IL Gov arrested for trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat

It’s only been a few months since the Spitzer scandal, but here we go again! In a shocking development that is bound to have major political repercussions, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was taken into custody this morning by FBI agents on corruption charges.

Blagojevich had long been surround by ethical problems that drove his approval rating to record lows. But the most stunning allegation he now faces is one that comes as a surprise to us all - an attempt to profit from the Senate vacancy created by Obama’s election by selling that seat in exchange for political and/or financial favors!

A Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing,” Blagojevich allegedly said in a conversation taped by the FBI.

In particular, Blagojevich is accused of pressuring Obama’s transition team for a position - HHS Secretary or an ambassadorship -  in exchange for appointing Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. (Frankly, it’s hard not to get the impression that Blagojevich was simply deranged, given his incredibly ridiculous-sounding hopes of extorting money out of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in the context of a Jarrett appointment.)

Jarrett withdrew her name from consideration in late November and tapes showing Blagojevich ranting against Obama suggest the transition team refused to entertain the Illinois Governor.

Blagojevich also allegedly tried to get concessions from a union in exchange for appointing a labor-friendly Senator. And in what could become the most explosive story of this whole sordid affair, the indictment complaint refers to a “Senate candidate 5″ who offered something “tangible up front!” - in what is further confirmation that Blagojevich was pursuing all possible avenues of profiting from his appointment. From the complaint document:

“Blagojevich said that he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided Blagojevich with something “tangible up front.” Noting that he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days, Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to reach out to an intermediary (Individual D), from whom Blagojevich is attempting to obtain campaign contributions and which Blagojevich believes is close to Senate Candidate 5.”

Marc Ambinder notes that the context implies that Candidate 5 is Jesse Jackson Jr, though this remains to be determined and other hints point to State Senate President Emil Jones. (We know that Candidate 5 is not Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Lisa Madigan. We also know, from the complaint document, that Candidate 5 is someone the Obama team did not want to see appointed.)

Just as in New York, the appointment process had become rather problematic with the governor having sole discretion and seemingly more worried about what could help their own electoral prospects than anything else. In Delaware, meanwhile, Governor Ruth appointed an extremely low-profile Democrat to make sure Biden’s son can run in an open seat in 2010 - a transparent case of nepotism.

But Blagojevich’s alleged actions take these problems to an entirely different - and fairly stunning - level. And the charges surrounding Obama’s Senate seat are just the tip of the iceberg! Blagojevich faces numerous other accusations, for example of having announced an $1.8 billion plan to construct new highways in exchange for a highway contractor’s pledge to raise half-a-million dollars for his upcoming campaign.

What comes next is anyone’s guess. What seems fairly certain is that Blagojevich will be forced to step down - either through his resignation or through impeachment, as the state legislature is already staring the proceedings. That means that Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, will become Governor in the weeks or months ahead.

This is in some ways good news for Democrats, as they will finally be rid of Blagojevich and his record unpopularity and allowing them to have a better candidate - presumably Quinn, though he could face a primary - in the 2010 gubernatorial race. It is also good news for the left, as Quinn is considered far more progressive than Blagojevich - something that could also play an impact on his choice of a Senator.

That said, the Senate appointment is now a huge question mark: Blagojevich is now in jail, but he is still Governor and could at any time appoint Obama’s successor - a possibility Democrats are taking seriously. Needless to say, any Democrat appointed by Blagojevich would be tainted and face a very difficult path to re-election. The Senate might refuse to seat a Blagojevich appointee, but all of this would naturally be very embarrassing to Democrats.

If Quinn gets to make the choice, there will be a shake-up in the Senate contenders: centrist and Blagojevich-aide Tammy Duckworth’s stock would probably fall, while progressive Rep. Schakowsky would be back in the running. If he is indeed “Senate Candidate 5,” Jesse Jackson Jr. would probably also not be in too good shape. One last fascinating question: will Valerie Jarrett signal that she would like to be considered again?

