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Governor Blagojevich Arrested for Trying to Sell Obama’s Seat (Update)

John on December 9, 2008 at 10:29 am

From the Tribune:

Authorities allege the Democrat was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps recently plotting to sell or trade Illinois’ vacant U.S. Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife.

Here’s what CNN says he wanted:

  • a substantial salary for himself at either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions;
  • a spot for his wife on paid corporate boards, where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year;
  • promises of campaign funds — including cash up front;
  • a Cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

The Gov is (perhaps not wisely) raising the specter of Nixon:

“It kind of smells like Nixon and Watergate,” the governor told reporters. “But I don’t care whether you tape me privately or publicly, I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful.”

Doesn’t sound that way to me though. From the Smoking Gun (foul language ahead):

Rod Blagojevich stated that the Senate seat “is a f@cking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

According to the Post, Harry Reid is shocked!

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) spoke to the Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich (D) just “a few days ago” about the appointment to succeed Barack Obama, delivering a message the electability was the key concern for who got the nod.

Reid said today he was “very disappointed” by the arrest, saying he had no inkling from his conversation of the allegations lodged today.

Reid said he told Blagojecvich one thing: “I would hope that he would appoint someone that could get elected in 2010.”

Good thing these Chicago politicians never make it to the national scene. Oh…wait.

Predictably, major media outlets are failing to note Blagojevich’s party affiliation.

[HT: Allah for the Mere Rhetoric link and Ace for the Smoking Gun thing]

Update: Jake Tapper via Hot Air:

Asked what contact he’d had with the governor’s office about his replacement in the Senate, President-elect Obama today said “I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening.”

But on November 23, 2008, his senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.

Click either link for video of Axelrod saying Obama had talked to Blagojevich. Of course the story now is that Axelrod “misspoke.” Sure he did.

Also, Ace has reports from four different media outlets noting Obama and Blagojevich were close political allies.

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Category: Crime & the Law, Politics |

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