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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just a Reminder...Blago's a Bad Guy

The opening statements for the trial of Rod Blagojevich started today and the prosecution set up the crimes of the former Governor. First, US Attorneys said that Blagojevich was deep in debt, $200k on a credit card and a home equity line of credit. This, according to the Attorneys, was his motivation for this series of crimes.

Blagojevich initially planned to appoint Obama's preferred replacement, Valerie Jarrett, who had played a key role in the 2008 presidential campaign, Hamilton said. In exchange for the appointment, however, Blagojevich wanted to be named U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. And barring that, he wanted millions of dollars donated to a charitable organization that he would control after leaving office, the prosecutor said.

When it became apparent the Jarrett plan would fall through, Blagojevich turned his interests toward U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago). Hamilton said an intermediary, who had supported Jackson and Blagojevich in the past, informed the then-governor's brother and co-defendant Robert Blagojevich that Jackson's camp would raise $1 million in exchange for the appointment.

In the same opening statement, US Attorneys also alleged that Blagojevich attempted to extort campaign funds from the CEO of the non profit hospital Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Meanwhile, some media were commenting on Blagojevich's penchant for holding press conferences and tweeting during the trial. Judge Zagel warned Blagojevich about both. That's part of Blago's persona. He has that sort of goofiness that makes him entertaining.

Of course, he's innocent until proven guilty. Still, the crimes alleged are very serious. This is a massive breach of trust and abuse of power. Hopefully, people will remember that and not the side show.

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