Koehler: 'A low day for politics in Illinois'

DeWayne Bartels
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich,was taken into custody this morning by federal agents at his suburban Chicago home.

State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said, just moments ago, he is distressed about what is going on with Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on a multitude of levels.

Blagojevich was arrested this morning by the FBI in Chicago for allegedly trying to sell the vacant U.S Senate seat of Barack O'bama, among other charges.

Koehler said he is upset this could taint the president-elect. He said he is upset it taints the entire state. And, he said, he is upset  this distracts lawmakers from dealing with the state's financial crisis.

"If any of this is true I'm truly disappointed. This is truly a low day for politics in Illinois," Koehler said.

Koehler said he did not see a press conference in which Robert Grant, FBI special agent in charge, said if Illinois is not the most corrupt state in the nation, "it is one hell of a competitor."

Koehler said that remark and such a feeling about the state is something he resents.

"It's embarassing," Koehler said.

"There's a lot of good people in Illinois government trying to do good things ... We're all tainted. I resent that."

Koehler said he has heard some passing talk about impeachment, but said that it is premature.

"That's an option," he said.

"But, the case needs to go forward with the judiciary first."

Finally, Koehler said the most serious fallout will occur in the days to come. 

"The unfortunate fallout of this is we have a financial crisis in this state," Koehler said.

"This takes our focus away from that. We should be focused on that. This just adds to the confusion and inaction by state government which is just unacceptable."