Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ilinois Politics Affecting the President Elect

(Washington) Talk about a "bombshell" the revelation Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich was prepared to cash-in on Barack Obama's former senate seat just adds to this year's historic election.

If you've been living under a rock, know Governor Blagojevich was arrested (normally not the case for white collar crimes) at his home yesterday morning. In a 76 page federal criminal complaint he is recorded saying, the Senate seat is "a [expletive] valuable thing. You just don't give it away for nothing."

"I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden and uh, uh, I'm not just giving it up for [expletive] nothing."

The governor who has been under investigation threatens to take the seat himself if he can't get the people who want the seat to playball. He is even shrewed enough to take on the president elect. The governor expresses frustration at his inability to have his offers considered and refers to Obama in extremely crude language: "[Expletive] him. For nothing? [Expletive] him."

The Patrick Fitzgerald the federal prosecutor who asked for the wiretaps called the revelation Blagojevich's "conduct would make [ Abraham] Lincoln roll over in his grave."

The governor and his chief of staff, John Harris, were simultaneously charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and solicitation to commit bribery as part of what officials say was a wide-ranging scheme to shakedown campaign donors and politicians for high-paying posts and millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

Fitzgerald said represented Blagojevich's "most cynical behavior" was the governor's effort to sell the Senate seat.

Prosecutors said Blagojevich gave serious consideration to appointing himself to the Senate seat, believing he is "stuck" in his job as governor. Recordings, according to the affidavit, showed Blagojevich thinking about going to the Senate to avoid potential impeachment in Springfield and to try to remake his image for a possible 2016 run for the presidency.

The irony is today is the governors birthday. I doubt he'll be blowing out of candles today as the pressure mounts on what he should do.

The calls for Blagojevich to resign are came quick fast and furious from notable Illinois politicians including Senator Dick Durbin and now from Illinois' President Elect Barack Obama.

Anyone who takes the post in this current climate will be tainted. I know Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. wanted the seat. The bigger question was did he or someone in his office agree to playball with the governor. If they did should he be disqualified?

Was Valerie Jarrett one of Obama's aid in close personal contact with Blagojevich's emissaries about the position? It's thorny.

Who knew this along with bailouts of the Detroit automakers would be dominating the news cycle prior to the inauguration.

I'm waiting on two press events, Sam Zell will be on CNBC at 3 pm est. and Jackson has agreed to take question after being identified at Candidate #5.




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