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Senate seat for sale...
December 9, 2008 8:08 AM   Subscribe

The governor of Illinois, the guy who gets to pick who gets Obama's senate seat, gets arrested for corruption.

In part:

"Blagojevich and Harris were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions."
posted by jpburns (210 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The money quote:


Blagojevich was caught on wiretaps noting that the Senate seat "is a fucking valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:14 AM on December 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Plus it's freezing rain and the Tribune went bankrupt. Great day in Illinois, it is.
posted by desjardins at 8:18 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


There's a good post in this issue in here somewhere...
posted by AwkwardPause at 8:18 AM on December 9, 2008


So he gets Spitzered the day after he tells Bank of America to go Cheney themselves?
posted by ryoshu at 8:19 AM on December 9, 2008 [17 favorites]


Some more background links would be nice. I mean, the guy's been under investigation for, what, three years now? There should be some rich fodder for context here.

But, that aside: So very awesome.

I can parachute me there too, buddy. I can parachute me there too.
posted by sparkletone at 8:21 AM on December 9, 2008


On Oct. 8, Blagojevich told Individual A that he wanted to obtain a $50,000 contribution from Hospital Executive 1, the chief executive officer of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, which had recently received a commitment of $8 million in state funds. When the contribution was not forthcoming, Blagojevich discussed with Deputy Governor A the feasibility of rescinding the funding.

This is clearly a guy who is eager to suggest new and innovative ways of being a corrupt asshole at every juncture.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:21 AM on December 9, 2008 [12 favorites]


Oh this is full of gold.

Apparently he planned to pressure Obama for favors by threatening to appoint Jesse Jr.


And he wanted the dough to spruce up for a presidential run in 2016.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:21 AM on December 9, 2008


Hey, times are tough all over. Blago wouldn't be the only one liquidating assets now.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:22 AM on December 9, 2008


he was Fitzed not Spitzered. The consensus has been not if but when he would go down.

The BoA can still go Cheney themselves.
posted by Max Power at 8:24 AM on December 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Sun-Times story
TalkingPointsMemo and Muckraker
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:25 AM on December 9, 2008


Thank God. In Illinois, we've been praying that they bust him for years now. I even voted for Topinka against Blago in the last election.

And, it will be interesting to see what hand Obama had in helping this investigation along, if any. Page 66 of the indictment is especially damning to Blago and shows that Obama was very unwilling to play into Blago's corruption:

The quote is 'Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.”

Finally, someone in Illinois politics who resists the junk that has been a part of the city and state for FAR too long. Go Obama!
posted by jeanmari at 8:26 AM on December 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Just yesterday, he said, "I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."

I guess Pat Quinn will pick Obama's replacement in the Senate.

It's a wild day, desjardins. A great day to live in Chicago.
posted by footballrabi at 8:26 AM on December 9, 2008


In a conversation with Harris on November 11, the charges state, Blagojevich said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them."

I like this Obama fellow
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:27 AM on December 9, 2008 [30 favorites]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.
posted by Malor at 8:31 AM on December 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them.

Yeah, because going up against the Obama machine has worked really well for everyone who has tried it so far, right?

Idiot.
posted by quin at 8:31 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Plus it's freezing rain and the Tribune went bankrupt. Great day in Illinois, it is.

The indictment of Blago IS good news. And the so is Obama's refusal to buy in to Blago.

Freezing rain? Tribune bankrupt? WBEZ layoffs? That all sucks, in my book. Now if we can just get Malatia ousted, I would be having a great, GREAT day.
posted by jeanmari at 8:32 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's hoping the only Obama-related stuff surfacing from this is all good stuff, like refusing to play along with this.
posted by Tehanu at 8:34 AM on December 9, 2008


I just read in the Washington Post that this guy ran on an anti-corruption campaign, replacing the previous governor who is now in prison for influence peddling. Damn.
posted by exogenous at 8:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder who turned him in...

The timing is certainly fishy, but there's been enough negative publicity against BoA that I don't see how removing Blagojevich would help them.

He tried to play hardball with Obama and lost, big time.

It's like Obama just keeps getting exponentially more awesome.
posted by jnaps at 8:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


What an idiot. You don't suppose maybe people are going to pay attention to how you fill that seat?
posted by dirtdirt at 8:36 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wrong Fitzmas, guys!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:37 AM on December 9, 2008


Jesse White is still cool, right? I keep worrying that some Tumblergate scandal is going to come up and tarnish his career.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:37 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

Corruption is non-partisan.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:38 AM on December 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: The current sign-up fee is $5 and is the only cost associated with using the site.
Why $5? MetaFilter is a fucking valuable thing; you just don't give it away for nothing.

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:38 AM on December 9, 2008 [28 favorites]


And Illinois was so excited to be catching some of the Obama spotlight recently. Be careful what you wish for...
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2008


the Senate seat "is a fucking valuable thing,

Yes it is.

you just don't give it away for nothing."

Yes you do.

He tried to play hardball with Obama and lost, big time.

Yes we can.
posted by oaf at 8:39 AM on December 9, 2008 [26 favorites]


Oh, he's going to get some liquid assets. I could tell you where his new friends are going to deposit their liquid assets.

Ooh, do tell. Do you think they will shank him on the tennis courts or the golf course at his oh-so-hard pond-me-in-the-ass white collar spa resort? I hear you should stab a guy on your first day to prove you're hard. Maybe Stephens will be his celly.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:40 AM on December 9, 2008


Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members... in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field.

I just knew there couldn't be an epic collapse in Chicago without a Cubs angle to the story.
posted by rokusan at 8:41 AM on December 9, 2008 [14 favorites]


Obama cometh not to bring peace, but the smackdown
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:41 AM on December 9, 2008


oh this has been a long time coming, I think. see ya, captain haircut. you did nothing worthwhile during your term, except plaster your name all over the tollways.
posted by ninjew at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2008


I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid. It boggles the mind. According to the indictment, the Tribune story broke last week that he was being wiretapped, and then they caught him then talking about moving money around so it wouldn't be frozen.

Also, I find him conspiring to get newspaper folks fired for unfavorable editorials about him almost as chilling as the senate seat thing.
posted by misskaz at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2008


I'm just not looking forward to this being spun by the right wing media into making Obama look bad. I can just hear it now "Well, this Blagojevich guy is a big player in Illinois politics, and Obama is from Illinois... it just makes you think... "

Maybe I'm just being premature about this, but it seems like these days all they have to do is put out the suggestion of impropriety, even if there's no reality at all to back it up.
posted by heathkit at 8:46 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!
posted by Tehanu at 8:47 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid.

Yes, this seems illogical, but I think your confusion comes from overestimating the capabilities of the Feds. Crooks have to be brazen and stupid to get onto the Fed radar screen in the first place.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:49 AM on December 9, 2008


I'm just not looking forward to this being spun by the right wing media into making Obama look bad.

As far as I'm concerned, the right wing media can scrutinize Obama all they want. I wish the left wing had examined Bush more carefully before it became popular to do so.

I like Obama. But I don't blindly trust him, or any politician.
posted by jnaps at 8:52 AM on December 9, 2008 [12 favorites]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

This is Illinois politics we're talking about.
posted by Sailormom at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Moral of this story: Patrick Fitzgerald is not a man to be fucked with.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just read in the Washington Post that this guy ran on an anti-corruption campaign, replacing the previous governor who is now in prison for influence peddling. Damn.

And Durbin(D), the senior senator from Illinois is trying to get Bush to commute the previous governor Ryan's(R) sentence.

Now there's a tangled web for you.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Illinois Governor and Chicago politicians involved in corruption? That's unpossible!
posted by chillmost at 8:54 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Moral of this story: Patrick Fitzgerald is not a man to be fucked with.

Fitzgerald for Senator. Or Governor for that matter.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


As for the timing, I think Blagojevich did it to himself. Fitzgerald tends to be tedious, methodical - he's been investigating Blagojevich for awhile. But when someone talks on your wiretap about selling a Senate seat, there is nothing more you need to wait for.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2008


From the criminal complaint (PDF):

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.” (Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois).
posted by limeswirltart at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Live CNN stream of FBI press conference discussing the arrest of Blagojevich.
posted by billysumday at 9:03 AM on December 9, 2008


From the criminal complaint (PDF):

Awesome. Thanks.
posted by Tehanu at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2008


I remember that my grandfather's main reason for not voting for Obama this year was the fact that he was "a Democrat from Chicago". Seemed odd to me then, but I'm beginning to see his reasoning, even if it means he lost out on voting for (apparently) the only honest politician in the city.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:05 AM on December 9, 2008


Have they found the link to Avon Barksdale yet?
posted by macadamiaranch at 9:05 AM on December 9, 2008 [39 favorites]


Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit!
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:08 AM on December 9, 2008 [25 favorites]


During the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Deputy Governor A that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open Senate seat, then ROD BLAGOJEVICH will take the Senate seat himself: “if . . . they’re not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it.”
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:09 AM on December 9, 2008


I was initially skeptical (since I don't live in IL and aren't familiar with the way Chicago politics works). But reading the complaints... wow. I doubt Obama will give him a break under the new Justice dept.
posted by SirOmega at 9:10 AM on December 9, 2008


How much is the New York seat going for, I wonder?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:11 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


From the indictment (78-page PDF):
In regards to the Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

...

