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Abbreviated Blagojevich trial a boon for Illinois Democrats

By Felicia Sonmez

For Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D), the silence of Rod Blagojevich may well be golden.

Blagojevich, the former governor with whom Quinn served for six years, has been embroiled in a corruption trial that was expected to last well into the fall. A who's-who of Washington power players was expected to testify in the former governor's defense (not to mention the much-anticipated testimony of Blagojevich himself).

Now, the case is nearing its conclusion a mere eight weeks after it began. Blagojevich and his team rested last Wednesday without so much as a word from the defendant (and without a single witness being called). Both sides delivered their closing arguments this week.

While that spells disappointment for those looking forward to the spectacle of a Blagojevich trial, it could make Quinn breathe easier.

"We think the state as a whole is looking forward to moving on and moving forward," Quinn spokeswoman Mica Matsoff said. Matsoff called the trial a "painful and regretful experience for our state" and argued that the trial focused on issues of leadership, not partisanship.

"This trial highlights why it's so important that we keep Governor Quinn in office, the first honest governor in a decade," Matsoff said.

Last week, Quinn himself told reporters that "relieved is the wrong word" and said that it's "extremely unfortunate to have a situation where we have one former governor in jail, another one on trial," referring to Blagojevich's predecessor, former Gov. George Ryan (R), who was convicted in 2006 on federal racketeering and fraud charges.

While Quinn denied that he felt relieved, the campaign of his rival, state Sen. Bill Brady (R), had quite the opposite reaction.

"Some politicians might have wanted the trial to drag on," Brady spokesperson Patty Schuh said. "Bill Brady -- on behalf of the citizens -- is relieved its ending. Illinois is tired of the failed leadership and corruption that's been on display."

The shortened timeline of the trial appears to be a plus for Democrats in the Senate race as well -- state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) had been subpoenaed to testify at the trial. Giannoulias spokesman Matt McGrath said that he wouldn't describe the feeling for the campaign as "relief" because "that would imply it was a huge worry in the first place." He then turned the focus back on Republicans.

"I don't think there's any question that this is a great disappointment to the Republican Party," he said. "Attempting to link their opponents to disgraced former politicians is the best they can hope for."

Rep. Mark Kirk's (R) campaign, meanwhile, continued to tie Giannoulias to the disgraced former governor and the "culture of corruption in Illinois furthered by the Blagojevich/Quinn/Giannoulias leadership."

"Alexi Giannoulias ran for state treasurer as Tony Rezko's banker and called Rod Blagojevich an exceptional leader," Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said, noting that Giannoulias had been subpoenaed and had been "less than forthcoming about his involvement and interest in the potential sale of the Senate seat."

With jurors in the Blago trial set to begin deliberations as early as today, it looks increasingly likely that the former governor's trial may be over and done with before summer is out.

That doesn't mean that national Democrats can rest easy. Just as the Blago trial fades out of the public mindset, another trial comes into focus -- that of embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

The former House Ways and Means Committee chairman may face trial in mid-September for violating congressional ethics rules -- just as voters begin tuning in for the midterms.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  July 28, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , Senate  
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Comments

While Obama haters trip from one fantasy to another in their hope of getting rid of the President without having to wait for an election. It started out with the birth certificate fantasy, the secret Muslim fantasy, even the "he spoke the wrong words at his inauguration" fantasy, the Impeach fantasy, and now today's fantasy: the Blago Watergate fantasy. Only none of these fantasies quite work out, do they?

It's always coulda-woulda-shoulda. This is the theme song of losers.

Posted by: 12BarBlues
-------------------------------------------
It is remarkable that within a week of Tiger Woods crashing his Escalade, the press found every woman with whom Tiger has had an affair in the last few years, with photos, text messages, recorded phone calls, etc. and, they not only know the cause of the family fight, but they even know it was a wedge from his golf bag that his wife used to break out the windows
in the escalade. not only that, they know which wedge!

And each and every day, they give America more updates on his sex-rehab stay,
his wife's plans for divorce, and the dates and tournaments he will play in.

Obama has been in office for over a year now, and this same press:

Still cannot find any of his childhood friends or neighbors

or locate any of obama's college papers or grades

or how he paid for a Harvard education

or which country issued his visa to travel to Pakistan in the 1980's

or Barry Soretoro or even Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis on racisim.

Just can't seem to find them.

Yet the public still trusts that same press to give them the whole truth !

Truly remarkable !!!

Posted by: leapin | July 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Blago who?
Blago what?
yawn......

Posted by: jfern03 | July 28, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

While Obama haters trip from one fantasy to another in their hope of getting rid of the President without having to wait for an election. It started out with the birth certificate fantasy, the secret Muslim fantasy, even the "he spoke the wrong words at his inauguration" fantasy, the Impeach fantasy, and now today's fantasy: the Blago Watergate fantasy. Only none of these fantasies quite work out, do they?

It's always coulda-woulda-shoulda. This is the theme song of losers.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Now we see the sour-grapesters coming out with coulda, woulda, shoulda been huge.

Damn--it's very irritating when the legal system just WILL NOT cooperate and deliver a bigger scandal than Watergate. Guess you sour grapesters would like to eliminate the United States legal system and just have an inquisition with judges of your own choosing? Then, you could get the result you so covet.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This trial should have been what Watergate was to Nixon.

