Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

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Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as the above courtroom scene from The Untouchables, but today Rod Blagojevich, twice elected governor of the Land of Lincoln, was found guilty on 17 counts in the Federal criminal prosecution brought against him:

  • Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 15-Bribery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY
  • Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Deliver Us From Blago

According to legend, the Vikings were so greatly feared by the people of northern Europe during the Dark Ages that they used to pray “From the fury of the Norsemen, Lord, deliver us!”

Of late, I suspect that many Illinois residents like myself are making a similar petition to be delivered from the fury of another force nearly as frightening.

I am speaking of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose trial on 24 separate federal corruption charges ended on Aug. 17 with the jury finding him guilty of just one charge — lying to federal agents — and deadlocking on the other 23. Federal prosecutors will retry Blago on at least some of the unresolved charges, but in the meantime, he has once again resumed his nationwide media blitz, protesting his innocence to anyone who will listen and making a complete idiot of himself in the process.

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Blagojevich Impeached

Blagojevich impeached in a cliffhanger, with the vote for impeachment only 114-1.  Here is the House report on which the impeachment vote was based.  Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached which is rather remarkable when you consider some of the public thieves who have misgoverned my state.  Now on to the Senate for the trial.  Blagojevich is vowing to fight on, and I expect his legal team to pull every possible maneuver to delay the inevitable.

Politicians. Little Tin Gods on Wheels.

Since the bad joke who happens to be the governor of my state is apparently fond of quoting Kipling, the title to this post is also from Kipling who had very little use for most politicians.  A variant of the great poem “If” , much more fitting for Blagojevich, is provided by Claudia Rosett here.

Blagojevich, Chicago’s curse to the state of Illinois, might be more careful in the choice of poets he quotes.  Kipling did not think much of the Windy City.

Feel Better?

Not really.  This  New York Times article contends that my home state of Illinois is not the most corrupt state in the Union.  However I note that two of the three methods by which they obtain their rankings focus on convictions.  In a truly corrupt state,  convictions might lag because the engines of law enforcement are often part of the problem.  Based upon spending my entire life in Illinois, except for three years, I believe FBI Agent Robert Grant is correct,  if Illinois is not the most corrupt state, it is a strong competitor for the title.

Update I:  Lisa Madigan,  Attorney General of the State of Illinois, is attempting today to have the Illinois Supreme Court strip Blagojevich of his powers as Governor.  I agree with this article that her brief is extremely weak and would draw a “C” as the effort of a first year law student.  At any rate I doubt if the Illinois Supreme Court will step into this briar patch.  If the House acts swiftly to impeach him, Blagojevich may resign, but I do not think anything short of this will work.  To add to the banana republic quality that is part and parcel of current Illinois politics, Lisa Madigan is the daughter of Michael Madigan speaker of the House who has a long-standing blood feud with Blagojevich.  Lisa Madigan herself has long been thought to be hungering to be Governor.  Illinois politics frequently consists now of hereditary political fiefdoms that are passed down through the generations.  We have the reality of a largely feudal political system with none of the entertaining trappings.

Update II:  As usual, John Kass of the Tribune  has a brilliant column on the  farce that is Illinois politics.

Update III:  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has an excellent  look  at the behind the scenes machinations of this mess.  I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion:  “Calling this sewer “The Land of Lincoln” is a bad joke.  If Illinois voters aren’t inclined to make the kind of necessary changes, can they change the license plates to read, “The Land of Capone”?  It’s certainly a more accurate description.”

Hmmm

blagojevich-emanued

It is usually a bad sign when a President’s Chief of Staff is ducking questions.  To all those outside the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Chicago politics 101!

Update I: I think Emanuel may be an ex-chief of staff even before he becomes chief of staff if this story pans out.

Update II:   More detail as to the contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel as to the Senate seat.

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