As news outlets and TV cameras faithfully cover Rod Blagojevich’s final remarks as a free man, I would like to remind everyone to remember why he’s rightly about to lose his freedom today. Through his individual actions and reckless leadership he not only brought disgrace to his office, but also financial ruin to the state he was twice elected to govern and protect.

While Blagojevich may lament the fact he faces more than a decade in prison away from his family, I am lamenting the fact taxpayers 30 years from now will continue to be saddled with the bills for his unrestrained spending and borrowing. With the help of his enablers in the legislative leadership, Rod Blagojevich doubled the state debt, took numerous pension holidays and exponentially expanded entitlement programs. For six years, many of us in the General Assembly warned about the long-term consequences of these reckless actions that are only now being addressed.

Although I appreciate those who say their ‘thoughts and well wishes’ are with Blagojevich’s wife and children today, my thoughts are instead with the countless vulnerable citizens of tomorrow who have been handed the price-tag for his irresponsible policies.

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