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OfflineMadtowntripper
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Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat
    #9401750 - 12/09/08 06:38 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

One of the most amazing stories I've ever read.  This guy, Blagojevich, has been under investigation for corruption for some time.  He *knows* the USDA, Fitzgerald, is out to get him.  And yet he is arrested today, not even indicted, just arrested and led in hand-cuffs from his home for trying to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.  Can you imagine that?  They have transcripts of conversations he had setting up the whole thing.

The indictment also states that he had the nerve to tell Sam Zell, the owner of the Chicago Tribune's parent company that unless he fired members of his editorial board critical of Blago, the state would never get any public money to renovate Wrigley Field.  Said it to his face!  Sam Zell is a billionaire and owns one of the biggest media companies in the world!  Did he think he wouldn't say anything!?

That now makes two consecutive Illinois governors arrested for corruption during their terms.  But this takes the cake.  Selling a Senate seat?!

Is this a great state or what?

Now, onto the juicy details.  Read the excerpt from the complaint after the main story.  It's quite priceless.

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-blagojevich-maindec09,0,7734677.story

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested Tuesday for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "political corruption crime spree" that included attempts to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Blagojevich and Harris were named in a federal criminal complaint that alleged a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy aimed at providing financial benefits to the governor, his political fund and to his wife, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich.

Blagojevich was taken into federal custody by FBI agents at his North Side home Tuesday morning—one day shy of his 52nd birthday.

The arrests dealt a tumultuous blow to Illinois government, at once raising questions about the leadership of the state and the fate of the open Senate seat—which the governor alone has the power to fill under the state law.

The allegations against Blagojevich provide a sharp contrast to a Democratic governor who campaigned for office promising reforms in the wake of disgraced, scandal-tainted Republican chief executive George Ryan. The complaint against Blagojevich comes little more than two years after Ryan was sentenced to 61/2 years in prison on federal corruption charges.

Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, characterized Illinois' place in the pantheon of political corruption.

"If it isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor," Grant said. And Fitzgerald, whose office also prosecuted Blagojevich's predecessor, said Blagojevich's "conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn called on Blagojevich to step aside, at least temporarily, or resign because the governor is "seriously impeded from carrying out his oath of office."

"I think he knows what he needs to do for the people," said Quinn, a Democrat.

Despite facing myriad federal investigations throughout his five-year tenure, Blagojevich has maintained he committed no wrongdoing. On Monday, Blagojevich said any discussions he has had were "always lawful."

The stunning, early morning arrest followed a series of Tribune stories revealing federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators expanded beyond a probe of allegations of wrongdoing involving state jobs, contracts and appointments in exchange for campaign dollars to the possibility that the Senate succession process had become tainted by pay-to-play politics.

Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes about 6:15 a.m., according to the FBI. They were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago. Blagojevich appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan early in the afternoon and heard the charges read against him before being released on his own recognizance.

Spurring federal investigators to act was Blagojevich's pending appointment of a Senate successor to Obama, whose resignation took effect Nov. 16. Blagojevich had said he expected to name a new senator around the end of the year.

Prosecutors said they had numerous recorded conversations of Blagojevich discussing the merits of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois as well as the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive.

Prosecutors said their recordings revealed Blagojevich expressed feeling "stuck" as a sitting governor and he spent a large amount of time weighing whether he should appoint himself to the vacancy—possibly to avoid impeachment and help remake his image for a potential 2016 run for the presidency. A recent Tribune poll found Blagojevich with a record low 13 percent job approval rating.

Under state law, the governor has the sole unfettered discretion to name Obama's appointment. Despite his arrest, he continues to have the naming authority and some lawmakers discussed looking for ways to wrest it from him.

Prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as secretary of Health and Human Services or wanted an ambassadorship in the new Obama administration, or to be placed in a lucrative union-affiliated job in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett, a close friend and adviser to the president-elect to the Senate seat. Jarrett eventually took herself out of the running and Fitzgerald said "we make no allegation" that Obama was aware of Blagojevich's attempt to leverage the appointment.

Fitzgerald quoted a Blagojevich conversation in which the governor said the Senate seat is "a bleeping valuable thing. You just don't give it away. ... I've got this thing, and it's bleeping golden."

Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year's end when a new tougher law on campaign donations, prompted by the governor's voracious fundraising, would take effect.

Even Blagojevich's recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and "green lanes" on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged. The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. "If they don't perform, [expletive] 'em," Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.

Blagojevich and Harris also allegedly conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.




Quote:

From the comnplaint...

Rod Blagojevich said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherf***er [the President-elect] his senator. F*** him. For nothing? F*** him." Rod Blagojevich states that he will put "[Senate Candidate 4]" in the Senate "before I just give F***ing [Senate Candidate 1] a F***ing Senate seat and I don't get anything." (Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois). Rod Blagojevich stated that he needs to find a way to take the "financial stress" off of his family and that his wife is as qualified or more qualified than another specifically named individual to sit on corporate boards. According to Rod Blagojevich, "the immediate challenge [is] how do we take some of the financial pressure off of our family." Later in the phone call, Rod Blagojevich stated that absent getting something back, Rod Blagojevich will not pick Senate Candidate 1.

