Rod Blagojevich

The Inscrutable Andy Stern, In His Own Defense
August 06, 2012

At a time when unions hold an ever-diminishing role in American life, Andy Stern commanded a remarkably high profile. To his supporters, the longtime head of the Service Employees International Union was the savior of organized labor, who had found a way to expand the ranks of his union when almost every other one in the private sector was shrinking.

How To Catch The Next Blagojevich
December 07, 2011

Today, Rod Blagojevich, one of the many disgraced former governors of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for eighteen felony corruption convictions, including an attempt to sell President Obama’s old Senate seat. It wasn’t the harshest penalty possible—he could have been sentenced to hundreds of years in prison—but it is nonetheless a shocking fall for the former two-term governor.

Blagojevich—Good Riddance to Him
June 28, 2011

It’s never a happy thing to see someone convicted of serious crimes. With rare exceptions, I don’t believe people should serve really long prison sentences. So I don’t want Rod Blagojevich to serve decades in prison. Still, these were just and necessary verdicts. The Chicago Tribune’s Annie Sweeney reports that our corrupt former governor is expected to serve ten years. This seems about right. It’s hard for outsiders to understand just how toxic Blagojevich’s presence was. He took office on the heels of a disgraced, scandal-plagued Republican administration.

They Ain’t With Main Street
February 12, 2010

The excerpts that Bloomberg published Wednesday from its interview with Barack Obama provoked some indignation from Simon Johnson, Paul Krugman, and others, but the full interview, published yesterday morning by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, deserves a few additional howls.

Reduced Circumstances
March 31, 2009

Rod Blagojevich, hosting a Chicago radio show: Blago: Let’s take a call or two. Newsman: Are those headphones going to mess up your hair? Blago: I brought my brush. Meteorologist: You brought the football? Blago: I’m not governor anymore, it is a smaller brush. Who says the man hasn't paid a price? (via The American Scene)

Spare the Rod
February 18, 2009

I FULLY REALIZE that few complaints are more tiresome than “your party’s scandal is worse than my party’s scandal.” But indulge me for a moment. I can’t think of a good reason why Rod Blagojevich has become the most hated man in America while Norm Coleman still walks the streets with his head held high. What, you say—Norm Coleman? Yes, Norm Coleman! Let me explain. The soon-to- be-former senator’s scandal is pretty simple.

What Blagojevich Owes Burris
December 31, 2008

Ben Joravsky is the author of Hoop Dreams and a staff writer for the Reader newspaper in Chicago. It's only appropriate that Governor Rod Blagojevich appoint Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant senate seat. After all, Blago owes his governorship to Burris. To understand, you have to return to 2002, when no one in the country was paying attention to politics in our goofy little fiefdom, and Blagojevich was running for governor in the Democratic primary.

Heaven Sent
December 16, 2008

WASHINGTON--Normally, we might be talking about President-elect Barack Obama's Monday news conference on energy and the environment. But, no. Thanks to the Democratic governor with a wire-brush mop of hair, a crude mouth and what's alleged to be an inclination to put his state government up for sale, the political world's interest has drifted elsewhere. Rod Blagojevich has been a godsend for Republicans who have been looking on helplessly as Obama's approval ratings climb into the stratosphere.

Sympathy For The Blago
December 10, 2008

There was no shortage of shocking material in the criminal complaint the feds filed against Rod Blagojevich yesterday, but the bit of information that seems to have caused the biggest collective headslap was the revelation that the embattled Illinois governor was actively contemplating a White House run. As more than one person joked (props to TalkBacker waynejm for being, so far as I can tell, the first person to come up with it), at least Blago's presidential ambitions made a potential insanity defense more credible.

Down Goes Blago
December 09, 2008

Today was not a good day for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.