Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day of reckoning

Today is the day that former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich gets his comeuppance. He is about to learn what if any time he will be serving in prison for the corruption charges for which he was convicted earlier this year. As a lifelong Illinois resident, I take absolutely no joy in that. Yet I will take a 180 degree turn from my comments in a previous post and say that Blgojevich should go to prison for a good amount of time. This is not out of spite or personal vendetta. What the former governor did by soliciting bribes and kickbacks for everything from appointing a new senator to helping out a children's hospital, was a tremendous violation of the public trust. It set the cause of good government, (yes Virginia, there is such a thing), back at least fifty years, and only exacerbated the terrible movement of negativity and cynicism that plagues our society.

For his part, the former governor did not show a bit of contrition or admission of guilt, at least until very recently as his date with the jailer approached. His behavior during his two corruption trials turned the proceedings into a circus side show. Letting Blagojevich off with a slap on the wrist will send a clear message to the entire political establishment that there is no accountability whatsoever when it comes to malfeasance in office.

But there's little chance he'll get off. Just a couple of weeks ago, his former confidant and fundraiser Tony Rezko got ten years for corruption under the Blgojevich administration, so it's likely that Blago will get even more time behind bars.

The smart money says 15 years. Sad to say, I don't think that's unreasonable.

Post Script: Rod Blagojevich got 14 years.

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