Furthermore, and however glad they are to be rid of Blagojevich, Illinois Democrats could certainly take a hit from this. One important reason that they become so dominant statewide over the past decade is that the state GOP collapsed under numerous scandals - the most prominent involving Republican Governor George Ryan, who is now serving a jail sentence. Now, it is the Democrats’ turn to discredit themselves, giving the GOP an opening to paint themselves as the cleaner and more reformed state party.

That all of this is occurring in the backyard of the new President-elect is of course an additional headache for Democrats, who want to make sure that Barack Obama is in no way involved in these scandals.

That Blagjoevich appears to have repeatedly cursed at Obama in the FBI’s recordings and that he sounded angry that the new Democratic Administration was unwilling to give him a job in exchange for a Jarrett appointment should help the President-elect keep his distance from the disgraced governor.

56 Responses to “IL Gov arrested for trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat”


  1. 1 Jaxx Raxor

    No one in their right mind would accept an appointment by Blagovich, and if Blagovich appointed himself (as he said he may do if he didn’t get enough money or political favors from appointing someone else) then the Senate would be forced to swear him in (I believe it is unconstitutinal for the Senate to flat out refuse to swear in an constituionally legal appointee to the Senate), but they can expel him right after, and would likely do so if Blagovich was bold enough to do so. In the end, Blagovich will probably not be impeached and thrown out of office until early January, because the Il- State legislatiure is not in session, and only Blagovich can call it back, and as he loves his job (and the potential money he can make) so much, why would he want to gurantee a impeachment early?

    In general, this means that Barack Obama’s replacement will likely not take office until after the 111th congress starts, and that it probably won’t be Jesse Jackson Jr. (especially if he is truly candidate 5, then not only would he not get the Senate seat but he would be in incredible danger of losing his house seat in a primary, or even the General election), but someone else who is more liberal through the likely new Gov Quinn.

  2. 2 Guy

    I notice the GOP is trying to tie Obama to this. But as is obvious from the tapes Blago dislikes Obama and Obama did not offer anything to Blago and condemns what he has become.

  3. 3 Teezy

    What he has become, or what he has always been?

    Suggesting that Obama has connections to Blago’s criminal activities is a big stretch, but both he and Rahm Emanuel worked on Blago’s campaign strategy in 2002, supported his re-election in 2006, and Blago was also a political patron of Tony Rezko, so there are real political connections there. The question is: What did Obama know about Blago, and when did he know it?

  4. 4 Joe from NC

    Teezy,
    Just about every Republican officeholder in Florida endorsed Mark Foley’s Reelection in 2006 before his (and the House Republican leadership’s) actions became public. Does this make them all connected to Foley’s pedophilia?

  5. 5 Teezy

    Joe,
    If they knew what Foley was doing with underage kids before it became public, then yes. What did Obama know about Blago’s activities?

  6. 6 Teezy

    Also, just as any Republican that was at all associated with Jack Abramoff faced accusations of corruption from Democrats, the same standard will be held by Republicans towards Blago and his associates.
    Turnabout is fair play, Joe.

  7. 7 Panos

    Ahh, Christmas!
    The season of Trolls.

  8. 8 Taniel

    While there is no suggestion whatsoever that Obama is involved in any of this, it does seem fair to point out that (1) yes, a lot was made of some Republicans who might have known about Foley supporting him (Reynolds, for instance) and similar questions are to be expected here, and (2) this is much more of a political scandal since it involves some Democratic officials (candidate 5, for instance) accepting to bargain with Blagojevich.

  9. 9 Joe from NC

    Teezy and Taniel,
    My point wasn’t that those who knew about what Foley did weren’t connected-They definitely were. I was talking about those who didn’t know about Foley’s actions but endorsed him.

  10. 10 Taniel

    Sure, but the point remains that this gives Republicans an opening to argue that Obama or at least some on his team knew something… and Blagojevich has been under investigation long enough that this is a bigger story than the past month and could certainly embarrass a few Democrats, even if they have done nothing wrong. (Axelrod and Obama already slightly contradicted each other.)

  11. 11 dsimon

    this gives Republicans an opening to argue that Obama or at least some on his team knew something

    Fine. When there’s evidence, let the chips fall where they may. But to assert a hypothetical proves nothing. And at the moment, there is no evidence, so the argument is an empty one (not that some won’t try to make it anyway).

