Blagojevich: Cashing In On the Big Time
Holly already broke this story here, but in terms of media coverage regarding the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, this headline from the Chicago Tribune really has to take the cake.
Really? You’re investigating his selection process? Given the details leaking out already, isn’t that somewhat akin to checking out Jeffrey Dahmer’s kitchen for questionable cooking techniques?
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.
A brief question for the readers. Assuming that there is some truth to these allegations, what sort of thought process had to go into actions like this? Here you are, Governor of the state and you are fully aware that you have been under investigation for ages. You know that federal officials are watching you, following you, probably tapping your phones. Suddenly, a Senator and member of your party is elected President and you are placed in the rare position of appointing a successor to further fill out the Democrats’ majority in the upper chamber.
So your first thought is, “Hey! I’ve got an idea… I could really cash in on this Senate seat!” Does Governor Blagojevich just come from a background of Chicago politics so steeped in corruption that he’s actually arrogant enough to think he could casually get away with that?
Follow-up question: people have been alleging close ties between Obama and the Governor all through the recent election, though nothing concrete ever seemed to surface. Does Rod think he’s got some leverage there in some fashion? I’ll leave it up to you to discuss.