Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 17 out of 20 federal corruption charges yesterday, including conspiring to sell Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. It closes a “sordid chapter”–as two different Illinois politicians, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D) and State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R) put it in their statements responding to the verdict–in recent history.
The other current U.S. Senator from Illinois, Mark Kirk (R), merely referred to it an “unfortunate chapter.” Or maybe it a “long, embarassing chapter?” That was from the State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who also added that Blagojevich “deserves everything he’s going to get.”
Blago’s successor, Governor Pat Quinn (D), said that his old boss had “deceived everyone” but allowed himself a moment of reflection. “I’ve known his wife for many years. She’s a very good person,” he said about Patti Blagojevich (who once was caught yelling, “Hold up that [expletive] Cubs [expletive],” as part of a rant implying that the Tribune should fire its editorial writers in order to get help.)
The Senate President called it both “sad but necessary” and “another sad event for Illinois,” while a reform advocate called Blagojevich a “pox on the Illinois political system.”
But there was also joy in Springfield–Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, his 2006 Republican opponent, said that she was “personally pleased to see him [Blagojevich] held responsible.”
And then there was the ex-Governor’s response, which no one else — except for maybe his wife — shared. “Frankly, I am stunned,” he told the press after the verdict was handed down. [Chicago Sun-Times]