Re: Quid Pro

1

Who is Senate Candidate 5? Is it irresponsible to speculate, or is it irresponsible not to?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:07 PM
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So why would it be better to be indicted as a senator than as a governor?


Posted by: Cryptec Nis | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:12 PM
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3

You've got my appreciation!

What do people think of the implications from the indictment that Obama supported Valerie Jarrett as the Senate replacement? I'd heard similar things from some of the campaign people, but never believed it (they weren't top policy people or advisors, so there was no great reason to do so). I'm wondering if anyone else found it as worrying that a friend and advisor who's never been up for election would be supported as a top choice for such an important public position as Senator?

I'm not quite sure what it is, since I'm fine with somewhat similar people being given powerful staff positions within the White House, but it just feels wrong. I would've worked my ass off for any respectable primary challenger in 2010 if that had been the appointment.

Hell, as it is, it looks like that may be the case no matter what.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:12 PM
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What are you drinking these days, Becks? I'll send a case, so that you may post Becks' style. Will that do?

I should be enjoying this spectacle, but it humors me not. Jefferson Smith, where art thou?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:14 PM
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5

3: from what I hear, the rumors that Valerie Jarrett is Candidate 1 are wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:16 PM
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Also, what's with the Times completely ignoring the part of the indictment where Obama wouldn't pay to play? Thanks, guys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:17 PM
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THE HONEYMOON IS OVER, SIFU

BWAHAHAHA PREPARE TO SEE NOTHING GET ACCOMPLISHED


Posted by: OPINIONATED MEDIA | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:23 PM
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Jefferson Smith, where art thou?

Portland.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:23 PM
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5: Huh... Who else was a female advisor to Obama mooted for the Senate seat? I don't think any major elected officials would fit the bill. Madigan (who I would support) is already likely to be Candidate 2, but my respect would be happily renewed if Jan Schakowsky was Candidate 1 (though it seems unlikely).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:24 PM
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Do we know how the Fitspatrick got the warrant for the wiretap? Because according to The Wire, those things take a shitlot of PC and demonstrated investigative stymying (or whatever the term was).


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:25 PM
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11

9: Duckworth?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:26 PM
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It seems to me, actually, that the most logical and least corrupt way to replace someone who the voters voted for but is now leaving for higher office, is to seek out someone who will vote exactly like the original person would, and who doesn't have an existing political base that would help them get reelected easily despite never being elected in the first place.

Doesn't it make sense for this Ted guy to replace Biden, and Valerie Jarrett to replace Obama?


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:28 PM
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Are any of the senate candidates accused of playing ball with Blago except the mysterious Candidate #5?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:28 PM
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7: CAN I STILL GET MY THIRTY FOUR BILLION DOLLARS? HEY THANKS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GENERAL MOTORS | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:34 PM
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So did the Tribune play ball with Blago or pretend to play ball? A newspaper subscription hangs in the balance!


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:38 PM
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||

I am the settlement queen. My client's unreasonable, the other side is unreasonable, and I gently, sweetly, and kindly browbeat the both of them into submission. Go, me!

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:42 PM
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11: Eh, she still hasn't won anything apart from a Democratic primary. I'm impressed that she was endorsed by the Tribune, which almost makes me wonder how awful her Republican opponent had to be.

By all accounts, she's done a great job as head of Veterans Affairs, and I don't see anything too disturbing on her wikipedia page apart from a self-description as a "fiscal conservative and social moderate." But I'd have a hard time supporting that choice, too.

Let's face it. Illinois has a damn shallow bench and far too much corruption among most of its political leaders. We used to have the two smart and clean guys in the state serving as Senators, and now we're losing one. Mixed emotions.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:47 PM
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I guess we won't need to reference Tammany any more. Is this a case of a truly dirty guy failing upward, or business as usual finally coming to light?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:56 PM
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If you're angling for the spot, PiMP, you'll have to let us know what's in it for us if we give it to you.


