Corrupt politicians are nothing new to Americans, and are as familiar as an old pair of shoes to the people of the state of Illinois when it comes to their governors. Consider Rod Blagojevich’s four immediate predecessors.
George Ryan (1999-2003) was convicted of 16 charges of conspiracy, fraud, and lying under oath, and now makes his home in federal prison. By the way, the prosecutor who put Ryan in the crossbar hotel was none other than Patrick Fitzgerald. Does that name ring a bell, Blago?
James Edgar (1991-1999) was indicted, but not charged, with giving a sweetheart deal to a major campaign contributor.
James Thompson (1977-1991) appears to be the cleanest of the recent lot. He never had any legal problems, but his law firm did represent Ryan. By comparison to the other governors, that would make Thompson Snow White.
Daniel Walker (1973-1977) was sentenced to 7 years in a federal prison for participating in a savings and loan scandal after he left office.
So if Blagojevich goes to jail the state of Illinois will be 3 for 5 in governors spending time behind bars. And before anyone screams “liberal Democrats” just for the record the corruption is bi-partisan, Blagojevich and Walker are Democrats, Ryan and Edgar are Republicans.
But corrupt is one thing. Corrupt, arrogant, and stupid is the trifecta that will ensure some serious time in the federal pen, and on these counts Blagojevich is 3 for 3. Consider that he said this on Monday:
Blagojevich made these remarks knowing that; (a) he has long been in the cross-hairs of the US Attorney who put his predecessor behind bars, and ( b) that US Attorney has a well-established reputation for being a pit bull when it comes to prosecuting corruption involving public officials.
Corrupt, check. Arrogant, check. Stupid, check and checkmate. Congratulations Governor Blagojevich, the next position for you to sell to the highest bidder will be that of cell mate.