03 June 2010

Pretty short distance between Sestak, Romanoff and Blago

The corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich begins today, and it strikes me that the timing could not be much worse for President Obama.

Among other things, Blagojevich is charged with trying to sell the temporary appointment to fill Obama's former Senate seat partly in exchange for a plum political appointment for himself. Among those with whom he reportedly negotiated, was one Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff.

Emanuel is also thought to be at the center of the "pay to play" scandals currently unfolding in Pennsylvania and Colorado, where Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff, respectively, appear to have been illegally offered political appointments in exchange for dropping their candidacies in Democratic Senate primaries.

When I was a boy, I learned in school about old time city machine politics, and the widespread use of patronage jobs to bribe supporters and donors. In the year since, we were taught, laws were put in place to prevent that sort of thing from poisoning our political processes.

Yet here we are, in 2010, with the White House's defenders out there arguing that "everybody does it," and "it was not, technically, illegal." They seem quite unaware that Rod Blagojevich, on trial in Federal court, is arguing the exact same thing.

Fair investigations and trials may eventually find that nobody involved broke the law. For now, though, the only facts we know are these:

  • There is a very high profile Federal corruption trial of a former Democratic Governor of one of our largest states on - the charges involve "pay to play" schemes
  • Candidates in several states all report "pay to play" schemes offered to them by the White House
  • Some of the same people are involved in all of these stories - and they work in the White House
It doesn't take ether a genius or a conspiracy theorist to see a strong connection. The only question is whether voters will connect the dots, and add it to the list of reasons they don't like Obama.

UPDATE : Looks like the press is connecting the dots...

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