Lonesome Deb Mell

Rod's base shrinks to one

By Steve Rhodes
|  Thursday, Jan 15, 2009  |  Updated 9:30 AM CDT
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Lonesome Deb Mell

Despite the departure of the only state House member to vote against his impeachment, Gov. Rod Blagojevich still has one vote he can count on in the chamber - that of his newly sworn-in sister-in-law, Deborah Mell.

On Wednesday, Mell set aside the findings of the House impeachment panel and instead drew on her personal relationship with the governor in voting against impeachment in a second vote held to include new members.

Mell refused to explain her vote to reporters, but seemed to say afterwards in a statement that if we all knew Rod the way she knows Rod, he wouldn't have faced impeachment to begin with.

"I have known the governor for more than 20 years and the charges in the impeachment were difficult to reconcile with the man and brother-in-law I know," Mell said in a statement. "I could not in good conscience vote for his impeachment."

Mell made the vote after making an oath to serve the people of Illinois, not her family, in good conscience.

But then, the rookie legislator has already shown herself to be a bit of a mercenary. Before even taking her seat and serving a single minute in the state House seat that she won in an election engineered for her by her father, Ald. Dick Mell, she contemplated running for the congressional opening left by the departure of Rahm Emanuel from 5th district.

On her campaign website, Deb Mell vowed "honest, dedicated leadership you can trust."

The site also says "One person can make a difference and Deb is that person."

Not on Wednesday she wasn't.

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