Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

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Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as the above courtroom scene from The Untouchables, but today Rod Blagojevich, twice elected governor of the Land of Lincoln, was found guilty on 17 counts in the Federal criminal prosecution brought against him:

  • Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 15-Bribery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY
  • Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY

Go here to read the details.  Last year in his first trial Blagojevich was convicted on one felony count.  Soon he will be adding to the list of Illinois governors who have gone to the Federal slammer in the last four decades:  Otto Kerner, Dan Walker and George Ryan.  I am always happy whenever any corrupt politician goes to prison.  However, my happiness is muted because Rod Blagojevich was a stupid, obvious crook.  The people of Illinois had substantial evidence before them that this man was a corrupt politician when he ran for governor the first time, and overwhelming evidence the second time, and on both occasions a majority of the voters of Illinois elected him to the highest office in the State.  Illinois endures sickening political corruption because too many voters are willing to tolerate it, and until that attitude is changed, hard working prosecutors could send a dozen Illinois governors to the Big House and nothing will change.

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  1. So much for the theory, voiced by some jury “experts,” that a female-dominated jury (11 women and one man) would take pity on him and be less likely to vote for conviction.

    Methinks in this case, however, that the women on this jury had fully functional horse hockey detectors (the same kind they use on husbands and children) which enabled them to tell when Blago was lying to them… basically every time he opened his mouth.

    Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.

  2. God love him. I may disagree with Blogo on most issues but I would have voted for him. Why? He is one of the few honest politicians out there. He is only guilty of being stupid enough to voice the thought process that most politicians go though when they make decisions and appointments, i.e., How will this benefit me? How will this effect my poll numbers? Will this effect my ability to raise funds or cause others to support my opposition?

    I was listening to the Chris Mathews show on the way home from work tonight and his guests agreed that Blogo was going to do nothing different with the open Senate position than any other politician. He was just “too crass” saying it out loud.

    How true, we have now made being crass a federal offense. But I think more importantly Blogo was guilty of destroying the illusion held by the public that politicians are “public servants” and aren’t self serving SOBs who only work to consolidate more and more power.

  3. No Eva, we have made engaging in criminal acts a criminal offense. Too many politicians are just as corrupt as Blago, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be going to prison, but that they also should be punished for their crimes.

  4. Don:

    Just curious. How are Blogo’s actions any different then handing out ambassadorships to your top contributors? Or, naming political opponents to plum political positions to gain their support, i.e., Hillary to State or Bush as VP. Again, if Blogo had had been more discrete and kept his mouth shut he could have gotten everything he wanted and been praised as an sure politician.

  5. Blago intended to profit personally from his nefarious schemes. He made that quite clear on the tapes and that is quite illegal.

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden” and “I’m just not giving it up for … nothing.”

    Blago is an attorney, and so I assume that he knew what he was doing was illegal. If he didn’t then, he does now. Thank God he was too stupid to cover his tracks effectively as many another politician has.

  6. Don:

    I understand where you are coming from; but again how does that make Blogo any different from any other politician. Let’s be honest they all use their positions to their personal profit (either direct or indirect). Blogo just spoke out loud what other politicians think. Not to be insulting, but it is somewhat naïve to think that Presidents and Governors make political appointments based upon who is the best person for the job and not based primarily upon personal political considerations, i.e., Will it help me get re-elected? Will this appointment or decision get me more political contibutions? Politicians aren’t an altruistic class.

    There are few, if any, politicians who don’t enter the political system (especially the federal system) as paupers and don’t leave as millionaires or who don’t enter the system as millionaires and leave as multi-millionaires or billionaires. There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist. Politicians often remind me of the wicked steward in Luke 16:1-9.

  7. It is as wrong Eva to say that all politicians are crooks as it is to say that all politicians are self-sacrificing statesmen in the mode of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. I tend to think that politicians overall reflect the people they come from, and if the current crop of politicians are a poor lot, they might mirror a general decline in morality, and educational standards come to think of it, over the past few decades.

    When dealing with those who wield power, it is always important to prosecute those who cross the line into illegality. As is true with all criminal prosecutions, far more escape prosecution than are prosecuted, but those who are caught deserve the full severity of the law. As for the rest, it is up to the voters to elect good men and women to public office. As long as the average voter is content to be apathetic and often shockingly ill-informed, idiots, charlatans and outright crooks will continue to be elected to high office in our nation.

  8. There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist.

    Last I heard, Gary Condit and his family were running an ice-cream parlor. A none too lucrative one.

  9. Art:

    I guess leaving Congress under a cloud of suspicion of murdering an intern doesn’t do much for your market value. Definitely an exception and not the rule

  10. …that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order

    On the news item over here, the TV commentator suggested that Blago wasn’t very inclined to do Elvis’ “Jail House Rock” 😆

    (Back in my callow youth, I thought that was a great movie) 🙂

  11. Well, I’d feel all superior to you flatlander folks – if it wasn’t for the Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club we have goin’ up here. Justices in their golden years accused of choking each other, rushing each other with upraised fists and so on. Boy, wouldn’t you subscribe to pay-for-view to see a Prosser vs. Bradley smack down?

    Really, to all of you who are tired of Wisconsin politics – I agree wholeheartedly! I’m tired of Wisconsin politics too! I now HATE Wisconsin politics!

  12. And I believe that is exactly one of the tactics Alinsky advocated – wearing down conservative folk to the point where they would simply give up.

    Well, I am tired of Wisconsin lefties, but that does not motivate me to stay at home come election day. Quite the opposite, Mr. Alinsky.

  13. Each of the charges for which Blago was convicted carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, which means his theoretical maximum sentence would be more than 300 years… that must include time in purgatory 🙂

  14. “Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club”

    That is hilarious Donna! In my experience appellate court and supreme court justices not uncommonly have fairly poisonous relations with some of their colleagues, but usually they are bright enough to restrict it to some tart rejoinder in an opinion. They forgot that the cardinal rule of Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club is that you do not talk about it! 🙂

  15. Paul Simon was a loon but not a crook. Percy was a Rino’s Rino, but too rich to be a crook. Ogilvie was an honest man, but radically expanded the size of Illinois government during his one term in office and championed passage of the Illinois state income tax.

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