An Unnamed Public Official
By Kevin Robinson in News on May 24, 2007 1:50PM
Chicagoist woke up to the headline "Feds subpoena governor's campaign fund records" in the Tribune. Oh no, we thought, this can't be good for ol' G-Rod. For a governor that has seen friends indicted, had a public feud with his father in-law that has resulted in charges of gross misconduct and confirmation by prosecutors that they are looking close and hard at very real accusations of wrong doing, this news certainly can't bode well.
At the heart of the subpoenas is the question of whether or not top aides and advisors traded state business and jobs for political support, part of an investigation US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has been conducting for over a year now. While Blagojevich has not been directly accused of any wrongdoing, he has refused to answer questions regarding the ongoing investigation, often deflecting the constant questions that seem follow him around with a blanket "we do things right."
On top of the subpoenas for campaign records, federal prosecutors have also subpoenaed hiring records, looking hard at charges of "pay-to-play" that surfaced early in Blago's first term. With his already crippled budget proposal being publicly ripped, and his poll numbers in the toilet, we have to wonder what Blago is thinking right now. What's left of his administration has become fodder for cocktail hour jokes and speculation ("If Obama wins the presidency, who does Blaogjevich pick to replace him?") With Tony Rezko already under indictment, and state hiring practices under intense scrutiny, all that's left is for Fitz to connect the dots and follow the lines to the top. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about all the indictments and investigations of late is seeing these pols go donw not for money, but for power. .
It's been said that even if you are acquitted, being put on trial in federal court usually means you did something wrong; the only issue is whether or not they can make the charges stick. About the only irony left in this state is the fact that it took a corrupt president, hell-bent on erasing the 22 electoral votes of a generally blue state, to put a dent in the crooked politics of a midwestern prairie state that was all but built on back-room deals. Let's hope that each step the feds take closer to a pol in Chicago, they get closer to the truth. We imagine that Daley's sweating a little harder on the fifth floor right now.