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Subject: Rod Blagojevich charts new depths in Illinois political sleaze rss

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Joel K
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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into federal custody today on corruption charges stemming from the appointment of President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois.

During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, "unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], s--t, I'll just send myself, you know what I'm saying."

ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, "I'm going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I'm saying. And if I don't get what I want and I'm not satisfied with it, then I'll just take the Senate seat myself." Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat "is a f-ing valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."


CNN story
WLS story

Does this get George Ryan off the hook as the worst governor in the history of the State of Illinois?


EDIT: added snippet from call transcript
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Joel K
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Tight. The New York Times reports that the federal investigation was called "Operation Board Games."
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King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Does this get George Ryan off the hook as the worst governor in the history of the State of Illinois?

The only difference between any of the lot of 'em is that George and Rod got caught.
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Jeff
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Illinois: Making New Jersey's crooked politicians look like Ralph Nader since 1818.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2008-12-07-...

I'm so glad I am a Bank of America member. They're out they're arresting governors for my interests
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Does this get George Ryan off the hook as the worst governor in the history of the State of Illinois?


No, this means that it's Obama's fault, because this is the kind of behavior that socialism engenders.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/1209081rod1....

"Senate Candidate 1" is Obama's pick to be the appointment.

Quote Blagojevich: "unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I'll just keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I'm saying. And if I don't get what I want and I'm not satisfied with it, then I'll just take the Senate seat myself."

Later, he stated the Senate seat "is a fucking valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."

Blagojevich said the consultants are telling him to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give "this motherfucker [Obama] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him."

This is pure gold. I'm getting this from #90
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Blagojevich said the consultants are telling him to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give "this motherfucker [Obama] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him."

That is so disrespectful. He should be referred to as "Mr. President-Elect Motherfucker."
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J
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I absolutely love it! The Republicans and Democrats are supposed to be taking turns on these things. Did this guy go out of turn? Wait, I think the last one was the Republican governor of Alaska right? Before that we had the New York governor, the foot-tapping congressman... Wait, is that right? I'm starting to lose track...
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But you got to give it to the guy, he's got Moxy!
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Chris R.
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There's only person that should be appointed to Obama's seat -- Abraham Lincoln. Since the dead have a tradition of voting in Illinois, why can't they also be appointed? Seems like a nice gesture for his 200th birthday.

Vote Zombie Lincoln for 2009. He's -- relentless and unstoppable...
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Chicago: Vote Early and Often... FOR ZOMBIE LINCOLN
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Ralph T
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He's going to defend he was asking for highway funds or porkbarrel money, not a bribe. I thought they had some more concrete proof that he was selling it for money.

Edit: Looks like the affidavit says the Blagojevich says "I want to make money"
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Jeff
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sikeospi wrote:
There's only person that should be appointed to Obama's seat -- Abraham Lincoln. Since the dead have a tradition of voting in Illinois, why can't they also be appointed? Seems like a nice gesture for his 200th birthday.

Vote Zombie Lincoln for 2009. He's -- relentless and unstoppable...


You know, I've often considered starting a George Washington for President write-in campaign. Honestly, how bad a job could he possibly do?
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Chief Slovenly
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ExcitingJeff wrote:
sikeospi wrote:
There's only person that should be appointed to Obama's seat -- Abraham Lincoln. Since the dead have a tradition of voting in Illinois, why can't they also be appointed? Seems like a nice gesture for his 200th birthday.

Vote Zombie Lincoln for 2009. He's -- relentless and unstoppable...


You know, I've often considered starting a George Washington for President write-in campaign. Honestly, how bad a job could he possibly do?


What, one shambling, sleepwalking, dessicated brain-eating corpse of an elected leader wasn't good enough for you?

(OK, to be fair, Bush's flesh wasn't dessicated that I know of.)
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ralpher wrote:
He's going to defend he was asking for highway funds or porkbarrel money, not a bribe. I thought they had some more concrete proof that he was selling it for money.

Edit: Looks like the affidavit says the Blagojevich says "I want to make money"


Bitch set me up!
I.. did.. not.. have.. sexual relations.. with that woman!
The United States does not torture.
Criminy! I have a wide stance! I. Am. Not. A. Homosexual!
I want to make money.


The stunning, shining beauty of failure.
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Zombie Lincoln declares that all future Illinois governors should be sentenced to wearing a stove pipe hat and a beard at all times until further notice. Zombie Lincoln has spoken. And furthermore, I said a "government by the people" -- not "buy the people." Don't make me rip your tasty flesh off...
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AKA Halston Thrombeaux
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I'll bet the guys on the wiretap must have done a little jig when they heard this crap, because they will probably never, ever get such clear cut evidence of high-level corruption again.

