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Blagojevich Criminal Complaint: The Best of the Best

The arrest of Rod Blagojevich this morning coincided with the release of a 78-page criminal complaint by the U.S. attorney's office detailing the allegations against the Illinois governor.

While the entire document is a must-read, the Fix, as always, aims to cut through the clutter and bring our loyal readers only the best of the best. Below you'll find the juiciest excerpts and quotes from Blagojevich but, and we can't stress this strongly enough, do yourself a favor and read the entire complaint. Amazing.

• Blagojevich was convinced that President-elect Barack Obama wanted senior adviser Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate seat and, time and again in the indictment, is quoted laying out a variety of scenarios by which he could benefit from such a move. The two most mentioned: 1) Trade a Jarrett appointment for a spot as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services in an Obama Cabinet 2) Name Jarrett to the Senate in exchange for Obama helping him to get a job as the head of Change to Win, a labor coalition.

• Blagojevich seriously -- and repeatedly -- considered naming himself to the Senate. "Unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], [expletive deleted], I'll just send myself, you know what I'm saying," Blagojevich said at one point. "I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain," he said later. He was -- inexplicably -- convinced that serving in the Senate might be a way to rehabilitate himself for a possible run for president in 2016. And, no, we are not kidding; it's on page 74 of the indictment.

• Seeking to "send a message" to Obama and his people, Blagojevich authorized the leak of state Attorney General Lisa Madigan as a potential Senate appointee to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed.

• In one profanity-laced passage (page 63) Blagojevich is counseled to appoint Jarrett but rejects the idea out of hand, indicating he won't make the appointment without being provided something in return. The governor also uses some colorful language to refer to Obama when he notes that "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation."

• Blagojevich floats the idea that wealthy donors could be convinced to fund, to the tune of $10-$15 million, a non-profit -- 501(c)(4) -- focused on health care. He cites billionaire investor Warren Buffett as a friend of Obama who could help finance such an endeavor. He also makes mention of "Senate candidate 6" (referenced in the indictment as "believed to be a wealthy person from Illinois") as someone who might be able to make a major donation to such an organization in exchange for being nominated to the Senate.

• An "emissary" from "Senate candidate 5" allegedly approached Blagojevich about the possibility of a "pay to play" deal for the appointment. "We were approached 'pay to play,'" said Blagojevich, recounting a past conversation with an associate of "Senate candidate 5." "That, you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 9, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Blagojevich Arrest Muddies Illinois Political Waters
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Comments

This is all politics as usual in Illinois including Chicago, get a clue. Ask anyone from Chicago. This is how it's always been and this is the way Daly runs Chicago, too. Want a city job on a garbage truck, pay-to-play. Ask my brother-in-law how much it cost him. And Obama has been playing in this arena too, or he wouldn't be where he is today. He owes powerful people there.

Posted by: zinnia224 | December 13, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

One by one, Obama's friends and associates will go down.
Those guys who just happen to live in Obama's neighborhood, but don't know him personally, like Ayers and Dohrn.
His continuous lies to the American people will be found out, then perhaps people will begin to realize what they have done to our country.
Why is it most ignore the fact that Obama is also half white, yet being part black is considered being the first black president? Give me a break.
I suppose that we all get to pick and choose what race, or part of what race we consider ourselves when we are half one race and half another. The white half doesnt matter in Obama's case.
I will enjoy watching each and every person who falls from the Obama camp, Blagojevich is only the first, this house of cards is going to come crashing down on Obama, and his corrupt associates.
Forewarned is forearmed? Blagojevich should have seen this coming, Obama has no loyalties as you could tell by those who have been thrown under the Obama bus.
What did Blagojevich think Obama would say? Yea, I told him who to put in my senate seat and that SOB wouldn't listen. He's going to deny everything, and he did.
Next, why don't the feds try cleaning up Chicago's corrupt politics, and start all over. This city doesnt stand a chance with a leadership that has been paying their way into office for the last 73 years.
The people of Chicago who are without heat in Obama's district will tell you, all the money that was given to Chicago for neighborhood improvements, to turn their heat back on, never made its way to them. Obama's friend Resko took the money and ran with it.
One by one, this house of cards is falling, and there is nothing Obama can do to stop it.
He can run, but he cant hide.
Soon it will become painfully obvious to those who voted for Obama, what a mistake they have unleashed upon the American people, maybe when their guns are taken from them, or when the neighborhood militias come to call?

Posted by: DaddysDarlin | December 12, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

This is tit, when compared to all the illegal, profane, unconstitutional acts the Bush administration has committed, and to no consequences whatsoever except some bad poll numbers.

When the Justice Department comes down hard on Bush and his murderous, lying, extraconstitutional toadies, then I'll believe we care about cleaning corruption up. Not until.

Blago is just a stupid joke next to them.

Posted by: hillary11 | December 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Mibrooks27: Can you please tell your "contacts in law enforcement" to arrest the known criminal who currently occupies the white house? I mean, since your so "in" with them.

Posted by: slevitan82 | December 10, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The most sanctimonious, reformer, do-gooders are usually the most corrupt. And he hasn't even been inaugurated yet.

Posted by: leapin | December 10, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

37thandORules - My contacts in law enforcement tell me that NO ONE from the Obama camp contacted them until *after* yesterday's arrest. They knew about Blagojevich. He had tried to shake them down. In fact, one of their choices, Jesse Jackson Jr., is candidate #5 and was deeply involved n discussion to buy the Senate appointment. So, like it or not, the Obama camp was deeply involved in this mess, knew about it, and did flat out nothing about it.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 10, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27

The story in the media is that Rahm Emanuel made the call to the Feds - so he knew what was going on with the dealings as they were going on - Valerie Jarrett? Extremely difficult, OK, impossible to believe that she was negotiating with Blagojevich without Obama knowing what was going on.

I hope all you Obamaniacs out there are beginning to open your eyes.


Scandal after Sandal - sounds like the the third Clinton administration.

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Posted by: 37thandORules | December 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe now the media will actually look into Obama's involvement with all those sleazy characters in Chicago."

How do you know they haven't?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe now the media will actually look into Obama's involvement with all those sleazy characters in Chicago. You know the investiagative reporting they should have done during the presidential election. I guess they were undermanned since most of the media was off investigating Sarah Palin's wardrobe and whether she supported banning some books at the library while mayor of Wasilla. I wouldn't hold my breath on that. Auctioning off Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder? What fun.

Posted by: RobT1 | December 10, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing tha so many Obama haters have not been able to get over their disappointment in the outcome of the presidential election. They seize upon every opportunity in their vain attempts to smear the name of a Good, Solid American Citizen and Good Man, Barack Obama. The details that have been revealed so far of the Blagojevich scandal, show that he actively sought support for his illegal agenda. He was allowed to say enough to incriminate himself, and then was duly reported to the Feds. Barack Obama does not need the low-lifed, trashy and criminal-minded Blagojevich. Blagojevich, on the other hand, appears to need every dime he can get his hands on, and is prepared to jeopardize funding for Children's Hospital in order to get kick-backs. As for the charge of simply knowing someone who later-on proves to be a crook, or working in some capacity that on occasion brings one in contact with such a person, as being "guilty by association," give me a break. Most of the Obama haters need look no further than their own bedroom, kitchen, or in the mirror for that matter, to find a crook. It is unfortunate that their allegations find such a receptive audience among the ignorant, naive, bigots who are too cowardly to face-up to the real reasons for pathetic conditions. Blagojevich should be tried, found guilty, and given a lengthy prison sentence. A mad dog like that has no business in public office. GW

Posted by: westmoreland16 | December 10, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama said in his interview "we didn't...uh, uh...I didn't know." Now, why didn't Obama say "we" didn't know. Because he knows that his staff did know, and possibly he knew as well. I look forward to seeing whom "we" are. He wasn't confident enough to complete that sentence. This should be very interesting.

