38
   

Illinois Governor Arrested

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:12 am
Quote:
Gov. Blagojevich taken into custody
(ABC News, December 09, 2008)

Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal charges Tuesday morning at his Northwest Side home.

The affidavit was unsealed around 8:30 a.m. That affidavit accused Gov. Blagojevich of, among other things, trying to obtain campaign contributions up front in consideration of an appointment to the Senate seat left open by Pres.- Elect Barack Obama.


A pdf file of the charges can be found at:
http://dig.abclocal.go.com/wls/documents/blago_complaint.pdf
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Type: Discussion • Score: 38 • Views: 37,594 • Replies: 781

 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:14 am
@wandeljw,
I just heard this on the news. What a soap opera.
Below viewing threshold (view)
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:39 am
@cjhsa,
CJ, you were first, but you need better titles!
gungasnake
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:41 am
Can they arrest Blago without arresting Oinky?? I mean, Illinois politics is all pretty much one thing as I've heard it, "pay to play" etc. etc....
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:48 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Can they arrest Blago without arresting Oinky?? I mean, Illinois politics is all pretty much one thing as I've heard it, "pay to play" etc. etc....


Nice try, but no, not just because you say so.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 09:56 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

CJ, you were first, but you need better titles!

And not get ignored so much.....
cjhsa
 
  -4  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:09 am
@DrewDad,
The Ignore feature is a crime, sorta like tampering with elections....
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:12 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

I just heard this on the news. What a soap opera.


I rarely agree with Foxfyre - but here I do. (Though it looks more like a banana republic affair.)
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:14 am
The New York Times on this:
Quote:
Governor Is Held in Inquiry Into Filling Obama’s Seat
(By MONICA DAVEY, December 9, 2008)

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested on Tuesday morning and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to profit from his authority to appoint President-elect Barack Obama’s successor in the United States Senate, prosecutors said.

As Mr. Blagojevich mulled the Senate appointment, prosecutors say, he discussed gaining “a substantial salary” at a nonprofit foundation or organization connected to labor unions, placing his wife on corporate boards where she might earn as much as $150,000 a year and trying to gain promises of campaign money, or even a cabinet post or ambassadorship, for himself.

A 76-page affidavit from the United States Attorney’s office in Northern Illinois says Mr. Blagojevich was heard on wiretaps over the last month planning to “sell or trade Illinois’ United States Senate seat vacated by Pres-elect Barack Obama for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife.”

Federal authorities said Mr. Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, was also indicted on Tuesday. Both men are expected to appear in federal court for the first time later Tuesday.

Under Illinois law, Mr. Blagojevich has sole authority to fill the seat being vacated by Mr. Obama, who was elected to the Senate in 2004.

According to the statement from prosecutors, Mr. Blagojevich told an adviser last week that he might “get some (money) upfront, maybe” from one of the candidates hoping to replace Mr. Obama. That person was identified only as “Candidate 5.”

In an earlier recorded conversation, prosecutors say, Mr. Blagojevich said he was approached by an associate of “Candidate 5” with an offer of $500,000 in exchange for the Senate seat.

The authorities also say Mr. Blagojevich threatened to withhold state assistance from the Tribune Company, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday. According to the authorities, Mr. Blagojevich wanted members of the Tribune’s editorial board, who had criticized him, to be fired before he extended any state assistance.

An official at the governor’s office had no immediate comment on Tuesday. A telephone message left at Mr. Obama’s transition office was not immediately returned.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:20 am
Remember, the Acorns don't fall far from the tree.....
Gargamel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:21 am
@cjhsa,
Please explain how Obama was involved in capitalizing off his replacement in the Senate.

Thank you.

Also, OBAMA IS GOING TO BE PRESIDENT. WOO-HOO!
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:23 am
@Gargamel,
http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/5f522c01072d2798b6b7ecc1005668b4?r=R&d=identicon&s=40

You drink lotsa that??
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:24 am
From the U.S. Attorney's Office press release:
Quote:
Sale of U.S. Senate Appointment

Regarding the Senate seat, the charges allege that Blagojevich, Harris and others have engaged and are engaging in efforts to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, to benefit Blagojevich and his family through corruptly using Blagojevichs sole authority to appoint a successor to the unexpired term of the President-elects former Senate seat, which he resigned effective November 16. The affidavit details numerous conversations about the Senate seat between November 3 and December 5. In these conversations, Blagojevich repeatedly discussed the attributes of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois, and the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive if he appointed various of the possible candidates.

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being stuck as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wifes employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

In the earliest intercepted conversation about the Senate seat described in the affidavit, Blagojevich told Deputy Governor A on November 3 that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open seat, then he will take it for himself: if . . . theyre not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it. Later that day, speaking to Advisor A, Blagojevich said: Im going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. He added later that the seat is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just dont give it away for nothing.

Over the next couple of days - Election Day and the day after - Blagojevich was captured discussing with Deputy Governor A whether he could obtain a cabinet position, such as Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Department of Energy or various ambassadorships. In a conversation with Harris on November 4, Blagojevich analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to the highest bidder. The day after the election, Harris allegedly suggested to Blagojevich that the President-elect could make him the head of a private foundation.

