“a new era of honesty and reform in Illinois politics..”

With former Illinois Senator Barack Obama now President-elect it falls on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to appoint his replacement. Except that Governor Blagojevich, also of the Democrats, and his chief of staff, John Harris have just been arrested on corruption charges amid allegations of trying to sell the US Senate seat to the highest bidder. The Professor has more links – and more here. And the RTÉ report contains a, perhaps, telling quote from the FBI Special Agent-in-Charge.

Mr Blagojevich, in his second term, is the latest in a string of Illinois governors to run afoul of the law. His immediate predecessor, George Ryan, is in jail following a federal corruption conviction.

“Many, including myself, thought that the recent conviction of a former governor would usher in a new era of honesty and reform in Illinois politics,” Robert D Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in a statement.

“Clearly, the charges announced today reveal that the office of the Governor has become nothing more than a vehicle for self-enrichment, unrestricted by party affiliation and taking Illinois politics to a new low.”

Update “Questions Arise About the Obama/Blagojevich Relationship”