Thursday, December 11, 2008

You can't spell "Blagojevich" without b-l-o-g

Alternate title: "The Audacity of a Dope."

Well, the names may change, but the corruption remains the same. God, I miss Illinois (particularly Chicagoland, where we lived for over eight years). It seems like only yesterday that former Illinois Governor George Ryan, Sr., current Governor Rod Blagojevich's predecessor, was convicted on sweeping federal corruption charges of wielding power to help himself and his friends.

And there was good old Blagojevich, with his black (almost) pompadour, boyish demeanor, and goofy grin (Who knew the mouth on him? Oy gevalt!), promising as he took office to do right by the people of Illinois, unlike that corrupt George Ryan, who was sentenced to 6.5 years in jail.

As noted in an article in today's Chicago Tribune:
In his first inaugural address, before a crowd of thousands, Gov. Rod Blagojevich railed against a "system of corruption that has become too commonplace, too accepted and too entrenched."

"You voted for change," said Blagojevich, the state's first Democratic governor in 26 years. "I intend to deliver it."
Et tu Blago? Oh, the shame, the shame.

For those keeping score, and politics is a game after all, that is now four Illinois governors who have crossed the line (the previous three, Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, and George Ryan, all did or are doing time -- and let us not forget former Illinois Congressman Dan Rostenkowski), making Illinois, in the words of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, if not "the most corrupt state in the United States... certainly one hell of a competitor."

(Btw, it would not surprise me in the least if we found out Patrick Fitzgerald was a cross dresser or had some other dirty little secret.)

But seriously, folks, does any of this come as a big surprise? Let's get REAL. Every day politicians (Republicans and Democrats) work out deals behind the scenes. Politics is all about "you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back." (Or other parts of the male anatomy, in Republican Senator Larry Craig's case.) It's just a matter of discretion -- and not getting caught. And believe you me, stupidity (and/or audacity) is bipartisan.

Even though until recently it's been Republicans making the scandal sheets, there are plenty of Democrats in the Hall of Shame, most recently Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, who was indicted in 2007 on bribery charges but has yet to go on trial, though he lost his recent re-election bid.

Of course, putting "corruption" and "Louisiana" in the same sentence is kind of redundant. Hey, here's a thought: If political corruption were a Bowl game, it'd be Illinois vs. Louisiana, with only slightly better odds, maybe, on Illinois, just because of their current quarterback, Rod "F@*k 'em" Blagojevich.

So where does the current Blagojevich "situation" now stand? Well, as of this morning, Old Lightning Rod was back at work in the Governor's Office, ignoring pleas to resign, just taking care of business as usual. You can read more in this other piece from today's Chicago Tribune, titled "Barack Obama, U.S. senators, state officials urge Rod Blagojevich to resign."

Go Team!


Betty Cracker said...

The late, great Chicagoan Studs Terkel said, "Chicago is not the most corrupt city in America. It's the most theatrically corrupt."

I have no idea whether that's true or not, but I always assumed New Orleans reigned supreme in the corruption department. Could be regional partisanship talking.

How do you think Obama's successor should be chosen now? Special election? Appointment by someone who isn't almost 100% certain to be jailed? Lottery?

Moishie, promising not to make puns anymore said...

What a son of a blagojevich!

J. said...

I'm thinkin' flip of a coin, Betty. Frankly, they couldn't do much worse.

Dave S. said...

I half expect this guy to end all of his public statements with "Vote Quimby!"

Pulling this kind of stunt in the full knowledge that Patrick Freakin' Fitzgerald is already on the case suggests a tenuous grasp of reality at best.

On the other hand I find his hair oddly compelling and think it would do a fine job representing the people of Illinois in the United States Senate. That statement has nothing to do with the arrival on my desk of a manila envelope stuffed with cash. Pure coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Keep ‘em coming! This was great!

Having worked in the municipal finance world, it was always interesting to see the states and municipalities that worked with a “level playing field” mentality……

there were many surprises on how business was “awarded”….

Some of the time, it was not based upon the “creativity” of the “deal structure” or the “most qualified” team to bring the deal to market….

With this being said……

Nothing surprises me any more….

larissa said...

corruption is here
in time for the holidays!
is there any hope

marindenver said...

You would be correct that Louisiana is the number 1 corrupt state according to this source:
Illinois is way down at number 6. Just seems to be pretty high profile I guess!

I was floored that his (Bloggie's) bail was only $4,500. So no reason he wouldn't be back at work - it probably looks to him like it's no big deal anyway.