Lt. gov. reacts to Blagojevich's comments

January 23, 2009 5:40:44 PM PST
The governor says if he's removed from office and Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn takes over the state legislature will move quickly to raise taxes.The lieutenant governor calls the governor's allegations of the impeachment as a smokescreen to raise taxes 'flippant.'

The lieutenant governor would like a fair tax system but for now he says the focus is getting the governor out of office.

The lieutenant governor held a press conference four hours before the governor held a press conference in the same room of the Thompson Center.

The two men had been distant and now polar opposites as the governor faces an impeachment trial.

"The people of Illinois, the people of our country should be well aware that the governor is going to be out there with a song and dance in the next few days and they shouldn't be deceived," said Quinn.

The governor's complaints about the impeachment process now include a claim that raising taxes is the hidden agenda.

"I'm saying that if removed from office, there is a whopping huge tax increase coming on the people of Illinois before summer," said Gov. Blagojevich.

"That comes out of the mouth of a person who about two years ago proposed the biggest tax increase in all of Illinois history. His gross receipts tax of $6, 7, 8 billion would have paralyzed the economy," said Quinn.

The lieutenant governor says a fair tax system is needed but he says remedy can be constructed until a new administration can get all of the state's financial information from the governor.

"He has stone-walled everyone," said Quinn.

The lieutenant governor isn't the only one frustrated with delays in helping the state out of financial problems. Some Chicagoans are growing tired of the governor and the drama.

"I think if the governor cared about his family or the citizens of illinois, he would leave and do it as quickly as possible," said Valerie Sarafin.

"I'm tired of it. I'm tired of seeing him in his jogging suit," said Rosemary Blyth.

But others are prepared to wait for the state Senate to compete the governor's impeachment trial.

"I think he should get his due process. If he is guilty, he is proven to be guilty," said Toni Tate.

In addition to the financial problems facing the state, the lieutenant governor says there is a crisis of integrity in the governor's office. He says the new administration would need to restore integrity in order to get the state going in the right direction.