Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Selling Obama's Senate Seat

The prosecutor who took out Scooter Libby is flummoxed today by the antics of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in trying to auction off Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

"The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says in a statement. "They 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."

Someone who spent months in the muck of Libby's, Dick Cheney's and Karl Rove's campaign to discredit Joe Wilson by outing his wife Valerie Plame should not be easily shocked by political arrogance, but Fitzgerald is shaking his head over allegations that the Illinois governor tried to sell Obama's seat in return for:

(1) a high-paying non-profit job for himself and (2) putting his wife on corporate boards for as much as $150,000 a year and (3) promises of campaign funds in cash and (4) a Cabinet job or ambassadorship.

If even half of the charges are true, he should be indicted for breaking all records for greed and stupidity in the state that houses the Chicago Political Corruption Hall of Fame. And, if he goes down, unlike Libby, Blagojevich won't be able to count on a presidential pardon.

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