Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicago Politics: An Aristocracy of Corruption

Barack Obama doesn't know the guy, I tell you!

The level of faith in Illinois toward government officials has collapsed, but it didn’t collapse yesterday, it collapsed long ago. Blagojevich is only the latest in a long line of corrupt Illinois officials in an aristocracy of corruption. Dan Rostenkowski, former Governor Ryan, many more. The list is long, so long that C-Span reports that 20 percent of Illinois’ government officials have been implicated or indicted in political fraud.

Antoin Rezko wasn’t a public official but he was a big player in Chicago politics and was awarded phat housing contracts from then state senator Barack Obama. Obama and the Rezkos worked together on other projects, too, including the purchase of Obama’s house. Rezko’s name comes up in the Blagojevich criminal complaint several times and some reporters speculate that, when an indictment is entered into the judicial record, Rezko’s testimony will factor into the prosecution of the case against Blagojevich.

Equally horrible allegations in the criminal complaint concern attempts by Blagojevich at press manipulation. Blago threatened to hijack the sale of the Tribune’s baseball club unless the editorial board fired some of the Chicago Tribune reporters. Such subornation and intimidation of the press is not unusual in Cook County, Illinois.

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