Posted by: reason5 | December 10, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Blagojevich is a bad guy, no question. There was a 3 yr long investigation on him, with plenty of ugly dealings to pin on him. The timing of this briefing, and arrest are very fishy, and smack of political motivation to connect Obama's name with this very opportunistic and corrupt official, and taint his presidency before it even gets started.

Certainly the idea of a governor "auctioning" a senate seat, offensive and unthinkable. Perhaps it wasn't even Blagojevich's idea originally. Perhaps the feds "fed" him the idea that he could personally gain from the appointment. And being the corrupt opportunistic guy that he is, he loved the idea. Now the republicans not only have a very corrupt governor (who should've been arrested long before this week) to hold up as the Democratic standard bearer, they get the added bonus of Obama's name being mentioned everytime Blagojevich's name is mentioned.

We all know politics is dirty. And no party pulls out the stops like Republicans. Gov Blagojevich is a criminally corrupt politician with a long list of offenses that were allowed to continue until this administration could get something of great political value out of him.

And the fact that Fitzgerald is the front man of the investigation does not nullify this argument, though it is meant to.

tin-foil hat you say? everybody told me I was crazy when I saw through the Bush administrations lies about Iraq/WMD/al-queda from the start.

Posted by: slevitan82 | December 10, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"DDAWD tells me that only a couple of states vote with their brains and not with the self empowering fear of fire and brimstone.

but that is changing... 2009 - evolution happens."

Don't take what I said to mean anything on a state by state basis. That is not what I was getting at.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 10, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

klondike2_ Sadly, the Obama staff had absolutely nothing to do with exposing this mess. In fact, they are in spin mode, damage control, mode right now. Axelrod claimed that Obama had been in contact with Blagojevich two months ago. Now, Obama says not. But the Chicago press is reporting that he did. God help us, but with Rezko, the out and out lies that formed his campaign promises, the present chasing after corporate and Wall Street money, the reverse and present support for more outsourcing of jobs, it appears we have elected a very dirty reincarnation of Richard Nixon.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 10, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse


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The National Media was too busy in the fall election investigating Sarah Palin's actions as Mayor and her clothing budget to ACTUALLY LOOK INTO THE CORRUPTION SURROUNDING OBAMA.


Not like there were not any leads.


Rezzo Rezzo Rezko

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Posted by: 37thandORules | December 10, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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OK so let's get this story straight: Obama's close friend VALERIE JARRETT was negotiating with Blagojevich to get the appointment to Obama's seat AND OBAMA WAS NOT AWARE THAT WAS GOING ON?????


Obama has some more explaining to do.


AND it appears that it was THE TERMS of the deal that messed it all up NOT THE IDEA OF A DEAL ITSELF.


AND IT WAS RAHM EMANUEL


WHO SAID "This is getting to be too much, let's call in the Feds." So Rahm Emanuel was in on the deal-making however the price got too high??? AND WE ARE STILL SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT OBAMA DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON??? FITZGERALD SHOULD DEPOSE THEM ALL IMMEDIATELY.


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Posted by: 37thandORules | December 10, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

CLEARLY Blogojevich thought that Obama and his people were willing to engage in such a deal - CLEARLY the terms of the deal are what got in the way.


What are you not seeing here?


Obama is tainted by this mess - all there is in this story is the various ways that Obama can be part of the deal. What is disturbing is that the conversations and the talk went on - AND THEN THE OBAMA PEOPLE DECIDED THE PRICE WAS TOO HIGH AND THEY CALLED THE FEDS.


WAIT A MINUTE - what if the price was lower?


This whole thing sticks - and the FACT that RESKO is the common link from Blagojevich to Obama has to be troubling - RESKO for all those who have been kept in the dark by the National-in-the-tank Media, is Obama's friend who was convicted on federal charges and is now waiting sentencing.


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Posted by: 37thandORules | December 10, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Where was the press in outlining the kind of political environment out of which Obama emerged, anyway? Covering (lol)scandals in Wasilla, Alaska, that's where. Chicago journalists like Zuckman and Simon were in the tank for Obama and proud of it, as hometown boosters. Come to think of it, Obama's political guru, Axelrod, is a former Chicago journalist, and he played reporters like a piano.

Maybe now that the press has paid its dues and helped Obama get elected, it will find the guts that it put in the refrigerator for the election season.

Remember that starry-eyed Democrats and journalists (a lot of overlap there, I realize) took John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer seriously as 'good guys', too, right up to the moment when the conservative ghetto's insight into their hollowness was confirmed - and not by a crusading mainstream media, either. The MSM has to have Democratic corruption and bigotry shoved in its face before it will report on it.

Posted by: MarkR1 | December 10, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD tells me that only a couple of states vote with their brains and not with the self empowering fear of fire and brimstone.

but that is changing... 2009 - evolution happens.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 10, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

oy the morons trying to desperately draw this down on Obama

who in the heck do you think blew the whistle?

the FBI fairy?

Obama's staff morons.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 10, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

I saw Blago in a news clip, in addition to reading page 63 of the criminal complaint. I now see where Joe Pesci got his inspiration for the "Nicki" character in the movie Casino. Or was it perhaps the other way around?

Posted by: billmosby | December 9, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

NOW will the media investigate and expose Little Barry?

Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: zjr78xva | December 9, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The governor's delusions of grandeur are staggering! I believe some psychiatric help is in order here along with some prison time. The behavior of both he and his wife is disgusting and it's unfortunate that they have children.

Posted by: gobigred5 | December 9, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

With regard to the details Chris provides in this post, I'm remembering that the society which invented the word "democracy" had a tragic theater tradition in which the powerful were brought down, not by more powerful enemies, but by a character trait of their own: hubris.

We've come a long way in natural science since the flourit of Athenian democracy in 500 BC, but we haven't improved human nature a whit, haven't learned a thing about right and wrong that they didn't know, and have no better explanation for the downfall of the powerful than they offered.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 9, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"Not much from what was stated here. First off, there are many non-Christian people serving in public offices, as are openly-gay people. So you're original premise, I believe, is off-base. But, from your last post I see that you're point is that if Bush were gay that he wouldn't have been elected in the first place. But if that were the case, and he wasn't elected, then there would be no G.W.Bush to blame. So, my question: where does that leave us with your initial comment? It seems circular to a degree."

Well, perhaps I was a little too liberal with my superlatives, but I don't think my point is wrong.

And I'm talking about a Bush who came out of the closet during his first term, not before.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD - sorry, don't "blog" much..but this is my reply to you...

\Not much from what was stated here. First off, there are many non-Christian people serving in public offices, as are openly-gay people. So you're original premise, I believe, is off-base. But, from your last post I see that you're point is that if Bush were gay that he wouldn't have been elected in the first place. But if that were the case, and he wasn't elected, then there would be no G.W.Bush to blame. So, my question: where does that leave us with your initial comment? It seems circular to a degree.

