Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Governor Blago auctions Barack Obama's Senate seat 

A month ago we wondered why Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich had not gotten his act together to determine who he would appoint to the United States Senate to succeed Barack Obama. Well, now we know. It turns out that it takes time to arrange an auction.

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

"They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator," Fitzgerald said."

Barack Obama will, no doubt, be "disappointed" in Governor Blagojevich. The question is, what will happen to Patrick Fitzgerald when Barack Obama takes over?

Blagojevich is a Democrat, by the way, not that you would be able to detect that from the wire story.

MORE: Lefty blogger Christy Hardin Smith:
That's pretty ballsy stuff for a governor who knew he was already under intense federal scrutiny -- and had known it for some time. There is a lot to this -- including allegations regarding a host of other Chicago pols and national names that are hidden behind the usual "candidate x" indictment nomenclature, but whomever the Fundraiser for "Friends of Blagojevich" is, I'd contact an attorney -- stat -- just based on my quick skim through.

Separately, I am one conservative who very much hopes that this investigation does not lead into the Obama organization in any way, shape, or form. The country really does not need another tortured presidency.

MORE: The complaint. I'm in a meeting that I have to pay attention to, so you'll have to do the reading for me. Spew your brilliant observations into the comments.

WE CAN'T STOP THE UPDATES: CNN does not mention Blago's party either. There's a shocker.

During the course of this investigation, agents have intercepted a Series of communications regarding the efforts of ROD BLAGOJEVICH, JOHN HARRIS, and others to misuse this power to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, for ROD BLAGOJEVICH and his family. In particular, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has been intercepted conspiring to trade the senate seat for particular positions that the President-elect has the power to appoint (e.g. the Secretary of Health and Human Services).

My question: Why would Blago think he could influence the appointment of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and why would he expect that anybody would believe that he could do that?

BONUS: Hot Air has lots o' coverage. Memorandum link-fest here, and Insty's links here.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 10:45:00 AM:

I have wondered about the fate of Fitzgerald as well TH. It will be interesting to see if The Big Zero tries to kill the investigation, but given his propensity for throwing people under the bus, perhaps not?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 10:53:00 AM:

Let's not be naive, TH. The new President is a member of the same political machine, or "establishment" if you prefer, that produced Blagojevich.

If Obama is smart, and wants to avoid a wounded Presidency as much as you want him to, he'll announce asap that Fitzgerald has his full support, and that he is going to continue in his job under an Obama administration. Obama should encourage the Daley machine to do whatever it takes to clean up Illinois, post-haste. The cover up is always worse than the crime.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 11:15:00 AM:


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 12:03:00 PM:

I am disgusted by this, I hope they make an example out of him if he is found guilty. Sickens me to my core.  

By Blogger K. Pablo, at Tue Dec 09, 12:18:00 PM:

@ Anonymous 10:53:00: "...the Daley machine to do whatever it takes to clean up Illinois, post-haste."???

Please, lay off the crystal meth.  

By Blogger Anthony, at Tue Dec 09, 12:22:00 PM:

"Separately, I am one conservative who very much hopes that this investigation does not lead into the Obama organization in any way, shape, or form."

This is Illinois we're talking about. Home of "the Combine." I'd like to say Obama is untainted by all this, in spite of rising through that corrupt political culture, but one does not walk in a sewer without getting stained.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 12:37:00 PM:

Soon Obama will say that this was not the Blagojevich he knew!  

By Blogger Kurt, at Tue Dec 09, 12:45:00 PM:

You beat me to it, Boludo Tejano! That's just what I was about to say!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 12:57:00 PM:

And from this time forward, the "unrepentant extortionist" will be placed under the (jail) bus.....

signed: B.O.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Dec 09, 12:57:00 PM:

Well, I guess they don't mention mention Governor Ryan's party (GOP), either. It's not about party...it's about Illinois. It's not about Barack (Feeblemind--yopu call him the Big Zero...lord waht a farging dick you are--the name fits. Gimme your real name, address and we can discuss in person). It's about Blago, who seems to think he's in Serbia. Remember, Barack built his own "machine" outside this one.
And the President can replace Fitzgerald if he wants. Just turn the case over to the new US attorney. As long as that person's not some pal of Blago's this kind of thing's done all the time with on-going investigations and live prosecutions. After all, Fitzgerald made a point of saying there's nothing even remotely implicating or affecting Barack. For the President (yeah Feeblemind, the President...come to DC on weekend of 1/20 and see what that's all about, if you dare) it's likely as bad as having a douchebag or pervert uncle. What can you do but chuck him out.

