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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Gov. Blagojevich Arrested on Federal Corruption Charges

Democratic Governor of Illinois – Rod Blagojevich – was arrested by federal agents at his home at 6:15 am this morning.


The litany of charges is astounding.

First on the list of offenses that I find personally offensive is that he is accused of looking to trade Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for financial benefit for himself and his family.  Embarrassing your boss by being a selfish douchebag is a bad idea no matter who that boss is, when he is the highly-anticipated incoming President of the United States of America you have embarrassed, you raise your douchebaggery to previously unscaled heights.

The Chicago Tribune has details of the charges.  As well as being tape-recorded looking for personal favors in return for Obama’s Senate seat, Blagojevich is charged with a wide range of corrupt actions.

federal prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.


o  Keeping a Favors List of individuals and firms who benefit from state contracts and looking to leverage this list to raise $2.5M before year’s end.

o  Conspiring to get Chicago Tribune editors fired for their commentary on him, in exchange for state assistance with Wrigley Field (owned by the Tribune parent company).

o  Extorting contributions in exchange for Mercy Hospital’s permission to construct medical facilities.

The 78-page indictment is a laundry-list of shady dealings dredged up from years of investigation, and were I a juror it would take a tall stack of ‘splaining to argue away.  Tony Rezko’s name is laced through the document, so we can expect pundits on the Right to do all they can to tie the whole thing to Obama (it should be noted that no hint of improper involvement with Rezko et al has ever been found regarding Obama, and the same Tribune that is excoriating Blagojevich stated that they found no reason to believe Obama did anything untoward with Rezko).

This is precisely the reason we need Transparency in government, and I think our incoming President will make progress in that direction.


  1. It happens in the UK too, cities like Liverpool, where a culture of corruption replicates itself, especially where there’s a one party incumbency. I thought The Wiredid a great job of showing how that worked vis-a-vis crime in Baltimore. But I don’t live there, so what do I know?

    The only thing that strikes me is that, given this sort of stuff is endemic in so much politics, why has the indictment come now? Has Blagojevich lost some protection since the GE?  

  2. The rumors about an eventual Blagojevish arrest have been around for quite awhile. I wonder how many people this will eventually touch before it is finished?

  3. GrassrootsOrganizer

    I read two sentences into your diary and without having read or heard anything about this before…before I even got to the union part, said to myself “SEIU”.

    Son. of. a. bitch.

    IT popped into my head I think first because when I worked for The Beast we campaign hard and heavy for Blago, to the point you say to yourself “wow.  this guy is extra specially important to them.”  

    fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

  4. rfahey22

    Who keeps making incriminating phone calls when they’re the subject of a criminal investigation?  What a moron.  I had no idea that he looks like Samwise Gamgee/Rudy.


    Just looking around it was pretty obvious there was corruption.  All hotdog places were Hebrew National.  All donut shops were Dunkin’ Donuts.  All candy stores were oh crap, I forget the name.  And there was one of each within walking distance of everywhere.

    Coming from Southern CA I was used to independently owned shops where you could be donuts made on the spot from their own recipes.  Same for other shops.  It was a striking enough difference that it made me think.

    The roads there were in terrible condition but every year they would repave Michigan Avenue and repare the sidewalks.  Seems like the entire budget for street repair went to that few blocks.  

  6. spacemanspiff

    I really hope all of Obama’s team is clean. If they are not they should be held accountable. I know this is how big time politics work.Most are not so blatant and stupid about it.But if anybody on team Obama, including the man himself is involved…

    I want them prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Don’t think Obama’s team is dumb enough (knowing that Blago was “caliente “)to get involved with him. That’s streetsmarts 101.SpacemanSpiff could of told them that MONTHS AGO and I’m just some dude on a blog.I’m not naive about what goes down though. Some very close friends of mine are involved in politics, which is why I initially got interested in blogs.This is how things work for many douchebags.

    You scratch my back, I scratch yours.

    I would hope that feds prosecuted every single corrupt politican.

    That few are caught is no excuse for not prosecuting those that are.

    A lot of great politicians as well. I’m know A LOT of them.

    I’m am extremely cynical but not tooo cynical. Bad apples and good apples in every field of work.I would hope people don’t judge me because of a doc my age drove his Benz into a girl crossing the street a couple of months back over here.

    He was so drunk he could barely speak when arrested.

    Dude was deep in debt – $250,000 – 500,000. Living the high life. Delusional. Now he’s in jail. I woudn’t want to be judged as a physician for the one bad apple. I am trusting Obama made the right moves here and the news coming out give me NO reason to believe otherwise.

    One last thought.

    The majority of those vying for the seat are qualified for it. At the end of the day it came to whom Blago favored.

    What’s so special and democratic about that anyways?

    It’s bullshit.

    From my point of view the story here is not what he did, but the fact that he actually got arrested for it.

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