Posted by: RGovtal | December 9, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The scary part is the number of people it seems so willing to talk about this in the relative open. There seems little that Blag really tried to hide. Maybe he was just too confident but I'm thinking that it was so easy to talk openly like this, and be approached by people willing to pay to play, that Blag is not the only problem in IL.

Am I the only one chuckling that this has become a Blag Blog? But seriously, as Fitz said on TV, IL needs to take a long hard look at its government and make some decisions. I took from that to mean the whole state is corrupt, and openly so, and the state needs to decide whether it wants its government to be corrupt or not. Obama should have appointed him AG.

Posted by: bevjims1 | December 9, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Not much from what was stated here. First off, there are many non-Christian people serving in public offices, as are openly-gay people. So you're original premise, I believe, is off-base. But, from your last post I see that you're point is that if Bush were gay that he wouldn't have been elected in the first place. But if that were the case, and he wasn't elected, then there would be no G.W.Bush to blame. So, my question: where does that leave us with your initial comment? It seems circular to a degree.

Posted by: RGovtal | December 9, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Hey DDAWD (?) - Just curious - what exactly does this statement mean to you? Just trying to figure it out; I mean no ill-will.

Thanks,

RG

"We have a lot of dishonest people in politics, but we have almost no one who isn't a Christian and no one who is openly gay. That is no accident. We vote based on what's important to us.""

Its a commentary on where our value lie as a people. When we moan and complain about our politicians and all their flaws, we don't think about how they get there. Our politicians are a reflection of ourselves.

Look at what Bush did. All the atrocities that he committed in our name. He got re-elected.

If he claimed to being openly gay, he would have lost in a landslide.

What does that tell you about us?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey DDAWD (?) - Just curious - what exactly does this statement mean to you? Just trying to figure it out; I mean no ill-will.

Thanks,

RG

"We have a lot of dishonest people in politics, but we have almost no one who isn't a Christian and no one who is openly gay. That is no accident. We vote based on what's important to us."

Posted by: RGovtal | December 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the entire cavalry of right wing mental midgets are pulling a Rumpelstiltskin on here in their rage and frustration that the President-elect is, in fact, an honest bloke.

But, its certainly fun watching the heads of their armchair generals, Elizabeth Hasselbeck Malkin and Sean-Bill O'Hannity, do a Linda Blair spin.

Posted by: jaysit | December 9, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"Surely this comes as no REAL surprise. These corrupt pols--Chicago, Anchorage, Albany, Washington, Sacramento (it doesn't matter from whence they come) are becoming increasingly brazen. Could it be that our political process involving character assassination and personal hatred and smearing in order to get elected only attracts these disgusting pigs?"

Its that we are electing human beings to these positions and like all human beings, none are perfect and some are less perfect than others.

Much of it is that people are, by and large, unwilling to hold these guys accountable. Stevens lost, but barely. Jefferson lost, but he did win three elections between his indictment and last Saturday. George Bush got invited back to a second term as President. There is a kind of Darwinism at work in politics. People wonder why politicians pander. It's just that politicians who are too honest are rooted out of the system. Obama is far more honest than most politicians, but he wouldn't crack the top twenty list of most honest people I've met in my life.
We have a lot of dishonest people in politics, but we have almost no one who isn't a Christian and no one who is openly gay. That is no accident. We vote based on what's important to us.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Back to Term Limits - while the governor of VA can serve only one four year term, they can and do run again after another four year is up. Guess what, they have to account for their years off! Likewise, we should take that to the federal level. Just my opinion, but these idiots would have to be a LOT more careful. This is not a partisan matter. R's and D's need to feel the pain. And, while we're at it, why not TAX THEIR CAMPAIGN FUNDS! Go figure...let these jerks pay some of their "hard earned" dollars and perhaps we'll get some equilibrium. Just a thought.

Posted by: RGovtal | December 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Repeated from last night for Officer Mancuso:

Officer Mancuso wrote:

"If you can explain to me why it was wrong for the USA to resist Ho Chi Minh I'd be much obliged."

I and John McCain both believe that the definitive works about VietNam are the collected writings of Bernard Fall. From those books, McC draws a similar conclusion to yours. I draw a different one.

Ho was not interested in Chinese hegemony but in VN independence, from France, from China, from us. The Michelin plantations remained open for capitalist business during Ho's rule; he was nothing if not a pragmatist. The succession of rulers in Saigon whom we backed were corrupt and unworthy. The RVN could or would not hold territory we took b/c they did not care.
We would have required more than a million troops to hold the south without active help from the RVN.

We misread the situation in the light of the Cold War. We thought Ho was a stalking horse for China. In fact, Ho would have been an indie commie, playing both sides against the middle for the survival of an indie VN, something like Tito, if we had made overtures to him.

Anyway, that's how I read it after the fact - not before I entered Navy OCS in 1968.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 9, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

People forget what happened in this state in 1960 with the Daley Machine, that gave the election to JFK. This machine is still going on in Chicago and the StateHouse. There is alot more going to be revealed when the Grand Jury meets and the Obama transition team testify under oath! Unfortnately this is going on everywhere, and you think these people can run a Car Company, Financial services and most of all, Health Care. You have to be kidding me!

Posted by: mark26 | December 9, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"Your participation in the plagiarist eradication program (by ignoring the plagiarist) is appreciated."

Well, I don't try and participate in any actual discourse with the guy. If he sets me up for a witty retort, however, I am too weak willed to not go for it.

Plus, I found it hilarious that pretty much all his posts come from NRO.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

jashaver001 wrote, "Could it be that our political process involving character assassination and personal hatred and smearing in order to get elected only attracts these disgusting pigs?"

You might be on to something there. Lest it lead you to oppose democratic forms of government, you might want to read about life at court during the reign of Henry VIII or one of the Bourbons in France.

The smoking gun at the root of this stinking pile, I'm afraid, is just human nature where questions of power are involved.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 9, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Blagojevich is a classic thug and I'm loving this story because, as so often, the truth yields deeper, richer laughter than any Seth Rogen movie ever could. Note that I've never voted for a Republican in my life, so this is truly nonpartisan glee. Send this gangster to jail, impoverish him, do it all. I feel more admiration than ever for Patrick Fitzgerald, the hero of our democracy, and I'm delighted to see such a blatant case of corruption and hypocrisy exposed to daylight. I find it especially refreshing that this isn't yet another sex scandal. You know, if Adam Sandler ever decides to do a political comedy, he's got ready-made material right here. (There IS a certain resemblance, eh?)

Posted by: SeattleVoter | December 9, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Shocking! It has been reported that there is gambling going on in here!

Surely this comes as no REAL surprise. These corrupt pols--Chicago, Anchorage, Albany, Washington, Sacramento (it doesn't matter from whence they come) are becoming increasingly brazen. Could it be that our political process involving character assassination and personal hatred and smearing in order to get elected only attracts these disgusting pigs? I think so. Draw your own conclusion about who we have in the Congress and the Senate. Do not for a moment think that there is any material difference between Republicans and Democrats. The whole lot should be tossed out like the stinking, rotten fish that they are. And we have granted them the right to legislate our lives? As John MacEnroe famously says: "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!"

Posted by: jshaver001 | December 9, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

A really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS

Posted by: hclark1 | December 9, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I actually don't see anything in that list that is beyond the normal for politics. It says someone offered him a bribe, which would be a crime for them, not him.