    I can argue that lots of things are possible. But that wouldn’t make any of my arguments true, or even likely.

  12. 12 Teezy

    dsimon,
    That didn’t stop Democrats from making their own assertions against Republicans in 2006 with the same lack of evidence. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Too bad for them.

  13. 13 Mike

    Teezy - I expected nothing less of you. Obama is in noway connected to this. It is on tape that all his transition team offered was “appreciation” and did not want pay to play politics. Second he was called a “mother******” so I think it is safe to say if they had a relationship it was a bad one. Also there is some suggestion that Obama’s transition team tipped off the FBI about the situation as they knew it.
    So whilst I agree with consistency some Republicans earlier this decade were complicit with Abramoff after accepting $,000 and gifts. So try and smear Obama is a big stretch. This will have no lasting impact on Obama - yes it may cost a senate seat at some point but Obama has a solid majority in both houses.

  14. 14 Guy

    Teezy - why this is a little different from Abramoff is that Abramoff was just one in a number of scandals (DeLay and the Texas “redistricting”, Foley etc) and this is currently a one off. If the Dems have multiple scandals and specifically corruption then yes they deserve all they get.

    It sounds like you are one of the 22% who do no approve of Obama’s performance so far. Incidentally this is about the same number who approve of Bush! Interesting how they are reciprocal numbers!

  15. 15 Teezy

    Mike,
    I never said Obama was conntected to the illegal activities, I just posed the question as to what did he know and when did he know it.
    Nice try at revising my comments, but then again ” I expected nothing less of you”.

  16. 16 Teezy

    Guy, what performance? He hasn’t even been sworn into office yet.

    “If” dems have multiple scandals? They’re steadily increasing. Next up is Charlie Rangel.

  17. 17 dsimon

    That didn’t stop Democrats from making their own assertions against Republicans in 2006 with the same lack of evidence.

    First of all, it’s not a very good argument to say that if one side did something wrong, then the other side can too. It’s still wrong, isn’t it?

    Second, there is a difference between individuals acting badly and endorsement of an entire corrupt system. DeLay’s K Street Project was designed to funnel money in exchange for favors from Congress or to avoid adverse legislation. Those that spoke out against that system should be commended. But there wasn’t much of that; most seem to think the system was fine or weren’t willing to do anything about it. So to that extent, the problem was far more systemic than what’s going on in Illinois (as far as the evidence shows so far, at least).

  18. 18 dsimon

    I never said Obama was conntected to the illegal activities, I just posed the question as to what did he know and when did he know it.

    But one could ask the same thing about anyone. Why ask it about Obama when there is no evidence to date to warrant it? Because at the moment, there’s as much reason to ask me that question as there is to ask Obama.

    Let the evidence lead where it may. But to assert that Obama needs to come clean when there’s no evidence of dirt seems a bit backwards to me. Plus he has already said he wasn’t involved, so I’m not sure what more would be required.

  19. 19 john burke

    The Senate leadership of both parties should announce they will recommend that the Senate refuse to seat any Blago appointee, whoever that might be.

    No other course can insure that Blago does not appoint Obama’s successor.

    More on this at:

    http://www.thepurplecenter.blogspot.com

  20. 20 Guy

    Teezy - Obama’s performance in terms of the transition which is going smoothly with well received names and Obama filling Bush’s shoes because Bush has gone into his bunker and someone needs to think about solving our economic problems. Not bad for 5 weeks work.

  21. 21 Guy

    dsimon - Republicans like Teezy always will assert something that is hard to disprove. For example the “he is a muslim” - he can say he isn`t but where is the proof they will ask. Same here and in the birth certificate “issue”. They cannot accept defeat and they cannot come up with substantive policy differences so they resort to Rovian tactics. They didn`t work to well in 2006 or 2008, maybe they will learn someday.

