Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Illinois Governor Blagojevich Arrested

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ( pictured above in the middle of this happy group with his wife and a couple of good friends) and his chief of staff Jon Harris were arrested today on federal corruption charges.

Among the juiciest bits:

* Alleging that they and others were engaging in ongoing criminal activity and conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator.At various times,in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions; placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year; promises of campaign funds – including cash up front; and a possible cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

(interesting, that last bit. For him to lobby for a cabinet post or an ambassador's post, he'd have to be talking to someone already in government at a high level..or maybe someone who's about to be put in power at a high level..hmmm? Maybe like around January 20th?)

Threatening to withhold substantial state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members who were critical of Blagojevich in print.

* Actively obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for official actions – not only in the past, but in as major push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009.

Federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald announced the two-count criminal complaint against Blagojevich and Harris. Each was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.

I guess Tony Rezko has been singing some major show tunes for this to go down. What I'm wondering is what Blagojevich and Harris may end of singing, and how high it could lead.

Hey, it's chinatown Chicago....


Anonymous said...

2 ( TWO ) Illinois governors in a row arrested !

Anonymous said...

“That isn’t the Rod Blagojevich I know”

“This makes for the fourth out of the last seven elected Illinois governors to be indicted since 1960 (Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, George Ryan, and Rod Blagojevich) … since 1972, 28 Chicago alderman have been convicted of crimes. If this number was extrapolated to the US House, it would be as if over 240 congressman had been indicted in the same period.”

Q: What did one Illinois prison inmate say to the other?

A: "The food was better when you were Governor."