Tuesday, December 9, 2008
For Sale: U.S. Senate Seat in Illinois
Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, was taken into custody early this morning on federal charges of corruption. Though most of the rest of the country was surprised by today's developments, Illinoisans likely were not considering the fact that the highly unpopular Blagojevich has been under investigation for three solid years. Among the jaw dropping charges against Blagojevich are attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, trading jobs and favors for campaign contributions, and attempting to pressure the Tribune Company to fire editors hostile to the Governor.
According to the AP: "Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder as part of what federal prosecutors called a 'political corruption crime spree'....Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in an attempt to strong-arm the newspaper into firing editorial writers who had criticized him. The 51-year-old Democrat was also accused of engaging in pay-to-play politics - that is, doling out jobs, contracts and appointments in return for campaign contributions....Federal investigators bugged the governor's campaign offices and tapped his home phone, capturing conversations laced with profanity and tough-guy talk from the governor. Chicago FBI chief Robert Grant said even seasoned investigators were stunned by what they heard, particularly since the governor had known for three years was under investigation for alleged hiring fraud."
The Blagojevich, William Jefferson, and Ted Stevens scandals demonstrate that corruption is a bipartisan affair. It's a shame that the great majority of public servants are tainted by the brazenly arrogant, morally challenged, parasitic narcissists who work among them. I am just glad that Blagojevich proved that his IQ is smaller than his shoe size, thus ensuring his arrest and public flogging before he could appoint someone in Obama's place. How can a guy that knows he is under investigation, and has been for three years, act in such a blatantly self-destructive and arrogant manner? If the charges are true (and it looks like it has all been recorded), Blagojevich will be heading to the Federal penitentiary. Perhaps he could room with Duke Cunningham. Considering the circumstances, pressure will mount to call a special election to fill the seat rather than have Blagojevich appoint someone. One question that will be worth watching in the next several weeks: did any of the prospective Senate candidates talk with Blagojevich and agree to bribe him for or bid on the seat. Stay tuned...I have a feeling this is all just the tip of the iceberg.