Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Arrested in Corruption Charges Relating to Obama’s Senate Replacement

blagojevich Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been arrested on federal corruption charges related to his alleged efforts to sell his appointment of a successor for Barack Obama to the United States Senate. Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery in the Northern District of Illinois.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. “”The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering, They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

The prosecutors charge that Blagojevich tried to arrange for a cushy job for himself and/or his wife in exchange for the appointment. They also charge him with unlawful solicitation of campaign funds. According to the complaint, they have tapes that allegedly show him observing “this a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.” This makes two governors in Illinois charged with corruption since his predecessor Republican George Ryan is serving time in federal prison and may soon be joined by Blagojevich. Soon, they will have to create a “Governor’s Row” in the federal pen to accommodate the steady flow of governor convicts.

Blagojevich has the lowest ratings ever recorded for an elected politician in nearly three decades of Chicago Tribune polling.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Arrested in Corruption Charges Relating to Obama’s Senate Replacement”

  1. i’m hoping Blagojevich will inspire Congress to finally grow a pair and start doing what’s best for the people they represent (by putting this guy away for a long time)

  2. Cook Cunty Dm: Did you catch David Mamet’s comment over at Huffington?

    “I am from Chicago, and, so, having been disillusioned with politics at an early age I do not become involved. The only reason I vote is because they pay me.”

  3. Jill,
    I don’t know what is wrong. I just checked and I was able to see my responses on the prison guard story. Give it another try. Thanks. You are right the the trolls have been let loose again. Somebody forgot to lock the cage.

  4. rafflaw,

    I can’t get to your posts on the prison entry. It stops with Buddha’s. Many trolls came over again after additional info on the Gitmo detainees.


    That was a very thoughtful response. Like Buddha I was laughing, but really you’re correct in your anaylsis.

  5. Wow, those of us in Illinois aren’t surprised by this latest turn of events concerning Rod Blagojevich. If the tapes are accurate, the arrogance of the Gov is unbelievable. The amazing thing is that this guy knew he was being investigated for the last 3 or 4 years so why did he not think that the Feds might be listening in on his calls? Hell, all of our phones and emails are being tapped by the NSA without a warrant so what made him think he was exempt from that?? I am now beginning to believe that Blago might be as stupid as Sarah Palin…or maybe even more stupid.

  6. I laughed and laughed. He may be ruthless, but he’s not that bright, is he? Does he have a jacket with “GOV” on the back?

  7. That indictment and accompanying PC affidavit make interesting reading. While every lawyer knows an indictment is the Government’s wish list, we also know that FBI agents rarely lie about the content of actual recordings cited in their affidavits. The words of the Governor appear criminally damning but even if the snippets are taken out of context or selectively chosen, they clearly evince a cynical view of his office and his duties. I am no Pollyanna but that type of brazen greed should have shocked all around him including the mysterious Deputy Governor, and the shifting cast of lobbyists and fundraisers who served as his intermediaries. At one point in discussing the most notorious part about selling the US Senate appointment, the Governor says his decision will be based on three criteria involving he and his wife:”our legal situation, our personal situation and my political situation.” Apparently the Governor was unsatisfied with his family’s joint income. This is ruthlessness personified, with little attention paid to appointing a qualified person to one of the highest positions in the land during a time of national crisis. In the words of the Westerns of my youth, “hangin’s too good for ’em.”

  8. Help Wanted:

    The citizens of Illinois are looking for a few good Statesmen:

    First Position: Legislator United States Congress, Senate

    Second Position: Legislator United States Congress, Fifth District House of Representatives

    Third Position: Soon to be available, Illinois Executive, Governor of the 21st State in the Union.

    JT won’t you think about coming back?
    The “2008 ABA Journal Blawg 100” shows without a doubt your ability to get elected.

  9. Mark,
    The 74 pages of charges against Governor Blagojevich indicate otherwise.
    Within the charges the Governor is heard on tape F bombing President elect Obama for not paying him any attention. The Governor’s overtures to leverage a cabinet position or any other favoritism from President elect Obama were stonewalled.

  10. Questions Arise About the Obama/Blagojevich Relationship
    Jake Tapper, ABC News
    December 09, 2008 3:37 PM

    “Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney’s office today,” said President-elect Obama this afternoon in Chicago, speaking of the criminal complaint against Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption. “But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time.”

    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.”


  11. seamus and Cook Country Dem,

    The govn’r begs to differ with you both. He said something like, “it’s all sunshine around him and taping his conversations reminds him of Nixon and Watergate”.

    That corruption award is fucking worth something, it’s fucking golden, and he should fucking make it worth his while.

  12. This guys father-in-law is one of the more crooked local politicians. And Mell was Blago’s mentor. Didn’t we all know it was just a matter of time before he was arrested. I moved to Chicago from New Orleans and I’m still amazed by the crap that goes on here.

    Let’s just hope Stroger gets indicted soon to stop the bleeding in Cook County. I know the mayor will always be safe. He’s got too many people willing to fall on their swords for him.

  13. Here is the link to how a poisonous, unbalanced elected official behaves. I couldn’t read it all in one shot, honestly its gut wrenching. Do we ever shoot people for treason? Just curious.

    United States Attorney Northern District of Illinois press release here:

    Jill the hall of shame for Illinois Governors alone would be huge.
    Blagojevich has attained special status, he’s the first sitting Governor to be charged.

  14. Santa comes early!

    This soiled man cannot resign from office fast enough. He will defend himself, but he has no integrity. The mechanics of filling the vacated senate seat are unclear, if he doesn’t step down swiftly.

  15. Why not improve the economy by orgainizing tours of official state corruption sites where the populace makes pilgrimage to holy sites of sleeze around this nation? There could be reenactors of “best moments caught on law enforcement tapes”, pay-to-vote schemes for your favoirte scam and grand prizes of $90,000 in pre-frozen, unmarked $100 dollar bills for correctly guessing the prison terms of the recently indicted officials. Fun and educational! Admittedly not as good as watching the autopsy of one’s fellow student, but then, few things are.

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