After being told that students taking the ACT recommended core curriculum scored better on the ACT (Duh) he pushed through changes in graduation requirements that have resulted in fewer choices for students and a narrowing of career ed options.
Ugh. The way, way overdone media coverage yesterday and last night of his release and arrival at the airport and people camped out in Ravenswood Manor reinforced the hideous circus atmosphere of his administration and trial. Sure it was news, but the Chicago media did not do itself any favors last night featuring the returning celeb, not the crime for which he had been incarcerated.
- Bruce (no not him) - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 9:46 am:
“A loathsome buffoon.”
Short, sweet, and absolutely correct.
Rod was, and continues to be, a two-faced charlatan willing to say anything, leverage everything, and force himself in precarious situations to seem like a champion or someone who overcame “something”
Public service was not about serving the people but serving his ego, and when he “finally” realized you can’t make a dime off public service, Rod used corruption and vile tactics to extort, a children’s hospital as a victim.
Rod has few friends, trusted fewer people too. His own arrogance and hubris wasn’t something I think he could rein in, so he and those around him indulged the ego to keep any sense so sanity around the caricature.
Rod is as cold and unfeeling as you’d think, Rod is as manipulative and calculating as advertised. Thing is, Rod was terrible at being… manipulative and calculating… and in the end, like his governing, Rod is just bad at the things he thinks are his greatest strengths.
Want to feel better? Donate, even a dollar, to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital today. You’ll feel golden, I promise.
Barack Obama gave a phenomenal speech at the 2004 convention.
- Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 9:54 am:
I ran for state rep while Rod was in office. When at event(s) with Gov. Rod, it was all about Rod, not even an acknowledgement of any candidates in the room (unless they were high profile). Rod’s campaign folks were, likewise, dismissive (at best). In contrast, when at events with Sen. Durbin, he not only acknowledged the candidates in the room, he gave them the floor, no matter where you were on the ticket or your likely prospects.
My overall experience as a candidate was pretty positive; Republicans and Democrats, labor and business, pretty much everybody I met was supportive…except Rod and his people.
I still get a laugh everytime I look at a quote of his from 2003 that I have memorialized on my wall:
“Stopping public corruption and improving ethical standards will be ongoing priorities for my administration. The people of Illinois expect a new day of integrity, openness and accountability - and they deserve a government as good and honest as they are”
Loathsome buffoon sums it up pretty well. Jeez, I didn’t realize how nice it was having him gone until he came back.
- West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 10:00 am:
During his time in the CCSAO word was he was afraid to try cases, kept calling his bosses asking to let him drop them. Just the kind of guy who joined the office to be able to put it on his resume. As far as news coverage, we really shouldn’t be surprised. Nothing like the newest shiny object to attract media attention. Lazy news gives rise to false news charges.
I am really surprised he didn’t try to sell his sentence commuting.
- Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 10:10 am:
Friendly in public, good people skills with small talk down to a science. Make a lot of people feel comfortable with him and they thought he cared. Amazing what those skills masked to the general public. As I predicted yesterday, the press went crazy and tracked his every move from Colorado back home. 20 minutes on WGN news last night devoted to him. And he isn’t going away any time soon. With all the basically negative reactions from various politicians and leaders in Illinois, I didn’t see one from Speaker Madigan. Did I simply miss it?
== I would pay a million dollars to go back to his administration. He might have been corrupt, but at least he realized weed didn’t need to be legal. ==
Considering he thought the GRT was a good idea and when it got soundly defeated he referred to it as ‘A good day’, I will leave the judgment of his relationship with hallucinogenics (be they chemical or something in his brain without chemistry) alone for now.
The commutation wasn’t an act of compassion and Trump isn’t any sort of social justice warrior. This is simply one corrupt individual excusing the behavior of another corrupt individual to further his own objectives.
- Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 10:13 am:
Being tossed out of a lot lawmaker’s offices when I was asking for their votes on bills Rod wanted passed. The conversations usually ended with: “You tell your boss he can go to hell and go ____ himself”.
That coupled with the fun of having to hand to legislative assistants Special Session announcements made his his legislative staff and liaisons lives miserable. Had more than a few family vacations blown up by him calling special sessions.
=With all the basically negative reactions from various politicians and leaders in Illinois, I didn’t see one from Speaker Madigan.=
Why should I care what Madigan has to say about this? We have a United States President and former Governor condemning our criminal justice system. What more is there to say?