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants ... are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.”
The guy's a class act, ain't he?
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:11 AM on December 9, 2008


I'm afraid of my bank now.
posted by saul wright at 9:11 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid. It boggles the mind.

There is something very wrong with Blago. He's one of those people who thinks that if he just keeps saying he's done nothing wrong it will come true. Psychopathic.
posted by Outlawyr at 9:17 AM on December 9, 2008


According to Fitzgerald's presser, Blagojevich pressured the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers by name.
posted by orthogonality at 9:17 AM on December 9, 2008


Obama is really charmed in some cosmic way, isn't he?

The only way this could have been better for him - secret wiretaps proving he won't play and corrupt pols calling him "a motherfucker" - is if this broke before the election. Which is of course, impossible.




How adorable is Fitz with his choirboy face and his "bleepings" and "bleep thems"?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:19 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Thank god they've finally made a move on that arrogant manipulative bastard. Every time I've had to agree with his politics I've felt slimy; he's the kind of guy that never does *anything* for the right reason. There's always something cynical going on no matter what he says or does. He could cure AIDS and I'd still feel vaguely disquieted about it.
posted by aramaic at 9:23 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


...but when they entered his office to serve the papers, all they found was some light bulbs and a couple of christmas trees and a cheezy tee-shirt tacked to the wall.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:24 AM on December 9, 2008


"It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important."

Dude, it's Illinois. The only action's in the primary.

But yeah, I think that Governor's office is cursed. Or maybe it just has huge levers that you pull that switch things to "corrupt" (leading to cash just spilling out of the wall) but now they're rusted in place.

Say what you will about the Dalys, but their corruption got shit done.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about the Dalys, but their corruption got shit done.

Yeah, just ask Jane Byrne.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:29 AM on December 9, 2008


Ryan Lizza's New Yorker article supports all of this. Obama coming to town, and on many levels refusing to play with the established machine, and the machine people saying "I don't want nobody that nobody sent." But Obama succeeding, at least at first, in spite of the machine.

(I know nothing about Chicago or Chicago politics but this was an interesting read.)
posted by Danf at 9:30 AM on December 9, 2008


Only 18 instances of "fuck*" in the Complaint PDF... but they read like Joe Pesci.
posted by anthill at 9:30 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gosh, and he was such a pleasant man, personally. Such a joy.

The Trib thing was so over the top... I mean he went from just a jagoff corrupt governor to a cartoonish stereotype - playing opposite Gregory Peck as reporter - super-villian of a governor.

Trying to buy off the Trib to make them fire editorial staff? Jeezus.

As far as Obama goes - you can’t harm/gull an innocent man. Hate to say ‘I told ya’ but y’know, I did know he was this awesome.

Still, he shouldn’t have to be. Obama is a great man, but he should be, at most, well above average for a public servant. Instead we have Rod with his 70’s hockey coach look and paranoia mixed exquisitely with contempt for, y’know, humanity.

During the NIU shootings he closed off all the public parking lots. Apparently because he was holding a grudge against the press. That’s speculation really, but motive aside, the practical upshot was you had terrified or mourning parents driving out to the place being stuck in roadblocks and masses of cars, news vans, etc. unable to see their kids. Nice thinkin’ there Rod.

Anyway, we’ve got some titans here, so this is nice to see. Maybe - just maybe, we’ll eliminate the systemic corruption so it’s not business as usual, but the abberation it’s supposed to be.
I gotta second - good day in Illinois.

And I like Pat Fitzgerald right where he is. Nothing wrong with being a (damn good) U.S. attorney. He’ll be fine in life wherever he goes, he’d shovel in cash in the private sector, his name is gold, but it’d be a loss to Illinois if he went anywhere else.

Pat Quinn, meh. Met him a few times. He’s a party hack, but his heart seems to be in the right place.

Only weak link in the chain is Rahm Emanuel.
(Rezko did raise money for Obama, but Obama can’t help who kisses his ass.)
But almost anyone who works downtown has to get dirty just to get anything done even with the most altruistic motive.
(Oh, you want the salt trucks out so people can go to work in the morning, huh? What are you gonna do for me?)

“Say what you will about the Dalys, but their corruption got shit done.”

Yeah. I get a kick out of it really. Don’t like it, but it is funny. There’s no parking all of a sudden downtown and the next day all kinds of draconian laws are put in place regarding parking and towing. The press asks Daly - ‘isn’t this just a cheap gimmick to generate revenue’ and Daly says ‘That’s...were...look, just pay your parking tickets, that’s all we’re sayin’ ‘
I enjoy the ‘look, I’m sorry, but fuck you’ response with the head-bob and the shoulder shrug, like ‘what did you expect? I’m a scorpion. It’s my nature.’
posted by Smedleyman at 9:30 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid. It boggles the mind.

There are two reasons to get into power: either to do good with it or abuse it. Staying put and not saying much is not one of those options.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:31 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the up-side - Duckworth in Obama’s old seat? That’d be nifty.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:31 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anybody else feel like Patrick Fitzgerald is everything that Elliot Spitzer was supposed to be? I hope to God he doesn't ride Amtrak much...
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fitz is fucking awesome.
posted by enn at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, before this morning, I still had some faint hope that the charges could still be chalked up to Republican ratfucking due to Blago breaking the GOP's hammerlock on the governorship. Jesus Breakdancing Christ, was I naive.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:34 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


So he gets Spitzered the day after he tells Bank of America to go Cheney themselves?

A lot of people who don't know a lot about Illinois are hitting on this same theme, and I imagine Blago was hoping it might play this way. The fact is that this has been a long time coming and no one in Illinois is surprised, suspicious, or disappointed. At least no one who wasn't in the Blagojevich household at 6:15 this morning.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


And it's Daley, people.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


So if, as it seems, Sam Zell more or less agreed to fire editorial board members in exchange for state funds, is there any crime there of which Zell can be convicted?

I know I'm far from the only one who would love to see that clown go down.
posted by enn at 9:37 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look, I know blindly praising Obama is what all the kids are doing now, but how is there any conceivable link between Blago's arrest and his awesomeness or lack thereof? The investigation was already underway, Blago did something monumentally stupid, his arrest got moved up.

Now, if they start filling that prison van with Daleys and Strogers, then it'll be a great day for Chicago.
posted by darkwing at 9:38 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


awwww... this is such a weak FPP.

one lousy link to a news story, no mention of george ryan, dan rostenkowski, otto kerner, len small, orville hodge, william lorimer or even the legendary old boss daley. mike royko must be rolling over in his grave. you didn't even mention the illustrious legacy of jim edgar.

there is just SO MUCH MORE to tell. he was the second governor in a row to get caught by the feds. there is a massive history of corruption and crime to be mined for a great FPP and it all gets left out because someone wants to be first. these kinds of FPP's are doing metafilter a giant disservice.

It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

that's because the OP linked to the Chicago Tribune. you'd think readers of a local (=state) paper would know what party their own governor belonged to. the tribune btw is a conservative paper that only just for the first time ever endorsed a democratic candidate for president. ever.

furthermore: the NYT mentioned it, the bloomberg terminal has it, the WSJ mentions it, the AP story mentions it and again, he's a governor. do you really not know what parties the governors of this country belong to? senators I'd understand but there aren't that many governors. (for the record: george ryan, his convicted predecessor, is a republican.)
posted by krautland at 9:39 AM on December 9, 2008 [16 favorites]


Heh. He tried to bribe the president. Heh.
posted by lunit at 9:45 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


the second governor in a row to get caught by the feds

He was the second governor in a row to get caught by Fitzgerald personally.

there is a massive history of corruption and crime
[Former Chicago alderman Larry Bloom] shared a prison wing with three former aldermen, Virgil Jones, John Madrzyk and Jesse Evans; a former Water Reclamation Commissioner, Tom Fuller; and a former state representative, Bruce Farley. “We didn’t have a name for our wing, but we’d call `quorum’ every time we walked down the hall,” Bloom joked to Sneed after his release.

posted by enn at 9:45 AM on December 9, 2008


“And it's Daley, people.”

If there were any respect for him, yeah.
I like the alliterative with ‘dally.’

Zell pretty much was gutting and running the Trib anyway, looks like. So moot point about firing. Not that he wouldn’t have taken the deal.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:50 AM on December 9, 2008


I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid. It boggles the mind.