I think that the Feds didn't like someone trying to stand up to the banks. Look at what happened to Spitzer when he tried to take on the financial industry. Coincidence?

Posted by: wideblacksky | December 9, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm. Palin

Posted by: dmls2000 | December 9, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

If you were to examine Blag's geneology in detail, I am certain you will find that he is related to republicans.

Oh wait, there is not any gay sex involved.

Ok, I take that back. Democrats only get money, a al Jefferson. Republicans only want gay sex.

Can't wait until Palin becomes their leader. The gay sex stories will be MUCH more tantalizing!

Posted by: Heerman532 | December 9, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who knows anything about Illinois knows its a very corrupt culture. Just remember, where there's smoke there's fire. I'm just surprised it took the U.S. Attorney this long to catch one of them. Blagojevich is none too bright, even for a liberal.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | December 9, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Term limits wouldn't matter here; Blago's in his second. And most states have term limits for governor these days anyway.

Posted by: SeanC1 | December 9, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

What a sorry mess in the Illinois Governor's office. In perpetuity? Also in the Congress.

Thank You, Patrick Fitzgerald.

I suppose now we'll drop any interest in the crimes and malfeasances of the Bush Administration and Republican politicos to go after the Dems?

Sure hope all of them get their fair share of justice rendered.

Posted by: Spectator | December 9, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The King of Zouk is floating little turds - but no one is 'biting'.

Poor little Zouk and his keyboard

Posted by: dmls2000 | December 9, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Actually, in Virginia one can only be governor for one 4-year term.

Posted by: cbk22 | December 9, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

This is a sad state of affairs. It proves more than ever that we need term limits in one way, shape or form. In Virginia, a gov. cannot have two terms in a row. Blago left Capitol Hill to run after another corrupt IL pol ended his tenure in the gov's chair. Perhaps term limits and a waiting period after you've been out of office for some time is something that should be considered. The jokers need to get back into the private sector and run again from scratch. This is HORRID for the U.S.!

Posted by: RGovtal | December 9, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

When I first read the headline, I thought: "Governor of what? The Ukraine?" Then I read the story, and I thought: "Governor of what? The Ukraine!?"

Posted by: CalFan | December 9, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

If I wanted insightful political discourse, I would not search in the null space of that field - Lib blogs.

I only come here because the unthinking reactionary emotional Libs who can't organize a single logical thought are the denizens. how perfect for antagonizing.

the stars for today Deputy Dawg and simple simon, who like alan colmes, never met a single Lib idea that didn't deserve to be defended, tooth and nail.

you are only pissy becuase you and your Lib cretins were caught red handed for once and you can't spin your way out, as is your usual preference:

See, Wrangle, Dodd, Frank, Clinton, Jefferson, Pelosi, Reid, hastings, etc.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"Technically, we are attacking the guy who is plagiarizing the messenger."

When you stop doing that, the plagiarist gets bored & goes away. The plagiarist is not interested in insightful political discourse, the plagiarist is interested in annoying 'libs'. The plagiarist finds it amusing to waste all of ours' time with senseless rants and attacks, always on 'libs', all the time.

Your participation in the plagiarist eradication program (by ignoring the plagiarist) is appreciated.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr Obama, how do you feel about Hot Rod and his activities:

O: Present

Well what about the auto bailout?

O: I resigned from the Senate

I see. will you be tossing out the bush Tax cuts?

O: We are looking at that.

Hmmmm. can you at least say that you will evacuate Iraq in 6 months like you promised?

O: We will get out in the proper time.

I am supposed to write a column out of this????? Have you picked a dog yet?

O:Present

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

LIB1: I got a great idea. Let's elect a guy who has never made a single decision in his life. that way no one will be able to characterize him.

LIB2: where will we find such a chameleon?

LIB1: chicago, only thing is every single last friend and associates are crooks and he probably is too.

LIB2: is there any solid evidence that the clinton's have?

LIB1: not yet.

LIB2: we better hurry then.

LIB1: I wonder if he will ever make a decision on anything?

LIB2: He will decide to run for reelection.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"When the facts are overwhelming, attack the messenger.

-Lib proverb"

Technically, we are attacking the guy who is plagiarizing the messenger.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" with a "number of credible witnesses."

Should Obama have been able to spot Blago's corruption a mile away? You betcha!"

http://media.nationalreview.com/post/?q=M2UyNDJmOWI3ZjNlNjJlNzIxNjc1ZjI0NDVmNGQyNGQ=

Wow, dude, I didn't realize you cut and paste EVERYTHING from other sites!

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

When the facts are overwhelming, attack the messenger.

-Lib proverb

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"President-Elect 'Mr. Cool' Doesn't Call For Blagojevich's Resignation

President-Elect Obama's statement today was strikingly muted.

Mr. President-Elect, this was your Senate seat he was auctioning off. He was shaking down the Chicago Tribune. He was shaking down children's hospitals, for God's sake! A little anger might be justified.

Every other figure in the state is calling for Blagojevich's resignation. I know we're all supposed to swoon at Obama's famous unflappability, but doesn't this warrant a flash of anger or two?"


Teeheehee


http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjNjMjAxZDY3MmRkZGNhMjQzODk5NTJiZmUyNWMwYmI=

Thank you, "Jim"

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

He had no idea, same as always:

And later on in the post, Tapper details past Obama/Blago connections:

On the Chicago TV show "Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz" on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we..."

"You working hard for Rod?" interrupted Berkowitz.

"You betcha," said Obama.

"Hot Rod?" asked the host.

"That's exactly right," Obama said.

In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich enthusiastically endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination, and Obama endorsed Blagojevich for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.

In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices.

At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" with a "number of credible witnesses."

Should Obama have been able to spot Blago's corruption a mile away? You betcha!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Zouk copies and pastes a passage from a right-wing Web site so completely that he doesn't bother to cut out the word "Advertisement" in the middle of it. Then, 30 minutes later, he claims nobody can prove he copies and pastes directly from right-wing Web sites."

I know, its great. It's like the guy went to the Ted Stevens school of internet usage. Too bad Stevens got indicted before the lecture on how people can just copy and paste large chunks of what he plagiarizes into google to find out where he got that stuff from.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Just anojther in the long line of nothingness:


President-Elect 'Mr. Cool' Doesn't Call For Blagojevich's Resignation

President-Elect Obama's statement today was strikingly muted.

Mr. President-Elect, this was your Senate seat he was auctioning off. He was shaking down the Chicago Tribune. He was shaking down children's hospitals, for God's sake! A little anger might be justified.

Every other figure in the state is calling for Blagojevich's resignation. I know we're all supposed to swoon at Obama's famous unflappability, but doesn't this warrant a flash of anger or two?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This schmuck is clearly mentally ill.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | December 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Last I checked, toying with your underlings who work for you is a crime."

Toying with underlings is not the crime.

There is not a crime until the underling feels pressured to participate in order to maintain their job, advance their career, etc.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Jesse Jackson Jr. is Senate Candidate 5. He has been pressing for the job.

Posted by: Simon2 | December 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Liberal methods as usual:

WASHINGTON – The House ethics committee is expanding an investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The ethics panel issued a statement Tuesday saying it had voted to expand an already far-ranging probe into the New York Democrat to examine whether he protected an oil drilling company from a big tax bill when the head of that company pledged a $1 million donation to a college center named after the congressman.

