Kathleen Parker

Sweetening this made-for-Chicago script is U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, aka Eliot Ness, who is behind the investigation, along with Robert D. Grant, special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Chicago office. The good Catholic lad pursues the sleazy mob boys.

Using court-authorized wiretaps the past month, investigators captured Blagojevich allegedly conspiring to sell or trade Obama's vacated seat in exchange for "financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife."

Included in those proposed benefits were a substantial salary for Blagojevich at a nonprofit foundation or a labor union organization; placing his wife on paid corporate boards; promises of campaign funds and a Cabinet post or ambassadorship.

Blagojevich, who has sole authority to appoint a successor to Obama's Senate seat, also allegedly discussed appointing himself -- as a path toward the presidency in 2016 and for making corporate contacts that would be valuable to him after leaving office.

In one alleged conversation, Blagojevich told "Fundraiser A" to tell "Individual D" that if "Senate Candidate 5" is going to be chosen, then "some of this stuff's gotta start happening now ... right now ... and we gotta see it." That stuff presumably would be money.

Then, presciently, if deaf to his own ears, the governor said: "You gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybody's listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?"

Yes, Mr. Governor, we hear you.

In a news release, Fitzgerald reminded the public that a complaint contains only charges and that all defendants are presumed innocent until a fair trial finds them otherwise.

Not so for certain newspaper suits. That verdict is already in. Book 'em, Daninsky.

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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