Tuesday, May 17, 2005
An AP story (here) states that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's office and campaign fundraising committees have been subpoenaed for records by a state grand jury investigating corruption. The investigation concerns possible job appointments being given in exchange for campaign contributions, and the grand jury seeks a broad array of records on campaign contributions and hiring. In addition to Blagojevich's office, his chief fundraiser and his father-in-law, a Chicago Alderman, have also been served with subpoenas. After graduating from law school in 1983, Blagojevich worked as an Assistant States Attorney in Cook County before launching his political career. Interestingly, his official biography (here) contains the following statement: "A former golden gloves boxer, Blagojevich is committed to fighting a system that accepts corruption, mediocrity and failure, and pledges to make everyday life better for average working families in Illinois."
Blagojevich succeeded George Ryan in 2002, who left office under a cloud and is currently under indictment on charges (including RICO) related to -- don't be shocked -- corruption. Of course, gubernatorial corruption is not limited to Illinois, having forced out John Rowland in Connecticut, who is currently serving a one year sentence in a federal correctional institution, and tinged the administration of former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey, with corruption charges against one of his chief fundraisers. (ph)