The Closet Moderate: Economy down generally; bribery holding steady.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Economy down generally; bribery holding steady.

Illinois's governor Blagojevich was faced with the difficult proposition of how to choose Obama's successor in the Senate. Lots of Democratic pols made worthy arguments about why they should be chosen, but only one can be Senator. Fortunately, he came up with a clever solution: sell that shit to the highest bidder. Who says Democrats don't believe in the free market?

Seriously, though, this is really dumb. Shouldn't all politicians, especially Chicago politicians, assume that the feds are listening to everything they say? They just got Ted Stevens for some shitty bribes that probably didn't even affect his vote, and this guy thinks he can sell a U.S. Senate seat? If you ever find yourself holding a political office and saying to someone that you'd like to "get some [money] up front, maybe" in return for an appointment, try to make sure you're not chatting with an informant wearing a wire, for fuck's sake.

I'm sure someone will try to tie this to Obama, but that person will not be me. I doubt Blago was planning on cutting him in.

UPDATE: The text of the complaint is here (PDF!) The part about the Senate seat begins on page 56.

UPDATE #2: So, Tony Rezko's name is all over this complaint. Shouldn't the news stories at least mention this?

UPDATE #3: Here are some choice lines from the guv'nor:
Page 60: "ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, 'I want to make money.'"
Page 66: "ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to 'suck it up' for two years and do nothing and give this 'motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.'"
Page 66: "Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”"
Page 63: "ROD BLAGOJEVICH agreed it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding ROD BLAGOJEVICH." [This will likely turn out to be correct -- Cal]


closet cancuck said...

I heard an interesting analysis of American political corruption on the radio. Apparently, bribery here is cheap, at least compared to other countries in the world. Overseas, politicians engaged in acts of corruption routinely accept amounts in the millions, but over here, $90,000 in a freezer gets you caught, and a few hundred grand gets you an Illinois Senate seat. Furthermore, a look at corruption scandals in the last few decades reveals an interesting trend: bribes have apparently not kept up with inflation.

I think this qualifies as a bad economic indicator.

Herodotus said...

Is it me, or does Blagojevich look like "Good Time" Charlie Wilson?

Kate Horowitz said...

Just heard on the radio that Blagojevich has secured, or at least conferred with, R. Kelly's defense attorney.

God bless America, cause nobody else will.

Kate Horowitz said...