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Friday, August 13, 2010

Jury in Blagojevich Trial May Force Do-Over...Did the US Attorney's Office Finally Flop This Time?

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is a two-time OpenlineBlog Person of the Year and we strongly opposed the election of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but as the jury appears deadlocked on various counts in the Blagorama corruption trial, it's becoming increasingly clear there is no slam dunk by prosecutors and the defense may have various counts acquited and/or force a "do-over."

Blago could still be found guilty on some counts now or in a retrial, but unlike many other corruption trials, the government's theory is based upon the idea that talking about things is a crime in itself.  Everyone knows there is a corruption epidemic in Illinois, starting with Chicago's City Hall and Mayor Richard Daley, the King of Corruption, but one of the reasons he hasn't been indicted (yet) is because of the difficulty in proving criminal activity for what is often politics-as-usual in Illinois.

There is no doubt Blago was a lousy governor, although his temporary replacement may actually be worse.  And, there is no doubt that if Blago is guilty, there are MANY elected officials, including both Michael and Lisa Madigan, who play the game in much more deeper and devious ways.  However, in terms of the law, Blago is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  And, there appears to be plenty of reasonable doubt.

Fitzgerald's prosecutors didn't call a lot of people from Tony Rezko to Stuart Levine to Rahm Emanuel to Jesse Jackson to Valerie Jarrett to Roland Burris to Lisa Madigan and yes, even that Barack Obama guy.  If there is a do-over, we urge the US Attorney's Office to call EVERYONE directly and indirectly associated with the political games played, including from the White House.

The much bigger crime is that politics-as-usual is currently thriving in Illinois by the usual suspects.  Even if Blago is convicted on any counts, this trial isn't doing much to effectively deter that by letting so many members of the political mafia off-the-hook from a public trial of what really goes on.

So, Patrick Fitzgerald, if you get a do-over in the Blago trial, we challenge you to force the political mafia's underworld to be fully exposed.  From Mayor Daley to the Madigan(s), there are plenty of fish to fry in addition to Blago.

As for Blago, if there's another trial, instead of going on a publicity tour, he should go on a campaign between now and November and explain to voters the truth about how the political mafia of Illinois operates.  If he is found guilty of any counts, that should be part of his sentence.

The best result of this trial won't be to send to Blago to prison, but to throw the political mafia and their cronies out in November and next February.


Anonymous said...

Openlineblog Person of the Year? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Openline. "Old Media" Beacon News scooped you again. Blago got convicted on 1 count, which could cost himm 5 years & $250,000. The other 23 counts were all hung up, so were all mistrials. So the feds can try them again. I thought it was interesting that there were NO acquittals. So at least someone on that jury thought he was guilty on all counts. I'd love to know the votes on each count.

So "cutting edge new media" can't quite keep up with "old media", can it?