Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On Rod Blagojevich's birthday, Illinois regroups

As readers of this blog know, I have written often over the past several years about Rod Blagojevich. I was convinced he would be indicted someday and said so. From my days as a spokesman for former Il. Attorney General Jim Ryan—who Blago defeated in the Il. governor's race in 2002—it was apparent that Rod was an oddly constituted politician who would say absolutely anything, at any time, to advance his political career. It was also apparent he had no moral compass or interest in governing.

Many other reasons to doubt Blagojevich's fitness as a public servant were outlined in these posts, and, rather unceremoniously on this blog.


There's no excuse for being "stunned". I got over that five years ago when the brazen criminality of Rod Blagojevich became so painfully obvious simply from reading the paper. Since this blog started, I've written about four hundred posts on Blago's corruption and incompetence, pretty much shouting into the darkness, even while partisan Democrats still tried to assert that Blagojevich was merely a "victim" of the "right-wing smear machine".

Some observations going forward:

1. Most of the federal case against Blagojevich has yet to be revealed. What emerged yesterday were schemes hatched in the last several months. The core of the case against the governor, including other shakedown allegations and income tax avoidance, has yet to be made public.

2. Many Il. Democrats have much to worry about, legally. Subjects and targets of the investigation will be cashing in what's left of their leverage by talking to the feds. To get consideration, they will need to produce new allegations of value. Expect other names to become ensnared in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's net.

3. Barack Obama, despite the MSM coverage, is not out of the woods. It is already known that Fitzgerald subpoenaed records related to the joint Tony Rezko-Obama house/lot sale. We also know that Rezko is not done talking. There are a number of other common donors and consultants between Blagojevich and Obama. The splatter could be considerable when full recordings and other court filings are made public.

4. Il. Democrats have considerable political exposure enabling Blagojevich's re-election in 2006. Obama and much of the Democratic establishment in Illinois endorsed his re-election two years ago knowing about the federal investigations, which had already reached high into the governor's office. To those same Dems who criticized Republicans for supporting George Ryan in 1998 while he was under federal investigation I have a news flash: The Blago investigation was much more apparent and advanced in 2006. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn vouched for Blagojevich's honesty and got re-elected because of the governor's dirty fundraising.

5. Blagojevich is unlikely to step down soon. He probably is nearly broke and stepping down would cut off his only source of income, his salary. A sane person would plead quickly and keep his wife from exposure. That's the deal allegedly on the table from the feds. Rod, however, is far from sane so predictions are difficult.

6. Happy birthday, governor! Today, he is 52. Some people must have been confused on the date because I heard from many of them as they celebrated yesterday.

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