Rod Blagojevich pleads not guilty to revised corruption charges.
giron - 11-2-2010 at 13:02
I suppose we must assume innocence until proven guilty, but there's no smoke without fire.
What the hell was going on there, surely that's taking free enterprise a bit too far, isn't it?
Nothing much new there, it appears to be common practice in the corrupt American political system.
Do you think he should be convicted on there relatively minor issues?
Then again, perhaps if he were tortured, he'd admit to other things as well?
scholar - 11-2-2010 at 16:18
I have listened to some of the wiretap recordings of him casually discussing getting bribes in exchange for doing things such as releasing money
budgeted for the Children's Hospital, or appointing someone to the Senate position.
In the case of the Children's Hospital, he was promised a bribe, and then he released the state funding that was supposed to go to the hospital.
When the bribe money did not come, he called one of his henchmen to see if he could get the state money back. Imagine--the state money was budgeted
for the medical care of CHILDREN, and Rod wanted to keep it from them because he didn't get the promised bribe.
He is despicable, beneath contempt. I look forward to when he is put in prison (the fourth Illinois Governor in my lifetime).
There has been some discussion lately as to whether Illinois or New York is worse with respect to government/political corruption. Perhaps Illinois
is now Number One.
giron - 11-2-2010 at 17:49
Is this sort of corruption fairly isolated or does it occur quite regularly?
Is there any reason why it seems higher in Illinois than elsewhere, more importantly, what is being done to stamp it out?
scholar - 11-2-2010 at 20:28
Some states have a record of corruption. When businesses are used to bribing officials, when state workers are used to paying
politicians for the priviledge of keeping their jobs, when some government employees have their positions because they are close to the politicians
(and may therefore pick up their salary check without bothering to perform a job), it's not uncommon for the same practices to continue year after
year. The worst corruption happens when either one political party controls everything, or when both parties participate in the corruption.
Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Louisianna are widely known for corruption.
I would imagine states which are better run still have isolated instances of bribery.
There is a federal prosecutor who has been working at cleaning up political corruption in Illinois. So far, President Obama has let him continue to
do his job. (Some people wondered if the President would transfer him away, because he has investigated and prosecuted some of Obama's criminal
friends. Well done, Obama, in leaving the legal investigation
and prosecution independent.)
This took courage on Obama's part. His friend and fund-raiser, who sold him some of the land which is part of his home in Chicago, Tony Rezko, was
convicted by this prosecutor and is now in prison for federal crimes.
The Blagojevich wire taps include indications that the Obama White House was offered an opportunity to pick the Senator to be appointed, if they would
give Blagojevich a bribe. The White House did not agree to give a bribe. But, they didn't report the bribery attempt (a federal crime) either.
That's the kind of problem one has in a culture of corruption--the White House representative didn't actually give a bribe, but they didn't act
against the criminal, either. Note carefully--President Obama DID NOT speak to Blagojevich or his henchmen personally; it was one of Obama's men who
spoke on the phone and indicated the Obama White House would not supply a bribe.
giron - 11-2-2010 at 20:44
I suspect that it was common sense rather than courage that made Obama decide not to interfere with the investigation.
It would have been political suicide if he had intervened on behalf of his crooked friends.
He must be well aware that there are plenty of people that would like nothing more than to find evidence that he was involved in covering up
corruption, let alone being directly involved with the actual corrupt dealings.
Do you think that he's got some dark secrets from his past that may yet come back to haunt him?
scholar - 11-2-2010 at 20:54
It would be truly amazing, almost a miracle, if President Obama walked through the cesspool of his criminal friends and allies without ever getting
His friend Bill Ayers was a domestic terrorist. Ayers admits he bombed police; in fact, he says he wishes he had done more of it! He could not be
convicted, because the FBI's evidence was tainted. This man held a fundraiser for Obama in his home when he first ran for office; he served on a
board with Obama; he eventually admitted that he wrote one of Obama's memoirs; he and his wife babysat Obama's kids. He became notably silent
during the Presidential campaign, because he didn't want to hurt his friend's chances. But, after Obama was in office, he became more candid about
their close relationship.
marymary100 - 11-2-2010 at 20:57
giron - 11-2-2010 at 21:00
What is it about American presidents, a large number of them had skeletons in their cupboards?
I wonder whether it's possible to rise to that high office without being involved in corruption of one form or another?