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Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Illinois Governor Blagojevich arrested by the FBI: Obama's Senate seat for sale?

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, December 09, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
Wow - I knew that Gov. Blago had ethical issues and was under investigation, but this is just disgusting if true - he was just arrested this morning by the FBI on suspicion of trying to sell President-Elect Senator Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder:

From the complaint we have some details. Most intriguing, perhaps, those involving Blago seemingly trying to sell off President-elect Obama's Senate seat. (Read the complaint HERE and the press release HERE.)

"The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," said U.S. Attorney Patrick "The Untouchable" Fitzgerald in a statement. "They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism."
Ultimately, it appears that neither PEBO nor Jarrett were willing to discuss any of Blago's various notions of how he could sell them the seat. Talking to his chief of staff on November 11, Blago said he knew PEBO wanted Jarrett to get the Senate seat but "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F--- them."

At one point, discussing what he could get from PEBO for the Senate seat, Blago said his general counsel believes that PEBO could get Blago's wife on paid corporate boards "in exchange for naming the President-elect's pick to the Senate."

The general Counsel asked, "can [the President-elect] help in the private sector... where it wouldn't be tied to him?... I mean, so it wouldn't necessarily look like one for the other."

Blago says consultants are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherf----r [the President-elect] his senator. F--- him. For nothing? F--- him."

He adds he will give "Senate Candidate 4" (a deputy Governor) the Seat "before I just give f---ing" Jarrett the "f---ing Senate seat and I don't get anything."

As Governor of Illinois, Blago could have literally picked whoever he wanted to appoint to fill the seat. I am VERY glad that he has been arrested because the Senator from Illinois needs to be someone not beholden to anyone except the people of Illinois. From the comments above it is clear that Blago is a real scumbag dirty pol who is out for himself. Illinois deserves better.

Incidentally, note that the prosecutor is none other than Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is perhaps best well-known for his earlier investigation into the Valerie Plame affair - which he ultimately dropped for lack of evidence. Fitzgerald is a Democrat, but his recent record shows that he puts his duty first and his politics distant second. If Illinois needs someone to run for a recently-vacated public office, maybe they need look no further than Fitz.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.