Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 17, 2010. Today, a jury of his peers found Rod Blogojevich guilty on one of the twenty-four counts he was charged with. As one could expect, Blogojevich’s attorneys vowed to appeal the charge while U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said a retrial would be held as soon as possible.
Many of us who have lived in Illinois and witnessed the political circus that existed under the Blogojevich administration, were confident that the zealous Fitzgerald would finally be the one to bring down this egomaniac once and for all. But the trial that the U.S. Attorney’s office presented was as baffling as many of us felt when Blogojevich continued to get elected to office. A first year law student could have mounted a better prosecution – at least one that would have gotten more than a single conviction.
Keep in mind the coffers for the prosecution, unlike that of the defense, are limitless. And also keep in mind that since Blogojevich is essentially broke, the people of the State of Illinois are paying the tab to defend this guy. Is this really the best way to use our federal and state tax dollars – especially when the State of Illinois is now in worse financial shape than California?
When you consider the fact that the defense never even presented a rebuttal case, today’s verdict can be seen as nothing less than a huge defeat for Fitzgerald and his team.
While many of us claim to be sick and tired of the political climate in Illinois, as he left the courthouse, Blagojevich got a huge round of applause from the crowd.
Leota Johnson, 72, of Chicago, chanted “Rod is free!” Johnson said she isn’t convinced he did anything wrong and that pay-for-play is Chicago politics as usual. Sadly, Ms. Johnson is not alone in her belief.
The fact is that this single conviction now makes Blogojevich a felon and eventually he will likely spend some time in jail along side the ever-increasing number of convicted Illinois politicians. For someone with an ego as huge as Rod’s the fact that being a convicted felon will preclude him from seeking public office in the future, will be more punishment than any time served in a jail.
Any money used for a retrial would be better spent on any number of serious issues this State needs to address rather than to fund what now looks like Fitzgerald’s vendetta against Blogojevich.
Fitzgerald needs to take a lesson from Kenny Roger’s song, The Gambler – it’s time to fold ‘em and walk away to the next problem. Heaven knows it won’t be hard to find them here in Illinois.
But the real lesson here is for the people of Illinois. As long as we continue to believe that Chicago-style pay-for-play politics is the norm, all we will get from our politicians is more of the same.