I give you former TN state legislator and all around colorful character, Mr. John Ford. People warned him.
posted by Tehanu at 9:51 AM on December 9, 2008


oh, are we playing "who can find the best factoids about those quirky illinois governors" now? yay! here's my entry:

wikipedia: On February 28, 1991 Edgar declared March 13 as "L. Ron Hubbard Day" in honor of the late founder of the Church of Scientology. He stated that Hubbard's "writings on the mind and human spirit have helped millions of people lead better lives. His literary works have enriched the lives of many readers" and "has solved the aberrations of the human mind." However, Edgar issued a short one-sentence proclamation on March 26, 1991, stating that his original proclamation was rescinded.

of course edgar wouldn't have been a real illinois governor if he hadn't just barely gotten out of going to the slammer himself.
posted by krautland at 9:52 AM on December 9, 2008


Before we lay prostrate at the feet of Almighty Obama, let's see how this entire things plays out. It does seem that someone speaking on behalf of Obama was lobbying for Jarrett, and lobbying against Jesse Jackson, Jr. - so that is still Obama trying to throw his weight around. He is the President-Elect, after all. Also, sounds like JJJ was willing to play ball with Blago, which may mean the end of his candidacy for the Senate seat. At the least, there will be friction there between JJJ and Obama.
posted by billysumday at 9:54 AM on December 9, 2008


Heh. He tried to bribe the president. Heh.

Worse, actually. He admitted (on a phone he knew was bugged by the feds!) to demanding that the president bribe him. It's like he was trying to get into the record books as The Most Corrupt Politician Ever.
posted by EarBucket at 9:55 AM on December 9, 2008 [8 favorites]


I admit that this post is weak, but frankly, I don't know diddly about Chicago politics. I read this story and said "Wha...." and the hive mind filled in the blanks. That's the beauty of MetaFilter.

Yes, I could have added random (equally weak) links to other papers or Wikipedia, but they wouldn't have added anything to the post.
posted by jpburns at 9:56 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]



I really would have loved Fitz as Attorney Gen just for the sheer enjoyment of watching him clean out all the Augean Stables the Bushies left behind.


How adorable is Fitz with his choirboy face and his "bleepings" and "bleep thems"?
So cute! <3>
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:56 AM on December 9, 2008


Be careful what you wish for. Blago's version of "bring it on" - from yesterday.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:56 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


And if it's true, as some are speculating, that Candidate 5 is Jesse Jackson, Jr. and he really did offer Blagojevich half a million for the Senate seat, he needs to go to jail, too.
posted by EarBucket at 9:57 AM on December 9, 2008


Before we lay prostrate at the feet of Almighty Obama, let's see how this entire things plays out.

two words: mount rushmore.

(there aren't enough democrats up there anyway.)
posted by krautland at 9:57 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't know diddly about Chicago politics.
you should have let someone else post then.

That's the beauty of MetaFilter.
no, that's the beauty of reddit or digg.
posted by krautland at 9:59 AM on December 9, 2008 [11 favorites]


Yeah, my personal opinion is that a weak FPP is not a problem if lots of people add useful comments. This is a community blog after all.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:59 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm just not looking forward to this being spun by the right wing media into making Obama look bad.

As far as I'm concerned, the right wing media can scrutinize Obama all they want. I wish the left wing had examined Bush more carefully before it became popular to do so.


Spinning and scrutinizing are not at all the same thing.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:03 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I just don't understand how someone who knows he's under investigation by the Feds and is probably being watched/taped/bugged at all times could be so brazen and stupid. It boggles the mind."

I give you former TN state legislator and all around colorful character, Mr. John Ford.


And to add to the parade of bad governors, we have Evan Mecham, 21st governor of Arizona. Thus spake Wikipedia:

"A decorated veteran of World War II, Mecham earned his living as an automotive dealership owner and occasional newspaper publisher. As governor, Mecham was plagued by controversy and became the first U.S. governor to simultaneously face removal from office through impeachment, a scheduled recall election, and a felony indictment. He was the first Arizona governor to be impeached."

And no tale about corrupt politicians with balls the size of Howitzer shells would be complete without a mention of Jim Traficant, former Dem Representative from Ohio, who was expelled after being convicted of taking bribes, filing false tax returns, racketeering, and forcing his aides to perform chores at his farm in Ohio and on his houseboat in Washington, D.C., and is currently serving out an eight-year prison term with a projected release date of September 2, 2009. His Congressional record is best known for his habit of ending many speeches with the phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty". (And no, I'm not kidding about that.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:04 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ever since we were ONE DAY away from having Chicago mass transit crippled and he vetoed it unless they added in a budget-crippling "free rides for senior citizens!" feature (so that he could curry votes with them), I've badly wanted this guy out of office. Anyone who'd cripple the a basic lifeblood resource of millions of people for his own political gain ...
posted by WCityMike at 10:07 AM on December 9, 2008


John Ford was a big reason Harold Ford, Jr. lost his Senate bid in 2006. That and Harold turned out to be a crappy candidate. Send Fitz down here to Memphis. We'll keep him busy for a while.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:09 AM on December 9, 2008


Not even a demigod among lawyers could fix Memphis.
posted by Tehanu at 10:10 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


WBEZ layoffs?

What? Oh my god, I'm just going to go home and hide under the covers. Tell me when it's all over.
posted by desjardins at 10:11 AM on December 9, 2008


But hey, you guys re-elected Steve Cohen. That surprised me.
posted by Tehanu at 10:11 AM on December 9, 2008


Yes, I could have added random (equally weak) links to other papers or Wikipedia, but they wouldn't have added anything to the post.

You could have at least linked to the indictment. At minimum. And gotten the "busted for selling Obama's seat" angle above the fold.

Posting newsfilter isn't a contest. You don't win by being first.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:18 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


My favorite quote from the complaint:
In another call between ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A that occurred a short time later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Deputy Governor A discussed an editorial from the Chicago Tribune regarding the endorsement of Michael Madigan and calling for a committee to consider impeaching ROD BLAGOJEVICH. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A “to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.”
I can't wait for the "ripped from the headlines" play.
posted by limeswirltart at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Politicians trying to make more money by doing corrupt actions? Surely you jest! Why would someone in a seat of such power want to profit off of a senatorial seat? (Note snarky sarcasm.) I'm glad that jerkoff got caught. Throw him in jail!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:23 AM on December 9, 2008


Whoever's catching the corrupt guys, if you ever come to Seattle to look at the mayor I'll pay you lunch.
posted by qvantamon at 10:27 AM on December 9, 2008


I can't wait for the "ripped from the headlines" play.

I bet Mamet writes it.
posted by aswego at 10:28 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


>there is just SO MUCH MORE to tell. he was the second governor in a row to get caught by the feds. there is a massive history of corruption and crime to be mined for a great FPP and it all gets left out because someone wants to be first. these kinds of FPP's are doing metafilter a giant disservice.

No one is stopping you. Have at it. You might even win an iPod.

This is such good news for so many reasons.
posted by Sailormom at 10:30 AM on December 9, 2008


Spinning and scrutinizing are not at all the same thing.

You know, that's true. There needs to be more accountability in news reporting, and we all know that Fox News isn't always reliable. Our country would be better served by improved, factual political discourse.

I would still rather err on the side of spin (even if I disagree vehemently with it) vs. worship. Obama had enough faith in the American public to sort out distortion from the truth, and no matter what the right-wing blowhards might say, I think they'll continue to do so.
posted by jnaps at 10:31 AM on December 9, 2008


jpburnsPoster »» and the hive mind filled in the blanks. That's the beauty of MetaFilter.

It's definitely not. The "beauty" of Metafilter is that people generally are encouraged to provide good posts, and are called out for crappy ones. Thus by "peer pressure," a website is formed for which good posts are encouraged and crap "gotta post this first so I can be the one to break the news" posts are discouraged.
posted by WCityMike at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


If someone's looking to make a machine politics post, you gotta include Crump.
posted by Tehanu at 10:39 AM on December 9, 2008


Hmm. HuffPost is saying that Rahm Emanuel dropped the dime on Blagojevich after he demanded quid pro quo for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the seat. He really should have watched this first--it's funny 'cause it's true.
posted by EarBucket at 10:40 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the hate on this post. This isn't the first time a breaking news item has been posted with thin details, only to have the matter fleshed out as more info becomes available. The discussion has been vigorous and enlightening, especially for those of us unfamiliar w/ the vagaries of Illinois politics. If you don't like the post, isn't there some sort of flagging device one could use? Why do some of you feel the need, after only a hundred or so comments, to point out that this post is wrong-headed?
posted by theroadahead at 10:45 AM on December 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


I wonder if the Obama team saw this coming? I wondered about Obama's relatively early Senate resignation. And Obama must have know what a slimeball Blago could be. In fact, I wonder if Obama had anything to do with the downfall of Blago. After all, it seems strange that Fitz has completely, utterly and without doubt vindicated the man.

