trying to sell an appointment to Barak Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash. Leaders of both parties in Illinois sharply criticized Trump's commutation.
Speaking outside the courthouse in a gray suit that matched his hair, which went gray behind bars because inmates are prohibited from using hair dyes,
“I’m a Trumpocrat,” said the one-time contestant on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” Because Trump spared him from several more years at his Colorado federal prison, Blagojevich added: “I am grateful to him forever.”
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The Illinois House in January 2009 voted 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich, and the state Senate voted unanimously to remove him, making him the first Illinois governor in history to be removed by lawmakers.
Monday's lawsuit argues the way legislators went about impeaching and ousting him was unconstitutional, including because he wasn’t allowed to call and question witnesses. It seeks a permanent injunction declaring the General Assembly’s actions unconstitutional.
Blagojevich didn't sound particularly confident about his chances of prevailing, noting for journalists how he had received a C in constitutional law at law school. Because of his felony conviction, he was also stripped of his law license. He is representing himself pro se as a non-lawyer in the suit — self-representation that is usually reserved for prisoners or the indigent.
Blagojevich said Monday he earns a living by consulting work, doing a podcast, giving paid speeches and featuring on an app through which celebrities are paid for giving personalized birthday and other greetings. He said he is also writing a book.
DOJ sues Texas, Gov. Abbott over executive order restricting transportation of migrants
The Department of Justice complaint says Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order “directly interferes with the administration of federal immigration law.” Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday that said “no person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP” or Customs and Border Protection. The order also directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop any vehicle that they believe could be transporting migrants. Video: Department Of Justice Sues Texas And Gov.
Blagojevich once was regarded as a rising political star for his Bill Clinton-like ability to connect with voters, but he has been radioactive in Illinois political circles for years. Details about his corruption as governor shocked even Illinoisans, who for decades have seen a procession of indicted elected officials heading in and out of the same courthouse.
Blagojevich's remarks Monday at times sounded like a campaign stump speech, highlighting what he characterized as major accomplishments as governor, including securing senior citizens free rides on mass transportation.
He did not display a hint of contrition Monday, saying the case against him was always “a travesty of justice.” He did say he knew his reputation is badly tarnished, describing how he saw a picture of himself in a prison-library almanac related to his convictions.
“I was in that almanac for this,” Blagojevich said, gesturing to the courthouse. “It sucks.”
Prosecutors and federal judges who have reviewed Blagojevich’s case have balked as his claims that he engaged in common political horse-trading and was a victim of an overzealous U.S. attorney. They say there was overwhelming evidence that Blagojevich broke the law, including trying to squeeze a children’s hospital for campaign donations.
Watchdog sues FEC for closing investigation into Rick Scott, allied super PAC .
A watchdog group on Monday sued the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for dismissing a complaint alleging that Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) unlawfully used a super PAC to support his 2018 Senate run. In a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Democratic group End Citizens United, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) Action challenged the decision by Republican FEC commissioners to close an investigation into Scott against the recommendation of the agency's nonpartisan lawyers.