This editorial appeared in The Belleville News-Democrat.
On Monday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich insisted to reporters that his conversations were "always lawful." He was reacting to a news article that federal prosecutors had been secretly taping him. "I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it."
On Tuesday, Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges. Far from sounding lawful on those tapes, he sounded like, as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald put it, a man on a "political corruption crime spree."
Blagojevich discusses using state projects or plans to shake down a highway contractor, a children's hospital executive and the Chicago Tribune. The most shocking conversations involve his efforts to sell the Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama for an appointment for himself or his wife. "I've got this thing, and it's (expletive) golden. And I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing," according to the criminal complaint.
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