The Chicago Way (or, an early Fitzmas gift)
Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested Tuesday morning in Chicago on two counts each of federal corruption charges coming from their alleged efforts to auction off President-elect Obama’s Senate seat.
“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], s***, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day. Blagojevich, a Democrat, added that the Senate seat “is a f***ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, widely lauded for his apolitical prosecutory track record in past highprofile political prosecutions, spoke of the circumstances of this arrest:
“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism,” he added.
Barack Obama's handi-work is all over this. Soon after the election, Dave Axelrod was quoted as saying that Barack Obama has spoken to the Illinois Governor and would be working closely and be quite involved in the decision to name his replacement.
Today, after the Governor was arrested and the charges made public, the annointed one addressed the media, stating emphatically that he had no contact with the Governor, was not aware, nor had any discussions with the Governor regarding picking his replacement.
The Office of the President Elect has it's first of many criminal investigations.
I wonder if the corrupt governments in Illinois can keep the bleep that is hitting the fan from spattering all over Barack Obama.
Personally, I suspect that Obama realized what a ham-handed crook the governor is and backed out of any arrangements he might or might not have been party to…
is it surprising that this Governor should sell a senate seat to the highest bidder? They actually in the first time I'm aware of bought the presidency with a large war chest and an empty suit.
will justice prevail? Not sure, remember the liberal motto," they more you break the law the higher you go in the power structure!" ask harry reed, or the senator from Louisiana with 90,000 cold cash!!!!
Am I shocked, shocked that there was gambling within the Cook County establishment? (your winnings, sir…)
But this bit of foolishness — trying to extort a newspaper to fire its editorial staff, doing everything this side of putting the senate seat on E-Bay, etc. — is the equivalent of inviting the local Narcotics squad over for a spliff. It isn't that there was a politician looking for a quid pro quo — that is normal. It is that the clown was so clumsy and open about his corruption that surprises me.