Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blago's Big Fat Silence continues

Eric Zorn has the best name so far for the $1,500 check scandal: "My Big Fat Birthday Gift." He also has the latest roundup.

As Rod continues to duck reporters, he sends his campaign spokeswoman Sheila Nix out there every day. She's tried yesterday to get the press interested in some diversionary issue and failed. She's trying to resurrect the same issue today and failing again.

Last night on TV I caught Nix saying that the public only knows about the check because of the disclosure law Rod authored. That's about as far off-base as the third baseman when David Ortiz is batting. The gift section of that law has existed for years, well before Blagojevich was governor. I filled it out when I was a state employee and, no, I never declared a gift.

And, of course, Rod only added Mike and Beverly Ascaridis to the gift section of his disclosure form AFTER he was interviewed by the FBI. He didn't reveal the amount of the gift or that it was directed to his seven-year-old daughter. So Rod gets no credit for belatedly following the law and then stonewalling the public about further details.

Blagojevich also said through Nix yesterday that Judy Baar Topinka and Joe Birkett ought to be investigated because they declared no gifts. Very strange logic indeed, which, if carried through, means nearly Rod's entire administration ought to be investigated. I briefly checked the gift disclosures and found that Blago's top aides Brad Tusk, John Filan and Abby Ottenhoff all claimed no gifts. I only checked those three -- I'll assume most if not all of his cabinet accepted no gifts. I guess it would be redundant to ask Nix to call for an internal investigation of the Blagojevich administration to add to the nine already underway.

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