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Ear to the Ground

Blagojevich Racks Up 16 Felony Charges

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Posted on Apr 2, 2009
Blagojevich
AP photo / Seth Perlman

It’s now eminently clear that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s media blitz to gain sympathy after he was ousted from office in January hasn’t helped his case, as he was charged with a whopping 16 felony counts on Thursday. However, Blagojevich wasn’t in Chicago to receive the bad news in person—he was vacationing near Disney World with his family.

The New York Times:

Rod R. Blagojevich, this state’s ousted governor, was charged on Thursday with 16 felony counts, among them racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion conspiracy in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive residents of “honest government,” prosecutors said, including trying to leverage his authority to pick someone to fill President Obama’s former Senate seat.

Five of his closest advisers, including his brother, Robert, a top fundraiser, and two former chiefs of staff, were also charged in the 19-count indictment.

[...] Lately, Mr. Blagojevich has taken on an odd, ubiquitous but peripheral, reality-TV-style celebrity here. His former political life has become the topic of a musical (“Rod Blagojevich Superstar!”) at The Second City, Chicago’s long-standing improvisational comedy theater. He has been offered a minor league baseball contract in Joliet. He was host of a local radio talk show. He announced a six-figure deal for a book, in which he promises to tell all.

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