The Chicago political culture: "where money and government power seem especially fungible"

The Chicago Way, on Tape: This wiretap was golden


The Governor's comments were taped in court-approved wiretaps and include such self-incriminating classics as: "I've got this thing [the power to appoint Barack Obama's Senate replacement] and it's [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there." We recommend the entire 76-page FBI affidavit for every high school civics course as proof of the need for political checks and balances.

Comment: 76-page FBI affidavit & Dept of Justice press release. If you have Acrobat Reader - search for "Candidate 5" in the 76-page FBI affidavit. Think "son of shakedown". More from the Wall Street Journal editorial:

If convicted, Mr. Blagojevich would be the second consecutive Illinois Governor to be found guilty of a felony, and the fourth in 35 years. We'd ask if it's something in the water, but that would be unfair to the Chicago River. It is certainly something in the Chicago political culture, where money and government power seem especially fungible.


Now would be a good time for the President-elect to say that Mr. Blagojevich and his cronies should have nothing to do with naming Mr. Obama's successor. And that, given the taint of corruption that now hangs over any choice, the state should hold a special Senate election.

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