Good ol' Chicago-style politics!
posted by jabberjaw at 10:46 AM on December 9, 2008


WBEZ layoffs?

What? Oh my god, I'm just going to go home and hide under the covers. Tell me when it's all over.


Eh, that's not so bad. When WZRD does layoffs, then fire will start raining from the skies.
posted by davejay at 10:49 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Looks like Illinois MeFites are trying to enact retribution on jpburns for not paying proper tribute to the MeFillinois FPP Machine.

"He's making a FPP about a corrupt Illinois politician without mentioning a laundry list of corrupt IL pols? Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him."
posted by BeerFilter at 10:49 AM on December 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


You know, whether the FPP is weak or not, if you're just in here bitching about information that should have been added but not adding it yourself, I don't know what to say.
posted by maxwelton at 10:54 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Prediction: Blagojevich will name Katherine Harris to fill in the Senate seat and then Bush will pardon him. (I think Blago has one last screw you to get out of his system.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:55 AM on December 9, 2008


Well, I'm simultaneously shocked and not shocked. Shocked because this all happened so suddenly, not shocked because everyone in Illinois (myself included) has known for years that Blago is as corrupt as he is incompetent, and you know what happens to dumb criminals...

Before the affidavit spiraled off into pure farce (he thought he could extort favors from Obama? Did he not understand the state of his public image? Or the nature of Obama?), the main feeling it elicited in me was outrage. The utter, brazen lack of respect for the public trust... he raided teachers' pensions (including my own father's, leading to my only-ever Republican vote, for Topinka in 2006) even more extensively than I had previously known, for political favors; he actively sought to curtail freedom of the press, he wanted to use funds the legislature had appropriated for science and technology to bail out a sports stadium, etc.

My question is, what is the cost of these crimes to society? How much does all of Illinois suffer when the newspaper becomes a puppet of a self-serving politician? How much does education suffer when potential teachers know they may not have a retirement fund (my dad now reckons he will have to work until he's 70)? How much do future generations suffer when money directed at vital scientific research is thrown into petty political games? My guess is the cost of these things to society as a whole is a whole lot more than the cost to society of a drug offense, or even a mugging. Yet Blago will probably do a few years in a country-club jail at worst, then be set free to go sit on those lucrative 'paid corporate boards' he was eyeing so greedily in exchange for Obama's senate seat, whereas the drug dealer or the mugger may have their lives utterly ruined during a decade-or-more long sentence in one of the prisons the horrid conditions of which have been recently discussed on this site.

Freedom can't exist without some notion of fairness. In some sense, then, how can we call what we have 'free?'
posted by notswedish at 10:59 AM on December 9, 2008 [16 favorites]


Wait, so... who will get to appoint the seat now?

And why is my MeTa blue?
posted by lunit at 11:01 AM on December 9, 2008


“You know, whether the FPP is weak or not, if you're just in here bitching about information that should have been added but not adding it yourself, I don't know what to say.”

Would... Mr. Franklin help you think of something to say?
*palms/shakes maxwelton’s hand*
posted by Smedleyman at 11:02 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fitzgerald for Senator. Or Governor for that matter.
Not a chance. Fitzgerald gets visibly excited when he takes down corruption, preferably with a giant kick to the sensitive bits. Watching him on TV, you get this palpable undercurrent of a guy who is aching to go totally Vince McMahon. This is a man who has found a way to convert the practice of anticorruption law in his head into some sort of XFL-meets-UFC cage match, and God bless him for it. The one word that best describes him is "relentless".

But beyond that, when he does a press conference about one of these cases, this is a man approximately one blood pressure point from tearing off his suit jacket and shirt, flexing, screaming a spittle-flecked "THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK WITH THE FITZ", and kicking over the podium. Then he'd point to the camera, point at himself, headbutt his own security detail, and brandish the Illinois State Constitution like the WWF belt while yelling "TAKE THE MOTHERFUCKIN' BRIBE, I DARE YOU".
posted by scrump at 11:03 AM on December 9, 2008 [65 favorites]


Looks like Illinois MeFites are trying to enact retribution on jpburns for not paying proper tribute to the MeFillinois FPP Machine.

Insults alone aren't going to make them walk away from their five dollar investments.
posted by xorry at 11:05 AM on December 9, 2008


No one is stopping you. Have at it. You might even win an iPod.
nobody reads comments. that's the stuff for FPP's. duplicate FPP's get deleted.
posted by krautland at 11:05 AM on December 9, 2008


Oh please please let it be Rahm Emmanuel who put the final nail in the coffin. That would just cement his reputation as The Guy. You. Don't. Fuck. With.
posted by PenDevil at 11:12 AM on December 9, 2008


I think my only complaint about all of this is that Todd Stroger isn't somehow involved, so that he too can be removed from office. haha, chicago politics.. legendary for a reason.

I'm a huge fan of King Daley. So what if you gotta know someone who knows someone to work for this city.. even that Hired Truck ordeal seems to have bounced right the fuck off of him. Patronage, waste, corruption, back-room politics.. I love it.

But only when it gets results.
posted by ninjew at 11:14 AM on December 9, 2008


White Sox fan= White House

Cub Fan= BIG HOUSE
posted by Ironmouth at 11:15 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


HuffPost is saying that Rahm Emanuel dropped the dime on Blagojevich after he demanded quid pro quo for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the seat.

Chicago reporter suggests Rahm Emanuel may have ‘tipped’ off federal investigators about Blagojevich.
“Marcy Wheeler catches local Chicago press reporting that Rahm Emanuel may have tipped off federal investigators that Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was engaging in corrupt acts. Jack Conaty, a Chicago reporter for the local Fox affiliate, said on-air that Rahm Emanuel might have been responsible for causing federal investigators to act quickly to apprehend Blagojevich this morning:
CONATY: We did receive a tip this morning that perhaps all of this came together so quickly because the Governor may have reached out to Rahm Emanuel, the president-elect’s chief of staff, in attempting to leverage filling the Senate seat. And it may have been Rahm Emanuel who tipped the scale and made this move as quickly as it did.”
Video.
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


krautland, I think Sailormom means that if someone feels this post needs more background, they could work up a FPP. Like how this led to this and this.
posted by theroadahead at 11:25 AM on December 9, 2008


Upon further reflection, I see now that I wronged Smedleyman--a more forthright and honest individual would be difficult to find. I knew the minute he shook my hand I knew that here was a man I could trust.
posted by maxwelton at 11:26 AM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


White Sox fan= White House

Cub Fan= BIG HOUSE


My great grandfather ran an illegal betting parlor in the woods of rural southern Indiana, which he cheated customers royally by having a ticker-tape machine hidden in a back room which ran faster than the feed from the radio giving him time to use "ESP" to set odds).

In his retirement days he had 3 tv's, one color and two black and white. This was for watching all the games that were broadcast on a given day on the three networks. The color set was reserved for use only when the Cubs played.

You can draw your own conclusions.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat.

Has FOX News changed their chyron to read: Rod Blagojevich [R]? No. Of course not.

Ah, memories of previous FOX shenanigans: Mark Foley (D-FL), John McCain (D-AZ), Arlen Specter (D-PA), etc.
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on December 9, 2008


Chicago reporter suggests Rahm Emanuel may have ‘tipped’ off federal investigators about Blagojevich.

I love how Fox can spin that shit to smear Obama, immediately after stating that he's the one that busted the guy. "Emanuel turns in Blagojevich" to "their neighbors because he's being held in jail blocks from the transition team HQ" in less than 30 seconds. Wow.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:33 AM on December 9, 2008


Rahm Emanuel facts.
posted by Tehanu at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Really, he's just trying to streamline our political system. Next stop: eBay!
posted by starman at 11:42 AM on December 9, 2008


Someone already beat you to it, Starman.
posted by jeanmari at 11:47 AM on December 9, 2008


I am continually amazed at how blatant corruption has become in Illinois. In the past few years both professionally and personally I have had dealings with the City of Chicago and Cook County that really opened my eyes. Whenever I watched "The Wire" I'd think - "hey, just like home". The quid pro quo, the acceptance of corruption as long as you and yours are getting their piece - it boggles the mind.
But we pay for the offices of people who have "no show" jobs and contracts that are exponentially higher to pay all the handouts by the missing teachers pension fund, the CTA being underfunded, and high property, sales, and income tax rates.

I've said it before, Obama is a product of this, but did not take advantage and came out untainted. That says a lot about him. The only thing that can be said is he may have known a lot but choose not to look the other way - but to acknowledge Corruption would have pitted him against Richie Daley - and that ain't gonna happen.
posted by readery at 11:48 AM on December 9, 2008


hm. bet todd stroger is next.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 11:59 AM on December 9, 2008


Wow. I knew he was corrupt, but I didn't realize how brazenly, sociopathically corrupt.
posted by 912 Greens at 11:59 AM on December 9, 2008


.