But hey, Merry Christmas.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Dec 09, 01:02:00 PM:

Oh and here's from Blago's own lips:

"They're [Obama's people] not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them."

I think that settles it, right? But spin spin spin away as the black man in the White House, 11/4 asswhooping derangement syndrome continues. Blago is a powermad loon. Period.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 01:05:00 PM:

OK. Let's have an agreement amongst ourselves. I will indeed lay off the crystal meth, if anyone can persuade Senor Chambers to not drink before noon.

The new President picked a heckuva time to quit smoking, to paraphrase "Airplane".  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Dec 09, 01:12:00 PM:

I think Obama is clean. There is no way that any of these clowns will roll on him with anything that Fitz would report. No question. My worry -- and I am genuinely worried, not "concern trolling" -- is that this reaches into the Obama organization in some way that will grind up his administration in controversy. As I've said before, I am tired of the use of investigation and prosecution as "politics by other means." Enough.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 01:17:00 PM:

One more time! Hussein owes his ass to the Chicago pimps for whom he works. Hussein is not/ca not go against them. They have to originals of all his hidden documents, birth certificate, south side real estate documents, school papers, legislative papers, health records (they helped him design and implement the hide and deny strategy). Hussein dare not go against them
Fitzgerald is dead meat. Union thugs are already reading the riot act to Holder and once he is sworn in, Fitz's resignation will be accepted.
If Blago is a democrat, maybe he can run for Dollar Bill Jefferson's seat ot, maybe, Charlie Rangel's.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Dec 09, 01:18:00 PM:

I put down the absinthe at 740am. So can we agree that Blago's a powermad loon (like his alleged victim, Sam Zell), and that the President-elect, who's working harder than any President-elect since Lincoln had to clean up Buchanan's lil' mess, is not implicated in this cesspool and has bigger fish to fry? That's reasonable common ground.

Oh, I forgot. This is Tigerhawk's blog. The "Thinking Man's Sean Hannity" (Tigerhawk's Obama-supporting sister got kick out of that one). The aim is to plow under any common ground.

Try not to Ken Starr (as a verb) Barack on this. If it can turn a turd like Bill Clinton into a hero, imagine how the copper-colored JFK will shine...  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Dec 09, 01:23:00 PM:

Indeed, Jefferson was just stupid. Blago's acts, if true, demonstrate a bizarre pathology. You might say there was something devilish and endearing about Bill Clinton's problems. Again that's why I say it's easy...and advisable, as Fitzgerald seems to imply...to to distance Obama from this, if not from Blago's own taped words, but just by looking at this dude's meglomania. Even Democrats are wondering why this guy isn't in Arkam Asylum.  

By Blogger Viking Kaj, at Tue Dec 09, 01:23:00 PM:

We have been warning on this for a long time, but liberals are just too ecstatic about Obama's pending annointment to care. Our next president, is, and will continue to be, a creature spawned by the Chicago machine. His closest advisors, present at all his press conferences, are creatures of the machine. Lots of politicians who were majorly involved in Obama's campaign for the US Senate in 2004 are presently under indictment or will soon be. For more details, check out John Kass' columns at the Chicago Tribune. What amazes me is the way the national liberal media have willfully chosen to ignore these connections, presumably in exchange for 'access'. Pretty soon we are all going to be "accessed", Chicago-style. And the media will loose what little cred they have left.

The trick for the big 0 will be to continue to side step those roots, keeping stuff off of his shoes, while continuing to dish out the loot. Don't know if anyone else noticed last week, but the $ 800 billion civilian infrastructure program is the new president's highest priority. Viewers from the South Side well know that bridges and highways are a great way to keep the payoffs coming. You can bet that the Daleys will have their applications in early and often, and with Emanuel in the White House they will get top priority. I'll also predict publicly that before things are over this will go down as one of the most corrupt administrations in history.

My only hope is that we can find a way to get some of those funds for the Sox bullpen next year.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 01:43:00 PM:

From the ABC News article linked at DrudgeReport


'The FBI affidavit said Blagojevich had been told by an adviser "the president-elect can get Rod Blagojevich's wife on paid corporate boards in exchange for naming the president-elect's pick to the Senate."'

Hello Obama. Then again, we already knew that.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 02:21:00 PM:

Society as we know it is crumbling, isn't it? First the banking system, then the auto industry, and now our democracy -- held out for sale in the worst way -- or so it seems (Fitzgerald still needs to prove his case).

