“It’s time for Hastert to go, and it is in the interests of every conservative to say so.”
That’s what Bruno Behrend posted on the conservative group blog Illinois Review as soon as he read the Sun-Times report elaborating on the story the Sunlight Foundation broke regarding seven-figure profits the Speaker of the House has made through a land trust on property a few miles from the projected “Prairie Parkway” in western Kane County.
“I frankly don’t care whether the types of schemes in the article are ‘technically legal,’” Behrend wrote. “They simply destroy the trust that people have in their leaders. The fact is that Hastert has outlived his usefulness if he’s going to enrich himself this way.”
Few of the commenters at Illinois Review agreed with Behrend–many took a wait-and-see attitude–but only one stooped to a personal attack on Behrend or the media messengers. Conservative caution and reasonableness were the order of the day. “Newspapers have every right to investigate more and ask questions and Hastert is far better off divulging complete information as fast as possible,” one commenter wrote.
Contrast that with Hastert’s own response:
* Spokesman Ron Bonjean called the Sunlight Foundation a “special interest group.”
* Hastert’s attorney sent a threatening letter to Sunlight.
* Hastert himself blamed “Democratic media.”
This isn’t as low-rent as Vice President Dick “Fuck Yourself” Cheney. But still: when will Illinois conservatives get representation in Congress that’s as civil and rational as they were in this exchange?