This just in from the Chicago Tribune of the bankrupt Tribune Company:
“A source says Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been taken into federal custody at his North Side home. Latest developments:”
This link came with the news flash, but Trib links have a very short shelf life.
"Gov. Blago's" predecessor, George Ryan, is already enjoying the federal taxpayers' hospitality for his scheme, as Illinois' secretary of state, of selling driver's licenses to people who couldn't earn them the old-fashioned way, in order to fill the coffers for his gubernatorial campaign.
According to Sen. Dick Durbin (Race-IL), Ryan, who entered the Oxford, Wisconsin Club Fed 13 months ago, has suffered enough, even though he was sentenced to 6 1/2 years inside.
Gov. Blago then joined the Ryan Pardon Singers. Perhaps Durbin and Blago saw what was coming, and felt that it would be unbecoming to have two consecutive governors in jail at the same time. Perhaps Blago, taking a page from Ryan's own book, hoped that unfairly advantaging a felon would redound to his own benefit, down the road.
The Trib's John Kass responded to Durbin's hearfelt entreaties by republishing a letter from Janet Willis, whose six children were burned alive in an accident caused by one of the remorseless Ryan's illegal drivers.
I don't think Ryan ever expected to serve a day inside. Three years ago, almost to the day, I wrote,
... then-Gov. Ryan, facing prosecution for alleged earlier corruption on his part as Illinois Secretary of State, in 2003 granted clemency to everyone on Illinois’ Death Row, in order to enhance his image with the public and the media, and hopefully earn himself some clemency from jurors in his own trial.
The monsters whom Ryan granted clemency included a couple who wanted to steal a woman's baby, and so waited until she was nine months pregnant, murdered her, and cut her baby out of her belly. The next thing you know, they'll be getting out on paroled.
Mercy for monsters? I call it just another kind of bribe. Fortunately, at Ryan's trial, the jurors were incorruptible. And now that Blago is under arrest, he will also be handcuffed from politicking for a Ryan pardon. If George W. Bush grants one to Ryan, the latter will be remembered as his "Marc Rich."