President-elect Barack Obama's Illinois senate seat is vacant – and up for sale for the highest bidder.
Bloggers from around the world chime in to catch up on the action after Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested and charged by the FBI of corruption in the selection of Obama's successor for the empty Senate seat.
From Egypt, Zeinobia, who writes at Egyptian Chronicles, notes:
of course this political scandal is the talk of the media in the States now. It is a political corruption scandal beside of course the attractive Obama factor.
The blogger also reminds us of another scandal earlier in the year, concerning another Democrat Governor:
Of course this is the second big major Governor scandal in 2008 in America after the Spitzer scandal
Zeinobia draws parallels between governors in the US and in her own country, saying:
Why am I interested in all this ?? Well because it is good to see governors getting arrested while they are still in their position !! It is good see that the Governors are well monitored !!??
I spoke before about our governors, I do not want to accuse most of them but I will be modest and say some of them profited from their position in a way or another.
Will the day come in Egypt and we will find that the Administrative control authority presented enough evidence to General prosecutor to issue a warrant against Governor â€œXâ€ for taking bribes from Company â€œYâ€ to pass their pollutant project or from businessman â€œZâ€ to give him the permission on building in an agricultural land !!??
Most if not all our Governors conspired and will continue to conspire with the NDP [ruling party in Egypt – National Democratic Party] in the Parliamentary elections. Well they are’ appointed by the head of the NDP ,so they know the rules of the game. If they go along with the orders ,they wonâ€™t continue in their position.
Writing at Dutch blog PoliGazette, Jason says this latest scandal is “a stunning blow to Democratic Party claims to represent a reversal of years of Republican corruption.” He further reminds us:
This event serves also to highlight Illinoisâ€™ famously corrupt Democratic Party political machine, where personal favors are traded for political action in scenes reminiscent Tamany Hall. During the 2006 and 2008 elections, Democrats reveled in pointing fingers at Republican corruption from Mississippi to California to Alaska. But with Blagojevich coming after the William Jefferson bibery scandal in Louisiana, Democrats may nee to tend to their own garden.
Andrea Mann, writing for England for Obama, says the whole scandal reminds her of a Chicago gangster movie. She further adds:
According to the New York Times, Barack Obama â€œplaced the callâ€ which led to Rod Blagojevichâ€™s downfall. And then he turned around in his swivel chair, and stubbed out his cigarette.
Actually, Barackâ€™s call only indirectly led to it. And he made it three months before Blagojevichâ€™s â€œdownfallâ€. But, yâ€™know, I have a Chicago gangster movie to script here.
Richard Silverstein, a Jewish blogger who blogs at Tikum Olam, notes:
The brazenness of his corruption is simply staggering. Most corrupt politicians attempt to devise a slick scheme to conceal their venality. But Blagojevich was hardly hiding anything. The senate seat was for sale to the highest bidder, plain and simple:
â€œIâ€™ve got this thing,â€ Mr. Blagojevich said on one recording, according to the affidavit, â€œand itâ€™s f***ing golden. And Iâ€™m just not giving it up for f***ing nothing. Iâ€™m not going to do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there.â€
Crian P, at A Political Glimpse from Ireland exclaims “Holy Cow” at the news and further adds:
Governors have been indicted before, but itâ€™s pretty amazing to see one hauled out of his house before dawn in handcuffs. But if the charges are true, it was warranted. He needed to be taken down before he could make the appointment.
The indictment and the statements so far are very carefully worded. They do not impute any blame to the President-Elect Of The United Statesâ€“but they donâ€™t rule out that He or His aides had any knowledge of the plot, either. That wording leaves open the possibility that Blagojevich might point to Obama to get a deal. But I suspect this prosecutor would have to have some seriously good evidence beyond just the governorâ€™s word before he would proceed against anyone in the the President-Elect Of The United Statesâ€™ camp.
From what I have seen so far, the President-Elect Of The United States came out of the slimy Illinois machine with remarkably little clinging to Him. If this latest chapter in the dismal history of the Illinoisâ€™ chief executive doesnâ€™t seriously damage Him, it would be more confirmation of His remarkable political skills.
Another day, and yet another scandal in Obama's long road to the White House.