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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Posted by John Zipperer at 8:41 AM
In what is becoming the de rigueur exit strategy from the Illinois governor's office, that state's governor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, has been "taken into custody" by federal agents in connection with an investigation into Blago (as he's sometimes known) trying to "sell" the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-Elect Barack Obama.
Blagojevich's arrest comes not long after he tried to get President George W. Bush to commute the prison sentence of his predecessor in the governor's mansion, Republican George Ryan. Ryan is serving a six-year sentence on federal charges of racketeering and fraud.
Blagojevich's alleged crimes include trying to extort money from people wanting to do state business, trying to get money and other considerations in return for appointing someone to fill in the remainder of Obama's term in the Senate, and withholding state help from the Chicago Cubs, who were trying to sell ol' Wrigley Field.
If you're a Chicago White Sox fan like I am, then that last charge is understandable. But the rest of the charges are jaw-dropping, and they are not the first to be aimed at Blago. Read this major article in Chicago magazine (which, like the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, WGN TV and Radio, and much more, is owned by the Tribune company, which recently filed for bankruptcy).
If you're at all a clean-government devotee, then this latest development can do nothing to improve the historic image of Illinois as a den of political corruption.
12:43 pm ADDITION: The Wall Street Journal offers this handy listing of corupt Illinois governors. Clip it out and carry it around in your wallet.