No, wait. I meant "Good Riddance".
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:01 PM on December 9, 2008


I once saw Rahm Emanuel take a bite out of a hammer.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:15 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I look forward to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me's special two-hour edition this weekend.
posted by lukemeister at 12:19 PM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


This guy is a fucking cartoon. They will need to tone him down for the movie, for the sake of believeability. It is amazing to me that he doesn't have a mustache to twist whenever he speaks, but I guess looking like the twisted test-tube baby of Dave Barry and Kato Kaelin is creepy enough. There is absolutely no one outside of maybe his family who will take his side in this matter. The GOP will cheer that another Democratic Governor is disgraced, and the dems will cheer for corruption being routed out, at least partially by the hands of our new shining white knight. Everybody wins when this piece of shit goes down. To be honest, the only extra context I wish we'd gotten from the FPP is how in the fuck Illinois elected this dude to begin with.

My working theory is that they didn't, or at least not in the way they think. Rod Blagojevich is no man, but rather a cunning creation by Ozymandius, cunningly deployed to bring the red states and blue states together against a common enemy.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:26 PM on December 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


I have a serious question: how do people who do this, before they get caught, not live with total paranoia for the rest of their lives? I couldn't take any amount of money if I knew that at any time one of the people who knew about this would either hold it over my head, let it slip over a beer, or I might simply have not covered my tracks well enough for it to be discovered, leading to my total public shame and humiliation.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:28 PM on December 9, 2008


I can't wait for the "ripped from the headlines" play.

I bet Mamet writes it.


BLAGO: So what are you telling me?
DEPUTY: I'm telling you, telling you, I'm telling you that...
BLAGO: What the fuck are you telling me about this fucking Tribune and Madigan?
DEPUTY: About Madigan?
BLAGO: Madigan!
DEPUTY: Madigan?
BLAGO: Fucking Madigan!
DEPUTY: Madigan?
BLAGO: The Tribune can go fuck themselves with their Madigan!
MRS. BLAGO: Tell him to tell them to hold up that fucking Cubs shit!
BLAGO: You hear that?
DEPUTY: What?
BLAGO: What do you think of my wife's idea?
DEPUTY: What do I, what do I...
BLAGO: My w...her idea! What do you fucking think?
DEPUTY: Well, I'll tell you this.
BLAGO: You fucking tell me what you think.
DEPUTY: There's, I tell you, there's part of, your wife, part of what she said I agree with.
BLAGO: Listen, I'll tell you what that Tribune fuck will say. I'll tell you the fuck what he'll say. He'll say he's got fuck-all to do with the fucking editorials at the Tribune. But you say, guess what, you Tribune fuck? Look, guess the fuck what? If you want to get your Cubs thing done, get rid of this fucking Tribune, you fuck.
MRS. BLAGO: Fuck that Cubs shit!
posted by DaDaDaDave at 12:34 PM on December 9, 2008 [14 favorites]


It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

Paragraph 1:

U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said today that federal authorities arrested Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich this morning because the governor went on "a political corruption crime spree" that needed to be stopped.

?
posted by nanojath at 12:36 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much revenue the DoJ could drum up if they held a "Have a Beer with Pat Fitzgerald" contest.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:42 PM on December 9, 2008


A buddy just told me that Fitzgerald is surprisingly fun to party with.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:48 PM on December 9, 2008


MRS. BLAGO: Fuck that Cubs shit!

(applause)

That play deserves a standing "O"!!!
posted by limeswirltart at 12:49 PM on December 9, 2008


An old qoute

"Spare the Rod, spoil the senate"
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 12:50 PM on December 9, 2008


After Obama won, I was desperately crossing my fingers that he'd make Fitz the attorney general, so was disappointed when that didn't come to pass. But today? Well, let's just say that I have certainly had my frown turned upside down.
posted by scody at 1:19 PM on December 9, 2008


Hey, bighappyfunhouse! Haven't seen you for awhile. How delightful running into you in this fine Chicago thread. Here, have some popcorn. This is getting good, innit?
posted by jeanmari at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2008


I'm compelled to note that on this year's election day, Blago had an approval rating that was *exactly* one half of the approval rating of George W. Bush.

This doesn't surprise me one bit. The only reason he's in the office is that he was in the right place at the right time to win the office. Contrary to popular opinion, while Chicago is strongly democratic, Chicagoland is mixed, and downstate is GOP. Indeed, Blagojevich is the first Democratic governor in a very long time -- and only got the office because of the complete and utter collapse of the State GOP party after the CDL scandal sent most of them to prison.

Indeed, this very scandal is why Obama is president. Jack Ryan becomes unelectable, thanks to wanting to have sex with his wife.* The Illinois GOP can't find another candidate, because, well, they're all under indictment. The best the GOP can find is Alan Keyes. Obama wins handily, and is able to leverage that into a presidential run.

I doubt Blago would have won reelection -- I suspect that even if the Dems couldn't get him ousted in the primary, the GOP would manage to pick up the state thanks to everybody hating Blago and the general GOP dominance downstate.



*In Public. In actuality, this was a pretty low point -- the information came from divorce proceedings dealing with the custody of the children, and both of the Ryans had agreed to keep those records sealed, but when he was running, the Tribune and WLS-TV petitioned the court to open them. This eventually proved successful, and ended Ryan's career.
posted by eriko at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


A friend just emailed me this, which I'd forgotten to consider:

"What a buffoon. Goodbye olympics."

Crap.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also: because somehow nobody else has said it:

CHRIST, WHAT AN ASSHOLE.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Fitzgerald. Politically connected, well heeled, Irish ex-rugger in Chicago. C’mon, he’s not gonna be fun to party with?
Those are some story tellin’ and singin’ bastards I can tell you. It’s a great tradition still alive in Chicago (tends to get me askew looks tho, since I know all the Irish songs and a lot of rugby songs and y’know, I’m pretty obviously not Irish)

“I have a serious question: how do people who do this, before they get caught, not live with total paranoia for the rest of their lives?”

SpacemanStix - you have the faculty to feel shame and humiliation. I believe this may be attributes connected with having a conscience.
Guys like Blago apparently think of living life in constant paranoia as a feature, not a bug. Sort of a bonus that comes with power. You might be ‘attacked’ by ‘enemies’ so that gives you the right to manipulate and control everything around you.

You can read DaDaDaDave’s post in the Jerky Boys style as well. Kinda funny.

“Indeed, Blagojevich is the first Democratic governor in a very long time -- and only got the office because of the complete and utter collapse of the State GOP party after the CDL scandal sent most of them to prison.”

Yeah, lot of ‘throw the bums out’ with Ryan. So yeah, let’s elect a democrat - yay! Yay! Yaa....oh....
Did I ever mention I vote Green and third party a lot?

And screw Jack Ryan, man. I can’t think of a man more suited for the term ‘schmuck.’ Lot more than the sex in public in Germany stuff that didn’t make the paper.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2008


"What a buffoon. Goodbye olympics."

I think Chicago has a far more powerful advocate.

Speaking of which:


Obama said he wasn't aware of Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell him a senate seat for Valerie Jarrett.
"I had no contact with the governor or his office, so I was not aware of what was happening," he said.

but


Axelrod Nov 23:

"I know he has talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2008


Alleged: Blagojevich Hoped To Shake Down Warren Buffett.
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2008


Statement from Gerould Kern, editor of the Chicago Tribune
"The Chicago Tribune investigated allegations of misconduct involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich independent of the U.S. attorney's criminal probe.

As a standard practice, our reporters contact individuals involved in these stories for confirmation and comment prior to publication. Consequently, we contacted the U.S. attorney's office in the course of our reporting.

On occasion, prosecutors asked us to delay publication of stories, asserting that disclosure would jeopardize the criminal investigation. In isolated instances, we granted the requests, but other requests were refused.

The Chicago Tribune's interest in reporting the news flows from its larger obligation of citizenship in a democracy. In each case, we strive to make the right decision as reporters and as citizens. That's what we did in this case."
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on December 9, 2008


He's one of those people who thinks that if he just keeps saying he's done nothing wrong it will come true. Psychopathic.

Telepsychopathic.
posted by rokusan at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2008


There is absolutely no one outside of maybe his family who will take his side in this matter.

You'd think so but you'd be wrong.

