Illinois Governor Blagojevich (D) was taken into federal custody on Tuesday for trying to obtain campaign contributions up front in consideration of an appointment to the Senate seat left open by Pres.- Elect Barack Obama. His chief of staff, John Harris, was also arrested. The governor was then released on a $4,500 bond a few hours later.
The main charges are wire fraud and bribery charges. They also include alleged attempts to influence the Tribune editorial board, threatening, that if the Tribune didn’t support him, he wouldn’t approve the sale of Wrigley Field.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called Blagojevich’s actions in the last several weeks as “a political corruption crime spree,” and “a truly new low… [that] would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”
President-elect Barack Obama said he was “saddened” by the news, but refused to comment, as it is an “ongoing investigation.” President-elect Obama also said that he, “had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”
During a call with top aids on November 10th, Blagioveich called Obama a “m*therf***er” for wanting him to appoint an official that the governor would not financially benefit from or didn’t like.
“The corruption uncovered in the investigation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is just a tiny part of the criminality that runs throughout the country’s politics,” Richard A. Viguerie, the Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, said. He then added, “the American Way is not supposed to be ‘the Chicago Way… There’s still time to save America from becoming one big Chicago.”