Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x3 - Blagojevich files paperwork - Pritzker, Rauner weigh in *** Blagojevich begs for the mercy he rarely provided others
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*** UPDATED x3 - Blagojevich files paperwork - Pritzker, Rauner weigh in *** Blagojevich begs for the mercy he rarely provided others

Tuesday, Jun 5, 2018

* Yep…

* From that September, 2017 interview

In the past, Blagojevich was accused of having unbridled optimism that at times blinded him to inconvenient truths. That doesn’t seem to have faded. Even though he’s now down to a long-shot appeal to the Supreme Court, he is convinced that he will be vindicated: “I still believe, ultimately, we’ll prevail.”

If that attempt fails, Blagojevich’s only hope would be a presidential pardon or clemency. I point out the irony: In the six years he was governor, Blagojevich denied 93 percent of the 1,024 such requests he considered and let 2,800 pile up without action, causing a massive backlog. (By comparison, Pat Quinn acted on nearly 5,000 and granted more than one-third.) “You’re right,” Blagojevich says. “I didn’t do nearly enough. I regret that very much. I wish I knew what I know now. The sentences are extremely merciless. I’ve learned there’s a lot of oversentencing.”

In my opinion, he denied and ignored those requests because he feared the political consequences. He was a former assistant state’s attorney and wanted to look “tough on crime.” And now he begs for mercy while proclaiming his innocence.

I just can’t with this guy.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Gov. Rauner was asked about possible presidential clemency for Blagojevich today. His response

Blagojevich’s case and behavior has been reviewed by judges, many judges, including the Supreme Court, by many legal experts, many attorneys.

They’ve all come to the conclusion that Blagojevich is where he belongs and he should stay where he’s at. So, I’ll leave it at that.

…Adding… Video is here.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Sun-Times

Rauner and Democrat J.B. Pritzker may have one thing in common: they don’t believe President Donald Trump should grant imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich a commutation.

Pritzker’s campaign said he believes “the former governor is where he belongs.” […]

The Pritzker campaign also told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that “JB thinks there’s plenty of other things that Donald Trump should be focusing on,” while acknowledging that it’s up to Trump whether to pardon or commute his sentence.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Tribune

Imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed official paperwork Tuesday asking President Donald Trump to commute his 14-year prison sentence on sweeping corruption charges.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    In my opinion, he denied and ignored those requests because he feared the political consequences. He was a former assistant state’s attorney and wanted to look “tough on crime.” And now he begs for mercy while proclaiming his innocence.

    In my opinion, he denied and ignored those requests because those making the request couldn’t do anything for Rod Blagojevich.

    Simple as that.

    – MrJM

  2. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    It took almost 8 years and two administrations for that backlog to be resolved (I think it was last year when it was reported to be caught up)

  3. - The Way I See It - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Amen, MrJM. And the current occupant of the White House is making decisions for the same reasons. Both totally wrong.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    –This @ChicagoMag piece reminded us: Blagojevich denied 93 percent of pardon or clemency requests during his six years as governor–

    So ugly.

    Having said that, the civilizing effect of Sunday school lessons causes me to wish for some joy and peace for his kids, to let them have their daddy come home.

    They didn’t do anything wrong, and they’ve carried a heavy load for a long time.

  5. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    The backlog that Blago and Quinn left for Governor Rauner was criminal. the Rauner campaign is hanging on by a thread, if Donald pardons this guy its all over for Brucey.

  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    Rod was always about Rod. Nothing has changed.

  7. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    He held up improving health care for children because of a campaign donation. That, by itself, is indefensible.

    And I’m confident that Blago will emerge from prison full of remorse. /s/

  8. - What's in a name? - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    I watched good men wrestle with whether or not they had to pay to play which they abhorred or let employees go in a tough economy.

    I have no issue with the sentence.

  9. - oldman - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Mark my words, the real reason Trump is going to pardon him is so he and his family can be used as an attack dog against Pritzker. Blago never saw a camera he didn’t like. His family is already making Fox news appearances.

  10. - Southside Markie - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    To say that he’s a hard guy to like is an understatement. But basing sentencing and pardon decisions on likeability threatens the integrity of judicial system. Punishing him for not showing greater mercy while he was in office is a two wrongs do make a right philosophy.

  11. - Former Hillrod - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Even though Blago deserved prison time for what he did I believe his family has suffered enough. I agree with Wordslinger. Don’t commute the sentence for Rod, do it for his kids.

  12. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    I don’t think Rauner has showed any mercy in handling clemency requests either. Every time I see something published, he’s only granted single digits out of however many the total is. The big difference is that he has at least handled them while Blagojevich didn’t. However, that seemed to be normal operations for him- do nothing unless it personally benefited him.

    I have a feeling he’s going to get his commutation. I’ve seen some media posts that certain high ranking democrats are jumping on board for it.

  13. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    still intrigued by the Durbin comment supporting a shorter sentence. feel like it will happen.

  14. - Real - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 10:59 am:


    If that was the case I doubt Durbin who endorsed Pritzker would be advocating for Rod’s release.

  15. - Catching Feels - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    It is inconveniently true that his kids have suffered a great deal. But it was Rod, who insulted, offended and marginalized everybody, who ironically, he now begs for mercy.

