Alternate title for this post: US SENATE SEAT FOR SALE!


So he was arrested for corruption in association with naming Obama’s succesor. Is this bad for Obama? I guess a little but not much. But we have all known Blago is doing this for a long time. We have all been waiting for a corruption indictment for weeks, months, years. SO here it is. This will mess up the state. Yikes. I voted for this yahoo. Sorry. But he really was the better one at the time. He has been ineffective, corrupt, and silly. Hopefully he will go away now and we can get along with running our state.

And wow — threatening to withold state support unless the Tribune fired reporters who were critical of him? Wow. That’s crazy. They are REPORTERS – you don’t think this is going to leak out? Corrupt and stupid.

EDITED TO ADD: Every time I refresh the NYTimes there is more detail including allegations that he told an adviser he was going to get cash up front from “candidate #5” in exchange for the seat. There is a taped conversation of him with a representative of “candidate #5” offering $500k. It was just for f%#@*&g sale. I am disgusted. DISGUSTED.

My first reaction was happiness that he seems caught — this has been a problem for a long time. Then, I thought he was just stupid. Now I am disgusted and angry. I am hitting the highlights on the grief cycle pretty rapidly.

You can read the indictment here.


25 Responses to MY GOV IN JAIL

  1. laurabethnielsen says:

    PS — I promise to post his mugshot as soon as it is available.

  2. lankdangle says:

    His approval ratings have been lower than Bush’s for a while now. It almost seems logical that if your own Blue state hates you more than Bush, then he must be making decisions that are really that bad. I’m just glad that there’s finally something happening about it.

  3. lbsmom says:

    Another governor story–this one from California. State Republicans are dismayed at Schwarzenegger for not siding with them on most issues. LB’s dad voted for him hoping he’d play the middle which he often does.

  4. vickywoeste says:

    I’m reading the criminal complaint–it promises to include the profanity–as if I don’t have better things to do!

  5. laurabethnielsen says:

    well, I read it adn now am very worries about the implications for Obama. there is discussion of contacting his advisors. How did they respond? I think it is worse for Obama than I originally thought. Not that they did anything, but they are going to have to say how they dealt with these overtures.

  6. vickywoeste says:

    It does look worse for Obama as you get further into it. There are phrases such as “”one step removed from the President’elect” (71) and “fewer ‘fingerprints’ on the President-elect’s involvement . . .” (68). There’s bound to be more but I have to get to work at some point here.

    It looks like they (Obama’s people) were trying to get Blago to appoint Tammy Duckworth (Senate Candidate #1) to the seat and Blago wanted to be paid off for giving them the appointment they wanted. So the issue is going to be whether Obama and his people were sufficiently smart to avoid giving the impression that they were simply trying to avoid giving the impression that they were paying for the appointee they wanted or whether they were really trying not to play ball with this obviously corrupt guy who thinks everything can be bought and sold. Ya follow?

    The interesting question is who is Candidate #5 who was willing to pony up $500,000 UP FRONT to get the seat? Let’s have a name and then let’s have another indictment and arrest, please! (Jesse Jackson Jr.? He’s certainly been begging for the appointment . . .)

  7. foodgirl says:

    LB, you beat me to posting this. I think we should start taking bids about Candidate #5 – it’ll emerge in time. It always does :).

    One quote I find weird, and I’m not sure why – from the prosecutor’s press conference: “The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” Why Lincoln (besides being from Illinois)?

  8. vickywoeste says:

    Foodgirl, it was I (Vicky) who posted the question about #5. But perhaps I misread you–LB did post first about the corrupt sociopath who got arrested today . . .

  9. laurabethnielsen says:

    Actually, I just listened to the press conference and reread the indictment — the AG says there is nothing alleged about contact made with President-Elect’s advisors. I think Blago was cooking up the scheme but the AG was very clear that there is no allegation that contact was made.

    If law school (often a distant memory) is fresh, I remember you need action in furtherance of the conspiracy — so Blago telling Advisor A to contact the Obama official probably covers that element, But there is no allegation that the contact occurred or, if it did, how Obama’s team responded.

  10. laurabethnielsen says:

    And, you have to remember, this is just ONE of the corruption charges — Blago thought he could do this with anyone anytime. That everyone was corrupt. Just because he thought it about Obama (or others) doesn’t mean they were going to play along.

  11. vickywoeste says:

    Not only that, LB, but guess who apparently turned Blago in:

    Rahm Emanuel!!!

    citing “local Chicago sources.”