I do agree with one thing you said, the governor, and for that matter the President, are not worthy of the press attention they receive. I’m not cool with supporting the destruction of our democracy for ratings.
I remember how many people actually voted for his re-election, and stood on state with him, and how many now claim they “didn’t”. A million people who claim to have been at a game played at a 20,000 seat arena.
- Name Withheld - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 10:25 am:
What’s the time spread on how long before RRB dyes his hair to its pre-conviction color? Put me down for $25 on 48 hours.
I remember he took all the state universities employee health insurance off the state budget, (where it had always been). The result was the schools had to raise tuition substantially to cover the cost. He then said he was going to investigate these large tuition increases. Never heard anything after that.
In my face-to-face dealings with him, he was extremely personable, likeable, and funny. But I never really had any doubts as to what he truly was. I was happy when he was impeached.
Everyone makes mistakes, but for the people that voted to reelect him over JBT, that directly brought us Quinn and Rauner. People should remember this as an example of what party loyalty votes get you when you ignore the candidates themselves.
I was involved on the periphery with the g’s case against him. Those waters ran deep. Funny how when he went away, so did our contracts to several questionable vendors tied to him. A lot of taxpayers money was involved. I’m sure that the corruption is still there but the players have gotten a bit better at hiding it.
It was a busy day at the Capitol and I was rushing up the steps. I didn’t notice Rod and his entourage coming down and I ran into him with so much force I almost knocked him down and our noses touched. Everyone just stood there a moment and I just said I was sorry and kept running.
Great theater: When Blago Gets Home Let’s Talk About Calls He Got From Pritzker
KONKOL COMMENTARY: Gov. Pritzker doth protest Trump clemency for his federal wiretap buddy, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to much, methinks.
Voted for him the first time and not only did I not vote for him a second time, I publicly told my fellow Democrats they shouldn’t either. My point was if a Republican was doing what he was doing at the time we would be screaming from the rooftops.
Unfortunately, way too many Dems looked past that and voted for him anyway.
Change the name to Trump and the party to the GOP and we all get a preview of this November.
My greatest memory is of the huge office on the 16th floor filled with file after file after file of people begging for clemency so they could get on with their lives. Rod ignored them all, because he was afraid that a “Willie Horton moment” would derail his dreams of higher office.
It got so bad, they had a Dunn fellow whose full job it was to answer calls from people seeking clemency and their family members. “Yes, it’s still under review,” he would say, again and again and again…
I remember him coming into my Lincoln Square coffee haunt and taking about three minutes to order a cup of coffee. It was so odd. He was still governor. He changed his mind about five times, what he wanted in it.
We lived on his running route. I regularly saw him pass our place being led and followed by big black SUVs. I wonder if he will return to that route. It certainly seems like he has not changed at all in the last 8 years.
- Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 11:12 am:
I didn’t follow state politics closely until around the time of Blago’s impeachment. I clearly remember liberals/progressives/Democratic types mocking him for his bleeping golden statement and jogging—in regards to his corruption. He seemed to be despised at that point, unlike Trump and the GOP base now, where there is cult-like adulation and support. One of the state’s bittersweet moments was impeaching him. He needed to go.
My memory of Blagojevich is that he would still be in prison if the entire Republican Senate caucus save for Mitt Romney had done their duty to remove a fellow shakedown artist from the head of the executive branch.
- Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 11:20 am:
== Few people will admit to voting for him but he got elected. ==
People who got to know Rod or at least knew what he was up to tended not to vote for for him. Rod won by flooding the airwaves with a silly video of JBT bobbing her head. I knew solid Republicans who voted for Rod because of his negative campaign which JBT did not have the resources to respond to.
My impression is that higher information voters (like the folks who frequent this blog) did not vote for Rod the second time around.
- Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 11:21 am:
His press conference was supposed to start at 11:00 a.m. in front of his house, and as I type this it is now 11:20 a.m. Back to being late for everything?
It’s his scary resemblance to what we now know about Trump. That neither of them can be wrong or corrupt because, hey, they’re perfect and can do no wrong. That used to seriously offend both Democrats and Republicans. Now it’s normalized into acceptance.
==The Elvis shtick got old real fast.==
A hunka, hunka burning schlub.