Posted by: smokinchgo | July 28, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It's a big win any time you can avoid accountability and since the core purpose of the Democratic Party is to use the color of authority to steal money and distribute a portion of the stolen property to other party members, this is huge. It gets the spotlight off those activities you don't want to admit to being a part of and allows the entire corrupt enterprise to continue soaking up other people's money for your benefit.

Posted by: rainmaker1145 | July 28, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

stop looking at my cards!

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"I'll see your Blago/Rangel and raise you a Bush/Cheney."

He'll see your Bush/Cheney and raise you a 'no controlling legal authority' and 'it depends on the meaning of is'.

You may then raise an 'I can't recall', keeping 'I am not a crook' in your back pocket.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 28, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

You-Can-Spam-It is the loser in the Blago trial. He promised, PROMISED, that there would be a ten-on-the-Richter scale scandal, that would change the axis of the earth and reduce Democrats (and mostly Obama) to groveling mew-cats for ALL time.

Now, it's "Blago is overexposed". I think You-Can-Spam-It is overexposed.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

mwhoke clings to that thinking that cannot be refudiated: I know it's so even if there's no proof. nyah!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 28, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

you don't know what has gone on behind closed doors - a deal could have been cut - to silence everyone.

You don't know what is going on here.
---------------------------------
And neither do you. Not that it stops you from claiming to know what is going on.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

12Bar


A reasonable analysis of the trial can reveal this one central truth: the government prosecutors were so afraid that Obama was about to incriminate himself on tape that they arrested Blago too soon.


Remember, Blago was being wiretapped - so everything was on tape.

The government prosecutor Fitzgerald claimed he arrested Blago quickly in order to PREVENT Blago from making a Senate appointment which was tainted and could not have been undone.

HOWEVER - in saying that, Fitzgerald was admitting that he jumped the gun - and arrested Blago BEFORE there was an actual deal made.

Obviously, the Obama people were in Blago's office, trying to get Valerie Jarrett appointed - it was PROVEN at the trial that the union officals were representing Obama - third parties on the surface but really agents.

So, Fitzgerald had to be afraid that one of those union officials would end up on the TAPES making an OFFER for Jarrett - which would have implicated Obama in the whole scheme.

Remember ANY OFFER is illegal - it doesn't have to be accepted - a deal doesn't have to be made.


So any START to haggling - for instance, offers which start to get negotiated - all that is illegal.


Fitzgerald sure seems like he was acting to PROTECT OBAMA.

Anyway - the trial was cut short - that is clear - you don't know what has gone on behind closed doors - a deal could have been cut - to silence everyone.

You don't know what is going on here.

However - is it not TRUE that the trial is completely DIFFERENT from what everyone has been saying - shorter, no defense ?

Quite suspicious, huh? Why the sudden change ?

.

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 28, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Over the weekend the Chicago press pointed out the biggest winners in the Blagojevich trial were Barack Obama and Rahm Emmanuel.

Obama because his dealings with Tony Rezko were not discussed and Emmanuel because his demands of "Blago" were not revealed.

The biggest loser during the trial was Jesse Jackson Jr. after it was revealed that he offered 6 million dollars for Obama's Senate seat and that he was present when it was discussed.

The biggest loser overall were the residents of Illinois who had an incompetnet Governor and who were not allowed to learn what our career politicians were doing, especially Obama.

The politicians have failed everyone in this matter!

Posted by: mwhoke | July 28, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh, NOW, Blago has been overexposed! You've been harping on the world shaking expose that would come from this trial (where is it?) and now, well, You-Can-Spam-It says "who cares".

Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"the rule of law is passe to liberals"

I'll see your Blago/Rangel and raise you a Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Blago has been so overexposed - it is difficult to make the case that dragging the trial on will change much in the minds of voters.


At some point, the issues of this year - and the candidates themselves kick in.

At that point, Blago becomes irrelevant.

Quinn and Blago never got along - so the damage to Quinn is limited.


A guy like Bill Brady MIGHT be happy that the trial is over - because it opens up more media time for him - and for the media to run more stories on him.

In a sense, the Blago trial was sucking a certain amount of oxygen out of the media atmosphere - curtailing the media time of the candidates.


Kirk and Giannoulias - both with their own troubles - might prefer the opportunity to have more media time - not to change the subject from Blago, but to change the subject from their own troubles.


Overall, a short trial helps the Republicans more - because they get more media time to make their case - and because they are relatively LESS well known.

There is a point at which Blago has reached saturation - everyone knows what happened - more trial isn't going to mean much difference in anyone's minds on EITHER side.

So - I disagree, the end of the trial helps Brady and Kirk more.

.

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 28, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Where is You-Can-Spam-It and his endless predictions that the scandal of all time would somehow come out of the Blago trial, and that Obama would be manacled hand and foot and led to the guillotine in an old wooden cart surrounded by cat-calling conservatives?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Once again, fantasy is struck a fatal blow.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | July 28, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You should know by now that the rule of law is passe to liberals.

Posted by: leapin | July 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The leaderless though combustible Republican Uprising! devolved into a dumpster fire; they still have their fantasies, like Rangel on trial as an election approaches.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"The former House Ways and Means Committee chairman may face trial in mid-September for violating congressional ethics rules -"

you've got to be joking. when has anyone 'faced trial' for violating ethics rules?

I have honestly never seen anyone work so hard to beat the doom drum for democrats. Several times a day, and the junk you come up with...

Posted by: drindl | July 28, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"The former House Ways and Means Committee chairman may face trial in mid-September..."

Pigs will fly in mid-September too, on a cold day in Hell.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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