  22. 22 Guy

    It is obvious Blago was delusional thinking he could shake down the President-Elect or Warren Buffet. Go to fivethirtyeight.com for details on the actual charges and it is clear that Blago didn`t speak with anyone in the transition team or Obama. He spoke with Andy Stern of the SEIC union once and was much more discreet than in his rantings with his staff.

  23. 23 Anonymous

    If Obama, or any of Obama’s officials, were contacted by Blago about selling the Senate seat, and Obama or that official did not promptly inform the FBI, then this was unethical and should be dealt with immediately. I have no tolerance, be it Dems or Republicans, with breaking the law. Blago violated the law, and he needs to be removed from the Governor’s mansion. I have yet to see any definitive proof that Blago contacted Obama or Obama’s camp with an offer for the seat. I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric from both sides of the aisle on this issue.

    If Obama was directly involved with this scenario, I want him impeached. I want an investigation that will either prove wrongdoing on our President-elect or that will clear his name.

    That being said, there are corrupt officials on both sides of the aisle. I know I’ve voted for individuals in the past that were later to be proven as frauds. I don’t believe that by simply supporting a candidate and having no knowledge of their unethical behavior makes you naive or stupid.

  24. 24 Mike

    Anonymous - as you say ther eis no evidence that Obama spoke directly with Blago, actually a lot of evidence he didn`t. So do not throw out the I word for the GOP to try to do to Obama what they did to Clinton for two years. Two wasted years for this country.

  25. 25 Teezy

    dsimon,
    “First of all, it’s not a very good argument to say that if one side did something wrong, then the other side can too.”
    - How convenient of Democrats to come to this revalation when scandal hits THEIR side. Could you be anymore transparent? These are the standards that were set by your party. Deal with it.

  26. 26 Anonymous

    Mike–I understand where you are coming from. I don’t want the country to suffer either, but if Obama was guilty of any wrongdoing in this matter, he needs to be impeached. Ethics trump partisanship.

  27. 27 Anonymous

    “These are the standards that were set by your party. ”

    Please elaborate on when the Democratic Party created this standard.

  28. 28 Teezy

    dsimon,
    “Because at the moment, there’s as much reason to ask me that question as there is to ask Obama.”
    - You worked as a strategist on Blago’s 2002 campaign? You served with him as a state senator while he was governor? You had business and personal dealings with his corrupt patron, Tony Rezko? You endorsed him in 2006? He was then to fill your former position of employment through bribery?
    You’re right. You should be asked the same question!

    “Plus he has already said he wasn’t involved”
    - And just as with the Holy Obama, your word will be taken as gospel. No investigation or follow-up required. Ever.

  29. 29 Teezy

    Anonymous,
    “Please elaborate on when the Democratic Party created this standard.”
    - Please see Democrats’ response to Foley & Abramoff scandals.

  30. 30 Teezy

    Guy,
    The transition, which consists of no policy implementation or actual governing, has been a series of well scripted press conferences. Great job with the cameras!
    Also, did I ever make those assertions about Obama? Nope. Just another failed attempt at deflection on your part. :(

  31. 31 Teezy

    Guy,
    “it is clear that Blago didn`t speak with anyone in the transition team or Obama”
    - That took me a whole 3 minutes of reading to knock down, Guy. He spoke to them through emissaries:
    From the complaint:
    November 11, 2008 - “ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows
    that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but “they’re not willing
    to give me anything except appreciation.”
    November 12, 2008 - “ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant
    Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to
    discuss Senate Candidate 1’s interest in the Senate seat.”…”ROD
    BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4)
    could help “our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1].” SEIU Official agreed to “put that flag
    up and see where it goes.””

    Senate Candidate 1 is transition team member Valerie Jarrett. What was discussed between Ms. Jarrett and her emissary after his discussion with Blago? “No comment” from the transition team.

  32. 32 Anonymous

    Teezy, is it safe to say that you believe that the Democrat’s response to the Foley and Abramoff scandals is when the standard was set for responding to scandals? I think the opposition’s response has evolved over the last 60 years, from McCarthy to Watergate to Abscam to Iran Contra to Whitewater to the Iraq war. The opposition always respond to the apparent ethical lapses of the other side.

