The Daily Parker

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Elected office as a criminal enterprise...that's the Chicago way!

U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald announced a new, 16-count indictment (pdf) of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today, with a new twist:

The RICO conspiracy count alleges that Blagojevich personally, the Office of the Governor of Illinois and Friends of Blagojevich were associated and, together, constituted the "Blagojevich Enterprise," whose primary purpose was to exercise and preserve power over Illinois government for the financial and political benefit of Blagojevich....

As part of the racketeering conspiracy, Blagojevich allegedly permitted [defendants Christopher] Kelly and [Tony] Rezko to exercise substantial influence over certain gubernatorial activities, as well as state boards and commissions, knowing that they would use this influence to enrich themselves and their associates. In return, Kelly and Rezko allegedly benefitted Blagojevich by generating millions of dollars in campaign contributions and providing financial benefits directly to Blagojevich and his family.

Look, I know Chicago tolerates a certain, baseline level of corruption, but it's usually like calling your alderman to get a pothole fixed in exchange for, you know, a couple-two-tree votes in April. But this? Yeah, even Chicagoans recoil at the brazenness. Let's all just hope Fitzgerald doesn't pull a Spitzer...

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