Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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 Haitian American senator, Kwame Raoul, said Illinois governor must go.

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Nombre de messages : 8252
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007

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Haitian American senator, Kwame Raoul, said Illinois governor must go. Empty
MessageSujet: Haitian American senator, Kwame Raoul, said Illinois governor must go.   Haitian American senator, Kwame Raoul, said Illinois governor must go. EmptyLun 15 Déc 2008 - 11:38

CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Mon. Dec. 15, 2008: Haitian American Illinois state senator, Kwame Raoul, tells CWNN the state`s embattled governor should step down now.

Speaking to CWNN over the weekend, Raoul insisted that
Governor Rod Blagojevich`s reputation - for years a hot topic of discussion among those familiar with state politics - makes it difficult for him to govern.

The governor’s reputation even prompted the legislature to
pass an ethics bill aimed at `pay-for-play` politics in the
state, Raoul says.

Both houses of the state legislature overrode a Blagojevich
veto of the bill, which, once it takes effect next month, will
ban anyone holding more than $50,000 in state contracts from contributing to the political campaigns of those controlling state business.

Raoul, once a possible candidate in the pool vying to replace
President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, said the state
senate and legislature will today, Dec. 15th, discuss
legislation that would strip Blagojevich’s power to appoint
Obama’s replacement.

He said the legislature is pushing for a special election.

Blagojevich could veto the bill, Raoul acknowledges. But if he does, `we will override the veto,` he says.

Raoul says he is still `outraged,` `disappointed` and
`embarrassed` at the federal allegations of corruption
swirling around Blagojevich.

The Chicago attorney of Haitian descent, who four years ago
took over the seat once held by Obama in the state senate,
says the allegations `are a bad reflection on our state at a
time when we should be proud` of his predecessor’s election to president of the United States.

Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on Federal charges of
soliciting bribes in a case that includes allegations that he
put the president-elect’s former U.S. Senate seat up for sale.

Raoul, who himself received a call from an administration
official prescreening him as a possible candidate, believes it
is too early to draw conclusions from the evidence. He says
the call he received from Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs Victor Roberson was `clean` with no 'quid pro quo` mentioned.

Over the years Illinois has had its share of corrupt politicians, among them several governors, Raoul concedes. But he adds that other states have had problems as well, citing the recent conviction of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens on charges of failing to report gifts.

Selected to replace Obama by Democratic committeemen, Raoul describes himself as an acquaintance who lived in the same neighborhood and has common friends with the President-elect.

He says that Obama has been `smart` to keep Blagojevich at a distance.
The president-elect ran under a philosophy of `changing the way we do business, not just in the state of
Illinois, but in the country,` and largely financed his
campaign through small donations, Raoul says.

That philosophy differs from `pay-to-play.`

`Why associate with people who are not like you if you don’t
have to?` Raoul asked.

Raoul, who will soon travel to Haiti with U.S. Senator from
Illinois and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, says the
possibility of him filling Obama’s U.S. Senate seat was raised by Illinois Senate President Emil Jones at last summer’s Democratic Convention.

He says the conversation with Roberson on the matter lasted about three minutes, and that he never spoke to the governor himself.

Taking Obama’s old seat would give him the `opportunity of a lifetime,` Raoul says.

`That said,` he adds, `I feel I’m making a difference in the
state legislature.`

- Reported By Kirk Jackson/CWNN
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