Posts Tagged ‘Rod Blagojevich’
July 16th, 2010 at 12:37 am
Arlen Specter Shows Rod Blagojevich How to Negotiate with the White House without Getting Indicted

If only the indicted former Illinois governor could have passed on the chance to be first elected official to do business with the Obama White House political machine he too might be just another “coincidence” in need of rationalizing.  At first, Blagojevich seemed to be a bad Sopranos version of a big state governor.  The hair, leather jackets, and the boyishly insincere claims of innocence made it easy to dismiss him as a buffoon unskilled in the art of negotiating political favors.  (FBI tapes of him dropping f-bombs while daydreaming about running a nonprofit or a cabinet department didn’t help either.)

Then came revelations that Democratic Senate candidates Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania and Andrew Romanoff of Colorado were offered varying types of political compensation not to run against Obama’s preferred incumbents.  Now it sounds as if Arlen Specter – the party switching moderate Sestak defeated – is signaling he’d like a sweetheart deal after Keystone State voters refused to renew his contract.

Sources tell ABC News that Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania, has informed the White House that he would like to consider remaining in public service after his Senate term ends at the end of this session, and White House officials are keeping an open mind about possible job openings for him.

So, THAT’S the difference!  Blago should have “informed” the White House that “he would like to consider” increasing his public service to include Washington, D.C. – perhaps after the governor nominated President Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to fill his Senate seat.

Hey, distinctions are helpful.  They’re also dubious if the following report from ABC News is true about Specter’s motivation:

Some who know Specter say he’s eager to go out with a bang — to have a more majestic career-ender — and not to be known in perpetuity as a party switcher, an inquisitor of Anita Hill, or as a leading advocate on the Warren Commission of the single-bullet theory.

May 27th, 2010 at 1:14 pm
Obama-Sestak Offer Now in Issa’s Crosshairs

Since the Obama Administration and newly minted Senate candidate Joe Sestak (D-PA) won’t discuss Sestak’s February allegation that a White House official offered him a job not to primary party-switching Arlen Specter, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is looking into the matter.  As CFIF readers remember, Issa’s interest is not desired by most people in public life.  The conservative foil to liberal Investigator-in-Chief Henry Waxman (D-CA), Issa is now comparing the Obama-Sestak offer to the Watergate fiasco.

That may be going a bit far, but the facts – and the stonewalling – are at least as important to uncover as the Valerie Plame Affair.  In that case, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff was convicted of four felonies for lying to federal agents and obstructing their investigation.  Notice any similarities with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ refusal to comment, and the White House declining to appoint an independent investigator?

It sounds old to keep comparing how the media would be covering Obama’s actions if done by Bush, but the contrasts are still striking.  This is now the second time potentially illegal negotiations over a United States Senate seat have been linked to Obama’s White House.  The first instance cost Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich his job and may yet lead to a prison sentence.  Now, another round of Chicago-style deal making may imperil Joe Sestak’s senate campaign.  At some point, you’d think lower level Democrats would start reconsidering their allegiance to a president who clearly favors backroom deals to open electoral processes.

April 23rd, 2010 at 1:57 am
Obama to Testify in Blago Corruption Trial?

This is rich.  On Thursday, attorneys for ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich filed a motion to subpoena President Barack Obama as a witness in Blago’s upcoming corruption trial.  You may remember ole’ Rod was arrested and impeached for trying to parlay Obama’s vacant Senate seat into cash or a job.  Apparently, one of the government’s key witnesses against Blago will offer testimony that is directly contradicted by the president’s public statements.  Blago’s attorneys want to rebut the prosecution’s witness with testimony from someone who knows how Illinois politics are played.

This could get interesting.

March 9th, 2010 at 6:50 pm
Former Rep. Massa Disappoints Glenn Beck

And he didn’t do much better with viewers either.  After building up the drama for former Congressman Eric Massa’s (D-NY) appearance on his television show, Glenn Beck ended his program with an apology to those who watched ‘til the bitter end.  “This (information shared by Massa) didn’t affect you (the American people).”

Blame Massa for blowing a golden opportunity to give dates, times, and names of specific instances where politicos crossed the line into illegal or unethical behavior.  Instead, he gave bland jeremiads about the corrupting influence of money in politics, and flipped the narrative on who’s responsible for him stepping down.  Initially, it was the White House and Democratic House Leadership who “forced” his resignation.  Now, he “owns his mistakes” and accepts full responsibility for his resignation.  Huh?  The only reason this is a story is because people were led to believe a member of Congress was ousted to ease passage of health care “reform.”  Now, it is just a story of a seemingly decent guy unable to cope with the insane demands of national politics.

But blame Beck too for not getting at least one specific instance of a date, time, and name before going on the air to ensure the hour wasn’t a waste.  He won’t forget that lesson next time.  For now, it looks like the Obama Administration – and Rahm Emanuel in particular – dodged a potentially catastrophic revelation about the practice of Big Boy politics.  Like the Rod Blagojevich smoking gun that never fired, Eric Massa had his chance to establish his credibility with specifics.  His failure to do so means that his critics will be the ones taking up the lion’s share of his fifteen minutes in the spotlight.  Too bad.