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Illinois Governor Arrested for Trying to Hoc Senate Seat, etc.
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The Chicago Tribune broke the news this morning that Illinios governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested today for what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald calls a “staggering” level of corruption. The FBI has gathered up a ton of evidence that the governor and his associates had been plotting to sell the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by President-Elect Barack Obama and getting campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions. Federal investigators’ secret recordings of the governor (made in cooperation with his longtime confidant) revealed the possibility that his appointment to the vacant Senate seat was sullied by “pay-to-play” politics. The breadth of corruption extends farther than that: among other charges, Blagojevich and Harris wanted to demand the firing of those who wrote critical editorials in exchange for state help for the sale of Wrigley Field.  (Inhale. Exhale). Unbelievable. This seems like something straight out of old-school 19th century Chicago politics. Let’s hope that Robert Bryan, FBI special agent in charge of the Chicago Office, means it when he says that the governor’s arrest should signal that “business as usual will no longer be tolerated.”


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