December 23, 2007


A governor under siege: Weakened and isolated, Blagojevich suffers new blow with federal probe (David Mendell and Ray Long, 12/22/07, Chicago Tribune)

Federal prosecutors for the first time have put Blagojevich inside their widespread investigation of pay-to-play in his administration. Blagojevich told one convicted federal informant, "You stick with us and you will do very well for yourself," according to a court document prosecutors filed.

The governor's office denied that he is the "Public Official A" described in the court document as offering state business to convicted political insiders.

In 2008, the spotlight will shine even more brightly on Blagojevich as one of his biggest fundraisers, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, goes to trial in February on charges he tried to trade his access to Blagojevich for kickbacks and contributions to the governor's campaign fund.

These days, the governor conducts much of his public business from his North Side home, reluctant to venture forth into Springfield or other public arenas where he might feel exposed.

And even before Friday's federal bombshell, Blagojevich had few successes in 2007.

While he has tried to put the blame on lawmakers, his credibility in Springfield already was damaged from a record-setting legislative stalemate that has left unresolved key aspects of the people's business. The Chicago Transit Authority is in near meltdown. Education reform remains in limbo. And the state's deteriorating roads and bridges still aren't being repaired for lack of a way to pay for it.

A Tribune poll this month found only one in four Democrats in Illinois approve of their Democratic governor's job performance.

As each month passed this year, new revelations pushed a governor under siege deeper into his bunker.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2007 6:55 PM

I know the article is in the Trib and everyone probably knows Blagojevich is a Democratic; however, it takes 10 paragraphs before the article mentions that he is a Democrat.

I'm no belly-achin', I'm just saying. It didn't take that long to mention that Gov. Ryan, the other crooked governor of Illinios, was a Republican.

Posted by: pchuck at December 23, 2007 9:39 PM

pchuck, you'd think the print media would stop doing that, wouldn't you. It's become a game. If the party affiliation isn't mentioned in the first sentence, then it's bad for dems and good for reps ... and if something is totally ignored or on p. 18 under the truss ads, it's a disaster for dems and a triumph for reps.

Posted by: erp at December 24, 2007 9:37 AM

Blago is doing all of us a favor, in that he is exposing ALL Illinois politicians for the pigs that they are. (and our awful Constitution)

Virtually the entire state despises him, not for his corruption, but for so blatantly exploiting it. He is literally "blowing it" for them.

Posted by: Bruno at December 24, 2007 7:05 PM