Try as hard as you might to pretend that you had not much–make that nothing–to do with the rise and fall of former governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich, you, Illinois Democrats, created and nurtured him.
He was the scion of the Chicago, Cook County and Illinois Democrat party and your efforts to disown him are laughable and pitiable.
Worse, the system that him is the same corrupt and criminal enterprise that exists today.
For the full history of how Democrats inflicted Blago on the people and state of Illinois turn to John Kass in this morning’s Chicago Tribune, “The Shawshank Rod Blagojevich Redemption Tour begins”.
Now in a futile attempt to disown Blagojevich, condemnations rain down on him from on high in the party. Most notably, Gov. J.B. Pritzker. He issued a statement, presumably with a straight face:
Illinoisans have endured far too much corruption, and we must send a message to politicians that corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated. President Trump has abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption, and I deeply believes [sic] this pardon sends the wrong message at the wrong time. I’m committed to continuing to take clear and decisive steps this spring to prevent politicians from using their offices for personal gain, and I will continue to approach this work with that firm conviction.
Let us turn to Austin Berg, Vice President of Marketing for the Illinois Policy Institute, who adroitly exposes Pritzker for the hypocrite that he is in this: Blagojevich returns to an Illinois as corrupt as he left it.
“Ooh, interesting,” Blagojevich said during the November 2008 phone call. “Let’s think about that. You interested in that?”
“Yeah,” Pritzker responded, “that’s the one I would want.”
One can ask what the quid pro quo would have been if Blagojevich had named Pritzker treasurer. Not that the multi-billionaire couldn’t have come up with enough when Blagojevich asked him for a campaign contribution.
Blagojevich did ask Pritzker for a campaign contribution as they discussed the possible appointment. Like the $140,000 Pritzker and his wife had given to Blagojevich’s campaign from 2002 to 2006, according to the Chicago Tribune.
As a triumphant Balgojevich was returning home for an appearance on his stoop, like a Juan Paron emerging on the balcony of the presidential place, the Chicago Sun-Times was reporting:
Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and several of his closest political allies are named in a new federal subpoena seeking records on a former ComEd lobbyist and his consulting work for a tiny southwestern suburb, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
A significant focus of the subpoena is Raymond T. Nice – a longtime campaign worker for Madigan’s Southwest Side Democratic organization who became an “independent contractor” for the village of Merrionette Park in 2015, according to records and interviews.
Indeed, Illinois is as corrupt as it was when Blagojevich was heading for prison. Moreover, you can reasonably argue that it is more corrupt. I’ve lost count of all the outstanding federal subpoenas and indictments there are; suffice to say it is probably more than in living memory.
Meanwhile, Blagojevich appeared Wednesday night on Fox News to regurgitate his claims of innocence, arguing that the real corruption in Illinois and the source of all his problems are to be found in the federal prosecutor’s office.
A reminder: It was a jury, not the prosecutors, Rod, who found you guilty.
P.S. I don’t need to be reminded that Illinois Republicans aren’t without sin. But they’re not running the state now. Or back when Blagojevich was the governor (who was amazingly re-elected by Illinois voters even when he was under investigation).
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