If true, we need all sorts of political reforms all over the country. Amazing how politicians jumped on Enron and WorldComm to give us Sarbanes-Oxley. They're more than ready to reform everyone and everything but themselves.

Hopefully some good will come out of this -- by way of term limits and meaningful reform. Standing governments can be as if not more dangerous than standing armies. What happened to people of integrity? Where are they?

The Centrist  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 03:14:00 PM:

Although it was not until the seventh paragraph of the wire article, it did describe Blagojevich as a "Democratic governor".

It is easy to miss what we do not expect to find.

Congratulations on # 29. You deserve it, or an even better ranking.  

By Blogger ruralcounsel, at Tue Dec 09, 04:33:00 PM:

Here's where the FBI gets something on Obama, and instead of making it public, holds it over his head to make sure he doesn't go too Leftist on the country.

Anyone wonder how much Obma paid for the seat back when he "ran" for it? I mean, wouldn't be interesting to know the P/E ratio of a senate seat and how it's changed in just a few short years?

Sure, now we'll get all the "Blago must be unbalanced!" talk. Instead of admitting this is the way Chicago Democratic Machine politics behaves.

Or the "I'm so tired of criminal politicians and the investigations, so let's just pretend it stops here" crowd.  

By Blogger Viking Kaj, at Tue Dec 09, 04:46:00 PM:


Investigation and prosecution as politics by another means I can agree with. Personally I could care less what Clinton did with other consenting adults as long as the country was not in danger.

But Illinois is a different story, there is something truly rotten there, and many of these people are Obama's political mentors and collaborators. You can't be a "community organizer" on the south side, working closely with the Daleys, and not have some of that rub off. I, for one, think the president-elect's roots deserve careful and continued scrutiny.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 06:05:00 PM:

Our opinions about whether Obama is clean or not don't matter, of course. What does matter, though, is that Fitzgerald has Blago and his principal fundraiser, Rezko (a convicted felon now), dead to rights. That puts the newly elected President in a very difficult spot, and I think he (and therefore, we) are in a very tough spot.

Rezko bought the lot next to Obama's lot, sold Obama just enough of the land to make the Rezko lot unbuildable (thereby ensuring Obama would have extra property without paying the nearly exorbitant cost of the land), and Rezko helped in financing the Obama home purchase.

Rezko is also the main political contact for the bank that financed Obama's house purchase. Blago appointed the bank owners daughter to an important state financing board, generating millions in fee income for the bank. We know Blago only does those things for money paid. Fitzgerald has Rezko testifying, and it emerged today that he has also had another source, someone who has possibly been wearing a wire and taping political conversations for some long period of time.

Blago is closely tied to Rezko and the bank; Rezko is intimately tied to Obama; the bank tied to Obama and Rezko; Obama an enthusiastic supporter of Blago and Axelrod works for both of them; Rezko tied closely to Mayor Daley. Fitzgerald is investigating all of these connections, and it's hard to see how he's not looking at the President Elect.

At this point I'd say the new President has some legal issues to deal with, and he needs to stop dissembling on Rezko/Blago, as he did this afternoon, when he denied that his transition team had talked to the Governor about the Senate seat. Blago is on tape saying exactly the opposite, and complaining that the President's team won't play ball with him. The President needs to put this behind him as soon as possible, and the only way to do that is to come completely clean, publicly. The country wants to support him. He cannot start of his term hiding from the law or hoping a convenient bus comes along and saves him yet again.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 06:19:00 PM:

Jake Tapper has the President-elect caught in a lie:

"Asked what contact he'd had with the governor's office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."

But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Dec 09, 06:26:00 PM:

Jim Nicholas - thanks. I am quite certain that Blago's party affiliation did not make it in to the original wire story. It was written through at the same link several times during the day, and so I am not surprised that it uses the "D" word now.  