    So here’s one way to read it: Obama wanted Valerie Jarrett to succeed him. Blago made it clear that Obama had to pony up big cash for that to happen. That pissed Obama off so he and Jarrett backed off the Senate appointment and Jarrett took the WH post. In the meantime, Rahm went through backchannels to Fitzgerald, who threw the surveillance operation into overdrive. The governor was arrested BEFORE he could make an appointment, BEFORE the seat could be so irretrievably tainted that it would hurt the Dems in a lasting way, and BEFORE it could hurt the Obama Administration. Plus, Blago calls Obama a m-f-er. Clearly, they are not in this together. I think Obama is going to come out of this looking pretty close to heroic.


  12. laurabethnielsen says:

    I hoped that someone from obama’s campaign might have been one of our good guys in all this! Yay RE! I even thought it might be him given (a) he does not take crap like being blackmailed/threatened/bribed and (b) he and Blago know each other so it makes sense that this would be the high level aid Blago’s folks would look to for contact. HOW can you not know that RE isn’t gonna play this? I don’t even know the guy and I know he isn’t going to do this. And why would you think Obama would?

  13. foodgirl says:

    vicky- sorry, I was referring to posting about Blagojevich at all. Got a late start on my news-reading this morning!

    I read somewhere that a candidate Obama wanted was Tammy Duckworth. I’ll try to find the article.

    The icing on this cake has been listening to news anchors on the cable channels butchering Blago’s name :).

  14. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Chicagoans generally treat corruption in our city and state like we do the weather here. We don’t like it, we grumble about it, but we put up with it as part of living here, and are sometimes perversely proud of it. If this doesn’t change our attitudes, then nothing will — and I suspect it won’t. I’d love to be proven wrong.

    Re: Obama — I’m sure that someone from his staff let Blagojevich know his preference. Along with the entire media, my guess is that it was Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett loudly removed herself from consideration on November 12 and 13. So my guess re what happened is this:

    1. Obama camp mentions Jarrett to Gov., who demands quid pro quo. Obama camp balks, offers only “appreciation”, as Gov. is taped saying.

    2. Word of Gov.’s demand get back to Obama. He tells Jarrett, suggests she loudly withdraw, she does.

    Then the big question is whether someone from the Obama camp went to Fitzgerald. Obviously, the rumor is that it was Rahm. But I doubt that, because I doubt that Rahm was the guy who spoke to the Gov. — apparently, they don’t like one another. Who was the intermediary? What about Axelrod, who worked for Gov. in the past? And whoever had the conversation is the most likely person to have talked to the feds.

    One thing I’m pretty sure of — Obama was told that the Gov. had made demands. Therefore, I hope like heck that it comes out that someone from the Obama camp did in fact blow the whistle — and why wouldn’t they?

  15. vickywoeste says:

    Talking Points Memo is now reporting that Rahm is NOT the whistle-blower:

    And also Obama is now calling on Blago to resign.

    Scott Turow says in an op-ed in today’s NYT that the timing of the arrest is interesting because the grand jury was supposed to consider an indictment *tomorrow*. Now Fitzgerald has 20 days to bring an indictment and the signs indicate he doesn’t have his case fully fleshed out (hence his call to the public for any information they might have). What defense might Blago use here? That he hadn’t actually DONE anything yet? How does that help him against a conspiracy charge? That’s why they arrested him AND his chief of staff, presumably? I’m just worried that he’ll get off, somehow, as bad as the transcript looks. A good defense lawyer can beat just about anything (see, e.g., OJ Simpson, ca. 1995).

  16. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Vicky — George Ryan had a pretty good defense lawyer, who had a very unpopular client. Bad combination. Gov. B was very unpopular before this all hit. As John Kass called him in his Trib column, he’s Dead Meat.

  17. vickywoeste says:

    Senate Candidate #5 is:

    JESSE JACKSON JR.!!!!!!!

  18. lbsmom says:

    Now what? Since the state supreme court won’t hear the request to oust Blago, what’s next? Sounds like he’s refusing to step down.

  19. lbsmom says:

    oops–I forgot the link to my last post. It’s from the NY Times:

  20. laurabethnielsen says:

    The legislature is going to have to get their act together and do their job impeaching him. The legal argument was crap and the court was right not to hear it.

  21. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    I want to follow up on LB’s point. The Illinois Supreme Court was right, of course — the proper remedy is legislative impeachment, not judicial action. Very bad move by Lisa Madigan.

  22. laurabethnielsen says:

    Jeff’s back!! Jeff’s back!! Yay!

  23. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:


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