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Blago Goes Down

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested this morning in Chicago for attempting to sell the Senate seat recently vacated by Barack Obama. Blogojevich is apparently heard on tape discussing how valuable the appointment is and that "you don't just give something like this away."

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint cited in an AP report. Looks like Blogo wanted some members of the editorial board who have been critical of his administration canned. Nice.

And according to an early morning update to the Tribune's coverage:

Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year's end.

Even Blagojevich's recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and "green lanes" on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged.

We'll be watching this developing story and updating throughout the day. Post your favorite quotes from the surveillance tape in our comments. Funny, he was a fine neighbor.

UPDATES
Politico says Blogo could technically still make the appointment even from the pokey:

Illinois law allows Blagojevich to make an appointment while in jail. While the decision would be a disaster for Democrats politically, no one is ruling out that prospect. Any candidate appointed by the jailed governor would be immediately tainted, and would face immense hurdles winning on their own in 2010.

Blagojevich could also appoint a caretaker to the seat, but that also would not bode well for Democrats politically. Having a sitting Democratic senator from Illinois appointed by a jailed governor would hurt the party's chances of holding the seat in 2010.

Tribune:

Blagojevich told reporters yesterday, "I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me. I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."

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Comments

Some tasty quotes from NBC News:

On November 5, Blagojevich allegedly told an adviser, "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it."

And:

On November 7, while talking on the phone about the Senate seat with Harris and an adviser, Blagojevich said he needed to consider his family and that he is "financially" hurting, the affidavit states.

My favorite is this one though:

The charges also state that in a conversation with Harris on November 11, Blagojevich said he knew that President-elect Obama wanted a specific candidate for the open Senate seat but added "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them."

Oh yeah, Blago? You're a real tough guy, are ya? Fuck them, eh? You gonna fuck with Obama? Fuck THEM? Fuck YOU!

Have fun in jail, neighbor!

Apparently, this was all part of a master plan by which Blogo would have set himself up for a Presidential run. http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/?last_story=/politics/war_room/2008/12/09/blago_in_2016/

Rumor has it that Senate Candidate #1--Valerie Jarrett--wore a wire.

Barack takes down the governor AND gets his Senate pick in one fell swoop?

If true--WOW.

Obama Clan Ain't Nothing To Fuck With!

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