The committee has already been probing Rangel's failure to pay taxes on about $75,000 in rental income from a beach house he owns in the Dominican Republic. They are also eyeing his use of three rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, including one for a campaign office. Also under scrutiny are letters Rangel wrote on congressional stationery looking to drum up donors for the college center.

One could create a list for just about every Dem rep in congress. It is that rampant.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

copies and pastes a passage from a right-wing Web site
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I must presume by using the term "right-wing" you are implying that it is truthful for a change. As opposed to untruthful, bankrupt left wing sites??? Are there any still in business? I saw Punch's desk set on e-bay this week.

Little did move-on know that they were electing clinton 3. Ha ha hahahah. with a complete continuation of every bush policy. so much for making a single decision. this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how utterly gullible Libs are. the PT Barnum President has arrived.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The breadth of this guy's egotism is truly frightening. He both wants to avoid indictment and set up a presidential run? Yeesh, talk about deluded.

Posted by: SeanC1 | December 9, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Zouk copies and pastes a passage from a right-wing Web site so completely that he doesn't bother to cut out the word "Advertisement" in the middle of it. Then, 30 minutes later, he claims nobody can prove he copies and pastes directly from right-wing Web sites.

I love this blog.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | December 9, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

He pretty much confessed to it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

this is how a Dem confesses when caught:

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky"

OR

"I could no more disown him than I could my grandmother" until he did of course about a week later. the party of strong principled stances this ain't.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the Obama speech " Not the Hot Rod I knew when I supported him all those years".

It is turning out, Obama has not a clue what happens in the world around him. hillary, tell him how to cover up the crimes. now we know why she is along for the ride.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."

But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's 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."

But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom was Blagojevich speaking?

stinking corruption of Liberal politics

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Last I checked, toying with your underlings who work for you is a crime. but if its a Lib, it is not immoral. Nothing is. and lying libs is certainly nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary."

So why wasn't Clinton charged with a crime? He pretty much confessed to it. Is it because the Republicans were practicing their restraint for which they are so well known?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that Obama's people actually turned in the corrupt sleeze bag of a governor. Obama is coming out as clean as a whistle in this whole sordid mess.

-------------
Hm.

I would't buy into this fairy tale, too.

The country is facing huge problems, and the Obama adminstration is DOA, or at least a part of it. Hard to concentrate with this hanging over your head, it never goes away, someone always knows the truth.

It also plays internationally, sometimes I think Obama's people, like Bush, are unaware the US isn't unilateral.

And it's brutal.

Why the democrats ran Obama, holding this amount of baggage, is stunning.

But then Blago thought he'd be a candidate for 2016...

I guess they thought it would work out.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | December 9, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Somehow I got the idea the perjury is ok if there is no underlying crime.

Posted by: DDAWD


Last I checked, toying with your underlings who work for you is a crime. but if its a Lib, it is not immoral. Nothing is. and lying libs is certainly nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear that you parrot the right wing talking points of the day without fail.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>

how do you know that they are not mimicing me? Or perhaps that the truth is available for those interested.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"ddawd, I don't think you could ever find me saying that clinton was honest and not corrupt. I am thankful that we got Obama instead of her, but it seems we got all her stuff. what gives???"

No, I couldn't, but only because I don't care enough to go back to Fix archives in April. It's pretty clear that you parrot the right wing talking points of the day without fail.

If you claim that this is the ONE time you didn't do so, then whatever. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Senate candidate 5, supposively Emil Jones - state legislator. The story's probably true about him, but they'll have a tough time proving any of that on just Blago "saying" someone approached him about that. They could, who knows...

I dunno why so many allegations about Obama are being claimed. Front page Drudge, oh surprise, it's Obama shaking his hand... Please, someone explain it to me. It appears from the case so far that the reason he was calling Obama a MFer in private and threatening to appoint himself to the seat is because the Obama team were NOT playing ball.

Posted by: grimmix | December 9, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Can US Attorneys Patrick Fitzgerald (Chicago, IL), Karen P. Hewitt (San Diego, CA), and former US Attorney Carol C. Lam (San Diego, CA)be considered for some top level appointments at the U.S. Department of Justice? These U.S. Attorneys have an excellent record of going after corrupt high ranking government officials. U.S. Attorney Hewitt prosecuted former CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo who pled guilty in September 2008. Foggo was linked to the prosecution of U.S. Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham and Brent Wilkes. This case was originally pursued by former US Attorney Carol C. Lam who was subsequently among the 11 U.S. Attorneys removed by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, et al. It is my hope that once President-elect Barack Obama takes office that his SWAT team of auditors and investigators will review every federal department and agency. It is also my hope that every career top senior executive service employees currently working with our federal government is RE-VETTED. The Obama's SWAT team should start with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its agencies starting with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Posted by: doctormiguel | December 9, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Blagojevich = corrupt, and of course he is certainly not alone. Ted Stevens et. al. Sad thing is Dodd and Frank are not taking the fall they should for Fanne & Freddie.

Posted by: star_key2 | December 9, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

ddawd, I don't think you could ever find me saying that clinton was honest and not corrupt. I am thankful that we got Obama instead of her, but it seems we got all her stuff. what gives??? Mr no-decisions has spoiled his election already, before he was even sworn in.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"While bin Laden declared war on America, the sex president was rampaging in the White House with Monica Lewinsky - and then lied about it under oath, committing perjury (a crime)"

Somehow I got the idea the perjury is ok if there is no underlying crime.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

can you imagine the bidding for Rodham Clinton's seat? Guess we know how she was going to pay off her campaign debt....

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 9, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1, I'm not saying Daley's involved in this particular situation but, in Chicago, all political roads lead to Daley. Fitzgerald has been on his tail for several years now but, so far, our wannabe Mayor-for-Life has escaped his clutches. Just when you think the prosecutor's finally got him, Daley gets away with his Col. Klink "I know nothing" excuse. In the meantime, the city's coffers are continually robbed by corrupt employees and Daley-friendly developers.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | December 9, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Zouky:

If you're going to copy-and-paste right-wing excrement, at least have the decency to credit the original sources of your mindless posts:

www.exposeobama.com

www.rightbias.com

Otherwise, we might think that you actually had an original thought of your own.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 9, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out the Rezko land deal. We'll by these two lots from this guy. I'll pay more for my lot than it's worth and you pay less than yours is worth. Later my wife will sell you a ten foot strip of my lot for top dollar and no one will be able to build on it later?

Posted by: star_key2 | December 9, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly proven to be a corrupt, Machiavellian politician, who possesses no moral core - and no real understanding of the threats facing America. She lacks the integrity and temperament to hold the second-most powerful office in the world."

It's funny. When Clinton was the front runner to win the Democratic primary, they all hated her because she was so corrupt and left wing and blah blah. When Obama took the lead and won, she was great, experienced, qualified, moderate, and blah blah. When Obama selected Biden to be VP, Clinton was someone who was strong, opinionated, spoke her mind.

When Obama selected Clinton to be Secretary of State, she again became corrupt, ineffectual, ambitious, conniving, and blah blah.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 9, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

We do not have enough jails in Wisconsin to put the garbage of Illinois in. We will have to build more jails if we are to do it right. I told the DOJ back in the mid '90's that both Daley and Bloggy Boy were letting roman catholic priests molest children and not prosecuting when they were both Cook County states attorneys office. Ah, their ascension to power. Let's cut daleys busines off now and finish the job!!!!

