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Thread: IL Governor arrested

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    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2...o-custody.html

    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.

    Blagojevich is accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, including alleged attempts by the governor to try to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.

    Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning--one day shy of his 52nd birthday.



    A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. "Haven't heard anything--you are first to call," spokesman Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail. Blagojevich, who has maintained he committed no wrongdoing throughout his five-year tenure as governor, said on Monday that any discussions he has had were "always lawful."

    The stunning, early morning arrest came amid revelations that federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators turned to the possibility that Blagojevich's appointment to the Senate had become tainted by pay-to-play politics.

    The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state's next senator in weeks.

    Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes at about 6:15 a.m., according to the FBI. They were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago. Blagojevich is slated to appear at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan today, according to Randall Samborn of the U.S. attorney's office.

    On the issue of the U.S. Senate seat that Obama resigned Nov. 16, federal prosecutors said they had numerous recorded conversations of Blagojevich discussing the merits of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois as well as the financial and political benefits he and his wife, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, could receive.

    Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), Blagojevich's father-in-law, said it was a "terrible day." Mell, who often feuded with Blagojevich, said, "My main concern right now is for my daughter and my grandchildren."

    Mayor Richard Daley, reacting at a news conference, said today is "a sad day. If it's true, it's very, very sad because the selection of a U.S. senator is vitally important."

    Prosecutors also alleged Blagojevich expressed feeling "stuck" as a sitting governor and spent a large amount of time weighing whether he should appoint himself to the vacancy--possibly to avoid impeachment and help remake his image for a potential 2016 run for the presidency. A recent Tribune poll found Blagojevich with a record low 13 percent job approval rating.

    Under state law, the governor has the sole unfettered discretion to name Obama's appointment.

    Prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services, secretary of the Energy Department or gain an ambassadorship in the new Obama administration, or get a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate. An Obama spokesman had no immediate comment.

    Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year's end when a new tougher law on campaign donations, prompted by the governor's voracious fundraising, would take effect.

    Even Blagojevich's recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and "green lanes" on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged. The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. "If they don't perform, (expletive) 'em," Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.

    Blagojevich and Harris also allegedly conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

    In addition, federal prosecutors alleged Blagojevich and Harris, along with others, obtained and sought to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state jobs and state contracts.

    "The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.

    "They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism."

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    "Lucio Guerrero"......sounds like a mobster if I ever heard of one.......

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    Gov. Rod Blagojevich is arrested for corruption?:shock: I would have never seen that one coming (the arrest, not the corruption).

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    I love seeing scumbag gun grabbing nazis get at least a little of what they deserve.:celebrate
    If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training. You will become a minister of death, PRAYING FOR WAR...

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Not in Illinios, tell me it ain't so.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    Gordie wrote:
    Gov. Rod Blagojevich is arrested for corruption?:shock: I would have never seen that one coming (the arrest, not the corruption).
    Exactly !

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    Maybe they'll arrest Obama next on corruption, If we could only be so lucky.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Swampbeast wrote:
    Maybe they'll arrest Obama next on corruption, If we could only be so lucky.
    No, this is Obama's opportunity to get out from under Daley's thumb. Daley's got a crosshairs on his back now. Given Blagojevich's comments ON TAPE about Obama, he shouldn't be holding his breath waiting for a pardon. If he's got two braincells to rub together, he'll take ANY deal that Fitzgerald has to offer in return for rolling on Daley who's the REAL catch of the day. This is a golden opportunity for Obama to sieze political control of Chicago. I would expect some kind of deal with Jessie Jackson Jr. Obama will decapitate the Daley machine in the name of "change", just like Stalin decapitated the Old Bolshevik leadership after his own assassination of Kirov.

    Of course the alternative would be to turn Daley into his personal hand puppet. Imagine Obama winning 125% of the registered voters in Chicago in 2012 election...
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Deanimator wrote:
    Imagine Obama winning 125% of the registered voters in Chicago in 2012 election...
    What??:what:

    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
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    That's Chicago and Illinois for ya, Mafia's been in charge for the longest time. They run the city,,and most the surrounding area, and they dang sure run the politicians, and unions.
    ‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’ Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    rodbender wrote:
    Deanimator wrote:
    Imagine Obama winning 125% of the registered voters in Chicago in 2012 election...
    What??:what:
    I believe that it was a former Georgian seminary student who once said,

    "It's not who votes, it's who COUNTS the votes."
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Best politicians money can buy!

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    Slayer of Paper wrote:
    Best politicians money can buy!
    So what's holding the 2-1/2 million NRA mambers back? Surely they can afford to put us out of this Obaminable misery.

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    The thing I findparticularlydisturbing is this guy's unabashed arrogance.Heknew the Feds were on his tail yet he STILLthought he could continue thisblatantly corrupt behavior.

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    Regular Member demnogis's Avatar
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    I wonder if Obama bought is Senator's seat?
    Gun control isn't about guns -- it is about control.

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    just another piece of **** govt loser

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