'Staggering' Corruption by Blagojevich

It just boggles the mind. Trying to sell a senate seat (person is identified only as "candidate #5")? Speculation who that might be centers on Jesse Jackson, Jr. who wanted Obama's seat so bad he could taste it.

Also, there are indications he approached the Obama camp with a similar offer, probably in connection with the early front runner for the seat Valerie Jarrett. This from Politico :

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was captured on tape saying that unless he received “something real good” for the appointment of a top adviser to Barack Obama to fill the president-elect’s Senate seat he would appoint himself, according to the criminal complaint.

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

Blagojevich added that the Senate seat: “is a f***ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

The complaint does not mention her name, but the description makes clear that Blagojevich is referring to Valerie Jarrett, a senior campaign adviser to Obama who has been tapped as a top White House aide.

“By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an adviser to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect,” the complaint states.

Obama most likely convinced Jarrett to take a job as his advisor in the White House rather than get caught up in what he surely realized was an attempt by Blagojevich to bribe his campaign.

Then there's the incredible deal Blagojevich tried to strike with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU):

The complaint also details Blagojevich's discussion of trading Jarrett's appointment for the top job at the Change to Win labor federation; Change to Win's key sponsor, the Service Employees International Union, backed Jarrett.

Says the complaint:

HARRIS said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.

For those wondering if Obama was stupid enough to get involved in such dealings, you can forget about it. Obama likely already knew of Blagojevich's incredible corruption because of his relationship with Tony Rezko, the convicted Chicago political fixer who was a valuable associate of both Obama and Blagojevich. In fact, it came out at Rezko's trial that Obama was present during a couple of meetings where Rezko alluded to his "pay for play" scheme that has now ensnared the governor.

Obama no doubt gave Blagojevich a wide berth after learning about how interested the prosecutors were in the governor's wheeling and dealing.

Another charge against the governor - surreal in its affrontery - was Blagojevich trying to get the Tribune to fire several members of their editorial board in exchange for help in selling one of the Trib's most valuable properties - the Chicago Cubs baseball team. To think that Blagojevich actually believed he could accomplish the brazen attempt to silence his critics is beyond belief.

But it is the selling of the senate seat that has everyone buzzing today - and rightly so. It evidently involves not only some high profile politicians but also the president elect's staff and a major union backer of Obama. It is unknown at this point whether any of these parties actually entertained offers from Blagojevich nor how serious they took the governor's promises. It should be interesting as the names and circumstances leak out - as they almost surely will.

This is the most breathtaking corruption of high office that I have ever heard of. It not only calls into question Blagojevich's morals but his mental health. With the feds swarming about him and his cronies he offered to sell a senate seat? Not just to one person but evidently several? The bespeaks a lack of contact with reality - or a streak of hubris so wide that the governor actually believed he was invulnerable.

More updates later as the news rolls in.






It just boggles the mind. Trying to sell a senate seat (person is identified only as "candidate #5")? Speculation who that might be centers on Jesse Jackson, Jr. who wanted Obama's seat so bad he could taste it.

Also, there are indications he approached the Obama camp with a similar offer, probably in connection with the early front runner for the seat Valerie Jarrett. This from Politico :

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was captured on tape saying that unless he received “something real good” for the appointment of a top adviser to Barack Obama to fill the president-elect’s Senate seat he would appoint himself, according to the criminal complaint.

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

Blagojevich added that the Senate seat: “is a f***ing valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

The complaint does not mention her name, but the description makes clear that Blagojevich is referring to Valerie Jarrett, a senior campaign adviser to Obama who has been tapped as a top White House aide.

“By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an adviser to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect,” the complaint states.

Obama most likely convinced Jarrett to take a job as his advisor in the White House rather than get caught up in what he surely realized was an attempt by Blagojevich to bribe his campaign.

Then there's the incredible deal Blagojevich tried to strike with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU):

The complaint also details Blagojevich's discussion of trading Jarrett's appointment for the top job at the Change to Win labor federation; Change to Win's key sponsor, the Service Employees International Union, backed Jarrett.

Says the complaint:

HARRIS said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.

For those wondering if Obama was stupid enough to get involved in such dealings, you can forget about it. Obama likely already knew of Blagojevich's incredible corruption because of his relationship with Tony Rezko, the convicted Chicago political fixer who was a valuable associate of both Obama and Blagojevich. In fact, it came out at Rezko's trial that Obama was present during a couple of meetings where Rezko alluded to his "pay for play" scheme that has now ensnared the governor.

Obama no doubt gave Blagojevich a wide berth after learning about how interested the prosecutors were in the governor's wheeling and dealing.

Another charge against the governor - surreal in its affrontery - was Blagojevich trying to get the Tribune to fire several members of their editorial board in exchange for help in selling one of the Trib's most valuable properties - the Chicago Cubs baseball team. To think that Blagojevich actually believed he could accomplish the brazen attempt to silence his critics is beyond belief.

But it is the selling of the senate seat that has everyone buzzing today - and rightly so. It evidently involves not only some high profile politicians but also the president elect's staff and a major union backer of Obama. It is unknown at this point whether any of these parties actually entertained offers from Blagojevich nor how serious they took the governor's promises. It should be interesting as the names and circumstances leak out - as they almost surely will.

This is the most breathtaking corruption of high office that I have ever heard of. It not only calls into question Blagojevich's morals but his mental health. With the feds swarming about him and his cronies he offered to sell a senate seat? Not just to one person but evidently several? The bespeaks a lack of contact with reality - or a streak of hubris so wide that the governor actually believed he was invulnerable.

More updates later as the news rolls in.