By Blogger Anthony, at Tue Dec 09, 06:30:00 PM:

That's happened at several online sites, Tigerhawk. The NYT added a mention of Blago's party affiliation to its story only several hours after the original publication.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 08:08:00 PM:

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By Blogger Bill Long, at Tue Dec 09, 10:18:00 PM:

Let's be sure we remember who's doing the prosecuting here. Patrick Fitzgerald knew the identity of the person who leaked Valerie Plame's identity--the target of his investigation--yet he continued to interview government officials until he entrapped one in a prosecutable offense. Only from a person whose hubris and ambition are staggering could we get the statement that "the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 09, 10:35:00 PM:

Tigerhawk and Anthony (Los Angeles)

Thanks for enlightening me; I had not thought of that possibility. Guess I am showing my age--used to something being printed on paper and that is how it stands.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed Dec 10, 02:42:00 AM:

This must have hit home, Chrissy, usually you just grunt out one turd here and flee but you're sweating now, Chrissy. The Big Zero was a total product of the Chicago machine, Chrissy, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. And Chrissy, you shouldn't take such offense at someone calling BO the Big Zero - at least his IQ isn't acutally negative, like yours, Chrissy.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 10, 08:21:00 AM:

He should be prosecuted, and not allowed to be in office,and we should continue hoping that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel  

By Blogger mike, at Wed Dec 10, 10:49:00 AM:




By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Dec 10, 12:33:00 PM:

By that precise logic, Nixon should have been able to serve out his term safe and happy, Mike.

'Well, he's the President and we elected him. I guess he can do whatever he wants, and we'll deserve it.'

Does Obama get a(nother) different standard?  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Wed Dec 10, 02:00:00 PM:

Another Difference Between Republican and Democrat Governors:

Republican Governors put the surplus state private jet on Ebay.

Democratic Governors put the surplus State Senator seat on Ebay.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 10, 02:40:00 PM:

I put this on another place on TigerHawk as well, but I thought it worth putting here too.

MSM has focused on the "sale of Senate seat" story in Gov Blags indictment, but is ignoring that much of the charges brought against Blags yesterday involve Tony Rezko. The Senate Seat story is sexier, but it's only a late breaking development in Prosecutor Fitzgerald's work on Chicago corruption. Fitz has already convicted Rezko of corrupting two Illinois state boards, including the Hospital Planning Board ... These charges are now being carried over against Gov Blags. So Rezko is still relevant here.

There's an intriguing footnote in yesterday's filing: "the government is not yet satisfied that Rezko’s accounts are full and complete" ... What a loaded statement. Rezko is holding out on something, but about what ... Don't believe it's not significant because it's in a footnote ... it makes it even more of a red flag.

Rezko's sentencing is now scheduled for January 6. Fitz is likely telling Rezko ... "substantial but not complete" ... isn't good enough: I can convict Gov Blags without you, as I've just shown. I've got the wire tapes. Because you've been holding out on me ... I'll ask the judge to give you the maximum ... You already know that Judge Amy is on my side ... she's a former prosecutor who revoked your bail before trial, on my request ... so you know she will give you the maximum. You have less than a month to give up whatever you're holding back.

Now what can that be?

MSM has failed to report that the court record in the Rezko trial showed that:
At least two unnamed high-level Illinois politicians were involved in Rezko's corrupting two Illinois state boards ... we now know for sure that one was Gov Blags.
Only two politicians got campaign contributions sourced from the "pay to play" schemes that Rezko was convicted of ... Gov Blags and Obama. Gov Blags getting these contributions is pointedly mentioned in yesterday's filing.
Earlier this year before his trial, in a self-serving letter to Judge Amy, Rezko named two politicians as Fitz's targets of interest ... Gov Blags and Obama
As State Senator, Obama chaired the oversight committee that oversaw the Hospital Planning Board and wrote the legislation that kept the Board in place, and cut its membership form 15 to 9, which would make it easier to pack. Obama was also in a position to influence who got named to this board. Rezko controlled five members on this Board, which was enough for him solicit million dollar bribes.

This doesn't mean that Obama is guilty, but he does have an exposure. The story that MSM hasn't reported is that Obama was a target of Fitz investigation, as was Gov Blags, early in the year. Rezko's letter to Judge Amy corroborates this, as Rezko named Gov Blags and Obama in that letter as the focus of Fitz' inquiries.

Whether Obama is still a target is an open question. The press wants to read into Fitz's statements that he isn't ... but that's not what Fitz is saying. He's being careful not to say anything about Obama.

That Obama helped Rezko corrupt the Hospital Planning Board would go a long way to explaining why Rezko helped buy Obama a $2.2 million mansion for $1.4 million.

Is this enough to bring down a President elect? Without more, I think this story dies ... even if Obama "fires" Fitzgerald. So we have a crook in office.

But what else does Fitz have on tape?

I predict an imminent indictment of Allison Davis ... the head of Obama's law firm and Rezko's crony / business partner There's a picture of Davis on Fitz' website as a Rezko trial exhibit, along with one of Chris Kelly, a Gov Blags crony, for seemingly no reason. Coded message?


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