December 9th, 2008

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Federal agents arrest Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich

It looks like Pat Fitzgerald really got the work done. They got him on tape discussing shaking down contractors for campaign funds. Allegedly, he tried to get editorial board members at the Tribune fired for criticizing him in print. Most significantly, he was demanding quid pro quos for appointing a replacement to Barack Obama's seat in the US Senate. That's a little surprising, it's a REALLY ballsy thing to do when you know they're breathing down your neck. Nobody in their right mind in Illinois thought he was anything but dirty and arrogant, but Jesus...

"The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. "They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism."

Lest somebody think some slick lawyering will get the governor off, let me remind you all of this singular truth:
"You come at the king, you best not miss."
-- Omar Little (Michael K. Williams), The Wire, "Lessons"

Like Carol Lam chasing Duke Cunningham in San Diego, Pat Fitzgerald has done the work.
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Obama press conference

"Saddened and sobered" by the news. Declines to comment given the ongoing investigation. Speaks about meeting with Al Gore, discussing climate change. At the end, he takes one question asking about his senate seat. "I had no contact with the governor or his office, so I was not aware of what was happening. As I said, it's a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I cannot comment."