4th Illinois Governor to be indicted out of the last 7 (since 1960). It's more like a quaint tradition than a scandal.

ack Ryan becomes unelectable, thanks to wanting to have sex with his wife (in public)

Normally I would have found his behavior disgusting and abhorrent but his ex-wife is actress Jeri Ryan so it's just kind of hot.
posted by Bonzai at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Attorney: Blagojevich won't resign
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:48 PM on December 9, 2008


Attorney: Blagojevich won't resign

It's only a flesh wound!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dude is back home.
posted by limeswirltart at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2008


Attorney: Blagojevich won't resign

And, in a final "Fuck You" to the state of Illinois before heading to the Big House, appoints Alan Keyes to fill Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.
posted by billysumday at 2:13 PM on December 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd pay him for that!
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:19 PM on December 9, 2008


It still makes me giggle to think that Seven of Nine is kinda responsible for Obama becoming president.
posted by mullingitover at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Navelgazer: [Blagojevich] looking like the twisted test-tube baby of Dave Barry and Kato Kaelin

You are my everything.
posted by LMGM at 2:25 PM on December 9, 2008


also, I am coining a new word: schadengasm.
posted by LMGM at 2:27 PM on December 9, 2008 [10 favorites]


The New York Times has the best photo of Blagojevich returning home, with one of those alley rat posters in the foreground.
posted by limeswirltart at 2:47 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Rod is oft not so much, um, right a lot of the time.
You want to laugh, he wanted to run for president (worth it just for the ‘Zombie’rant by Carolyn Meece, wow) the guy has no conception of reality.He’s probably still thinking this will blow over. Or if he pays off the right guy it will all go away. And f’ing Rezko as kingmaker. Well, do enough coke and I suppose you can believe you’re superman or something.

“but his ex-wife is actress Jeri Ryan so it's just kind of hot.”

Hot in the way porn is hot. As in the guy doesn’t matter, yeah.
But if it’s some greasy schmuck like him, kinda distracting. I’ve interacted with him. Y’know that competative thing some guys do?
Like ok, y’know in “Boogie Nights” where Reilly & Wahlberg (’s respective characters) first meet and they’re kind of grilling each other about how much they bench press, all that. The whole ‘were you at this gym? Wait, no, I’d’ve seen you there’ thing Reilly’s got going on?
Picture that - all the time.
(Of course, since I am a superhero, I don’t give a lot of ground - but he plays this ‘holier than thou’ thing which really pisses me off - instead of just saying ‘look, I have more money, so I’m better than you.’ like leaving Goldman Sachs and pretending to be a teacher for the election, gimme a break)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:56 PM on December 9, 2008


For one man to shine out like a beacon of corruption in Illinois politics is pretty remarkable. Right now there's a host of indicted Illinois politicians hoping to fade out of public scrutiny while everyone's watching the big show.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:59 PM on December 9, 2008


Current.com Caught Censoring BofA/Blagojevich Coincidence
posted by Zambrano at 3:18 PM on December 9, 2008


looking like the twisted test-tube baby of Dave Barry and Kato Kaelin

Heh, two men can't have a ... wait a minute. Maybe they did.

As noted, only a few early, breezy reports omitted his party. You really can't discuss the whole Senate appointment issue without bringing in Democratic politics, anyway. I suppose the right is desperate for any hook whatsoever these days.

Speaking of which, as eriko explained, Illinois is not a one-party state, except for the last couple of cycles. The GOP was decapitated by the George Ryan CDL scandal. I can tell you that this Blago thing fills me with glee, as it's hilariously over-the-top, but never have I wanted a politician to live inside concrete block as badly as I did Ryan. Sometimes corruption is just money moving around from one ledger to the next, but public servants do have actual responsibilities and sometimes neglecting them has terrible consequences. (I have great admiration for Dick Durbin, but that is tempered by the knowledge that he seeks commutation of Ryan's sentence.) Anyway, John Kass -- the center-right replacement for Mike Royko at the Trib, and probably one of the key names Rod wanted Zell to axe -- has no tolerance at all for any corruption and has dubbed the bipartisan consensus in Illinois to keep the slush flowing (especially to the highway construction industry) "The Combine".

But yes. Daley is untouchable -- I don't know if I can bet money, but I feel pretty confident he'll retire comfortably on an estate bought by Duffy. You have to get results. Todd Stroger, on the other hand, has run the county into the ditch, and Blago has done hardly anything of consequence besides eliminating tollbooth waiting times.

Really, how stupid can you be? Selling a Senate seat? Knowing you are probably already wiretapped? Did he just count on Fitzgerald not arresting him until he left office, or what? He knew the heat was on, that's one reason he wanted to take the seat himself.

And if Senate Candidate 5 turns out to be Jesse Jackson, Jr, there's a budding reputation dashed -- he'll be forever linked to his father's infamous shakedown tactics.
posted by dhartung at 3:19 PM on December 9, 2008


"also, I am coining a new word: schadengasm."

Oh I like that, it's now my second favorite new-to-me phrase (first is "black-van" as a verb).

Sadly though, a google search reveals there is prior art.
posted by aerotive at 3:28 PM on December 9, 2008


It is amazing to me that he doesn't have a mustache to twist whenever he speaks
have you seen his hair? elvis would have been jealous of that fox. or wolf. or whatever it used to be.

Lot more than the sex in public in Germany stuff that didn’t make the paper.
oh, don't blame him for that, it's sort of a local custom. kind of like being asked to drink vodka in moscow.

still a shitty FPP.
posted by krautland at 3:28 PM on December 9, 2008


Malor: It's interesting that the news article nowhere mentions that he's a Democrat. You'd think that would be, you know, kind of important.

nanojath: Paragraph 1

Trouble with web news... it can be a moving target. As of this comment, 'Democrat' isn't paragraph 1, but "The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state's next senator in weeks" is in the middle. Assuming Malor and nanojath were both right (which is what I'm assuming), that makes at least three versions. The article's current timestamp is 2:16 PM CST (jpburns posted this at 10:08 CST, so the original was older than that.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:37 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Axelrod issues statement:

"I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject."

Riiiight. That's totally believable. Why *would* Obama want to talk to the man who will replace him about his replacement?


also: Fitzgerald presser transcript.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:06 PM on December 9, 2008


Happy birthday from Europe, Rod!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:10 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Late breaking news! Transcript of meeting between Obama and Blagojevich regarding the open Senate seat:

OBAMA
It was very kind of you to come to
my home on this occasion, Governor.
My wife has been very concerned
with making a good impression on
the people who are our neighbors,
and your appearance here has made
her very happy. If I can ever
perform a service for you, you only
have to ask.

My lawyer, Eric Holder. He arranged
this all through your man Harris.

BLAGOJEVICH
I thought we would meet alone.

OBAMA
I trust these men with my life.
They are my right arms; I cannot
insult them by sending them away.

BLAGOJEVICH
(taking out some medication)
Some water.

BLAGOJEVICH
Alright, Obama. I'm going to be
very frank with you. Maybe more
frank than any man in my position
has ever spoken to you before.

Obama nods, indicating that he should do so.

BLAGOJEVICH
The Obama family controls two
branches of government; one in the White House.
The election was a sweep,
so you had no difficulties with the
appointments to date. But I have the
idea from sources...
(takes the water from
and swallows his pills)
...that you're planning to move in
Valerie Jarrett to fill your Senate seat.
In another week
or so you'll move out,
which leaves you with only one
technicality. The appointment, which
is now in my hands.

OBAMA
Harris is a good man.

BLAGOJEVICH
Let's forget the bullshit, I don't
want to stay here any longer than I
have to. You can have the appointment
for two hundred and fifty thousand
in cash, plus a monthly fee equal
to five percent of the gross...

Obama is taken aback; he looks at Holder.

BLAGOJEVICH
... national product.

Holder is frustrated; all his information was wrong.

OBAMA
Blagojevich, I speak to you as a
Congressman who has made a large
investment in your state. I have
made that state my home; plan to
raise my children here. The
appointment fee costs only my appreciation;
why would I ever consider
paying more?

BLAGOJEVICH
I'm going to squeeze you, Obama,
because I don't like you; I don't
like the kind of man you are. I
despise your masquerade, and the
dishonest way you pose yourself and
your fucking family.

Obama
(quietly)
We're all part of the same
hypocrisy, Governor. But never
think it applies to my family.

BLAGOJEVICH
All right, then let me say you'll
pay me because it's in your
interests to pay me.
I'll expect your answer, with
payment, by tomorrow morning. Only
don't contact me...from now on,
deal only through Harris.


Obama
Governor...
(cold and calm)
...you can have my answer now if
you'd like.


Obama
My offer is this. Nothing...not
even the appreciation for the
appointment...
posted by Muddler at 4:26 PM on December 9, 2008


In court papers, the FBI said Blagojevich expressed frustration at being ''stuck'' as governor. ''I want to make money,'' the governor, whose salary is $177,412, was quoted as saying in one conversation.
posted by anniecat at 4:47 PM on December 9, 2008


goodnewsfortheinsane: Happy birthday from Europe, Rod!

Regarding your comments, please see my previous comments here and here. Thank you.

note for those who dont read links: it's Blago's b-day on the 10th of december. mwahaha, schadenpleasure, etc.
posted by LMGM at 4:51 PM on December 9, 2008


Funny. The transcript I got read something like this:

OBAMA knocks at the door of Blagojevich's "place of business." A SLIDE and a CLICK as HARRIS's eyes peer through the peephole. Harris leads Obama inside.

