Blago Busted

Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested and taken into federal custody by the FBI, charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. The charges allege that Blago, and his chief-of-staff John Harris, who has also been taken into custody, were "conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits for Blagojevich by leveraging his sole authority to appoint a United States Senator; 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 sharply critical of Blagojevich; and to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions—both historically and now in a push before a new state ethics law takes effect January 1, 2009."

Basically, it's a pay-to-play scandal.

There are a ton of details at the link, and full coverage here. And you can read the DoJ's release about the case here (pdf).

I was in the car listening to NPR when the story broke, and my immediate response was to burst out laughing. He just wouldn't be an Illinois governor if he weren't breaking federal law!

Illinois' not-Obama Senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, has spent the past few weeks petitioning for clemency on behalf of the last Illinois governor, Republican George Ryan, who's currently sitting in jail. (And, by the way, his defense attorney is the Illinois governor before him, Republican Jim Thompson. You can't make this stuff up.)

Anywaywardgovs, Fitzy (yes, one and the very same) has been on this for awhile, but, because of the nature of some of the allegations—seeking compensation in exchange for a senate appointment—they may have moved more quickly than otherwise, because obviously they wanted to nab him before the appointment was made. And it would likely have been very soon, so the new senator could be sworn in with the new Congress in January, which has seniority benefits that being sworn in after the Congress started wouldn't offer.

Blah blah. Blago swears he's innocent. We'll see about that.

Just another day in Illinois.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus