I have been under no illusion that Illinois politics is a clean business. After all, four of the last eight governors have been to prison and we have the Daley family. Even having the President-elect from Illinois isn't enough to clean up our reputation (and being from Illinois, and although a great many of my fellow citizens won't admit it - Obama got a cake walk from the Illinois media.)
Our Governor was arrested yesterday morning (I guess this could make five of nine) in his home. He has been under investigation for the past five years of his eight years in office. He was arrested because he was bartering the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Caught him on tape. His wife, too. Caught going over several scenarios of who wanted the seat and what could be gotten in exchange for it.
Federal prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald said they acted quickly to arrest Blagojevich before he could appoint someone to the Senate seat and before he could act on withholding funds from Children's Memorial Hospital because they did not make a contribution to his campaign and before he could coerce the Chicago Tribune to fire members of the editorial board because they did not write favorably about him.
After details of his arrest were made known, the Senate seat appeared on Ebay. Well, why not?
One of the controversial things this governor has done is to live in Chicago as opposed to living in the mansion in Springfield. He's about ten miles from my house. Short enough for me to want to drive over and say 'What the hell....we just had a governor sent off to prison. Not one, but two of your cronies were arrested, tried and convicted. The only thing the Democrats and Republicans can agree on in this state is that they are all open to bribes, and just the day before yesterday, you bragged that it didn't matter if people taped you; everything you said was lawful. 'Let them tape me." you said. Mr. Governor, Gary Hart on line three.'
Is this going to touch the President-elect? I imagine some will try considering there was a connection between him and one of the governor's cronies though it was largely dismissed during the campaign. But we will have to wait and see. There was talk on the transcripts that a deal could possibly be made with the President-elect about the seat but that 's all it could be. Talk. I wouldn't be surprised either way. Which is pretty sad. I should still have the option of being shocked by things our elected officials do.
At this point, I'd settle for not being embarrassed.