Club music THROBS through the place, as skimpily dressed staffers move like shadows through the dim red light. BLAGOJEVICH lays back on the couch, watching television and eating chinese food.

HARRIS
(sotto voce, to Blagojevich)
He's asking about Valerie Jarrett.

BLAGOJEVICH
Where the fuck is that bitch?!

OBAMA
She's replacing me now.

BLAGOJEVICH
And who the fuck are you?

OBAMA
I'm the former Junior Senator from this state, and the new President-elect.

BLAGOJEVICH
(laughing)
Well that makes us practically related. Sit down, boy. Grab yourself an eggroll. We got everything here from a diddle-eye-joe to a damned-if-I-know.

OBAMA
No thanks.

BLAGOJEVICH
No thanks? (laughs) I think you're too scared to be eatin'.

Blagojevitch shines a hanging lamp directly into Obama's face, and then swings it at him. Obama dodges, but stands firm.

BLAGOJEVICH
Now see... we're sittin' down here ready to negotiate. You've already given up your shit. I'm still a mystery to you. But I know exactly where your half-white ass is comin' from. See if I ax if you want some dinner, and you grab an eggroll and started to chow down I'd say to myself, this muthafucka - he's carying on like he ain't got a care in the world and who knows? Maybe he don't. Maybe this fool's such a bad muthafucka he'll just sit down and watch my muthafuckin' t.v. You ain't even sat down yet. Ever since you walked into the room there's been a blande-haired woman on MSNBC with some crazy accent and legs that reach down to the floor. You ain't even bothered to look. You just been clockin' me. Now I know I'm pretty. But I ain't as pretty as that Greek lady there.

Obama catches the lamp and swings it back in Blagojevich's face. Blagojevich dodges.

BLAGOJEVICH
Whoo-ee! This child is fierce!

The two stare eachother down. Obama places an envelope on the coffee table.

OBAMA
I ain't eatin' 'cuz I'm not hungry. I'm not sittin' 'cuz I'm not staying. I ain't looking at the screen because I already got the memo of the talking points this morning. It's Ariana Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and ex-wife of Billionaire Michael Huffington. ANd I ain't scared of you - I just don't like you. What's in that envelope is some payoff money. Valerie's moving onto greener pastures. We're not negotiating and I don't like to barter. What's in that envelope is for my peace of mind and my peace of mind is worth exactly that and not one penny more.

Blagojevich opens the envelope.

BLAGOJEVICH
It's empty.

Both men laugh nervously.

BLAGOJEVICH
Harris, you know what we got here? A muthafuckin' Charlie Bronson! ...Mr. Majestic... Now listen here - Charlie - none of this bullshit is necessary. I don't got no problem with Valerie. Just trying to do the state the best I can-

Blagojevich leaps from his seat at Obama, scuffle, Obama wins, etc. etc. etc.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:02 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


fuck the haters jpburns. this has been an amaing
FPP if only for the comments.
posted by liza at 5:24 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I said it about Cunningham, I said it about Jefferson, I say it about every corrupt public official in the U.S., state or federal: the penalty for bribery, corruption, and conspiracy should be death. Anyone convicted of these crimes should be executed, and their severed heads displayed at the Capitol Building for all to see. It is the one crime that truly strikes at the heart of democracy and it is the highest treason of all.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:37 PM on December 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Nah, Dems, repubs, we don't discrimnate. We have equal opportunity corruption in Illinois
posted by nax at 5:49 PM on December 9, 2008


the penalty for bribery, corruption, and conspiracy should be death.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH SLEEPS WITH THE FISHES
posted by scody at 5:53 PM on December 9, 2008


Attorney: Blagojevich won't resign

Of course not. He has TESTICULAR VIRILITY.*
posted by generalist at 5:54 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I see the validity in the complaints about the thin FPP, but it's been a pleasure as an Illinois born and raised expat to have this thread here today to go to. You gotta know the rules to know when to break them.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 5:58 PM on December 9, 2008


So he gets Spitzered the day after he tells Bank of America to go Cheney themselves?

I think the real phrase is "he gets Spitzerized after taking a Bush and wiping his Cheney with Rove-paper."
posted by Eekacat at 6:07 PM on December 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


this has been an amaing FPP if only for the comments.
well, no thanks to OP then.
posted by krautland at 6:31 PM on December 9, 2008


A politician does something corrupt? What a fucking surprise.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:04 PM on December 9, 2008


A politician does something corrupt? What a fucking surprise.

He fucked with MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in funding for a CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL because someone in charge there wouldn't cough up a measly $50k for the health of the children Governor's coffers!

And that's only one of many hilarious misadventures.

All this to say: I think you mean somethings corrupt.
posted by sparkletone at 8:26 PM on December 9, 2008


Of course not. He has TESTICULAR VIRILITY.*

That is a great little article. Bizarre quote, but great take on the quote.
posted by Tehanu at 9:13 PM on December 9, 2008


And on that day, Metafilter descended to being the Internet's leading supplier of political slash fiction.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:15 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


As far as Obama goes - you can’t harm/gull an innocent man. Hate to say ‘I told ya’ but y’know, I did know he was this awesome.

This statement brings to mind the old Chris Rock routine:

"Niggers always want credit for some shit they're supposed to do," he announces, in typically head-on fashion. "They'll brag about stuff a normal man just does. They'll say something like, 'Yeah, well, I take care of my kids.' You're supposed to, you dumb motherfucker. 'I ain't never been to jail.' Whaddya want? A cookie? You're not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!"

Is America really so degraded that the president elect deserves just special applause for refusing to participate in corruption? That's some low-expectation-having shit right there...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:32 AM on December 10, 2008


Is America really so degraded that the president elect deserves just special applause for refusing to participate in corruption?

Yes.
posted by jacobian at 6:32 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is Chicago, Peter.
A couple of people mentioned upthread, Larry Bloom, earnest do-gooder type (jailed for taking bribes), Jan Schakowsky,(liberal congresswoman, big dangly earrings, talks the talk(husband in jail, under scrutiny herself).
A city where it was not inheard of to sell your vote to the local committeeman in order to get a garbage can with a lid.
This kind of ingrained shit gets to everyone. He moved through pretty quickly and that may have been his saving grace
posted by readery at 6:50 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny, true story about Chicago's way of getting things done.

When I first moved back into the city, I was used to tipping my service providers at Christmas time. The garbageman, the postman, etc. I worked at home and relied on their services (especially postman, UPS person, etc.) pretty heavily to get stuff done. It was something my parents had done when I was growing up. Not a huge tip, just a little card and a thank you. I didn't think much about it. So, I bought my first house within the Chicago city limits.

That Christmas, I ran out on garbage day to tip the guys on the truck, give them my goofy card, etc. They were very appreciative. Then the driver, as an aside, asked me in a low voice, "What do you need us to do?" I laughed.

A few weeks later, we were storing a pile of demolition debris near the garage so we could accumulate it and pay to get it taken to the city dump. After garbage day? The debris was, um, gone. Just like that. Surprised the heck out of my husband and I. We still laugh about it to this day.

Good ol' Chicago.
posted by jeanmari at 7:04 AM on December 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


In contrast, Larry Craig doesn't ask for money. He will let anyone fill his vacant seat.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:36 AM on December 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Is America really so degraded that the president elect deserves just special applause for refusing to participate in corruption? That's some low-expectation-having shit right there..."


This statement brings to mind the movie the Untouchables:
"Mr. Ness...I do NOT approve of your methods!"
"...You're not from Chicago."

Maybe it's because I'm from around here that I read between the lines in the papers on this stuff. On the other hand I'm pretty well connected. My
family has been here a long time, we know everyone. I give Obama credit for coming up through Chicago without getting too dirty.
On this particular thing, I give him marginal credit for not playing ball with the governor - in part - because he didn't have to. If the governor had him over a barrel and he didn't play ball, I'd give him more credit.

First thing you have to understand about Chicago is the corruption is (as Lenny Bruce said) thrilling.
People just start doing favors for you, without you asking. Which is pretty much how Obama got tagged with Rezko. And I give him credit for cutting ties as soon as he figured out what was attached to it. No one's omniscient.

But Obama gets special applause because of how he's organized things and been a visible example and had success at taking the open and honest path (because it seems like it's next to impossible to get elected otherwise, and certain people want it to seem that way).
As I mentioned - there are several titans here - Fitzgerald, Madigan (Lisa, the AG, *not* her dad. I'd vote for Madigan if she ran for president. Hell, I'd campaign for her)
Jessie White, Durbin (who I don't particularly like, but he's honest and a good senator) and others.
It is a shame that simply being honest is such a stand out. But Obama isn't simply an honest man.
He's a bad ass. Like Fitzgerald. Like Madigan. These are hard, highly motivated people, and they have to be.
Obama has such a "Gee, gosh" earnest look to him, and he uses concepts that are nearly corny, but he means them. And adhering to such principles in an environment such as Illinois in general and Chicago in particular, you have to be the wrong mother to fuck with all the time.
Fitzgerald, Madigan, Obama, these are three (of a growing handful) of people who are all looking the same direction.

