"I've got this thing, and it's (expletive) golden. And I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I'm not going to do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there."
— Gov. Rod Blagojevich on trying to sell Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat
Ex-Illinois Democrat governor, Rod Blagojevich, nicknamed "Blago," had his sentence commuted by President Trump, freeing him from a 14-year term imposed in a dubious case. Trump got to know Blagojevich in show business and, I presume, as co-plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against their hair dye company. Of course, the leftist press is worked up about the Trump commutations/pardons. Keep in mind Trump has only pardoned or commuted the sentences of 35 people, compared to Obama's 1,927 and "Dubya" Bush's 200. The way this Deep State attempted coup is turning out, Trump may have a chance to pardon some of Obama's crew.
Blago, who looked like a SuperCuts "before" picture, also did Elvis impersonations, which led to even more gravitas in his Chicago-based political career. He got in trouble for putting Obama's Senate seat up for auction on eBay. The ad said that, since Obama seldom voted, his Senate seat was barely used.
Apparently, the law says that politicians can sell out their own position to anyone but cannot sell someone else's. The judge sentenced Blago to 14 years, and his barber got life.
In Blago's corruption trial, the Chicago jury was deadlocked on whether to convict him. Obviously, a "jury of his peers," the same people who elected him, was needed. The governor was well represented on the jury. They sounded pretty smart; when they could not decide the verdict, the male jurors wanted the judge to call them a hung jury. When the judge finally acquiesced and called them a hung jury, the men giggled and responded, "Thank you, Judge."
Eventually, and because our system likes to make examples out of public figures so the prosecutors in the case can get on TV, the judge got them to convict Blago.
You have to wonder why, in a state like Illinois, and in particular the city of Chicago, such a Democrat utopia has such corruption problems. Sadly, this shameful event did nothing to tarnish the image of Chicago politicians. When the verdict was read, one million Chicago voters turned over in their graves.
Apparently, most people pretty much expected it. Three former Illinois governors have gone to jail; Blago was just carrying on the tradition. This case points to the fundamental difference between the South and the Midwest. The South's prisons are full due to meth. Illinois' jails are overcrowded due to governors. It is the only state where you can get your car tag made by one of the past governors.
A prison sentence of 14 years did seem harsh for a nonviolent crime. Blago was not a risk to harm anyone. He's from Chicago, the Democrat stronghold where crime is the favorite pastime. Gangbangers do not get that much time for murder. Illinois, and Chicago in particular, have strong anti-gun laws, yet they lead the nation in shootings. It is like an abstinence-only school leading the country in pregnancies. The school buses and Nike delivery trucks in Chicago are required to have a tail gunner. On the bright side, February was so cold there that 28 murders had to be delayed.
This is the city where the coronavirus patient was. He came in complaining of shooting pains in his lungs. After he was tested, he was found to have the coronavirus and had also been shot in the lungs.
Blago is ecstatic with his commutation and praises Trump. He calls himself a Democrat converted to Trump, a "Trump-o-crat." We live in a crazy time. Bloomberg made his fortune as a Republican and is now rich enough to run as a Democrat. Bernie Sanders (who famously honeymooned in Russia) is a socialist running as a Democrat. And Trump, a Democrat until a few years ago, is our Republican president. It is all as confusing as Mother's Day must be for Kylie Jenner.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.