    Can you differentiate the Dems response to Foley/Abramoff from the prior responses?

  33. 33 Teezy

    “Teezy, is it safe to say that you believe that the Democrat’s response to the Foley and Abramoff scandals is when the standard was set for responding to scandals?”
    No, they set their own standard to use against Republicans in ‘06 & ‘08, and now that standard should be used against them. Turnabout…fair play…all that.

  34. 34 Mike

    Teezy - first the publuic will decide what is and what is not important “scandal”. They decided corruption was important against the GOP and Clinton’s sex scandal was not important (leaving with 60% approval, which is something bush couldn`t dream of doing).
    Second he did not work as a strategist on Blago camapihgn and shocker he endorsed a fellow incumbent Democrat as Governor. I think politicians of all parties usually (i.e. 99.9% of the time) endorse their fellow party member. Remember at this time no proven accusations had been made, no arrests etc. Obama’s only link is that he is from Illinois (or as you might suggest born in Kenya!) and Blago is too. It is also not Obama’s fault that the Governor gets to fill his empty seat, I know you would prefer Obama was still a senator rather than President-Elect.

    Obama has handled the transition well so far, as with much of politics stagecraft and speeches are important. The real work starts in 2009 and Bush has left plenty to do.

  35. 35 Mike

    Teezy - if Foley and Abramoff were dreamt up or hyped up by Dems only then the GOP would have not been hit in 2006 or 2008. I would also note that these two scandals were not the major reason for losing the mid terms in 2006 or the presidency in 2008. Incompetence, wasteful spending, inept war planning all were more important - actual policy issues.

  36. 36 Anonymous

    “No, they set their own standard to use against Republicans in ‘06 & ‘08, and now that standard should be used against them. Turnabout…fair play…all that.”

    The standard you are talking about–I’m still not 100% following you. I could not find anything in this posting that specifically addresses this “standard” except discussion of the Abramoff and Foley scandals. With Abramoff, there were both Dems and Republicans involved (just happened that there were fewer Democrats that were tainted).

    Did you feel that the Democrats did anything wrong in 2006 and 2008 against the GOP related to the Foley and Abramoff scandals? Do you believe that the Dems exploited these scandals? If so, please provide me some examples, for we all need to understand what exactly was done that was potentially unfair to our elected officials.

    I know that many of these officials had no idea that Abramoff was involved in illegal activity, and they should not be held accountable for his illegal actions as long as they did not have specific knowledge. The mere fact that

    I didn’t see anything inherently wrong with the Democrats during the 2006 and 2008 election cycle that offends me. I agree with you that the GOP can use the same standards against the Dems that the Dems used against the GOP. It’s not as much as fair game to me as it is to strengthen ethics for America as a whole. Matters like these should be investigated to the full extent of the law. I also believe that the executive branch should be prevented from offering any pardons for corrupt elected officials.

    Regarding Foley, I’m glad the investigation uncovered the parties that were involved in the page sex scandal. The American people deserved to know the parties involved, just like the American people deserve to know whether Obama or any of his followers were involved with the Blago scandal. I am also glad that Cao defeated Jefferson in LA–Jefferson is corrupt as hell and the Dems made a mistake in not removing him from office beforehand. Stripping him of his committee assignments is an insult to all of his constituents. And the Illinois legislature should have removed Blago long before this specific scandal occured.

  37. 37 Teezy

    Mike,
    “Second he did not work as a strategist on Blago campaign”.
    -According to Rahm Emanuel, both he and Obama were major contributors to the Blago strategy team in 2002.

    “Obama’s only link is that he is from Illinois…and Blago is too.”
    - That’s obviously false. What a silly statement. I just gave you multiple links between them (funny you didn’t address the Rezko connection!) which is enough to ask,”What did he know about Blago’s activities and when did he know it?”

    Remember, Mike, reading is FUNdamental!

