Kay joins chorus in calling for Blagojevich's ouster

Ann Knef Dec. 10, 2008, 9:59am




Glen Carbon businessman and former candidate for state representative Dwight Kay is again calling on the General Assembly to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was arrested yesterday on political corruption charges.

Blagojevich, who was taken into custody from his Chicago home at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, is charged with trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

"Governor Blagojevich and his cronies have continued to engage in 'pay-to-play' politics for nearly five years," Kay, a Republican, said in a statement.

Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, face charges of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. The two face as much as 20 years in prison if convicted on the fraud charge and 10 years for the bribery charge.

Kay says he has been "the leading advocate" for impeaching the Democratic governor, having established "ImpeachTheGov.com" Web site in early 2008.

He said he had accumulated over 1,200 online petition signatures from people within his legislative district who also want the governor impeached.

Hoffman campaign contributions

In last month's general election, Kay challenged State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, who has been re-elected every two years since 1990. Kay lost 31,947 to 23,805 votes, or by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.

During the contentious campaign, Kay argued that Hoffman and Blagojevich, were "thick as thieves," in part because they schemed to collect campaign contributions from people or businesses who get state contracts.

Kay said Hoffman should have given back $440,000 in campaign donations he had received from contractors who do more than $50,000 in annual business with the state.

According to Kay, 125 state contractors identified as Hoffman contributors "are major IDOT and state tollway contractors." He called that a "major conflict of interest" because Hoffman chairs the House Transportation Committee.

Kay said Hoffman has taken money from 174 large state contractors who have earned $7.2 billion in state contracts in the past five fiscal years.

"The federal indictment of Governor Blagojevich is probably just the beginning," Kay said.

He said it was time for Hoffman "to come clean" on whether or not he is being investigated by federal prosecutors.

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