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Illinois Governor Arrested   December 9th, 2008
Charged with corruption over senate seat appointment       


More observations...

The governor of Illinois has been arrested for apparently for conspiring to obtain financial benefits in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Barack Obama.


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiring to get financial benefits through his authority to appoint a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama's election as president.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired...

He [Gov. Rod Blagojevich] also allegedly discussed getting campaign funds for himself or possibly a post in the president's cabinet or an ambassadorship once he left the governor's office.

"I want to make money," the affidavit quotes him as saying in one conversation.

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that "the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering."

"They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator," Fitzgerald said.

Chicago politics is famously one of the most corrupt in the nation and this is just an example of that. Not only was the governor trying to get financial benefits from a senate appointment, he was apparently trying to strong-arm the media that was critical of him.

I guess the obvious question arises: Is Obama that one beacon of truth and purity in a sea of Chicago corruption, or has Obama just been better at hiding it? It seems hard to believe that a politician does well in an environment like that without playing the game.

Political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko who raised money for the campaigns of both Blagojevich and Obama is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of fraud and other charges. Blagojevich's chief fundraiser, Christopher G. Kelly, is due to stand trial early next year on charges of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Tuesday's complaint, Blagojevich schemed with Rezko, millionaire-fundraiser turned federal witness Stuart Levine and others to get financial benefits for himself and his campaign committee.

Obama and the now-arrested Illinois governor shared now-convicted political fundraiser Tony Rezko in their quests for raising money so that, too, makes one a little more suspicious. No, Obama isn't guilty by association. But, personally, I don't know any criminals, nor anyone that knows criminals--accused or convicted. Obama seems to know a surprising number personally. Strange.

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