Posted by: Cryptec Nid | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 12:56 PM
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I'm not Constitutionally qualified for the spot yet, but I can tell you that there'd be some impressive blogging pork in my bills. Also that all of my pork would be renamed wheat meat.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:05 PM
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This dude has chutzpah (delusionary chutzpah, but chutzpah nonetheless). From the indictment:

1. In addition, in the course of the conversations over the last month, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat, and has expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including frustration at being "stuck" as governor, a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor, and a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016
2. HARRIS noted that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is interested in taking a high-paying position with an organization called "Change to Win," which is connected to Service Employees International Union ("SEIU"). HARRIS suggested that SEIU Official make ROD BLAGOJEVICH the head of Change to Win and, in exchange, the President-elect could help Change to Win with its legislative agenda on a national level.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:09 PM
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Yay, LB !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:11 PM
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And that's not all! I don't have the exact language, but a friend told me that "there's a passage where Balgo says he won't take the Change to Win job unless it pays substantially more than being governor does, and he wants CTW to hire his wife pronto. But later, apparently, he decides he'd rather have a 501C4 set up for him by Warren Buffet, because then he'd know his organization would be around in a few years, whereas with CTW, who can tell?"


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:11 PM
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Quick, LB, move to Illinois so you can be senator.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:12 PM
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25

I hear Alan Keyes is still looking for something to do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:14 PM
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I hear Alan Keyes is still looking for something to do.

Nah, Jack Ryan, for the Circle of Life thing. Better- Jerri Ryan!

Appoint Seven of Nine- resistance is futile.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:17 PM
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27

How about Blago offers it to W. in return for a pardon?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:19 PM
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28

Why isn't anyone speculating about who #5 is?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:45 PM
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29

TPM has speculated that it's Jesse Jackson Jr., but on what looks to me like weak evidence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:46 PM
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27: Very nice and neat solution. Have you considered running for office?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 1:55 PM
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28: There've been a few different people mentioned as possibilities.

The Smoking Gun doesn't explicitly describe its source, but I bet it's thinking of section 103 at the bottom of this page. It mentions that Blago's advisor agreed on Nov. 10th to call up the Sun-Times columnist (who's obviously Michael Sneed from the document) and leak that Rod and Candidate 5 had a long and productive discussion. Then after two days of not mentioning the Senate seat, Sneed wrote this column on the 14th which mentions Emil Jones as Blago's top choice about halfway down. That seems like some of the most convincing evidence I've seen thus far, but I'm also disinclined to trust Emil Jones in the slightest.

This blog post has a little more inside baseball, mostly adding that Emil Jones has a very fat campaign account that could supply the promised bribery money, but there aren't rumors of Blago complaining that he can't trust Jones's word (while presumably there are such rumors regarding Jesse Jackson Jr.).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 2:12 PM
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30: Thanks! But, no, I'm just going to comment on various blogs until somebody recognizes my obvious potential and appoints me.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 2:21 PM
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33

TPM is suggesting Rahm Emmanuel somehow found out, in the way people like him always find out, about the whole "sell Obama's vacant Senate seat" angle and tossed Blago to the feds.

You need a good thug. Look at how Gordon Brown has been doing better since he persuaded Mandelson to rejoin the government. Clement Attlee, the saint of prime ministers, had a whole squad - Shortly Floorcross, Ernie Bevin, Herbert Morrison. All of them very smart and committed, and willing to deal with political enemies in any way from "slip in the knife so he hasn't even noticed" to "drive tank through front door, park tank on desk..."


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 2:42 PM
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34

The only problem I have with all this wild gesticulating is that I thought this was the way politicians always operated. Surely people can envision Bill Clinton sounding like this when he was working the phones for his wife, and likewise for say, Bob Dole.

max
['This is an 11th commandment violation.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 3:09 PM
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35

You need a good thug.

Be Your Own Thug

I keep trying to break myself of the 60s nostalgia, but the news keeps it alive.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 3:10 PM
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36

Duckworth?

All your Senators are belong to us.


Posted by: Hawaii | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 3:39 PM
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37

So did the Tribune play ball with Blago or pretend to play ball?

According to TPM Muckraker, the Trib held off on a story about Blago at Fitzgerald's request.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 3:50 PM
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34: I admit that thought occurred to me. And it wouldn't just be politicians who operate that way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:04 PM
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Rahm denies that he blew the whistle on Blago, so he and Blago are still the best of friends. Rahm's word is his bond, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:14 PM
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40

Blago's bond may be a little higher, however.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:19 PM
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The motto of the Wall Street firm I worked for: Our Name, Our Word, Our Bond: Negotiable


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:23 PM
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Do we know how the Fitspatrick got the warrant for the wiretap? Because according to The Wire, those things take a shitlot of PC and demonstrated investigative stymying (or whatever the term was).