I also petitioned the White House to NOT grant executive clemency to the baffoon Ryan. They should put Ryan, Bloggy and Skilling in the same jail so they can call learn real job skills compatible with their intelligence.

Posted by: virgin12 | December 9, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse


While bin Laden declared war on America, the sex president was rampaging in the White House with Monica Lewinsky - and then lied about it under oath, committing perjury (a crime) and dragging the country through impeachment. Mr. Clinton is a sexual predator. He has harassed and assaulted numerous women.

This is still relevant because during all of this mayhem, Mrs. Clinton stood by her man. She was his top adviser and defender. She claimed the charges of her husband having sex with Miss Lewinsky were part of "a vast right-wing conspiracy."

Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly proven to be a corrupt, Machiavellian politician, who possesses no moral core - and no real understanding of the threats facing America. She lacks the integrity and temperament to hold the second-most powerful office in the world.

Mr. Obama's decision to make her the head of the State Department is a betrayal of the electorate's trust. It is also a betrayal of the antiwar progressives, who helped him defeat her for the Democratic nomination. During the primary fight, Mr. Obama repeatedly said Mrs. Clinton's Senate vote to authorize the Iraq war demonstrated an appalling lack of judgment; in foreign affairs, her hawkish policies - on Iran, North Korea, Iraq - amounted to "Bush-lite" and thereby, made her unfit to be the Democrats' standard-bearer. How can he suddenly state she is now fit to oversee America's foreign policy?

Mr. Obama vowed his presidency would put an end to the polarizing, partisan divisions of the past. In particular, this meant a clean break with not only the Bush years, but the Clinton years as well. His presidency would usher in a new era of "hope" and "change." Instead, it is increasingly looking like a third Clinton term. He is filling his Cabinet with former Clintonites - Bill Richardson as commerce secretary, Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and Eric Holder as attorney general. This means Mr. Obama lied to the public during the election campaign or he has buckled under intense pressure from the Clintons.

Either way, he has shown that he - and his presidency - are hollow and fake. He is posing as a genuine reformer and change agent, but is in fact a con man. Americans will soon realize this. And when they do, Mr. Obama's presidency will resemble his campaign rallies: Soaring rhetoric, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Have we forgotten that Mrs. Clinton was intimately involved in the most scandal-ridden and inept administration in recent memory? She also supported every one of then-President Bill Clinton's foreign policy blunders.

Liberal elites look fondly upon the administration of her husband. They argue the 1990s were America's Golden Age, years of peace and prosperity. The very opposite is true: Like the 1920s, it was a decade marked by massive political corruption, countless domestic scandals and foreign policy incompetence.

Mr. Clinton turned a blind eye to the gathering storm of Islamic fascism. The 1993 World Trade Center attacks, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, and the 2000 assault on the USS Cole - all of these terrorist atrocities were either ignored or treated as law-enforcement matters rather than acts of war. Even worse, the president refused Sudan's offer to hand over al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden to the U.S. - a gross failure that haunts us to this day.

Advertisement

Mr. Clinton presided over foreign policy disasters: Serbia was allowed to wage wars of aggression against Croatia and Bosnia for nearly four years, nothing was done to stop the genocide in Rwanda, Russia launched a criminal invasion of Chechnya with impunity, Pakistan and North Korea became nuclear powers, Iran embarked on the road to acquiring the bomb, sensitive U.S. missile technology was sold to China in exchange for illegal campaign contributions and former terrorist Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, was feted at the White House and converted into a respectable statesman. Mr. Clinton's administration frittered away the geopolitical capital amassed by the U.S. following its victory in the Cold War.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hiberniantears | December 9, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The stench of this indictment is just starting to spread. One of the many investigations the U.S. attorney will need to conduct in the next few months: what did Obama and his camp know, and when did they know it? They were offered big time by the governor, and the FBI needs to find out the details of the offer.

Posted by: Socialistic | December 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that Obama's people actually turned in the corrupt sleeze bag of a governor. Obama is coming out as clean as a whistle in this whole sordid mess.

Posted by: dee5 | December 9, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

GordonsGirl
"I'd love to know how Chicago's Emperor Daley's feeling right now!"


Are you implying he may get a special visit from Fitz & the Feds as well? Or are you saying he should have run for Lt Gov? Or something completely different?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

lure1 writes
"The FBI affadavit says what it says. You don't have to like each other or be friends to engage in political shenanigans."

According to Wash Post reporting, both US Atty Pat Fitzgerald & Special Agent in Charge Robert Grant said there was no evidence that President Elect Obama was involved or aware of Blagojevich's 'pay to play' policy. The shenanigans you cite all seem to be between the Gov of IL & his chief of staff.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 wrote:
Seeing how it conflicts with the recorded comments, by Blagojevich, that he wouldn't get anything more than an expression of 'appreciation'* for appointing the president-elect's preferred choice, you may have misinterpreted the evidence.

The FBI affadavit says what it says. You don't have to like each other or be friends to engage in political shenanigans.

Posted by: lure1 | December 9, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

darmenmike, that's his own hair. Since he runs in my neighborhood, I've seen it full of flop sweat.

As to Blago's wife, trust me, she's Lady Macbeth. She was raised on the knee of one of the most powerful - and corrupt - links in the Chicago political machine. She's has her hubby completely whipped. After Blago's election, she refused to move into the Governor's mansion. During last year's state budget crisis, Blago spent nearly a quarter million of taxpayer
dollars on private planes, flying home nightly to Chicago, a mere 150 miles away.

There is a great potential upside to this. In Illinois, the Gov. and Lt. Gov. are separately elected. Blago's Lt. - Pat Quinn - is a longtime squeaky wheel and no friend of the infamous Illinois political machine. If Quinn gains the seat, Illinois may claim the country's most progressive governor. I'd love to know how Chicago's Emperor Daley's feeling right now!

Posted by: GordonsGirl | December 9, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

From everything we see so far, Obama comes out of this smelling of roses. There was even word from a Fox affiliate in Chicago that Rahm Emanuel was involved in tipping off the Feds.

Posted by: asja | December 9, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the allegations in the complaint make it pretty clear that Obama had nothing to do with this guy. Thanks be.

Posted by: RealCalGal | December 9, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I've never really looked at a picture of Blago before, but it looks to me like he's wearing a really obvious hair piece. Anyone know for sure? If so, he's getting what he deserves.

Posted by: darmenmike | December 9, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

lure1 writes
"If proven true, Blagojevich, or someone in his office, was told by someone on the Obama team that if he appoints Obama's pick, his wife will be placed on paid corporate boards. It also means the president-elect offered a sitting governor a de facto bribe to appoint the Senator he supports."

Seeing how it conflicts with the recorded comments, by Blagojevich, that he wouldn't get anything more than an expression of 'appreciation'* for appointing the president-elect's preferred choice, you may have misinterpreted the evidence.

* The Fix writes:
The governor also uses some colorful language to refer to Obama when he notes that "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation."

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Lots of people "knew" Sen. Ted Stevens was crooked, but his friends and colleagues didn't back away from him until he was indicted (and his going away party, with lots of compliments from his fellow senators was disgusting). And, even after he was convicted, the voters of Alaska nearly reelected him! Ditto with William Jefferson in Louisiana. People tend to be a lot more tolerant of corruption when it involves their own representative who has brought home the bacon for years. Both Republicans and Democrats have more jerks like the Governor of Illinois, and they will for many years to come.

Posted by: Sutter | December 9, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what an absolute crook. This guy redefines sleaze.