  16. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    Blagojevich gets our attention because of his notoriety. There are far more deserving cons sitting in the pen who are largely anonymous too all those but their family. And Rod didn’t have the time of day for those folks.

  17. - wondering - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    Maybe politics, but more likely laziness. He had no work ethic, just hid out in his Chicago bungalow doing nothing.

  18. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Reviewing clemency petititions would have required work from Rod. He much preferred midday runs, whiffle ball with his kids and general leisure to work. Like most functions of being Governor, Rod simply wouldn’t be bothered with it.

  19. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Blagojevich’s prosecutorial credentials were minimal. He was a clouted employee who was noteworthy for taking days off. He never did much more than misdemeanor complaints.

    I accept the fact that he want to pose as being tough on crime for political purposes.

  20. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    I don’t know Word. Maybe letting them grow up w/o their narcissist father around is a feature and not a bug.

  21. - Wallinger Dickus - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    Rod is the orphan who killed his parents. He should have known he had two daughters when he conducted himself so dishonorably.

    Remorse? Hah. Redemption? Can’t fix stupid.

  22. - flea - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    The rules were for everyone but him until he got caught.

  23. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    –Mark my words, the real reason Trump is going to pardon him is so he and his family can be used as an attack dog against Pritzker. –

    Trump cares oogats about Pritzker, Rauner, Blago or anything besides himself.

    Trump has been in the public eye since the 80s. He’s no mystery.

    Some people just dig the constant effete whining and appeal to phantom grievance, the attacks on the “others” keeping them down, the cause of all their problems.

    Not exactly Gary Cooper or John Wayne types.

  24. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:36 am:

    ===I just can’t with this guy.===

    Same here.

  25. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Rod had plenty of quality time with his kids while he was not doing his job as Governor. Serve your time and shut your mouth for once.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    ===They’ve all come to the conclusion that Blagojevich is where he belongs and he should stay where he’s at. So, I’ll leave it at that.===

    This is the fear now…

    FakeRealFakeDonaldJTrump - the failed Illinois governor Bruce Rauner, worst Republican governor in America is part of the deep state and never supported me. Rauner will lose. Sad

    You’d think that would help in Illinois, but Rauner has no constituency so losing Trumpers, pro-lifers, conservatives…tough to see Blago’s release and bucking that release and Trump as a good play for Rauner who sits at 26% approval without antagonizing Trumpers… yet.

  27. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Many. Many times I have said,”free Blago.”
    Many times I have said Rauner will lose his reelection bid by 9%. Many times I have questioned an Ivy league education. Many.

  28. - Real - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    I guess all of you who said a Blago release will only help Rauner can throw that out the window.

    The real truth is that Rauner’s ad’s against JB will be less effective if Blago is released. Blago was a very popular Gov and he is a likable person. He is more likable in front of a camera and Rauner knows this. This is why Rauner wishes for Blago to stay locked away so he can paint a bad image of him.

  29. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Its’ more about T poking Mueller and Comey than Pritzker. Blago is just the tool for T to use.

    From the last paragraph of the Politico article:

    “Special Counsel Robert Mueller served as FBI director during the Blagojevich probe, while James Comey, the FBI director fired by Trump, was deputy attorney general.”

  30. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===“Special Counsel Robert Mueller served as FBI director during the Blagojevich probe, while James Comey, the FBI director fired by Trump, was deputy attorney general.”===

    And Patrick Fitzgerald is Comey’s current lawyer. It’s a perfect storm for Trump. He won’t be able to resist, unless Obama gets out in front of this to call for Rod’s release.

    Holder and Durbin tried, but it might take Obama to change Trump’s mind.

  31. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===Blago was a very popular Gov ===


    His approval rating was 13 percent before he was arrested.

  32. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    “was a former assistant state’s attorney”

    I forgot about this…crazy to think about him actually having a job before pursuing elected offices as constant stepping stones.

  33. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    “Blago was a very popular Gov and he is a likable person.”

    Have you ever met him?

  34. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    To the update: Doubt it will make a difference but if released Blago might just fire up the flamethrower at that JB statement.

  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==“Blago was a very popular Gov and he is a likable person.”==

    Patti? Is that you? I’ve been meaning to ask you: what color is the sky in Fantasyland?

  36. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    -Blago was a very popular Gov and is a likable person-

    Bill? Is that you? Did you get ahold of St Pete’s computer?

  37. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    Something happened to him once he got elected Governor. sure, there are stories about his lack of work ethic from his days as a prosecutor, but he was a very good advocate as a member of Congress. Ego grew. but, the truth is, if Mell had not talked about a cousin he considered to have been wronged, Blago would likely not be in jail. He might have even flown to higher political heights.

  38. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    sorry, I have no idea how the post went up twice.

  39. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 4:21 pm:

    Mr/Ms Amalia From shortly after birth Blagoof was the same, lazy numbskull he showed himself to be at trial. He got away with a zillion other hustles so the sentence is just fine.

  40. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 5, 18 @ 7:35 pm:

    ==still intrigued by the Durbin comment supporting a shorter sentence.==

    For longtime Springfield leaders, the calculation is simple: the more they can vilify Blago, the less blame they have to shoulder themselves.

    Durbin has a different perspective.

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