Harris re-stated Rod Blagojevich's thoughts that they should ask the President-elect for something for Rod Blagojevich's financial security as well as maintain his political viability. Harris said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President- elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, Rod Blagojevich would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.




--------------------
After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


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Invisiblec0sm0nautt
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #9401804 - 12/09/08 06:51 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

How can we expect government to work, when the very system requires you to be a politician?


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InvisibleAroundtheSon
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #9401807 - 12/09/08 06:52 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

wonder how much it cost to be president? :shrug:

and who's selling it:tinfoil:


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Invisiblenw_shroomy
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: AroundtheSon]
    #9401948 - 12/09/08 07:15 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

he is Innocent..:shrug:


--------------------
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InvisiblePrisoner#1
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: AroundtheSon]
    #9402017 - 12/09/08 07:30 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

AroundtheSon said:
wonder how much it cost to be president? :shrug:




about 78million, your soul and your hole


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InvisibleStein
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #9402077 - 12/09/08 07:44 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

This story doesn't surprise me.


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OfflineJT
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Stein]
    #9402555 - 12/09/08 08:57 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)



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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: JT]
    #9402654 - 12/09/08 09:11 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

justin_thyme said:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/12/questions-arise.html

things do not look good for obama.





And he’s not even president yet......


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

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InvisiblePenguarky Tunguin
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: lonestar2004]
    #9402748 - 12/09/08 09:23 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Does this mean Bank of America is off the hook in Illinois now? :lol:


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #9404225 - 12/10/08 03:33 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Rezko, and now Blagojevich... nope, Obama didn't know any of them... Yes we can!

The next four years might actually be a bit more fun than I was expecting if this keeps up.


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OfflineMadtowntripper
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Seuss]
    #9404322 - 12/10/08 05:22 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

What?

They didn't even like each other.

Chicago politics and Springfield politics are two completely different animals.

Everything south of Chicago is more or less a different country.


--------------------
After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


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OfflineJT
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Seuss]
    #9404331 - 12/10/08 05:28 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

he knew all of them, no one's denying that. this governor is the first significant threat to obama's credibility though.


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Offlinezouden
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: JT]
    #9404345 - 12/10/08 05:40 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I don't see how, or why. Obama's not the one trying to sell a senate seat.


--------------------
I know... that just the smallest
                                                part of the world belongs to me
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: zouden]
    #9404360 - 12/10/08 05:50 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

most likely not. at this point i think obama would have to be pretty stupid to risk his presidency just to sell his senate seat. however, the corruption investigation was originally intended to examine blagojevich's illegal hiring procedures. this was just a scheme the FBI happened to uncover while wiretapping him. obama and blago go all the way back to 2002, and have each contributed on many occassions to the other's campaign. obama endorsed blago as recently as 2006 for his governor position, and blago played a huge part in obama's rise to the senate.


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Offlinezouden
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: JT]
    #9404379 - 12/10/08 05:58 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah, I just read that in the news. But "as recently as 2006" isn't really that recent, since there's no evidence that the corruption goes back before then. At least, I haven't heard of any.

I think Obama's opponents would like to think this is a major blow to his credibility, but they're going to need to prove that Obama was aware of Blagojevich's corruption.


--------------------
I know... that just the smallest
                                                part of the world belongs to me
You know... I'm not a blind man
                                                    but truth is the hardest thing to see


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OfflineMadtowntripper
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: zouden]
    #9404385 - 12/10/08 06:01 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

There is no connection, people who have no idea what they're talking about will draw one when they see "Illinois"

Listen, EVERYONE in the entire state knew Blago was going down a long time ago.  Fitzgerald has said as much numerous times. To think Obama or anyone else would have close dealings with him is ludicrous.  Call Obama what you will, but he's no moron.


--------------------
After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Madtowntripper]
    #9404432 - 12/10/08 06:26 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

> Call Obama what you will, but he's no moron.

What do you call a person that lacks character judgment and continues to associate with people that are detrimental to their career?

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."  -Albert Einstein


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Offlinezouden
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Seuss]
    #9404450 - 12/10/08 06:36 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

How was associating with Blagojevich in 2006 detrimental to his career?


--------------------
I know... that just the smallest
                                                part of the world belongs to me
You know... I'm not a blind man
                                                    but truth is the hardest thing to see


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: zouden]
    #9404572 - 12/10/08 07:28 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

> How was associating with Blagojevich in 2006 detrimental to his career?

Are we not talking about it now?  If we weren't, then you would have a valid point.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflineFalcon91Wolvrn03
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Re: Illinois Governor Arrested For Selling Vacant US Senate Seat [Re: Seuss]
    #9404923 - 12/10/08 09:36 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Seuss said:
Are we not talking about it now?  If we weren't, then you would have a valid point.



Ah yes, the conservatives tried to warn us...



--------------------
I am in a minority on the shroomery, as I frequently defend the opposing side when they have a point about something or when my side make believes something about them.  People here get very confused by that and think it means I prefer the other side.


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