Those of you reading this in Illinois probably have heard that our sole U.S. senator, Dick Durbin, is thinking about asking President George W. Bush to commute former Gov. George Ryan’s prison sentence for corruption. For the record, I think Ryan should stay in prison. But our current governor, Rod Blagojevich, thinks letting Ryan out of prison would be a “fine decision” – of course he does, he wants to set a precedent in case he ends up in the slammer himself – so I’d like to second an idea suggested by the Rockford Register Star‘s Chuck Sweeny: trade Blagojevich for Ryan’s freedom.

“Yes, a swap. Governor for ex-governor,” Sweeny wrote. “The world gets George back to spend his declining years back in Kankakee with his wife and all those grandkids. And in return, Blagojevich agrees to serve out the rest of George’s sentence. Not that Blagojevich has been charged with wrongdoing, mind you. He’d just be providing everyone with a good example of being his brother governor’s keeper.”

(To read Sweeny’s entire column, click on this link: http://www.rrstar.com/opinions/x541370314/Clemency-for-Ryan-I-have-a-better-idea.)

Think of all the money that could be saved in legal fees (not to mention U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s time) if Blagojevich just goes to prison by his own accord rather than wait for the inevitable to happen. With the economy tanking, Blagojevich could do his part to help save taxpayer dollars while ridding the state of one of its greatest enemies – himself.

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