Defense, prosecutors debate “goodwill”
Thursday, May 19, 2022
* Steve Daniels on the legal arguments over jury instructions for the ComEd defendants…
So, if a legislator wins a “Best Friend of the Widget Industry” award every year and receives regular campaign contributions from the widget group and its members and then sponsors a new widget industry bill, are the industry lobbyists and the legislator who happens to represent lots of widget workers acting corruptly or is the legislator merely a beneficiary of goodwill and attempting to do something perceived by the legislator and the industry as a positive for the state?
And, yes, I get that ComEd went way beyond the above hypothetical, but the debate the defense wants to have is whether what they did was just an extreme, far more organized and hugely effective extension of the smaller-scale things that happen every day in the political world. Ultimately (after a retrial), Rod Blagojevich’s argument that the feds were criminalizing politics did not work. These defendants, however, appear to have better lawyers and will likely be far more well-behaved than Rod was.