Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Almost the Perfect Storm Of Corrupt Politics

Almost the Perfect Storm Of Corrupt Politics

No, that would be if the Governor of Illinois offered Obama's Kenyan birth certificate--that would make it perfect! But this story is as dirty as it gets. Governor Rod Blagojevich gets arrested by the FBI for, among other things, holding up state funding in exchange for campaign contributions, seeking to sell Obama's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. From the December 9, 2008 ChicagoTribune:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by FBI agents on federal corruption charges Tuesday morning.

Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes at about 6:15 a.m., according to Frank Bochte of the FBI. Both were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago.

In one charge related to the appointment of a senator to replace Barack Obama, prosecutors allege that Blagojevich sought appointment for himself as secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union, in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.

Another charge alleges Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of him in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.
Among the astonishing statements in Blagojevich's incredibly foul mouthed wiretaps is that Obama wasn't willing to give him anything but gratitude for appointing Obama's choice to Obama's old seat. Now, before you get too high and mighty about Obama's integrity--remember that everyone who has been following this has known for months that the Department of Justice was pursuing official corruption involving Blagojevich, as I mentioned in late September. Obama's refusal to pay Blagojevich at least shows that Obama isn't as stupid as Blagojevich--who had to have known he was being wiretapped.

But now it turns out that Obama claims to have had no contact with Blagojevich about his successor:
President-elect Barack Obama said he was unaware of the criminal investigation into an alleged attempt by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to trade an appointment for Obama’s Senate seat for financial gain.
“I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening, ” Obama told reporters today in Chicago. “It’s a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment.”

While one of Obama's advisors claimed otherwise recently:
But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
There is so much crooked about Chicago politics--and yet, somehow, Obama rose up through this cesspool, without any of the corruption sticking to him? Right.

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