Talked to some friends of mine from outside my home state of Illinois yesterday who all thought that they would find a reaction of shock, embarrassment, and surprise about the news of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrest.
The truth is this,,,
17people and most everyone in the state of Illinois is not the least bit surprised. 'Blago' as he is referred to by many around here is a very unpopular figure in the state (13% in some approval polls) and was a major reason that Illinois considered a Constitutional Convention in the past year (it failed). The Chicago Tribune (a target of Blago) was pushing for a 'recall' mechanism for the citizens of Illinois.
So the black eye for Illinois in this whole deal is this... Why did this piece of shit get elected twice?
17people readily admits to have voted for Blago in two General Elections. In his 1st primary 17people supported former Chicago School Board President and fellow Greek American Paul Vallas. Blago had significant institutional support from his powerhouse Chicago Alderman father in law Richard 'Dick' Mell (who interestingly disowned Blago about 5 years ago).
Also of note in the 2002 primary,,, State Senator Barack Obama endorsed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris against Blago.
When Blago ran in that first General Election in 2002 he was the Democratic Nominee following the administration of a Republican Governor who as most people know,,, is also in jail. That guys name was George Ryan. The last name of the Republican that Blago ran against in 2002,,, also Ryan (Jim Ryan, no relation), but the stigma was there. Bottom line there was no chance the Democrats could have lost that election.
Four years later the Illinois Republican party, still scarred by George Ryan had a bloody primary where State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka was elected the nominee. Blago had about $17million in his campaign war chest and blasted Topinka, who was not a very good candidate.
What I say about Blago's two elections is similar to what I say about President Bush. Voters, myself included, got what we deserved. Blago has done some good things, like increase education funding and fund children's health care.
However, people I know that know Blago have said his arrogance and borderline sociopathic tendencies make him a detestable person.
Which is why instead of shame and embarrassment, feel like many Illinoisan's like me are glad that the justice department did what they are supposed to do...
Find the bad guys and put them away.
Good riddance Blago.