Dec 9, 2008
It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fitzmas
OK, seriously--Pat Fitzgerald is a rock star, and if Obama removes him from the US Attorney's post, I'm going to be supremely disappointed. Rod Blagojevich, horrendously and ineptly corrupt governor of Illinois, was arrested this morning at his home by federal officers. Fitzgerald will have a press conference later this morning, and the hearing for Blago will be at the Dirksen Courthouse in downtown Chicago at 1:30pm. A few of us may walk over there to see if we can get in. Unlikely, I think, due to the massive media presence.
Here's the criminal complaint against him. I must say, though I thought that Blago was corrupt, I had no idea how dirty his hands were. We know from this complaint that he has a fond proclivity to drop the F-bomb (as does his wife, interestingly enough) and that even knowing that he was under federal investigation, he continued in his activities, going so far as to try to 'sell' Obama's now vacant Senate seat in exchange for him becoming Secretary of Health and Human Services. What kind of idiot continues to use the same means to further your own illegal activities when you know you are under investigation? Almost every phone that the man might touch was tapped. He knew that Rezko was selling him out (though the complaint, interestingly, doesn't base anything on Rezko's proffers, noting that they may be unreliable).
It must feel like sweet justice for the Tribune that they broke the story, given that one of the charges was that he wanted the Trib to fire some editorial writers as a tradeoff for the state helping finance the sale of Wrigley Field.
Heavens. Chicago is clearly where the cool kids are hanging out right now.
Update: Pat Fitzgerald gives an excellent press conference. Blago thought it was a joke when he was called this morning and told that agents were waiting to arrest him. I don't know anything about Fitz's political leanings, but I really like the guy. Governor in 2010? Anyone?
Great quote: "Illinois may not be the most corrupt state in the nation, but it's one hell of a competitor."
By the way, that Senate seat, so covetted by so many, is now most toxic thing in politics. If Blago appoints anyone, I have no doubt that person will be in for a tough, if not impossible, reelection campaign in 2010. Maybe the Assembly will call an emergency session to strip him of that power; they could send it to him, force him to sign it or veto, and then, assuming a veto-proof majority (one would hope), override him. He's pretty busy right now, however, so it's unlikely that he will have the time to sign or veto anything in the near future.
By the way, title of post is a hattip to Drudge Report.