Democratic Governor of Obama’s Home State Tries to Name Replacement for Obama’s Senate Seat, but Runs into a Small Problem

Now that Barak Obama has resigned his seat in the US Senate (he could have waited the inauguration but chose to do it early), the task of selecting a replacement to serve out the remainder of his unfinished term falls to the Governor of Illinois. Normally, this might be a great opportunity for the Governor, unfortunately, …

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "staggering" level of corruption involving pay-to-play politics in Illinois' top office. (Source)

One of the main allegations is that Blagojevich was trying to sell Obama’s vacated senate seat to the highest bidder (didn’t the Romans do this?). He also planned to give the seat to himself, if no one met the asking price, so that he could avoid impeachment and enhance his chances for a possible run for the presidency in 2016. Apparently, Blagojevich has some other problems that gave him the feeling the being Governor of Illinois was a dead end job. Perhaps it was related to “alleged” corruption or maybe his 13 percent approval rating. But its all moot now, he won’t get to sell it or even take it for himself. If only he tried auctioning it on Ebay. Legal technicalities are so frustrating and inconvenient!

Blagojevich had gained some notoriety recently when employees of a window company staged a sit in at their former place of business when it couldn’t make payroll and went belly up. The governor and the employees were demanding that the Bank of America give loans to the bankrupt company so it could continue to pay their salaries even though the company could never pay the loans back (Source). The governor ordered a halt to business with the Bank of America and the last I heard the Bank, with some additional pressure from Congress, was giving in to pressure. Hmm, giving loans to people who can’t pay them back, wasn’t that causing some problems somewhere? Oh well, I’m sure no one will mind.

Richard Daley, the mayor of Chicago (an expert on corruption himself) commented that it was “a sad day. If it's true, it's very, very sad because the selection of a U.S. senator is vitally important." Daley’s father was also a mayor of Chicago and ran a notoriously corrupt administration for many years and his son hasn’t been much better. It was reported that the elder Daley once asked John F. Kennedy how many votes he needed to be elected so he could manufacture them.

As for Obama, he claims that he hardly knew Blagojevich, who endorsed him for president, and had no idea of what he was doing. Probably true, but given the history and level of corruption in Illinois politics, it’s hardly surprising. Here is some advice to the people of Illinois, if you don’t like corruption in politics, stop voting democratic.

Update on the window company: looks like Bank of America is only agreeing to provide loans to some other bad risks. The job of buying of the workers of the window company, falls to Chase Manhatten Bank.

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