How Did Blagojevich Manage to Stay in Power so Long?

Guilty Rod BlagojevichWhat the whole world now knows about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich comes as no surprise to Illinoisians and other observers. a quick search reveals that one of my earliest blog entries here, in Sept. 2005, mentions him as a criminal. Unbelievable?!? Hardly — Blagojevich is the fifth Illinois governor of the last nine to be indicted.

Of course, he got reelected, as Daley always does, because the machine wins — or else. And fortunately Obama made his run this year instead of waiting until the rest of the world got wind of the stench of corruption perennially consuming Springfield / Chicago politics. It always seemed Obama was careful to skirt the machine, with relationships that were chilly — at best — with Blago and Daley.

The real crime here may be at the hands of the Chicago Tribune. How long were they sitting on the story of Blagojevich’s jockeying to dump Tribune editorial board members who slammed him in exchange for working a sweet deal for the sale of the Cubs? Gotta love these quotes though:

“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day.

“[The Senate seat] is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Justice at last. Full coverage at Chicago Public Radio.

Click here for the full 76-page indictment (PDF).

More coverage:
Chicagoist: highlights of complaint v. Blago
Chicagoist: Full Coverage
Think Progress: Did Rahm tip off the FBI?
Marc Ambinder: Who is Sen. Candidate #5?
Ben Smith: What the Transition Team Knew
Chi Breaking News: Quinn urges Blago to step aside

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