The Federal US Attorney has announced that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested in the middle of what he described as a political corruption crime spree. He was arrested at his home this morning.
Rod Blagojevich allegedly attempted to sell the US Senate seat that has been vacated by the President-elect Barack Obama. Under state law, the governor has the sole discretion to name Obama’s appointment.
Blagojevich also is accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
The only thing he isn’t accused of his hooking up with Ashley Dupree, former Governor Spitzer’s prostitute of choice. We guess he loved money more than sex. We wonder if Patricia Blagojevich will stand by him the way Spitzer’s wife stood by Spitzer. Patricia Blagojevich is yet to make a statement.
The Chicago Tribune reports
Even Blagojevich’s recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and “green lanes” on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged. The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. “If they don’t perform, (expletive) ’em,” Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.
Blagojevich and Harris also allegedly conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.
The US Attorney says it best:
“We allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”
You can see a timeline for the arrest here
Disgusting. No wonder he has a 13% approval rating.