Thursday, December 11, 2008

will the blagojevich scandal hurt obama?

We're sure you've heard all about the Rod Blagojevich scandal by now -- the governor of Illinois thinking he could get away with basically selling President-Elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, and then getting caught, the way politicians always do.
Although the Illinois governor has been under investigation on federal corruption charges for years (as most Chicago politicians are, by default), Blagojevich’s arrest on Tuesday morning at his home definitely sealed the deal.

Aside from numerous other charges, Blagojevich was indicted for “wide-ranging criminal conspiracy,” including his efforts to “sell or trade” President-elect Obama’s vacant Senate seat in exchange for financial benefits for him and his wife, Patti. What is this, wife swapping?

On Tuesday afternoon, the governor appeared in court and was released on $4,500 bail. And now, he’s back at work. Unless Illinois lawmakers act fast to impeach, Blagojevich will still be able to name Obama’s successor. In other words, he’s still open for business.
Obama claims he did not know about and had no involvement in the scandal. In fact, some reports show that someone on Obama's staff may have actually blown the whistle on the governor's office.
The President-elect gamely fielded three questions on the issue and addressed it in his opening remarks, saying (twice) that he was appalled and disappointed "by the revelations earlier this week." He declared that he "had no contact with the governor's office" and "did not speak to the governor" about the process of who should replace him as Senator. "That I know for certain," Obama said.
Do you believe him? Do you think the public will? Or will this home-state scandal tied so closely to the new president affect his credibility? You decide.

So far, others have also been implicated in the scandal -- including Jesse Jackson, Jr., who reportedly offered up to $500,000 in fundraising for the governor in exchange for the vacant Senate seat.

1 comment:

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