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.