Posted by: smc91 | December 9, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The FBI affidavit said Blagojevich had been told by an adviser "the President-elect can get Rod Blagojevich's wife on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the President-elect's pick to the Senate."

If proven true, Blagojevich, or someone in his office, was told by someone on the Obama team that if he appoints Obama's pick, his wife will be placed on paid corporate boards. It also means the president-elect offered a sitting governor a de facto bribe to appoint the Senator he supports.

Posted by: lure1 | December 9, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I love the part where his wife is heard in the background dropping F Bombs on the Tribune in re the deal for the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 9, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately we have a constitutional right in this country to be deemed innocent until proven guilty. That said, if the governor is guilty of these greedy and lowest of ethical crimes, he should be punished to the full extent of the law. What bothers me is, if brought to trial next spring, will a sitting president be called upon to testify? Gerald Ford faced a similar question when he pardoned Richard Nixon for the good of the country's need to return to a modicum of normalcy. I must admit that I was angry at Ford's pardon, but hindsight is 20/20 vision; and from this perspective, Ford was absolutely right. He sacrificed the possibility of his ever being elected to the White House, which makes his move rather noble. I hope Gov. Blagojevich will see the bravery of such a move and do the right thing here and fall on his now tainted sword; as I say, if he is in fact guilty. We are currently fighting two wars -- one of which is questionable -- and are now in what has been described as the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. We don't need our attention diverted by unethical behavior.

Posted by: TESimonton | December 9, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

My side is less scummy than your side. Democrats have more indicted felons than Republicans because there are more of them. When we had more Republican's, there were more of them indicted than Democrats. So what? Both sides are scummy, money grubbing hacks. This entire campaign merely seeks to divide people into "camps" that blindly support their side while the country goes down the toilet. *ALL* politician's are scumbags. If you trust one of them, you're an idiot. Not one of them gives a damn about you. The unemployment numbers are fixed to keep the populous from understanding just how bad things really are. (Those riots in Greece? They are about the *economy*, not about the shooting of a teenager, as is being reported in this newspaper - although that shooting did set the riots off. Expect similar riots and massive protests here next year. Obama and his "experts" haven't got a clue as to how to fix the mess we're in.) There are similar riots, right now, in Iceland. The political-corporate-Wall Street cabal has run this country into a ditch. Our economy is in shambles and they CAN fix it, but will not because they are making money off our misery. Obama is no better than Bush and Pelosi is no different than Gingrich. The difference between any of them and Blagojevich is that he got caught.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 9, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey jpt51,

You might want to cut down on your partisan rhetoric. Patrick Fitzgerald is the same U.S. attorney who came after Scooter Libby.

Posted by: RambleOn | December 9, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like Obama's coming out of this smelling like roses. Blago complains that the only think Obama's offering him is "appreciation," and he sounds mighty pissed about it.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 9, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse


Obama obviously knew about Blago's bad reputation, and wasn't about to start horse-trading with him. It wouldn't surprise me if the transition team or some Obama advisor helped the Feds set up Blago.

Better to step away and let the Lt. Gov. or the legislature get involved, than to get dirty over this one appointment. Obama has plenty of jobs to fill, and has already named Jarrett to one.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | December 9, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Everyone here, including me, should get a life.

Posted by: darmenmike | December 9, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Waaaaaaaaa-ow-wow-wow!

Wow.

I mean, wow.

Just one thought for now: This is not a Democratic thing nor is it (in this case) a Republican thing. This is a Rod Blogojevich thing. This is a guy who doesn't care why people elected him.

Political systems are dangerous. Not only does Power corrupt, but countless politicians will do whatever it takes to survive. It's a timeless tale with a long, long list of disgrace.

Posted by: dognabbit | December 9, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"go after anyone close to him"

Everybody needs to settle down. This isn't a Republican attempt to smear Obama. Blagojevich was clearly trying to buy favors, and he deserves what he gets. But the President-elect has NEVER been close to Blagojevich, and there is no reason to believe that this has anything to do with Obama, except that it happens to be taking place in Illinois. As a matter of fact, Blagojevich's frustration with Obama is evidence of the fact that Obama wasn't willing to "play ball." If Obama operated like that, two years of opposition research would have uncovered his corruption. But apart from a few trumped-up charges of "questionable associations," Obama's past is perfectly clean. So everyone, please. Stop being hysterical.

Posted by: bc54321 | December 9, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, this is Illinois. It's a lot like New Jersey and Louisiana but without the accents.

As for a senate appointment The Fix is correct, the only person who would touch it now is someone seeking retirement in two years. The only two ways around it are 1) resign and let the lt governor do it or 2) have some sort of committee/nonpartisan person make a nomination and then Blagojevich could just rubber stamp it. Obviously it would have to be a Democrat (not only because it is expected, but because I don't think there are any Republicans left in Illinois. At least not ones without felony convictions.)

Posted by: caribis | December 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Obama supporter and there ain't no way around the fact that this looks really, really bad. Change we can believe in? I'm disgusted.

Posted by: Candressuhmoose | December 9, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a resident of one of the 57 states the messiah won. We are up for a position on the UN human rights council in the new administration.

this is unusual because our method of justice includes random torture of our citizens to discover any impending crimes.

but they love and respect me for it.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Zouk is a style of rhythmic music originating from the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and the former French colony of Haiti

Posted by: CH-ican | December 9, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

FOR REAL jpt51? Was that "Osama" a - slip of the finger or a Freudian slip??? Either way - those who wanted the Messiah got him - the absolute Chicago pol that Obama is was clear to see - the fancy talk you wanted to hear clouded it for you... keep the faith never think back!

"Republicans are desperate to do anything to put a chinch into Osama’s success and have a cloud hanging over him at the start of his presidency."

Posted by: CH-ican | December 9, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

FOR REAL jpt51? Was that "Osama" a - slip of the finger or a Freudian slip??? Either way - those who wanted the Messiah got him - the absolute Chicago pol that Obama is was clear to see - the fancy talk you wanted to hear clouded it for you... keep the faith never think back!

"Republicans are desperate to do anything to put a chinch into Osama’s success and have a cloud hanging over him at the start of his presidency."

Posted by: CH-ican | December 9, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering- where is Zouk and how is its king qualified to comment here? We don't need no dang foreign royalty clogging up our discussions with their rantings.

Posted by: darmenmike | December 9, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
If "the entire [indictment] document is a must-read", then the average citizen needs a reader's guide, a crib sheet. In particular, who are these unnamed people? It was pretty easy to figure out that Valerie Jarrett was "Senate Candidate 1", but who are the rest of the players? You've given us one more, Lisa Madigan, but how about the rest? That's where the press needs to step up and help out.

Posted by: wmw4 | December 9, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I thought you Libs enshrined sex between consenting adults. It is clear graft has no effect on your view. Obama's real estate deal with rizco is under subpeona today. the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. it if smells like a duck......

Lib values.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This country of ours is rotten with greed. How anyone can make a distinction along party lines as to who amongst our politicians is dirtier escapes me. As comically disgraceful as this Governor's performance is, I still don't understand a) why we're bailing out 3 failed corporations and their corrupt union, and b) why it's not a crime for members of Congress who have financial interests in these large corporations to hand over billions to them in public funds which have either been borrowed, or newly printed as currency? (Notice, I avoided the completely inaccurate euphemism 'taxpayer dollars' which most folks self-righteously adopt when expressing their outrage on this subject.)