Seriously, you wouldn't even find drug dealers talking this openly over their own phone
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Kevin Li
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As someone who has lived in Illinois for 2/3rds of my life, I must say that even I'm amazed by this guy. The most incredible part to me was when he threatened to pull $8M in funding from a children's hospital because an executive there wouldn't give him a kickback. Taking money from sick kids? That is truly Hollywood-style, mustache-twirling, evil-cackling foulness. If it was fiction it would be ridiculous.
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Kenneth Bailey
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bbenston wrote:
ExcitingJeff wrote:
sikeospi wrote:
There's only person that should be appointed to Obama's seat -- Abraham Lincoln. Since the dead have a tradition of voting in Illinois, why can't they also be appointed? Seems like a nice gesture for his 200th birthday.

Vote Zombie Lincoln for 2009. He's -- relentless and unstoppable...


You know, I've often considered starting a George Washington for President write-in campaign. Honestly, how bad a job could he possibly do?


What, one shambling, sleepwalking, dessicated brain-eating corpse of an elected leader wasn't good enough for you?

(OK, to be fair, Bush's flesh wasn't dessicated that I know of.)

I think we should just coil some copper around Washington and put a magnet near him. His grave spinning should take care of our energy needs for a long time.
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This Guy
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sikeospi wrote:
Vote Zombie Lincoln for 2009. He's -- relentless and unstoppable...


"Four shcore and sheven yeeeearsh ago, exshcuuuuse me, uhhm, twelve shcoooore, waaaait, eleven schcooor and one, twoooo, threeee, arrgh... BRAAAIINS!"
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Joel K
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The thing that really strikes me about this story is how brazen G-Rod has been over the years. Despite arriving in office as a reformer, he's been dogged by allegations of corruption almost from the start. He *had* to have known he was under investigation. The Chicago Tribune and Springfield State Journal-Register weren't exactly his biggest fans, so it's not like there was a shortage of stories about potential wrongdoing in his administration. To have said all those things on the phone is unbelievably obtuse.

He's much too stubborn to step down, so he'll have to be forced out. The Illinois General Assembly has had mild inclinations toward impeaching him in the past, but this time it looks like it'll be for real. The Lieutenant Governor, who is barely on speaking terms with G-Rod, has thrown his support behind the idea, and even some of the Chicago Democrats see the writing on the wall. The timing is up in the air, with a new legislature scheduled to be seated in early January. Sounds like they might also pass legislation to strip the Governor's office of the power to fill open US Senate seats.

Springfield has no small measure of disdain for him, given how he's treated the capital. Everyone's eagerly anticipating seeing him in an orange jumpsuit.
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Chief Slovenly
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
The thing that really strikes me about this story is how brazen G-Rod has been over the years. Despite arriving in office as a reformer, he's been dogged by allegations of corruption almost from the start. He *had* to have known he was under investigation. The Chicago Tribune and Springfield State Journal-Register weren't exactly his biggest fans, so it's not like there was a shortage of stories about potential wrongdoing in his administration. To have said all those things on the phone is unbelievably obtuse.

He's much too stubborn to step down, so he'll have to be forced out. The Illinois General Assembly has had mild inclinations toward impeaching him in the past, but this time it looks like it'll be for real. The Lieutenant Governor, who is barely on speaking terms with G-Rod, has thrown his support behind the idea, and even some of the Chicago Democrats see the writing on the wall. The timing is up in the air, with a new legislature scheduled to be seated in early January. Sounds like they might also pass legislation to strip the Governor's office of the power to fill open US Senate seats.

Springfield has no small measure of disdain for him, given how he's treated the capital. Everyone's eagerly anticipating seeing him in an orange jumpsuit.


Maybe then he'll have to give up that ridiculous rug he has. Nah!
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Chief Slovenly
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Why is Chicago so corrupt? Machine politics stemming from ethnic coalitions of the 19th century, the lack of a reformist leader, and one-party rule.

I still remember from my college days: seeing the local liquor store owner tell the beat cop to "check out the trash out back" for his usual payoff.

Back home, in Kern County, CA, it wouldn't be this blatant -- it'd be on a level of all the members of the zoning board buying up a lot of property along a proposed highway extension, for example, or selling extraction rights to cronies.

Corruption this bad was straight out of the 19th century, where it was born.
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Ralph T
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Jesse Jackson Jr. is allegedly "candidate number 5," whom the FBI alleges offered $1M in campaign contributions for the Senate seat.

When I read the headline I thought Michael Jackson was doing a reunion tour.
 
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