Illinois lawmakers react to the commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s prison sentence

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Reactions are beginning to roll in from lawmakers across Illinois to President Donald Trump commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker:

State Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria):

State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria):

“As one of 59 votes to remove Rod Blagojevich from office, I stand by that decision. Had he apologized to the people of Illinois for this behavior, I might have more sympathy to him. But he has for a decade exhibited nothing but defiant arrogance and a total unwillingness to own up to what recorded evidence plainly proves he did. I look forward to working with my colleagues this spring to pass a comprehensive ethics reform package that will discourage the likes of Rod Blagojevich from holding office in our state.”

Sen. Koehler

The Illinois House Republican Delegation, including Congressmen Darin LaHood (IL-18), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), and Rodney Davis (IL-13):

We are disappointed by the President’s commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s federal sentence. We believe he received an appropriate and fair sentence, which was the low-end of the federal sentencing guidelines for the gravity of his public corruption convictions. Blagojevich is the face of public corruption in Illinois, and not once has he shown any remorse for his clear and documented record of egregious crimes that undermined the trust placed in him by voters. As our state continues to grapple with political corruption, we shouldn’t let those who breached the public trust off the hook. History will not judge Rod Blagojevich well.

Illinoise House Republican Delegation

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.):

Former Governor Blagojevich betrayed the people of Illinois and engaged in a pattern of corrupt behavior for which he was held accountable and which cost him more than seven years of freedom. 

At a time when corruption by elected officials is still in the headlines, Illinois and Washington should move quickly to establish stricter ethics requirements, including the full detailed disclosure of income, net worth, and income tax returns by all elected officials.”

Sen. Durbin

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady:

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza:

The Illinois Republican Party released a statement condemning the move:

In a state where corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common, it’s important that those found guilty serve their prison sentence in its entirety. Rod Blagojevich is certainly no exception. The former Governor’s proven record of corruption is a stain upon Illinois and its citizens. We must stand up and send the message that corruption will not be tolerated in Illinois.

GOP Chairman Tim Schneider

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs sent the following statement:

Eleven years ago, I voted to convict and remove a member of my own party who abused his office to further his own re‑election.

I wish that Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate had shown similar courage when a leader in their party abused his office to further his own re-election.

If that had happened, we would not be dealing with this today.

It is some comfort, however, that my motion to bar our former governor from ever holding public office again means he will no longer be able to abuse the public trust.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin:

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