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Pols React to Blagojevich Conviction

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Reaction from around Illinois to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's conviction on one count of lying to federal agents at his federal corruption trial:

    "Clearly today is a sad day for our state. Another former governor was convicted of a felony by a jury of 12 men and women, good and true. ... We have to work night and day to make sure our government is as honest as the people of Illinois." -- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

    "The fact that Rod Blagojevich was convicted on only one of the counts against him does not take away from his serious breach of the public's trust." -- Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady.

    "The jury has rendered its verdict. Children's Memorial Hospital respects the legal process and it is not appropriate for us to comment further." -- Children's Memorial Hospital. The hospital's chief executive believed Blagojevich was threatening to cancel a state aid increase unless he came up with campaign donations for him.

    "If we find him guilty, it's an embarrassment. If we don't, it's an embarrassment. We found a way to do both." -- Edwin Eisendrath, the former Chicago alderman who challenged Blagojevich in the 2006 primary, on the awkward situation for Illinois.

    "Those of us who are in government in Illinois are well aware that Rod Blagojevich had disdain for the law, and operated unethically, and at this point, we will wait for the criminal justice process to play itself out." -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    "This is a sad day for Illinois. Rod Blagojevich disgraced our state and deserved the full weight of justice. For the sake of our economic future, the citizens of Illinois need to turn the page from Rod Blagojevich and the team he brought to power by electing thoughtful independent leaders who will restore integrity to our state." -- U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican running for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

    "The people of Illinois are grateful to the men and women of the jury for their hard work. While we hoped this decision would mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and put this embarrassing episode behind us, today's conviction of Rod Blagojevich for lying to federal law enforcement officials will likely result in further action in the pursuit of justice." -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady, a state senator from Bloomington.

    "While I applaud the jury for convicting Rod Blagojevich of lying to the FBI, I am disappointed in today's announcement of a hung-jury on the remaining counts in the trial of Rod Blagojevich. I believe the evidence of his guilt was clear and persuasive, however it is clear that at least some of the jurors were unable to reach the same conclusion." -- Judy Baar Topinka, the Republican who lost to Blagojevich in 2006.

    "One of my biggest concerns is that the Blagojevich defense team may have convinced people that he was just practicing politics as usual in Illinois. If that is the case, it is a real indictment of the political leadership in this state. If there is one thing that elected officials need to do in Illinois, it is to send a strong signal that the politics of the past are over, regardless of what the final verdict may be in the Blagojevich trial." -- Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont.

    "While jurors deadlocked on many charges, they clearly confirmed the former governor's pattern of dishonesty." -- Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. "I am disappointed that this dark period in Illinois' history is not yet over _ taxpayers have suffered enough as it is, and it is a tragedy that they will have to foot the bill for a retrial. The jury has confirmed to us that former Governor Blagojevich is at a minimum guilty of significant wrongdoing, and he deserves to go to jail. I hope for a speedy retrial so that the state of Illinois can begin to heal." -- Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster.