“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”

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  • Greenflag

    Question :

    Whats the difference between Governor’s office in Illinois and the mafia ?

    Answer :

    The mafia is organised.

  • wild turkey

    “I think a General Government [is] necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism as other forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

    Benjamin Franklin, in his speech at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention (September 17, 1787).

    I defer to the more astute, passionate and regular commentators on slugger to assess the efficacy of Bens insight into the essential tension between hope and corruption experienced by most ’emerging’ democracies.

  • William

    Had the American people read the articles on the electoral corruption of Obama when he was seeking his Senate seat, many of them may not have voted for him. No Democratic politican coming out of the cesspit that is Chicago is clean….they are all up to their necks in graft and corruption !!

  • 6countyprod

    Looks like Obama needs to get his story straight.

    You never know what might creep out of the Chicago woodwork. Jack Tapper at ABC is on his case, as is Drudge

  • USA

    The Feds’ tapes from the Governors office and home have him complaining that all Obama’s people wanted to give him was respect,
    “well f%#k them” he said. The Governor wanted money.
    If you are out to get Obama there is nothing to see here ladies and gentlemen.

  • 6countyprod
  • Jimmy

    RE;william,post 3.

    Obama if the allegations have any truth did not stop his Corruption in illinois. Today the Berg vs Obama lawsuit is at the supreme court today.
    Berg alleges that Obama is a Naturalised Citizen and not ‘Natural Born’ therefore ineligible to stand for President,theres lots of circumstancial evidence,only personal records can prove or dispel the controversy, he flatly refuses to release them (Swarzenegger cant run for president on the same rule).
    Its unlikely that the supreme court will hear it though.
    Its the old chestnut, one law for the political elite another for the rest of us.

  • Greenflag

    wilde ,

    ‘assess the efficacy of Bens insight into the essential tension between hope and corruption experienced by most ‘emerging’ democracies. ‘
    Some 200 years later Benjamin Franklin’s insight into the tension between hope and corruption can be seen not just in the emerging democracies of the 21st century but in the mature democracies and has reached a new low in the present USA Congress with the Senior Republican of the House _Stevens now facing jail on corruption not to mention the 22 other members who have also been forced to resign for all kinds of corrupt practices . Add this to the large number of Republican Congressmen and Senators who refused to run again . One wonders how close many of them were to the next ‘revelation’.

    Perhaps what’s needed is the introduction of a mandatory death penalty following conviction -no appeals for those elected to public office who are found guilty of abusing the trust of the people they purport to represent ?

    After all if it’s okay to execute blue collar criminals why would it not be okay to execute their political and corporate equivalents ?

    Some one above said one law for the political and corporate elite and another for the rest of us .

    Where there is law there is corruption and injustice . The struggle is to keep it to a minumum . Just listen to Robert Mugabe preach the ‘law’ . I’m sure Democratic Governor Blagovitch, and his Republican predecessor Ryan and senior Republican leader Stevens all used the ‘law ‘ and abused the ‘law’ to further their personal political and financial interests .

    Unionists Governments in Northern Ireland 1920 through 1972 were equally ‘lawless’ . It was just so much easier to keep a lid on the corruption when you have one party rule with no opposition .

    Now that Northern Ireland has two party rule with no opposition wht do the people of Northern Ireland seriously expect from their politicians ?
    Human nature is no different in NI from that in Illinois or Dublin or Westminster !

  • 6countyprod

    Obama is either an extremely poor judge of character or someone who felt quite at home in the cesspool of Chicago politics.

    How many of Obama’s former mentors/colleagues/associates who or either corrupt or racist or worse does this make? I have lost count!

  • Jimmy Sands

    Steady on. He’s no more responsible for where he comes from than you are.

  • 6countyprod

    Obama wasn’t just in the same pool as these guys, he was hunting with the pack.

  • Jimmy Sands

    What do you mean by hunting? What did he do?

  • Baz está fresco em Vermont

    It is that Illinois thing, you see the FBI in Harvey, and you wonder if the Harvey PD are going to go down shooting.

    No Democratic politican coming out of the cesspit that is Chicago is clean….they are all up to their necks in graft and corruption !!

    Where did they learn that from?