Ugly Illinois Politics – Trouble For Obama?

| December 9, 2008


I grew up in Illinois, and I have seen first hand the kind of strange deals that take place in order for things to get done. In fact my own dearly departed Grandfather was once arrested with several high profile political and sports figures for playing high stakes poker in a hotel room. Besides the fun of a good game with a lot of money on the table, it was a way that a hard working construction contractor (my Grandfather) could make sure that enough money got to the right places to ensure that his company had work for the coming year. Just lose a few good hands and everything works out fine!

So the kind of headlines screaming across the news this morning is no surprise to me:

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, chief of staff, arrested

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by FBI agents on federal corruption charges Tuesday morning.

Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes at about 6:15 a.m., according to Frank Bochte of the FBI. Both were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago.

In one charge related to the appointment of a senator to replace Barack Obama, prosecutors allege that Blagojevich sought appointment for himseld as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union, in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.

If you know Illinois politics, you are quite aware that the selling of appointments is the status quo, the biggest question in my mind is “why did they bust Blagojevich”? It my mind, he must have caused someone a bit more trouble than what he is worth. In what might be trouble for the President-Elect, it seems his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is wrapped up in this according to documents on The Smoking Gun.

In related news, it seems that noted Chicago wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko’s dirt is still around. Someone in the banking business in the city has decided to turn state’s evidence and is now ready to sing about the crazy deal that Rezko rigged for then Senator Obama’s house purchase.

This could actually be trouble for the President-Elect, much more so than the far-fetched idea that he is not a US citizen. Rezko is already in up to his waist as a clearing-house for Chicago corruption, payments and graft.

Lesson to the media who did not look into this before the elections – this information was going to come out eventually. By being in the tank for Senator Obama, you are going to still have to come clean on his background. Only now the damage is going to be multiples of what it would have been in July.

Strange analog to the financial implosion we are still trying to work our way through. Once upon a time the news business was about finding and publishing facts, and from that free and informative press a better world would come. Now it’s all advocacy, and we are paying a heavy and increasing price by willfully ignoring the facts.

[Update – Ace says…]

FBI Agent in Charge of Chicago says ‘it’s a new low for Illinois‘, that’s saying something. “If it (Illinois) isn’t the most corrupt state, it’s certainly one hell of a competitor“. Says his agents were shocked and sickened by what they heard.

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Category: 2008 Election, Main

About the Author ()

Bruce Henderson is a former Marine who focuses custom data mining and visualization technologies on the economy and other disasters.

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