Top 20 Accusations Against Rod Blagojevich


The more we hear about Rod Blagojevich‘s alleged crime spree as governor of Illinois, the more we can’t believe he went quietly when police arrested him this morning. Movies have taught us that when someone is this drunk on power, their reign of terror usually ends with them falling from the scaffolding of a burning warehouse in a flurry of bullets, surrounded by fallen henchmen and flaming cop cars. Despite the lack of such drama, here are twenty of the accusations made against the governor today by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

  • According to U.S. Attorney David Fitzgerald, Blagojevich is attempting to sell the U.S. senate seat he would be in charge of appointing when Barack Obama becomes president. “It’s a f—ing valuable thing,” he reportedly said. “You just don’t give it away for nothing….I’ve got this thing, and it’s f—ing golden.”
  • Blagojevich, presumably having contacted Obama’s staff, seeked “appointment as secretary of health and human services or an ambassadorship, an appointment to a private foundation, a higher paying job for his wife or campaign contributions,” according to Fitzgerald. Local media has suggested that Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff, may have tipped off authorities about Blagojevich’s proposals.
  • At one point, Blagojevich proposed taking a high-paying union job in exchange for Obama getting his choice of Senate replacement, with the union getting benefits from Obama. When the deal fell through, the governor told his wife Patti and their aides, “They’re not willing to give me anything but appreciation. F— them.”
  • Blagojevich considered taking the Senate position in order to avoid impeachment as Governor, as well as set himself up for a 2016 presidential run. ” “If they’re not going to offer anything of any value,” he said, “then I might just take it.”

  • Blagojevich compared his position in regards to the Senate seat to a sports agent shopping a player around to “the highest bidder.”
  • The governor discussed starting a “non-profit organization” to hit up rich friends of Obama’s like Warren Buffett for up to $15 million. He would then run the organization when he retired as governor.
  • He described his “non-profit” fantasy to a union leader representing a Senatorial candidate, who said he’d “run it up the pole.”
  • Blagojevich also discussed getting “some money up front, maybe” from a potential Senatorial candidate.
  • Blagojevich ran a pay-to-play scheme to receive money from contractors who benefit from his actions as governor.
  • Upon learning he was under investigation for fraud and bribery, Blagojevich and his associates worked “feverishly to get as much money from contractors, shaking then down, pay-to-play, before the end of the year,” according to Fitzgerald.
  • When a $1.8 billion tollway project was announced, Blagojevich tried to get beneficiaries of the contract to give $100,000 in contributions.
  • Blagojevich noted abotu the project, “I could have made a larger announcement but wanted to see how they would perform by the end of the year. If they don’t perform, f— ‘em.”
  • The governor allotted $8 million in funds to Children’s Memorial Hospital, believing he would get $50,000 back from the hospital’s CEO. When the money never came, he checked with staff to see if he could pull back the funding.
  • A bill involving the diverting of casino funds for horseracing has been held up because Blagojevich has yet to receive $100,000 contributions from those who would benefit.
  • After the Chicago Tribune called for his impeachment in editorials, the governor and John Harris, his chief of staff, warned the Tribune Company that they would have to fire certain editors if they wanted to get the sale of Wrigley Field, which they owned, passed. “Fire all those f—ing people. Get them the f— out of there. And get us some editorial support,” he reportedly said.
  • All together, Blagojevich was looking to acquire about $2.5 million in “contributions” through these illegal shakedowns.
  • Blagojevich told Harris that he was “financially hurting,” and that he needed this money for “security” and to stay “politically viable.”
  • Many of his pay-to-play schemes were done with the participation of convicted felons like the infamous Tony Rezko.
  • Fearing that the money in his Friends Of Blagojevich campaign fund would be frozen if arrested, he considered prepaying his criminal attorney, believing the attorney would re-donate the money if his services weren’t required.
  • Fitzgerald said that Blagojevich’s actions would “make [Abraham] Lincoln roll over in his grave.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

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