I remember him shaking hands at the Jewel on Western Ave. while running for Congress. My roommate was under the influence of wacky tobacky and kept speaking with him…despite his efforts to end the conversation.
- Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 11:40 am:
“I’m a Trumpacrat?” Yikes.
- Bourbon Street - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 11:41 am:
Like a lot of people have already commented, Rod was extremely personable if you met him which is the trait that made him a great campaigner. Unfortunately, there was no substance behind the facade.
Given that electoral politics in Illinois is rife with campaign money corruption, how many who voted to impeach Blagojevich have subsequently been found to have been corrupt themselves?
My impression at the time of his removal from office was that many purged themselves of their own “sins” by their scapegoating of Blagojevich.
The Illinois Congress in their solemn unanimity appeared to be the model of purity in their profession of righteous indignation.
- northernwatersports - Wednesday, Feb 19, 20 @ 12:57 pm:
My memory of him is more nightmare;
Forever remembered in history as the worst type of convict…those that violate the trust of the public at large, after asking voters for just that trust. His crimes stab at the heart of honest representative democracy, abusing one’s power of office for personal gain, rather than the ENTIRE public good. Seems to me that apples of the same variety don’t fall far from the corrupted branches of government, both State and Federal. It’s no surprise that one rotten apple would find comfort in the arms of another. And people of good will and honest character wonder if the idea of Lincolns words can survive going forward. I wonder…..
Am I remembering correctly, that Blago was convicted, not of actually having committed corrupt acts, but of talking about doing so? He’s a guy who probably deserved some jail time for something, but fourteen years for running his mouth?
His wiretap recordings (paraphrased), such as “I’ve got this thing and it’s ***** golden”, and “don’t say anything on the phone, the Feds are listening”, and how much he wanted to get out of the Governor’s office AND Illinois. Start packing, Rod.
My memory is the FBI recordings where he talked about giving the senate seat to Halle Berry and then wondering how the Fed’s got a 14 year sentence (along with wondering how much money was spent on his second trial and incarceration). Glad I’m no longer spending my tax dollars on him.
The Ottoman Turks had an expression: “The fish stinks from the head”, meaning that political corruption starts at the top and then spreads throughout the body politic. To me this is why Blago deserved to spend 14 years in prison. In Illinois we all complain about corruption among public officials. Well, if the highest officer in the state is proven to be corrupt, he deserves to be severely punished. If other high ranking state officials, including heads of political parties, are convicted on corruption charges, they, too, should get lengthy time at the penitentiary.
By coincidence, I happened to hear Blago speak in Peoria in his first campaign swing after announcing his run for governor in 2001. As he spoke it became embarrassingly obvious that he thought he was in Bloomington/Normal and not Peoria. At that point I decided I would never vote for him.
True story: heading out to LA in 2000 for the convention.
Ran into a nice gentleman boarding the plane.
He told me his son in law was going to be the Governor of IL soon. I smiled and asked him who his son law was…he said Rod Blagojevich…I had to do everything to prevent myself from laughing out loud…his administration was full of thugs posing as politicians…there was nothing subtle about it…
I have no memories of him except that I never liked or trusted him. But allow me a prediction. He is going to switch parties, run again for something, and win because voters especially Republican voters are dumb.
I agree with Responsa and others. The hysteria surrounding the commutation of his sentence is astounding. This is/was a publicity stunt. Everyone - please - just ignore him. He’s still guilty of the crimes for which he was sentenced and simply not worth anyone’s time, effort or energy. So, again, please ignore him and his antics. Do not give him another 15 minutes. He is a stain on the State of Illinois and should be treated as such so that he will just go away and not be heard from again.
Early in his administration, GOMB staffers, many who were holdovers and feared being canned, actually had a night they could have left at a decent hour. Many had been working 70-80 hours a week since January when the budget had been pushed back to April. They were told to stick around for a surprise visitor that night. The Governor showed up 1 1/2 hours late and then asked for a show of hands on who supported his Pension Bond plan.
=He is going to switch parties, run again for something, and win because voters especially Republican voters are dumb.=
Even if we completely suspend belief and accept this as true, it ignores the fact that he was really bad at the last job he held. And running requires money. Exactly who’s going to put money behind Blagojevich 2.0?
Monetizing his victim-hood on the airways will be far more profitable.