Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Reaction to the alleged crimes of Rod Blagojevich has been unusually strong -- not surprisingly.
Political corruption in the state that has made corruption an art form isn't funny, like a clown. The joke is on all of us, everyone who lives in Illinois. Because Blagojevich was elected governor on the reform ticket, promising to clean up the state and end business as usual.
I have a hard time pronouncing his name. I just call him the idiot.
He disgraces us and our form of government. Some punishment beyond imprisonment is his due.
The malfeasance of Governor Rod Blagojevich is so outrageous, so brazen, so breathtaking in its scope and character that even jaded journalistic hacks whose beat has been the statehouse for years are shocked. In the long history of official Illinois corruption, the Blagojevich schemes to personally enrich himself, enrich his cronies, and use the power of his office to further his nefarious designs are unprecedented.
Even setting aside the primordial level of corruption of trying to sell the senate seat of the President-elect of the United States, I never fail to be amazed at the brazenness and stupidity of some political crooks. I mean, I think everyone involved in politics or interested in political corruption in the country had to know that Blagojevich's phones were tapped and probably his offices were bugged, and that Pat Fitzgerald had him under the craziest level of scrutiny. And he tries to sell the senate seat with that hanging over his head? That's simply amazing. I guess you could say he's just a traditionalist, trying to keep up heritage of Chicago machine politics. But with some of these characters, it must just be pathological.
For my part, I'm still struck by how the alleged attempted selling of the Obama seat has drawn 99.44 percent of the attention. Remember that the Illinois governor and his administration have been under investigation for years for abusing office for private gain, as with the alleged shakedown of the children's hospital CEO. That's almost been swept aside, but I suspect we'll learn more from that end.
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