The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Illinois' Blagojevich: a chip off the Daley block?

Historically, corruption in Illinois politics has been a bipartisan affair: 'Big Bill' Thompson preceded the Kelly-Nash machine, and its successor under Richard Daley; more recently, statewide corruption has, to the casual observer, at least, reverted to being more a GOP affair - former Governor George Ryan got himself indicted a year or two back.

Now, the Governor is a Democrat, of course: Rod Blagojevich. And, whilst I'm not aware of any allegations of criminal conduct against the guy, his attitude is alarmingly free and easy, apparently:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Wednesday he sees nothing wrong with his campaign donors ending up with state contracts or being named to state posts, and that his political operation has nothing to do with his governmental office.

The piece says that
A recent Daily Herald analysis of state records found Blagojevich collected $7.34 million in campaign contributions from firms with special state contracts and from people or associates of those he’s appointed to state boards and commissions. The total represents nearly one of every five dollars that flowed into the Chicago Democrat’s campaign coffers since he first set up his run for governor in 2000.

To put that in some kind of perspective, Tom DeLay's ARMPAC raised around $3.7 million in the 2004 cycle, of which Federal candidates received $985,278.

In addition, it seems that
State Auditor General William Holland found that businesses with state contracts were reimbursed half a million dollars in expenses without providing receipts.

(I can't trace that Holland has any partisan allegiance.)

All of which doesn't add up to Blagojevich necessarily being a crook. But would seem like probable cause for further close investigation.

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