Dec 09 2008

Feds Bag Blagojevich On Corruption Charges

Seems Governor Rod Blagojevich has been spending most of his time in office trying to maximize the gold lining of his pockets. The FBI has arrested him and his Chief of Staff on numerous counts, allegedly supported by wire taps and other crystal clear and damning evidence:

Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.

The stunning, early morning arrest came amid revelations that federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators turned to the possibility that Blagojevich’s appointment to the Senate had become tainted by pay-to-play politics.

More here. The arrogance of this worm is stunning:

Regardless of “whether you tape me privately or publicly, I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful and the things I’m interested in are always lawful,” Blagojevich said. “And if there are any things out there like that, what you’ll hear is a governor who tirelessly and endlessly figures out ways to help average, ordinary working people.”

This would make a great ‘stupid crooks’ story. What is disturbing is how no one else seems to have known about these pay of play contracts etc. Which is of course impossible. Someone has to authorize the sole source contracts, someone has to move the campaign contributions or bribes, someone has to cover the trail from general auditing, etc. Trust me, to pull this off requires a large team of people.

I would bet there is an army of canaries ready to sing to save their butts. And who might know other pols in Chicago and Illinois who have performed similar acts. These kinds of actions take training and practice. I doubt Blag is the only pol the Feds could bag over this.

Update: BTW, the next time someone claims the news media is not in the pocket of the pols remind them the news media has not stories unless it gives access to the pols. And the pols have a lot more power over the media, as demonstrated by Blag:

Another charge alleges Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of him in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

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