December 9th, 2008 13:53 EST
Gov. Rod Blagojevich Charged With Trying To Sell Obama's Senate Seat
The state of Illinois and Chicago in particular have a well-deserved reputation for political corruption. In the Roaring Twenties Chicago gangsters battled each other and the cops on the streets of the city. "The Chicago Way" still reigns supreme, the politicians of this fair city don`t let niceties like ethics, morals or the Constitution get in their way as they battle each other for political supremacy.
Al Capone could learn a thing or two from the likes of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
"Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested this morning on federal corruption charges, accused of trying to personally enrich himself and his wife in conspiring to sell President-elect Barack Obama`s vacated Senate seat for favors. Blagojevich, a 51-year old Democrat who has been under various ethics investigations over the years, was heard on a court-approved wiretap over the past month saying, `I want to make money.`"
Gov. Blagojevich has been under federal investigation for years for myriad instances of alleged corruption, and yet he attempts to sell the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama under the noses of the feds. The governor`s hubris is unbelievable, he thinks he`s one of The Untouchables.
"Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper`s editorial board who had been critical of him fired."
Whether it`s Putin in Russia or Blagojevich in Chicago, if there`s one thing a tyrant can`t stand it`s criticism. The press plays a critical role in our democracy by keeping politicians in check. If the media didn`t expose the ethical shortcoming of our elected leaders, they would try to get away with murder. By trying to intimidate the Tribune Co. into firing editorial columnists who had been critical of him, the governor or Illinois is striking at the heart of our democracy.
Now it`s not just the Chicago columnists who will be writing articles critical of the Illinois governor, every columnist and blogger worth his salt is busy pecking away at his keyboard blasting the ethically-challenged Blagojevich.
Everyone, even Chicago politicians, are innocent until proven guilty, and Blagojevich must be presumed innocent until he`s convicted by a court of law. But if Blagojevich is guilty of trying to sell a Senate seat and of trying to get columnists critical of him fired, he deserves to have the book thrown at him. Blagojevich faces two major charges: Conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and solicitation of bribery. These charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison, and Blagojevich deserves the maximum penalty.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. OJ Simpson also thought he was untouchable, but he stands a good chance of dying in prison. Blagojevich, 51, will also most likely die in prison if he`s slapped with the maximum penalty.