Reaction to the overwhelming decision by Illinois legislators to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been, by and large, supportive, as state lawmakers repeat their requests of the governor to step down.
Republican leader Tom Cross was one of many lawmakers who called the Blagojevich scandal "an embarrassment" that has made Illinois a national laughingstock.
"It's our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that's become Illinois government," said Rep. Jack D. Franks, a Democrat.
Lawmakers hope the proceedings will help improve the state's reputation.
"My Illinois is not the Illinois of George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. Our Illinois is the Illinois of Abraham Lincoln and Paul Simon and Barack Obama," Rep. John A. Fritchey said.
"I urge the Governor to summon the moral strength to put our state and our nation above any personal considerations and resign immediately," Illinois' senior senator Dick Durbin said Friday afternoon.
In a written statement, Durbin said that he felt the Illinois House of Representatives had done the right thing in voting to impeach Blagojevich, and that, guilty or not, "the allegations in the criminal complaint against ... Blagojevich raise serious questions about his ability to carry out his duties as chief executive of our state."
Lt. Gov Pat Quinn spoke to the media Friday afternoon, saying others in a similar position to Blagojevich have been able to put their constituents above themselves.
"He should examine his conscience and go forward by resigning," Quinn said.
If he doesn't resign, Quinn said the Illinois Senate should do its job.
"I think the governor is missing the point of the impeachment, and I think it's important for the people of Illinois to keep on course," Quinn said. "The people will prevail. There's no one person who's bigger than the people of Illinois."
In a separate statement from the Office of the Attorney General, Lisa Madigan said that the vote in the state House indicates Blagojevich "has failed the People of this State, violated their trust, and placed his personal gain before the public good."
Madigan reiterated her request of Blagojevich to resign immediately.
"I call on the Governor, once again, to do what is right, what is best for the People and what is clearly long overdue," she said.
State Comptroller Dan Hynes joined the chorus as well. In a statement released shortly after today's vote, Hynes said, "(I) urge (the governor) to resign as quickly as possible so that state government can more fully focus on the very pressing budgetary problems we are facing.
"While I am saddened by the need for this historic action, I am also optimistic that under new leadership, there will be a renewed commitment to responsible governance.
"We must start by honestly dealing with a growing budget deficit, declining revenues and mounting job losses during this recession. It will be a task that requires leadership and bipartisanship."
U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) issued the following statement:
"Based on the heinous charges against him, Governor Blagojevich is obviously not fit to hold our state’s highest office, and I fully support the Illinois House’s decision today to impeach him. Our state faces many serious challenges right now and cannot function with Governor Blagojevich in office. I strongly encourage the Illinois Senate to quickly proceed with efforts to endorse the impeachment and remove Blagojevich from office. Only then will our state government be able to move forward and deal with the needs of the people of Illinois." What's your reaction? Share it in the comment field below.