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Sestak, Blagojevich & Obama: Chicago-Style Politics

Illegalities Or Politics As Usual?


By —— Bio and Archives--May 25, 2010

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Within days, former Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will go on trial for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after Obama won the presidency.  In 2008, Patrick I. Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, released tape recorded conversations with then-Governor Blagojevich, alleging that Obama’s vacated seat was available to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich was indicted.  He now faces charges of corruption for trying to sell or trade Obama’s seat and pressure potential Blagojevich campaign contributors.  Blagojevich has fervently denied these allegations and he is pressing that all of the recorded tapes be released, especially those he had with members of Obama’s administration.

Recently, U.S. Rep Joe Sestak (D-PA) admitted an unnamed White House official offered him a federal job if he would drop out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary against incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter who was endorsed by Obama.  Specter—who changed his political stripes during midterm—was in trouble regarding his bid to retain his seat which he has held for five terms.

Now I believe there is a nexus between the charges Blagojevich is facing and the possible tampering with a federal election by the Obama administration.  Sestak, a retired U.S. Navy Admiral, won’t say what job he was offered if he dropped out of the primary race, but many believe a position as Secretary of the Navy was the carrot at the end of the political stick.

Even Arlen Specter has been quoted as saying if such an offer was made, it violated federal law.

I believe we are seeing a perfect illustration of Chicago-style politics being practiced at the federal level in the Sestak case.  After all, Obama and White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, earned their political chops in the heart of the Daley Democratic Machine.  And as most Americans witnessed in the passage of the health care reform bill, the ends justify the means.  It’s the Chicago way.

But let’s get back to Rod Blagojevich for a moment.  Many Americans were not aware that the former Illinois Governor had run afoul of the powers that be in the Illinois Democratic Party.  I believe what he did was politics as usual, at least for Illinois.  But Blagojevich was thrown to the wolves because he wasn’t a team player.  Subsequently, Blagojevich was expendable.  He wouldn’t play ball with Richie Daley, the Mayor of Chicago, where the slogan is vote early and vote often…where even the dead can vote.  Blagojevich was simply following Democratic Party protocol and he got stung by those who wanted him out of the picture.

I believe the offer made to Sestak is an example of Chicago style politics at its best or worst, depending on your point of view. 

If Sestak can be believed, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t, the Obama administration may be in big trouble.  Someone within the President’s sphere believes Washington, D.C.—with all its faults—is an extension of Illinois.  If this is true, it is an infestation of the greatest magnitude.

I personally believe Sestak.  Why would he lie?  But some in the mainstream media are dismissing Sestak’s serious allegations.  On May 24th, Mara Liasson, a national political correspondent for National Public Radio and a FOX News contributor, said that, even if true, there’s no quid pro quo regarding Sestak’s statements.  She has to be kidding, right?  But it got even worse on the FOX News Channel’s Special Report where Liasson’s comments were followed by Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and FOX News contributor, who essentially said Sestak’s claims were an example of politics as usual in Washington, D.C.  It’s obvious Liasson and Krauthammer have been in Washington, D.C. too long if they don’t understand the gravity of the situation.

U.S. Rep Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has been quoted as saying, if Sestak’s statements are true regarding White House tampering with a federal election, the issue needs to be looked into.  The question is will the establishment press, who got Obama elected, press for his possible impeachment if he was connected with the offer to Sestak in any way?

I believe the charges facing Blagojevich in Illinois and the allegations facing the Obama administration are strangely analogous.  Indeed, Sestak’s claims are more serious because it would prove the rot which exists in Chicago-style politics has found its way into the White House and our federal government.  Perhaps the Blagojevich trial will reveal even more about the former U.S. Senator from Illinois who now sits in the Oval Office.  After all, the buck stops there.

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Daniel T. Zanoza -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Daniel T. Zanoza of Lincoln, IL, formerly of Chicago, was born into life November 27, 1953, and born into eternity January 6, 2011.
He is survived by his wife, Julie, of Lincoln, IL.

Dan was a pro-life/pro-family activist, as well as chairman of the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee in Springfield, IL. He was also a journalist and freelance writer.

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