Stunned and nearly speechless after hearing the verdicts against him, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
will wake up Tuesday to the stark reality that he is likely headed to
federal prison within months, leaving behind his wife, two young
daughters and comfortable home in a leafy Chicago neighborhood.
jury convicted him Monday on 17 charges, including trying to sell or
trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and attempting to shake
down executives for campaign cash. The convictions carry a combined
maximum prison sentence of around 300 years, but legal experts say a
federal judge is likely to send him away for around a decade, give or
take a few years.
An irrepressible Blagojevich had said before the
retrial began that he refused to even contemplate the prospect of
prison. But red-eyed, his face drawn and frowning, he hurried out of the
courthouse after the verdict was read.
… If he does end up in prison, Blagojevich would follow a path
well-trodden by Illinois governors, including Blagojevich’s predecessor,
former Republican Gov. George Ryan — now serving 6½ years in a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.
Illinois’s book of political infamy, though, Blagojevich’s chapter may
go down as the most ignominious because of the allegations he
effectively tried to hock an appointment to Obama’s Senate seat for
campaign cash or a job.
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. It’s worth noting that Blago was found guilty on every charge related to the sale of President Obama’s vacated senate seat. Does this mean that the people of Chicago have had enough of the corrupt Democratic party political machine that has run their city for decades? We can only hope so — and at the same time hope that the arm of the Chicago machine currently running the White House is headed for the same fate next year.