Feature photo by ciscel, artwork by Ray Noland

When the news came out that our former Governor Rod Blagojevich was going to trial for trying to sell President Obama’s former senate seat, I was instantly reminded of a similar situation in which a former Illinois governor was indicted and sent to prison. It wasn’t very surprising to me; in fact, it was expected. As a Chicagoan, I am immune to news about corrupt politicians as it is common place, like receiving news that it’s going to snow in December. Once the apathy wore off, I got to thinking about the actual situation.

Our Governor, the son of an immigrant who came from nothing and worked his way up the political ladder via the Democratic Machine, became one of the few Illinois politicians without solid ties to the unimportant parts of the state to become its leader. That last accomplishment alone  is worth thinking over, but Rod’s accomplishments didn’t end there. This man passed one of the most progressive health-care plans in the nation, insuring medical coverage to all children in the state of Illinois, as well as increasing funding to public schools in the state without raising the income tax. Blago also tussled with big banks in order to free up lending practices as in the case of Republic Windows and Doors . It is fairly clear to see that in order to pass this much legislation and accomplish this much, one would make enemies. And he did.

Among these many enemies were two influential Illinois politicians: Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan, and his B.F.F United States District Attorney Pat Fitzgerald. When Obama was elected into office there was a vacancy in the senate, and anyone with political aspirations knew that the Governor had the right to appoint someone into that vacant seat. Being the good father and nepotistic Illinois politician, Mike Madigan suggested his daughter Lisa Madigan be considered. This was rejected, Roland Burris was appointed, and the scandal began. Blago was indicted for attempting to sell a senate seat. To quote Sideshow Bob, “They don’t give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry.” In my humble opinion, Blago is guilty of nothing but shooting the shit over the phone, something that every single human does, BFD. Like a vast majority of all politicians, he was talking out of his ass. I am a fan of this man, I admire how far he got in politics given his background. I can personally relate to him; I also admire the progressive legislation that was passed under his watch. In the end if you really think about it, that senate seat was indeed fucking golden, and a truly corrupt politician would have actually taken advantage of it.

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