How will the Blago verdict impact Nov. elections?

August 18, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Governor's Day in 2010 meant Democrat Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. The festivities happened less than 24 hours after the verdict/non-decision in the Rod Blagojevich case, and it really worked to change the discussion downstate.

Despite this being an election year, there appeared to be fewer Democrats at the State Fair's 2010 Governor's Day picnic and rally. Hotter than a party mascot in the August heat was speculation concerning what Rod Blagojevich might do next.

"All I've heard today is what is Rod Blagojevich going to say to impact this campaign," said State Rep. Marlo Colvin, (D) Chicago.

Party chairman Mike Madigan spun that voters should give Democrats credit for the former governor's impeachment and ouster from office.

"In terms of Illinois government, in terms of Democrats in Illinois government, we did our job several months ago," said Madigan.

Whether Blagojevich is retried sooner or later, his guilt or innocence will remain a legally unresolved issue up until the November 2 election and campaign ammo for the Republicans.

"The Republican party has nothing to talk about. They stood around and watched George Ryan go to jail," said Gov. Pat Quinn, (D) Illinois.

"I think people will see through it and they'll at us, they'll look at me as the honest, ethical person I've always been," said Robin Kelly, (D) nominee for treasurer.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, a subpoenaed-but-uncalled witness in the first Blagojevich trial, is not worried he might be called again by the defense in a retrial.

"His defense team thought it was the right thing to do to subpoena everyone from the dog catcher, even to the president of the United States," said Giannoulias.

Democrats hold all statewide elected offices and control both chambers of the General Assembly.

Senator Dick Durbin said, with both Democrats and Republicans touched by scandal, candidates of neither party should have an advantage.

"All that any candidate can ask in this election cycle is to be judged on their own merits, and to be asked the hard question and give straight answers," Durbin said.

Senator Durbin had a stomach tumor removed last week. Wednesday, he embarked on a four-day jobs tour with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.

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