Later on November 5, Blagojevich said to Advisor A, Ive got this thing and its [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, Im just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. Im not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there, the affidavit states.

Two days later, in a three-way call with Harris and Advisor B, a consultant in Washington, Blagojevich and the others allegedly discussed the prospect of a three-way deal for the Senate appointment involving an organization called Change to Win, which is affiliated with various unions including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

On November 10, Blagojevich, his wife, Harris, Governor General Counsel, Advisor B and other Washington-based advisors participated at different times in a two-hour phone call in which they allegedly discussed, among other things, a deal involving the SEIU. Harris said they could work out a deal with the union and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with Blagojevichs appointment of Senate Candidate 1, while 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. Also during that call, Blagojevich agreed it was unlikely that the President-elect would name him Secretary of Health and Human Services or give him an ambassadorship because of all of the negative publicity surrounding him.

In a conversation with Harris on November 11, the charges state, Blagojevich said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but theyre not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them. Earlier in that conversation, Blagojevich suggested starting a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, which he could head and engage in political activity and lobbying. In that conversation with Harris and other discussions with him and others over the next couple of days, Blagojevich suggested by name several well-known, wealthy individuals who could be prevailed upon to seed such an organization with $10-$15 million, and suggesting that he could take the organizations reins when he is no longer governor, according to the affidavit.

On November 12, Blagojevich spoke with SEIU Official who was in Washington. This conversation occurred about a week after Blagojevich had met with SEIU Official to discuss the Senate seat, with the understanding that the union official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat. During the November 12 conversation, Blagojevich allegedly explained the non-profit organization idea to SEIU Official and said that it could help Senate Candidate 1. The union official agreed to put that flag up and see where it goes, although the official also had said he wasnt certain if Senate Candidate 1 wanted the official to keep pushing her candidacy. Senate Candidate 1 eventually removed herself from consideration for the open seat.

Also on November 12, in a conversation with Harris, the complaint affidavit states that Blagojevich said his decision about the open Senate seat will be based on three criteria in the following order of importance: our legal situation, our personal situation, my political situation. This decision, like every other one, needs to be based upon that. Legal. Personal. Political. Harris said: legal is the hardest one to satisfy. Blagojevich said that his legal problems could be solved by naming himself to the Senate seat.

As recently as December 4, in separate conversations with Advisor B and Fundraiser A, Blagojevich said that he was elevating Senate Candidate 5 on the list of candidates because, among other reasons, if Blagojevich ran for re-election, Senate Candidate 5 would raise[] money for him. Blagojevich said that he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided Blagojevich with something tangible up front. Noting that he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days, Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to reach out to an intermediary (Individual D), from whom Blagojevich is attempting to obtain campaign contributions and who Blagojevich believes is close to Senate Candidate 5. Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Senate Candidate 5 was a very realistic candidate but Blagojevich was getting a lot of pressure not to appoint Senate Candidate 5, according to the affidavit.

Blagojevich allegedly told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that if Senate Candidate 5 is going to be chosen, some of this stuffs gotta start happening now . . . right now . . . and we gotta see it. Blagojevich continued, You gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybodys listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me? Blagojevich further directed Fundraiser A to talk to Individual D in person, not by phone, and to communicate the urgency of the situation.

Blagojevich spoke to Fundraiser A again the next day, December 5, and discussed that days Chicago Tribune front page article stating that Blagojevich had recently been surreptitiously recorded as part of the ongoing criminal investigation. Blagojevich instructed Fundraiser A to undo your [Individual D] thing, and Fundraiser A confirmed it would be undone, the complaint alleges.

Also on December 5, Blagojevich and three others allegedly discussed whether to move money out of the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund to avoid having the money frozen by federal authorities and also considered the possibility of prepaying the money to Blagojevichs criminal defense attorney with an understanding that the attorney would donate the money back at a later time if it was not needed. They also discussed opening a new fund raising account named Citizens for Blagojevich with new contributions.

0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  -4  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:29 am
He was trying to sell the seat for one of the three following options:

1. Position that pays a lucrative salary in a NON-PROFIT organization

2. Placed in a postion of hierarchy in a UNION

3. Install himself in the Senators position to prop what he thought was a viable chance for the presidencial bid in 2016.

Welcome to Illinois, land of something stinkin'!

engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:48 am
@cjhsa,
And he was elected as a reformer. You have to love it.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:49 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/5f522c01072d2798b6b7ecc1005668b4?r=R&d=identicon&s=40

You drink lotsa that??


Haven't heard that one before! Nor was I aware of the metaphor when selecting an avatar!

While we're on the topic, where is the National Obvious Conference being held this year, Gunga?
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 10:57 am
Speaking of which....here ya go Gunga.....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/stevetheq/CaptainObvious8finished.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 11:28 am
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal charges Tuesday morning at his Northwest Side home.

It's about time!
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 11:29 am
@joefromchicago,
I'm looking at various transcripts of his conversations...Jeez what an idiot!!!
 

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