Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Total Recall

People of Illinois, you have my sympathies.

Sort of. I mean, you had a chance to dump Blagojevich in 2006, when a great candidate, former regional administrator of HUD and reformer of the Chicago Housing Authority Edwin Eisendrath ran against Blago in the Democratic primary.

Blago won, even though he was already embroiled in numerous scandals.

Why, for chrissakes?

I used to live in Chicago, and let me tell you that although many people are tired of the pervasive corruption of city and state government, many more would just as soon take advantage of it.

To put it another way, the half of Illinois residents who voted to re-elect Blago are the same people whose cousin's brother-in-law has a business partner married to a friend of Blagovich's father-in-law. And someday, by god, that connection is going to put them in the fabled cat bird seat, and award them that plum concession, or that overpriced contract, or that cushy no-show job.

Meanwhile, the scandals, and the investigation of the governor by Plame prosecutor Patrick "untouchable" Fitzgerald seemed to go on and on.

Until today, when the governor of Illinois was arrested by Fitzgerald for attempting to sell Obama's empty US Senate seat to the highest bidder. The hot rumor is that Obama's bulldog Rahm "Rahmbo" Emanuel is the one who blew the whistle.

Yes, it's hard to believe that a man whose every move was being watched, and possibly electronically monitored, by the most feared US Attorney in modern history, would attempt something so audacious and so transparent. But that's Blagojevich for you. The list of possible appointees for the seat that he attempted to shake down is already mostly publicly known, and the best part is that he INCLUDED HIMSELF on the list, because he apparently felt "stuck" in the governor's office, and wanted to move to post where he could position himself as a presidential candidate in 2016.

I know, it's fucking gloriously unhinged, isnt' it?

If Blagojevich could just acquire a goofier accent, and a get a few bad action movies under his belt, he might be able stand toe-to-toe in self-delusion with our own dear governator:


vikkitikkitavi said...


On page 59 of the federal complaint you can find some quotes from Blago courtesy of investigative recordings:

"I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there." Blagojevich expresses the hope that he will receive some kind of appointment in return for choosing Obama's favored candidate. "I want to make money," says the governor. On Pages 63-64, Blagojevich refers to Obama as a "motherfucker," and says, of the idea that he would pick the president-elect's preferred candidate without receiving something in return, "Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him."

From Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/primary_sources/2008/12/09/blagojevich_complaint/

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

The whole Kennedy clan hearts Obama.
If The Governator insisted on pissing off all his in-laws, maybe he should have avoided rhetoric in which he sounds unrepentant of his past (illegal) steroid use.

Bubs said...

Blago has essentially distilled 100 years of Illinois corruption into its most intense, and hilarious, form. He's basically made overt and crass what has always been the way things are done around here.

He is a world class asshole. If George Ryan got 6 years, Blago deserves 8 or 10.

Most amazing is his sheer arrogance and stupidity! There's a passage where, in one sentence, he considers appointing himself to the Senate to improve his chances of running for President in 2012 or 2016, and in the next sentence he's mentioning how, if he's a senator, it will be easier to raise money for his defense if he gets indicted! WTF?!?

Some Guy said...

Those are some major league cajones on that guy! I'm glad to see it appears so cut-and-dry. I don't think repubs will be able to make as much hay out of it as they might have if the corruption had been more ambiguous. What an asshole!

Doc said...

It is a damn shame that graft and greed can find such a foothold in the Land Of Lincoln. Let's hope that this catches him by the fine hairs as he has already made a noose of them.


Johnny Yen said...

I voted for Eisendrath in that primary, but don't forget that there were a lot of people here on the north side who hadn't forgotten a guy who they considered a young punk running a nasty campaign against Sid Yates, a guy who'd been congressman for that district for all but two years since 1949 (he'd run an unsuccessful campaign for the Senate against Everett Dirksen in 1962). Yates was not only an outstanding Representative, but able to work with both the "Lakefront Liberals" and the machine hacks. The general feeling was that Eisendrath should have been patient, served a few more terms as an alderman and he would have easily been the heir to Yates' seat.

A couple of months ago, my ex- (Adam's mother) and I were talking about Blagojevich. She used to work for "Boystown" alderman Bernie Hanson when I was with her, and like me was a liberal, but not naive about Chicago ward politics and Illinosi state politics (she'd also worked for Christie Hefner's husband State Rep. Billy Marovitz before I met her) . We were talking about how painful it would be in the next election to maybe vote for a Republican for the first time in our lives. He was that bad. I guess I should look at the bright side of all of this; he's almost certainly guaranteed that we won't have to make that decision.

Larry Jones said...

To find out what was really going on, I switched over to Limbaugh's show right after I heard this news this morning. He was saying that the incoming Obama administration is corrupt, and this proves it. Also, Nacy Pelosi is "insane," and Harry Reid is "not all there." That's entertainment!

vikkitikkitavi said...

JY: While I agree that Eisendrath's campaign against Yates was ill-advised, I also think Eisendrath would've been a better Representative and should've been elected. Yes, some of his campaign literature was juvenile; he should've fired his communications director, at the very least. But Yates was really out of touch in many areas by that point. During the campaign, he brought up a plan for a new airport out in Lake Michigan that hadn't been on the table for many years. Yates had certain pet projects that he looked after well. Arts funding was one of them. But on many important issues he was just absent.

I remember at the time of that primary, many editorial pages, including the Chicago Reader's, took a tone toward Eisendrath of "How DARE you run against our beloved Yates?" That to me was just ridiculous and insulting to the voters of what was then my congressional district. If Yates is so sensitive that he can't stand some young "punk" challenging him, then perhaps it really was time to pack it up and go home.

Dad E said...

I was able to determine that Blago was no good when he was a congressman and not the kind of person people should want in office. But I had no idea he was such a turd. Most people in Illinois knew he was guilty of something because all the people around him from both parties were doing the pay to play thing.

Grant Miller said...

I supported Paul Vallas way back when against Blago - who I've long considered a dick because of his hair.

Now Vallas says he might run as a Republican next time around.