Another Blow to the Integrity of State Govt: Ill Gov, Chief of Staff Arrested for Corruption

In Crime, politics, stupidity, television on December 9, 2008 by Editor Z

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill) and his chief of staff were arrested Tuesday after a lengthy investigation for corruption and selling off political favors in exchange for services and funds that could be furnished by the state. The second term Governor and former U.S Congressman.

Some of the charges include: extorting a Children’s hospital, threatening not to give state money to the Chicago Tribune which owns Wrigley stadium, and in a move that verges on making Albert Fall look like an honorable public servant, Blagovich talked over the phone, attempting to sell the now vacant Senate seat formerly held by President-elect Barack Obama. All in exchange for money or campaign funds, he refereed to the vacant senate seat as a “valuable asset”.

Associated Press:

CHICAGO (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.”

Prosecutors did not accuse Obama himself of any wrongdoing. Obama said he had no contact with the governor or his office on the matter.

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.

Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff are now free on their own recognisance and the case will go before a grand Jury. On the recordings via a wiretap, Blagojevich in a rather Nixonian manner is heard speaking in a chain of profanities that did not spare the President Elect from the Governor’s wrath over Obama’s reluctance to participate in corrupt exchange and nominate the Governor to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Told by two other advisers he has to “suck it up” for two years, the FBI says it heard Blagojevich complain he has to give this “motherf***er [the president-elect] his senator. F*** him. For nothing? F*** him.”

The governor is heard saying he will pick another candidate “before I just give f***ing [Senate Candidate l] a f***ing Senate seat and I don’t get anything.”

Ironically, Blagojevich had stated recently that the criminal investigation of him was on par with Nixonian tactics. Huh… speaking with your Chief of staff about violating ethics, demeaning rivals in obscene laden tirades, and having either the boldness or the stupidity to do so on tape, as well as betraying those whom you pledge to serve, as well as abusing the powers of the office you hold to aggrandise oneself; one has to wonder who Governor is the Nixon in this situation.

Meanwhile, the reaction by Chicago politicians is a mixture of sadness and outrage. The state GOP as well as Rep. Jan Schakhosky (D-Ill) amongst others, say he should abdicate power or risk impeachment. Regarding to the Senate seat Assistant U.S Senate Majority leader and Illinois native Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill) says there should be a special election before Blagojevich can make the appointment.



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