An outsider can't understand just how ingrained and despicable the corruption in Illinois is. To put it into perspective, three of our last seven governors have been, or currently are, in jail. That doesn't even include Blagojevich who should make it an even 50%. On top of this, one former Governor, Jim Thompson who didn't spend anytime in prison, is now defending pro bono another former Governor, George Ryan who is in jail. Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield has a long history of patronage politics. It creates a shadow government in which influence peddlers control the government apparatus and make that apparatus work for their own benefit rather than the benefit of the people. In Chicago, Cook County, dirty deals in which conflicts of interest aren't disclosed are standard operating procedure. Also standard is the practice of offering friends cushy jobs. Bribery, scandal, and back room deals are the standard operating procedure.
What the Rod Blagojevich scandal will do is put each and every piece of Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield corruption under a microscope for months and probably years. It's likely that at some point Blagojevich will flip. He is facing a very long time in jail and Fitzgerald will need quite a lot from him in order to offer him any sort of a deal. Blagojevich knows where all the so called bodies are buried, and he will likely have to uncover them all.
The real problem for Barack Obama is that in Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield just about every politician is crooked. We already know about the corrupt land deal. (between Obama and Tony Rezko) Far fewer folks know about this report from the Boston Globe.
In this report, it details how Barack Obama lead the Illinois Senate in doling out $300 million to local influential real estate developers like Tony Rezko to build low income housing. That low income housing is now unlivable.
We will now be in for months of revelations of these sorts of deals from every corner of the Illinois political world. Now, how much will affect Obama depends on how close it gets to him. Now, many of his defenders have claimed that he himself hasn't been implicated in any corruption. Of course, he has and I have detailed just two pieces. I don't know if he is implicated in anything near Blagojevich. The real problem is that Obama has spent his entire political life in Illinois and he's done nothing to confront its deep rooted corruption. It's why I found it beyond chutzpah for him to run as a so called reformer (something that Blagojevich himself once ran as). If he was really a reformer, he would have had plenty of opportunities in eight years in the Illinois Senate. He did none of it.
The other problem is that the tentacles of this corruption can go all sorts of ways. Obama may have run as a so called outsider in D.C. but here in Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield he is the ultimate insiders. His so called political Godfather, Emil Jones, recently teamed up with Blagojevich to block passage of an ethics bill that would have outlawed the practice of pay to play. Given what Blagojevich is now accused of their political power play is now in a new context. Jones himself should be concerned if Blagojevich is indicted. Obama will have little credibility if Jones is indicted and he didn't know that Jones was dirty. If you don't know your own political godfather is a crook you really aren't fit to be President. Obama also has very close ties to Richard Daley, his brother Bill, and other corrupt political insiders like Todd Stroger. All of these names are very familiar to those that follow Illinois politics closely. but they aren't familiar to those outside the system.
Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is the political protege of Bill Daley, the brother of Richard Daley, the mayor of Chicago. He was mainly financed to his Congressional seat by one Donald Tomczak, a political insider in Springfield. Tomczak is currently the resident of the Federal Prison system in Indiana. This is Obama's Chief of Staff.
Yet, in the next few months the country and the world will be introduced to every last vermin that infects Chicago, Cook County and Springfield. The folks that make up this system aren't merely an eye sore but rather something more akin to a plate full of maggots. At the very most, Obama will be implicated himself in some of this corruption. At the very least, many of Obama's political colleagues, friends, and allies will be indicted. The country will soon wake up to the horror that is Chicago, Cook County and Springfield politics and it will NOT make Obama look good.
Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"