Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "staggering" level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office.
Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning--one day shy of his 52nd birthday.
At today's press conference, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald observed:
The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.
When it came time to consider what Obama might want, apparently he couldn't be bothered. Fitzgerald quotes Blagejovich:
"They're not willing to give me anything but appreciation. [Bleep] them."
So, after 30 years of Republican rule, Democrat Blagojevich slid into the office, where he immediately made clear the disdain for the actual business of state government which would mark his tenure as governor by rarely visiting the state capital in Springfield, and never even pretending to set up housekeeping in the Governor's official residence.
Understand that, in Illinois, Democrats now control the state House, state Senate, every state-wide constitutional office, the Mayoralty of Chicago, the city council of Chicago, the board controlling the second most populous county in the country (Cook), and almost the entire federal congressional delegation at a time when the DNC has been moved to Chicago, and an Illinois Senator is about to be sworn in as President.
So you'd think, hey, maybe now would not be the very best time to piss away a once-in-a-lifetime historic opportunity to consolidate Democratic gains by f-ing up the state budget and generally carrying on like poo-flinging howler monkeys.
But you would be wrong.
Recently, Blagojevich broke with his long record as a do-nothing haircut who governed by whim and tantrum, sacked-up, and actually publicly supported the heroic workers fighting for their rights at Republic Windows and Doors (located at Hickory & Division Streets, in Chicago's Goose Island Industrial Corridor.)
And good on him for doing it.
Still too little, too late, as reaction to the news of Blagojevich's arrest from every ambulatory human being in Springfield who was not on the Blagoo payroll was rumored to be swift and festive.
Prog blogs being namby pamby about this because he's a Democrat need to stop it. No one hates Blogo as much as the Democratic machine in Illinois does. He's really a terrible governor. Never played team politics and was not invited to the Dem Convention.
I repeat. He was NOT INVITED to speak at the Dem Convention. The Democratic Governor of Obama's home state. Not. Invited.
He was shoved under the bus by one of his own staff. The timing is to prevent him from appointing Obama's successor, because he was selling Obama's seat in the Senate to the highest bidder.
Since I moved to Illinois I have routinely heard Democrats wish for Blogo's defeat in the next election. I think it would he hard to alienate your own party that much in such a Blue State.
And selling Obama's Senate seat takes the cake. Did he think no one was watching him? You have to give him credit for being a genuine idiot, it is impossible to fake that.