Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into custody this morning after a federal investigation into corruption. Blagojevich was accused of trying to use the US Senate vacancy created by Barack Obama's election for personal profit. Even more disturbing than allegedly trying to sell a senate seat:
According to a federal criminal complaint, Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired.This type of corruption is the most troubling because it is an attempt to crush the First Amendment rights of a free press by a government official. This type of corruption and intimidation of Blagojevich's critics run beyond the ordinary selling of offices we are used to in Illinois, and presents a danger to the very democratic process.
Hopefully this type of Illinois politics did not rub off on our next president of the United States or his chief of staff.
Update! You can read the whole criminal complaint courtesy of the Chicago Tribune. (pdf) (ht: NRO)