This Illinois Senate-seat news is outrageous and shameful. That said, it warms my heart. Finally, a political scandal you can talk to your children about. No room at the Mayflower. No myspace page. No Gay-American announcement. Just good and evil and money and power corrupting. — Kathryn Jean Lopez
From the criminal complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (source):
By law, after the President-elect’s resignation of his position as a U.S. Senator, which was effective on November 16, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has sole authority to appoint his replacement for the two years remaining of the President-elect’s Senate term. During the course of this investigation, agents have intercepted a series of communications regarding the efforts of ROD BLAGOJEVICH, JOHN HARRIS, and others to misuse this power to obtain personal gain, including financial gain, for ROD BLAGOJEVICH and his family. In particular, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has been intercepted conspiring to trade the senate seat for particular positions that the President-elect has the power to appoint (e.g. the Secretary of Health and Human Services). ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for his wife’s placement on paid corporate boards or ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s placement at a private foundation in a significant position with a substantial salary. ROD BLAGOJEVICH has also been intercepted conspiring to sell the Senate seat in exchange for millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit organization that he would start and that would employ him at a substantial salary after he left the governorship.
If this is accurate, wouldn’t the bolded part implicate Obama in this conspiracy as well, or am I misunderstanding something? After all, only the President has the authority to nominate Cabinet officers. Am I missing something?
UPDATE (10:22 AM):
The AP seems to confirm that the Governor (no way am I trying to type that last name) did indeed attempt to use Obama’s seat for personal gain:
A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.
The affidavit said Blagojevich discussed getting a substantial salary for himself at a nonprofit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions.
It said that Blagojevich also talked about getting his wife placed on corporate boards where she might get $150,000 a year in director’s fees.
He also allegedly discussed getting campaign funds for himself or possibly a post in the president’s cabinet or an ambassadorship once he left the governor’s office.
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that “the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.”
“They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator,” Fitzgerald said.