Well, well, well. The wheels are coming off the Chicago Machine.
Prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services, secretary of the Energy Department or gain an ambassadorship in the new Obama administration, or get a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate. An Obama spokesman had no immediate comment.
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.
In addition, federal prosecutors alleged Blagojevich and Harris, along with others, obtained and sought to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state jobs and state contracts.
“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.
Blagojevich and his cohort, Harris, were arrested this morning, before he was allowed to appoint Barack Obama’s successor. Clearly the Governor could not be trusted to do so without trying to horse-trade money, favors and DemNut Welfare.
I cannot wait to see how the Obamans try to spin this. Remember Ronald Reagan? They called him the “teflon-coated President,” because people still believe he was innocent of all wrongdoing despite the fact that so many members of his Cabinet were indicted during his administration?
Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet, and he’s already lying about his involvement in this sordid mess. (Yes, Axelrod admitted that Barack talked to the governor extensively about this appointment.) He’s already getting mired in scandal and corruption that even the media can’t pretend away. Of course this is most likcely tied to Rezko, who has been singing to Fitz like a little bird. What do you think they were discussing? Why, I Believe it was Change.
Pass the popcorn.