By Jeff Fecke • Frankly, what is there to be said about Rob Blagojevich? He’s a crook, and he should be removed from office at the earliest possible moment. I’ve no faith that he’ll resign — nobody as corrupt as Blagojevich apparently is would do the right thing and put his state first. But clearly, he’s deserving of nothing so much as a jail cell, and I hope he ends up there forthwith. And if the Illinois state legislature doesn’t impeach him, I don’t know what it would take.
Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, will available for sale in September.
This continues an amazing run for Illinois. Five of the past nine governors have been indicted; three were convicted, with Blagojevich pending. And it’s not a partisan thing; Blago’s immediate predecessor, George Ryan, was a Republican, and he’s now in jail for corruption.
The only person who comes off looking good in all of this is Barack Obama; Blagojevich somehow thought that he might be given an ambassadorship or cabinet seat in exchange for appointing Obama’s chosen candidate to replace him in the Senate. Obama and his people refused to play along, much to Blagojevich’s chagrin.
What happens next, of course, is anyone’s guess. Blagojevich still could appoint a Senator, but no politician with a desire for a future in politics could accept the appointment. He could appoint himself, which might get him out of being impeached, but there’s no chance the Senate will seat him.
Ultimately, that means that Obama’s seat will be open until the legislature can either pass a special election law or impeach Blagojevich. I’m actually in favor of the former; it’s a more democratic way to pick a senator. But either is preferable to having a corrupt governor make the appointment.
Yellow Number Five By Jeff Fecke
The Blagojevich fallout is going to be severe, and that’s a good thing. It may take down some Democrats in its wake, and that, too, is a good thing. I’ve never been the slightest bit tolerant of public corruption; it’s a cancer on the body politic, one which can only be cured by excising the tumor as quickly as possible. I’d rather have an honest Palinite in office than a corrupt progressive; the former might work against my political goals, but the latter undermines government itself.
The second politician (after Blagojevich) whose reputation will be shredded is “Senate Candidate 5,” whose associates allegedly met with the indicted Governor and offered a quid pro quo: to raise money for Blagojevich, and even give money up front, in exchange for the seat. This would be, needless to say, a bad thing to have said to an indicted governor. So who said it?
Marc Ambinder thinks it was Jesse Jackson, Jr.:
The only candidate with whom Blagojevich met within that period was Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The narrative of the complaint goes on to allege that Blagojevich attempt to extract something tangible from Candidate 5 in order to secure the appointment.
The charging document does NOT say that Candidate 5 himself did anything wrong or knew about the alleged offering by associates.
And that’s as it may be, but it’s pretty sketchy nevertheless. Whomever Number 5 is, he’s made the decision to cozy up to a guy who was widely known to be crooked. I hope we find out who Number 5 is, and I hope his political career takes a hit, whomever he is.