Really, Rod?

from the SJ-R's Chris Britt

…and we’re sure ex-gov Blagojevich won’t mind the familiar reference.  He is, after all, going to make a lot of new friends from so many interesting walks of life.  In federal prison they might call him Rod, or Roddy, or even Blago…  Or something else less wholesome.

The verdicts came in, the pundits had their say, and now we await the sentencing.  How much time will Blago get?  Will he lose his state pension (it might seem obvious, but ex-Governor and current inmate George Ryan held on to his)?  What will become of the Blago children?

Blago’s quotes outside the courthouse post-verdict dealt with “getting home and explaining to his little girls.”  Fortunately for Patti and the girls, her father is a longtime Chicago machine player.  You can bet they’ll be looked after.  Blago’s other quote:  “Frankly, I’m stunned.”

Really?  You’re stunned that you were convicted, even after the impeachment, hearing the tapes, reading the transcripts?  Are you still stunned that you were charged in the first place?   Continue reading

Jury of his peers?

Jury selection is under way for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (and his hair) in Chicago.  It’s a retrial, as you recall, because in our last go around the defense attorneys managed to convince one weak-minded individual that “she couldn’t be responsible for sending him [Blago] away for that long”.  Never mind about deliberating on the facts of the case separately.

Of course this was the Team Blago strategy from the get-go:  seek out as much free publicity as humanly possible, thus interfering with a potential jury pool, then attempt to stock the jury with at least a few fools who could be somehow manipulated or .  Now comes round two.  We have one woman who warned the judge about the trial interfering with her tickets to the last Oprah show.  We have a claustrophobic and other characters.   Continue reading

Prudent Jurisprudence

Blago was in rare form the other day.  After the deadlocked jury could only convict him on one count (lying to to the feds – but hey, he’s a politician and it goes with the job description) causing a mistrial and retrial to come, he stood their and lambasted Patrick Fitzgerald and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, accusing them of “persecution”.  Never mind that he’s now a convicted felon.

He talked of “policemen gunned down in the streets” and “children who can’t play in their front yards”.  Never mind that it was his so-called leadership and political strategy that led Illinois to its current $13 billion deficit, stretching law enforcement across the state to the breaking point, expanding so many’s dependence on government programs that they cannot function without their monthly taxpayer provided checks.

The Tribune’s John Kass provides an excellent take on the immediate Blago reaction, and also lambasts those jurors who want the smoking briefcase and CSI-style resolution in 50 minutes.  As Kass rightly points out, the process of legal prosecution in this country is deeply flawed.  So much of it hinges on jury selection, and how does that work? Continue reading

The Hair No Longer Sacrosanct

In a move designed to do nothing so much as affect the jurors in his eventual criminal trial, the Blago went uptown yesterday, as in Manhattan.  It was Good Morning America, Today, the View, Larry King.  Yes, he finally received the kind of national media attention he’s been pursuing for so long.  This as the Illinois Senate began his impeachment trial.

But it was not without a cost.  As you may have seen, the Governor’s source of strength, his very conduit to the Blago mojo was violated by shameless talk-show harpy, Joy Behar…

Note: You may have to go to the blog site to view the youtube clip.

This, then, is the turning point.  The Hair is no longer sacrosanct.  If you will permit us this metaphor, that the Blago’s public life is now like a man falling down a very long flight of stairs, then the defiling of the Hair is the moment in which he finally loses his balance and begins to plummet.  A sad moment indeed.

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Blago Raises Discourse-Level

It’s about time we had a governor who provides upliftment to the electorate, who raises the level of discourse for the fine citizens of Illinois.  A governor who cares first and foremost about the poor children of the state, many of whom belong to irresponsible types who cannot afford or refuse to provide them with health care.  A governor who cares about breast and cervical cancer, about tax reform for the poor unfortunates of underrepresented Cook County.  A governor whose first responsibility is to the people.  A governor who would never, ever consider playing the race card politically.  Someone like this guy…

A governor who knows his poetry.  Yes, in two out of three recent press conferences, Illinois Governor ‘Lightning’ Rod Blagojevich has ended with verse fit to warm the heart of even the most jaded English major.  First it was Rudyard Kipling; last Friday, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  Stick to the classics, baby.  If he can find a way to quote Oscar Wilde in his next press conference, all bets are off.  

Never mind his mountain lion release policy for controlling the deer and pesky rural voter population, we’re on board with the next reelection campaign.  Sign us up!

What?!?  Impeachment?  Federal charges?  It’s poetry!  The man quotes poetry…

Blago vows to fight… Yay

In a classic bit of staged political melodrama, Illinois’ proud Governor Blagojevich claimed he is “not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing” and vowed, “I will fight.  I will fight.  I will fight.”  Terrific.  Just what this state needs: more laughing stock material and ineffective state government.  For those of us familiar with Blago and Illinois politics, the Gov’s statements came as no surprise — especially after he hired Chicago hotshot defense attorney, Edward Genson earlier in the week.  The Illinois General Assembly already appears to be back-peddaling in their impeachment attempts, which move forward nonetheless.  But there are two points that have really really raised our ire around here…

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