It appears that our political leaders are convinced they can get their dollar-based assets out of harms way quickly enough so that when our ship of state finally does sink, their piece of the pie will be safely ensconced as title to real property (somewhere else) complemented by a healthy cache of Kruggarands. I would lament the failure of our government to protect us from the looming disaster (precipitated by the greed and arrogance of the private sector), if we didn't all seem to deserve it so much.

Posted by: thomas777 | December 9, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This is just run of the mill graft. Since Blago is not a Repbublican, there's no perverted sex angle here.

Meanwhile, the appeal of Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, R-Uranus, has been rejected.

Senator David "Love those cheap hookers" Vitter continues to embarrass the Republicans for two more years in the Senate.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 9, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

What Did Obama Know? When Did He Know It?

Posted by: mediahack | December 9, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

BUT HOW FAR DOES THE SPIDER WEB EXTEND?

To bsimon1 and mark_in_austin:

Unless the wiretapped comments were totally taken out of context, it does appear that Blago convicted himself but good...

But I still didn't hear a sufficient explanation as to why the Governor was not allowed to turn himself in, instead of having officers enter his home while his children were "rustling" -- to use Fitzgerald's word.

The press conference also leaves wide open the real possibility that the FBI wiretapped Obama discussing the senatorial appointment with Blago. Fitzgerald, of course, stated that he could not comment.

But imaginations must be running wild. What if Obama engaged in some Chicago pol- style "banter" with Blago about the Senate seat? Could some loose talk snag the President-elect into this political spider-web?

And again, the circumstances of the arrest, not allowing Blago to surrender... is a picture being painted here? Yesterday it was Justice Clarence Thomas' attempt to draw the Supreme Court into declaring the Obama presidency illegitimate. And today, there is this.

I wish the reporters had pressed Fitzgerald for an explanation as to the way this went down, and why. Fitz still could have made his point about letting the public in on what's been going on without hauling Blago out of his house while his kids were "rustling" upstairs.

That said, Blago sounds like a real low-life who probably deserves everything he's getting.

I merely ask these questions as someone who looks to the Justice Department to save the Republic from excesses and abuses of power inside or outside of ANY agency of government.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER?

Not as long as government-supported extrajudicial targeting squads are "community stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/american-gestapo-state-supported-terrorism-targets-u-s-citizens

OR members.nowpublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 9, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what was criminal in the criminal complaint. I read a lot of it. The behavior including all the f words is what I expect most politicians do behind closed doors every day. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours. Asking for campaign contributions from everyone you talk with. Wanting millionaires to contribute to good causes. If political wheeling and dealing is a crime, then let's wiretap everyone in Congress, and we can probably have most of them behind bars by next summer. This might be a way to finally get rid of all the incumbent losers in Congress.

Posted by: jazbond007 | December 9, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Again, king_of_zouk spouts nonsense about that which he does not know.

Look up "George Ryan" and "Otto Kerner". Corruption and fraud in the IL governorship are a bipartisan affair.

Posted by: mnteng | December 9, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Blagojevich = "Political SCUM".

Blagojevich IS going to get something out of all of this! He's going to have all of his personal expenses including housing, meals, security, and medical care covered by the government. He's getting a new wardrobe from the federal government, too. Its being procured now, for delivery in the near term.

Federal Prison issued jumpsuits, in a fabulous orange color.

How DO these scumbags rise so high?

Posted by: onestring | December 9, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

And another one bites the dust.
'Way to go Fitzpatrick!

Posted by: bgreen2224 | December 9, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

In the grand scheme of things, this is much worse than the Spitzer scandal. However, my guess is that this will pale in comparison to the amount of attention that one got.

Posted by: chiros13 | December 9, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

tit-for-tat on corruption charges

>>>>>

you're probably right, corrupt Dems is not news. It is business as usual.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Fix, love your analysis as always... However, kind of perplexed as to why this is by far the most PG version of this I have read. Politico, RCP bloggers, etc all at least had first letters and ***'s. I think we lose something when we tone down the language past the point of it reflecting its original meaning. These words are going to be picked apart time and again... no one is done any favors by pretending that they weren't there.

That said, I'm sure it's hard for a gentleman like The Fix to stoop anywhere near Blago's level...

Posted by: cprach | December 9, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

RE: Name that Party! Rod's Missing (D) [Denis Boyles]

It took four Chicago Tribune reporters (and 1150 words) to cover the arrest of Illnois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges. Not one of the four managed to report the political party of which Blagojevich is a member. (Hint: He's not a Whig.) Just goes to show there's more than one way to declare yourself bankrupt.

In case you forget, the criminal is, as usual, a D.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Just a note about the headline - it's a criminal complaint, not an indictment.

Posted by: jaber1 | December 9, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, do you really want to get into a tit-for-tat on corruption charges between the Democrats and Republicans? That's probably not a fight you want to pick.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | December 9, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

How on earth did this man actually break the law? Because he engaged in political horse-trading over an open Senate seat? It seems to me like there is a lot of smoke and mirrors here, but even in this extract of the supposedly most shocking accusations, there aren't any crimes here.

Show me how the governor was going to PERSONALLY benefit from any of this...

Posted by: jerkhoff | December 9, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry jpt51, but this is not Republican gamesmanship. Read the indictment. Blagojevich is cooked.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 9, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

By law, after the President-elect’s resignation of his position as a U.S. Senator, which was effective on November 16, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has sole authority to appoint his replacement for the two years remaining of the President-elect’s Senate term. During the course of this investigation, agents have intercepted a series of communications regarding the efforts of ROD BLAGOJEVICH, JOHN HARRIS, and others to misuse this power to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, for ROD BLAGOJEVICH and his family. In particular, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has been intercepted conspiring to trade the senate seat for particular positions that the President-elect has the power to appoint (e.g. the Secretary of Health and Human Services). ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for his wife’s placement on paid corporate boards or ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s placement at a private foundation in a significant position with a substantial salary. ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit organization that he would start and that would employ him at a substantial salary after he left the governorship.

It's just so, how you say - clintonesque.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | December 9, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

This s nothing but one last Karl Rove style attempt to hurt your opponent. If you can’t directly attack Obama, go after anyone close to him. We saw this with McCain going after Bill Ayers. My money says the truth will come out and there will be nothing to the allegations. Republicans are desperate to do anything to put a chinch into Osama’s success and have a cloud hanging over him at the start of his presidency. It’s not going to work GW and Dick Cheney!

Posted by: jpt51 | December 9, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Not only is Blagojevich corrupt beyond any sane reasoning (positioning for 2016!?), he could have personally sunk the election for Obama if this had come out a month or two ago. Imagine the volume that the righ-wing nutcases could have brought their noise machine to with this morass?

Posted by: hiberniantears | December 9, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The indictment itself is just stunning, and very discouraging. How can such people rise so high? I usually look for the best in people, but here we see pure corruption operating with near-impunity. (yes, they're being a little careful, but there are lots of people involved in the conversation). If the prosecutors want to make sure to have a good impact, make sure not to make deals with all the others who are colluding on the corruption - bring them all in. And, for what it's worth (probably the culpable just don't care), make sure to name names.

How can someone so high up be so corrupt, and it's not general knowledge? It's discouraging.

Posted by: burnskevin | December 9, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Is an indictment for Senate Candidate 5 on the way as well?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 9, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

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