My first rule on this blog is that there won’t be any talk about politics. Politics are a very touchy subject, a lighting rod for anger, hurt feelings, and passionate debate. And, my own personal view is that there is no changing anyones mind when it comes to a political view. People have their minds made up, and that’s that. All the arguing, all the facts, all the debate doesn’t make any difference. All parties leave the conversation frustrated and even more convinced of their beliefs. But this story, of Blago, has me seeing red right now.
This doesn’t even include the recently deceased Dan Rostenkowski. This powerful Congressman – once the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee – was brought down by practices he likely considered par for the course. His case exemplifies the deep-seated culture of corruption in Chicago and Illinois politics.
Rostenkowski was charged with keeping “ghost” employees on his payroll, using Congressional funds to buy gifts such as chairs and ashtrays for friends, and trading in officially purchased stamps for cash at the House post office. He plead guilty to mail fraud and spent 15 months in prison.
Here is a man in Blagojevich, that was recorded on federal wire taps trying to sell the Senate seat of then President-elect Obama. He said it. It is fact. It was done. How on earth can the jury be hung over all of these charges in the face of recordings? How can they deliberate for 14 days only to emerge from the chambers with only 1 guilty verdict? How can these people sleep at night? There was one holdout on the jury. One woman who evidently didn’t see what the other 11 saw and heard during the trial. Either this person was asleep during the testimony or she was bought off by Blago and his handlers. Given the state of the Democratic party in this state, which rules absolutely, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out that there was some grease being spread around. Had Blago been convicted on all counts it would have been an even bigger black eye for Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and his ilk than it already is. In an election year they face an up hill battle to maintain their control and they know it.
Today’s hung jury is just another example of the culture of corruption that has mad the phrase “the Chicago Way” a sad joke and the state of Illinois the butt of it. I’m just sick over it. It is time to flush the toilet that is Chicago and Springfield.