You seriously think it went down like - Blagojevich demanding favors from Obama and Obama saying "gee, no, I can't do that, gosh." and just walking away?

I pretty sure as soon as they got out of that conversation Obama and Emanuel said "we're going to have to take a fucking hammer to that son of a bitch" (I've met Emanuel too) and his whole organization came down on the governor like a ton of bricks.

The Ryan thing - that just happened? Oh, he had it coming, but it's astonishingly rare for a paper to demand to open someone's divorce proceedings like that.

We're not all corrupt bastards in this state and this city. But either you play hardball or you get rolled right over. Obama's one hell of a poker player.
You think he was playing for matchsticks or penny ante stakes? You think he gave the money back afterwards?
Stuff like this doesn't just happen to governors.
Notice Blagojevich had the same sort of shocked look on his face when he got arrested that Obama's opponents seem to always have?
Sort of the Muhammad Ali thing where his opponents always had that "where'd that left come from?" look.
He's a man who is easily underestimated because he is genuinely kind and decent and believes in what he espouses and all too often people equate that with being soft.

Why, I don't know. In my experience it's the selfish who start paying off like a slot machine if you shake them up a little bit. Idealists you can take a ball bat to and they'll spit their teeth at you.
I've said for years (here and elsewhere) Obama's a dangerous man. Only thing keeps him from being catastrophically destructive is that his ideals are noble and he's not a true fanatic.
But he won't back down just because he's the good guy.

I mean, a 6:30 in the morning arrest at Blago's house, cuffed, perpwalked. Yeah, that was a message.

There's going to be a lot of change in this state, I suspect most of it for the better. Some of it, like the cops protecting the drug dealers, is already happening.
Funny thing, most folks don't like having the blood sucked out of them. I think Illinois would be as productive and economically powerful as California, or nearly so, if we weren't crippled by the corrupt political machines we have.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:01 PM on December 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


(I should say - the cops who were protecting drug dealers getting arrested)

I found another transcript:

BLAGOJEVICH: A senate seat is a valuable fucking thing, you don't just give it away for nothing. Now if we divide up into two political parties an' hit all the cities an' roads in a cycle we're bound to find some one who can pay us off and them skunks can'...

Blagojevich is suddenly conscious of his own loud voice in sudden silence. Turns to see what everyone else is staring at.

Obama, is standing thirty feet away in the doorway. He takes a couple of steps sideways to get out of the doorway.

OBAMA Which fucker owns this shithole administration?

Nobody says a thing.

OBAMA you there, fat man, speak up.

Fatty Rezko gulps and then Harris screws up his courage and steps from behind the bar.

HARRIS I... I own this state. I bought it from Ryan for five hundred thous..

OBAMA (to the men around Harris) Better step clear, boys.

BLAGOJEVICH Hold on mist...
BOOM! Obama fires and Harris is blown back into the wall and taken into custody.

BLAGOJEVICH Well sir...You are a cowardly sonofabitch because you have just shot down a stupid, stupid man.

OBAMA Well he should have smartened himself, if he was gonna desecrate Illinois with my senate seat.

BLAGOJEVICH I guess you be Barack Hussein Obama out of the South Side, organizer of communities of women and children.

OBAMA That's right, I've organized women and children. I've politically organized everyone that walks or drives at one time or another.
And I'm here to politically drop you Rod, for what you done to Val.
(to others) Now step aside boys.

BLAGOJEVICH He's got one prosecutor left gentlemen. After he's used him, pool your resources and start a smear campaign to bring him down.

Obama looks down the barrel at Blagojecich. *click*

BLAGOJEVICH Jessie Jackson Jr. - some of this stuff's gotta start happening now, right now, and we gotta see it. You understand!?


Obama taps Bob Grant - Blagojevich is about to make moves when he's arrested. Harris is arrested. Rezko is already down and the others are running for cover.

silence

OBAMA Any asshole doesn't want to get prosecuted, best clear out' the party.

They scramble over each other dashing toward the Dirksen Federal Building.

Alderman RICHARD MELL I...I think I'm ...

OBAMA You ain't gonna be prosecuted.

MELL Please, I'm not involved. ...my God, you.... you took down the Governor.

OBAMA (suspicious) You sure you ain't involved?

MELL No, no, I'm an alderman.

OBAMA An alderman? Kickbacks from the state pension board and such?

MELL Parking meters. (amazed) You...you took down the whole administration...singlehanded.

OBAMA (wearily) Yeah.

MELL Wh-who did you contact first?

OBAMA Huh?

MELL Wh-when confronted by ingrained corruption, the experienced political infighter will take down the most powerful political opponent first hoping the others will follow.

OBAMA Is that so?

MELL Blago told me that. You went after him first, didn't you?

OBAMA I was lucky in Illinois, (bitterly) but then I've always had to be lucky in elections.

MELL Who was next? Was it Harris?

OBAMA (suddenly ominous, picking up a subpoena) All I can tell you is who's gonna be last.

Mell quickly exists

Blagojevich under investigation contacts political opponents in the right wing to begin to tag Obama, but it it too late and BAM!

OBAMA Missed again asshole.

Obama steps over him with Rahm Emanuel, Blagojevich is bleeding political influence and money.

BLAGOJEVICH I don't...deserve this...to resign this way...I was building a political racket.

OBAMA 'Deserve's got nothin' to do with it.

BLAGOJEVICH I'll see you...in Washington...D..C...

OBAMA (calling Pat Fitzgerald) Yeah.

BLAM!
posted by Smedleyman at 12:13 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting oped by Scott Turow about Fitz and the legal issues.

..."a position with such extraordinary discretionary powers should not lay in the same hands for 12 years."
Edit much, NYT?

posted by CunningLinguist at 12:50 PM on December 10, 2008


..."a position with such extraordinary discretionary powers should not lay in the same hands for 12 years."
Edit much, NYT?


He started in 2001. Next year, if he's reappointed, it will be for four more years.
2009-2001 = 8 = 4 = 12

posted by desjardins at 1:52 PM on December 10, 2008


oops, 8 + 4 = 12
posted by desjardins at 1:53 PM on December 10, 2008


Tell you what, Turow, how about you and your ethics commission worry about limiting the terms of our mayors, aldermen, and state legislators before you start worrying about limiting the term of the only guy in a position to hold them accountable?
posted by enn at 2:26 PM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


desjardins, I meant "lay in the hands," sorry. It's a pet peeve and makes me especially nuts when it shows up in the NYT and the New Yorker (which even misspelled hors d'oeuvres the other day! It's the End Times!)
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:31 PM on December 10, 2008


Dammit Smeldy, you know I love you, right?
posted by paisley henosis at 5:37 PM on December 10, 2008


David Mamet: My Take on Blagojevich
posted by homunculus at 6:31 PM on December 10, 2008


As a downstater, I've basically hated him from the beginning -- particularly since his $5800 per day habit of flying from Chicago to Springfield and back so that he wouldn't have to stay downstate (in the executive mansion) any more than necessary.

Good thing the state didn't need that money for anything important like the 11 state parks he closed or the state universities that had funding cut.
posted by chndrcks at 8:23 PM on December 11, 2008


The AG is going after him directly now. Neat. He should be impeached shortly.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2008


Politics and the Federal Prosecutor
posted by homunculus at 12:36 PM on December 12, 2008


Apparently, Bribery Is Serious, But Torture Not So Much
posted by homunculus at 2:05 PM on December 13, 2008


Blago a Huge Nixon Groupie
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on December 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


you know a thread is dead when homunculus starts adding articles at the bottom.
posted by krautland at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2008


I say thanks, homunculus! I would have missed the priceless Nixon/Blogo pic.
I wonder if he choose to get a picture taken with Nixon as a homage to his Elvis fixation?
posted by readery at 8:46 AM on December 17, 2008


I haven't fully read this thread because I don't have the time, but couldn't resist popping in to mention that this guy is a cousin. We've been howling over the news since it broke because the branch of the fam that moved to the USA has always been held in some contempt for being shady. Ties were broken with them some time ago, just before leaving Serbia for North America. Now the elder family members here in Canada are all "you see, we told you they were bad!". Oy.
posted by zarah at 7:05 PM on December 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


and now he has had the nerve to attempt to apoint someone anyway. This should be fun to watch.
posted by caddis at 1:01 PM on December 30, 2008


zarah, I knew there was some reason I've never trusted you. ;)
posted by nax at 4:23 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


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