  38. 38 Teezy

    Anonymous,
    “I know that many of these officials had no idea that Abramoff was involved in illegal activity, and they should not be held accountable for his illegal actions as long as they did not have specific knowledge.”
    - The Democratic Party didn’t feel that way. Any Republican with any association to Abramoff was subjected to a “guilt by association” standard by Democrats. That may not be the sole reason that a Republican suffered defeat, but it was an effective political weapon that was one contributing factor. For example, during Bob Schaffer’s senate run this year, Democrats made a weak association into a major scandal.

  39. 39 Anonymous

    “The Democratic Party didn’t feel that way. Any Republican with any association to Abramoff was subjected to a “guilt by association” standard by Democrats”

    Teezy, did the Democrats create the “guilt by association” standard during the 2006 and 2008 elections?

  40. 40 dsimon

    Teezy: “First of all, it’s not a very good argument to say that if one side did something wrong, then the other side can too.”
    - How convenient of Democrats to come to this revalation when scandal hits THEIR side. Could you be anymore transparent? These are the standards that were set by your party. Deal with it.

    That’s quite a leap to say these standards were set by “my party” or to imply, if that were true, that I endorse them.

    The evidence so far is that terrible things were done by individuals. There is no evidence of a systemic attempt to game the system by an entire party. If Democrats made those accusations in 2006, they should not have done so. Indeed, the Abramoff scandal touched members of both parties, though more Republicans than Democrats. But the K Street Project was entirely Republican.

    Are you willing to condemn those who were actually involved and absolve those who were not, regardless of party? Because that would go a long way towards a more productive political discourse–instead of playing the game of “member of party X is corrupt, therefore all members of party X are corrupt.” Because that argument is plainly wrong, regardless of party, and I will condemn it regardless of the source.

  41. 41 dsimon

    Teezy:- You worked as a strategist on Blago’s 2002 campaign? You served with him as a state senator while he was governor? You had business and personal dealings with his corrupt patron, Tony Rezko? You endorsed him in 2006? He was then to fill your former position of employment through bribery?

    Only the last question is relevant to this particular scandal, and yes, the evidence so far is as compelling against me as it is against Obama.

    There are things we would like to believe about those we dislike and there are things that are actually backed up by evidence. Some people would like to (and do) believe that the Bush administration went to war in Iraq for oil and to enrich their own pockets. But I see no evidence for it. Everything I’ve read indicates that Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the like were true believers in the cause. So even though I might be pleased if they were as venal as others think they are, I don’t believe that they made their decisions for personal gain.

    If evidence comes forward to the contrary, I’d be glad to change my mind. Same with Obama: if there’s evidence of involvement, he should pay the price. But speculation is no substitute for proof. We can speculate endlessly about just about anything. We can speculate that “real” documents are forged, that spokespersons are lying, that there are massive conspiracies everywhere. But that doesn’t mean these speculations have any truth to them, or that they’re a productive use of anyone’s time or energy.

    And just as with the Holy Obama, your word will be taken as gospel. No investigation or follow-up required. Ever.

    Why do you insist on asserting what other people believe before, well, just asking them?

    With matters of this import, lies are usually found out. The cover-up, as they say, is often worse than the crime. No one’s word should be taken as gospel. But at this time, there is also no reason to think that they’re not telling the truth, especially when the consequences of being found out would be so disastrous.

    Again, if there’s evidence of a connection, so be it. But right now, there is none, and rampant speculation won’t create one if it isn’t there.

  42. 42 Mike

    Tezzy - yes reading is great. Glad you read some stuff on here.

    Blago’s activities were discreet to people outside his inner circle. For example to his chief of staff and a few others he cpould muse about getting Buffett or Gates to pay since they are “friends” of Obama’s. But there is no evidence (taped or otherwise) that he said these delusional things to anyone else. There is evidence that when speaking to senate candidate, Obama transition team people etc he was very circumspect and covered his ass. He was bound to have some street smarts or you don`t get to be a Governor of a large state.

    I think we have become entangled in weeds and cannot see the big picture. Some on the extreme right who cannot get over the large defeat they suffered 5 weeks ago are trying to conjure up something. This is fine if Obama was actually guilty of something but he isn`t. Blago on the tape says Obama (and his team) would give nothing for choosing candidate 1. This doesn`t not mean he solicited anything too openly, he may just have picked up on a vibe. This shows Obama and his transition team were not corrupted and are clean.