I think the term was something like "exhaustion." Anyway, I don't know what the PC was, but if you followed the Rezko case, it was clear that there was a lot of state-level stuff - appointments in exchange for things, mainly - including other arrests and indictments that almost certainly reached all the way to the governor's office.* So there's a good chance there was already a lot of PC out there for wiretaps, and the Senate seat selling just happened to come along (reports say the wire was set up in October).

*Also clear: aside from the poor judgment on the house/yard purchase that Obama himself has already admitted to, Obama wasn't involved in any of that.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:30 PM
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the poor judgment on the house/yard purchase

I have a really hard time judging politicians for the kind of thing that looks like just quid, with no quo. You're in a situation where people are going to want to do you unsolicited favors, and catching everything that looks like someone else couldn't have gotten the same deal has got to be really hard (that is, both literally noticing that the deal is too good to be true, and turning it down if you do notice.)

I've been defending Charlie Rangel on this stuff -- the whole rent stabilized apartments thing appears to be not much more than a landlord being weirdly unagresssive about raising his rent. And honestly, while a truly pure human being would keep track of the market rate for his apartments and insist on being charged that much, I don't really think that level of purity is necessary for a politician.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:39 PM
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I've been defending Charlie Rangel on this stuff

Really? Just in a PR-like capacity or was there a lawsuit? (If you can say.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:43 PM
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45

Wait, nevermind. I think you meant "defending" in something other than a professional capacity.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:45 PM
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I'm astonished that a lot of people seem to be taking Rahm's denial at face value.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:47 PM
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I think you meant "defending" in something other than a professional capacity.

Don't undervalue front page privileges, Brock.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:49 PM
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Oh, man, no, just online and talking to people. If I was doing that stuff professionally I wouldn't be talking about it. No, the people I defend professionally are entirely different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:58 PM
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I have a really hard time judging politicians for the kind of thing that looks like just quid, with no quo.

Obama judged himself on this one. He's on the record calling it "boneheaded." It's not really a story anymore, anyway.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 4:59 PM
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40: Nope -- ROR.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 5:29 PM
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While not exactly clean Rangel's rental situation strikes me as similar to movie stars getting $25K worth of "gift bags" for attending events. When you are in that world, people just give you stuff because you are so wonderful. The "suggested" donation to the school and the nepotistic web assignment are shadier, but not yet in Duke Cunningham territory.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 5:33 PM
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Jesus, Cilizza and Matthews are creepy. I listened to as much as I could stand and didn't hear anyone point out that Obama had apparently refused to deal with Blago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:14 PM
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53

I didn't mean to say that Jesus is creepy. I'm don't feel prepared to commit to that at this point.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 6:15 PM
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If the winner is unable to fulfill their duties as Senator, then the first runner up will go instead.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 8:39 PM
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Are you guys pronouncing "Blago" as BLAY-go, BLAH-go, or in some other way? This seems important.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 9-08 9:05 PM
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I'm torn between Blay-go, to rhyme with Paygo, or Blaggo, which of course contains "blag", that useful Ritchieism meaning anything from an unfounded boast to an armed robber.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 3:22 AM
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35: One line in that seemed interesting.

More than 5,000 people clad in black gathered at the cemetery, many chanting: "Cops, Pigs, Murderers."

So is "pigs" a slang term for "police" in other languages as well as English, or did the writer translate whatever the Greek insult was to its closest American equivalent?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 8:38 AM
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57: I wonder about that sort of thing a lot. There should be conventions to make such things clear in news stories, I declare.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 1:59 PM
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Only in English does it stand for "Pride, Integrity, Guts and Service".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:03 PM
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Well, cops is already slang. Is it universal? I seem to remember from elementary school French that the translation into that tongue would be "flic".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:05 PM
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Bluh-goy


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:06 PM
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In French, the slang term is "flic," the verlan ghetto slang version is pronounced "cuff," and the 1968er protest version is "cochon" (pig). I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cop=pig thing were widespread around europe.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:14 PM
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I believe that the pig reference started when the police wore gasmasks after dispensing the teargas.

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07_03/copfacebookMS2807_468x342.jpg


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:19 PM
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I'm wrong, as usual.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2209/why-are-the-police-called-cops-pigs-or-the-fuzz


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:23 PM
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The chant in Greek is "μπάτσοι, γου?ο?νια, δολοφόνοι", which does indeed translate to "cops, pigs, murderers" (μπάτσοι being a slang word for police, maybe a little less neutral than "cops" is my sense).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:43 PM
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Batsy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12-10-08 2:46 PM
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