  43. 43 Mike

    Tezzy - you throw around words like “political patron” and “strategist” alot but they sound grander than they actually are.
    Yes Obama received money from Rezko, like many others (including Blago). This is not unusual. Much like many members of congress receiving money from Abramoff. That in itself is not wrong or illegal under current law. It is wrong and illegal if you know they are corrupt etc etc. So stop throwing around big words which sound like wild accusations and focus on facts. Remember reading is fun.

  44. 44 Teezy

    dsimon,
    You are making a defense against something I am not arguing. The connections between Blago and Obama (which I have listed several) are not evidence of guilt, but they provide cause to investigate (beyond a press conference question) whether Obama had any knowledge about Blago activities. If you wait for conclusive evidence BEFORE investigating corruption, any investigation will likely never take place.
    At the very least, we know that Blago had discussions with an emissary of one of Obama’s transition team members (see above). Is that cause enough for you for further inquiry?

  45. 45 Anonymous

    This scandal, in a way, is similar to Abscam if anyone from Obama’s camp was made aware of an illegal solicitation. I’d like to emphasize “IF”. Jack Murtha turned down a solicitation in Abscam but did not report this to the Feds. The only politician who reported an illegal solicitation was Larry Pressler of South Dakota (a GOPer who supported Obama in the GE!).

    Speculation will only cause the American people more grief. In November, under the Bush administration’s watch, over 500,000 people lost their jobs. Speculating without definitive proof doesn’t help these people at all.

    I ask everyone to allow the investigators to do their job and let all the chips fall in their place. The US economy is in shambles, and the last thing we need to do is speculate that Obama is guilty of a crime without any proof. Investigate the crime? Yes. Ask Obama and his staff their knowledge of the scandal in Congress or a court of law? Yes.

    At this point, nothing in this scandal has tainted Obama. How could it? The scandal hasn’t been fully investigated yet…

  46. 46 Teezy

    Mike,
    “Much like many members of congress receiving money from Abramoff. ”
    - And those Republican members suffered for it politically at the hands of Democrats. Now it’s their turn. But I can understand why you would like the GOP to surrender the same tactic the Democrats just finished using. It’s an easy way to protect them in their majority. Unfortunately for Democrats, that won’t happen.

  47. 47 Mike

    No Teezy, I would like to see consistency and only those who did something wrong should be punished by the voters.
    The GOP got punished not just for corruption (or perceived corruption) but incompetence, wasteful spending, the war etc. Lets not just focus on corruption or the GOP will not win in 2012 or 2016.

  48. 48 Teezy

    Mike,
    That’s what I’ve been saying. The Democrats used the guilt by association to punish Republicans for corruption, both actual and perceived. Like I also said, that wasn’t the only reason the GOP lost seats, but it was part of it. The same political tactic can and will be used against Democrats that have been associated with Blago. That alone may not cause the defeat of single candidate, but it will weaken a few congressmen and many Democrats at the state level in Illinois.
    I appreciate the idealistic position that you only want those who did something wrong to be politically punished. I guess its just too bad for the GOP that so many Democrat campaigns in the last couple cycles didn’t feel the same way.

  49. 49 dsimon

    Teezy: But I can understand why you would like the GOP to surrender the same tactic the Democrats just finished using. It’s an easy way to protect them in their majority. Unfortunately for Democrats, that won’t happen.

    It’s one thing to say it won’t happen. It’s another thing to endorse a tactic that should be discarded by both sides. I’m not clear what your position is.

    (And it’s still another thing to ignore other scandals which were systematic, such as the K Street Project, which can be said to have involved more than just a few representatives.)

  50. 50 Mike

    dsimon is correct alot of the GOP corruption/scandals were systemic whether it was DeLay redistricting in Texas or the K-Street/Abramoff issues. Blago is a delusional man who did this alone (meaning only him and his chief of state and other staffers). No nationally known politicans effected - I don`t include Jackson Junior in that list as he only got the seat because of his name and father.

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