It was a rough week for the corruptocracy. White House officials better ho-ho-hold on tight because the sleigh ride isn't going to get any smoother.
On Wednesday, disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., received a 14-year prison sentence for scheming to sell President Barack Obama's Senate office, along with several other pay-for-play schemes. Blago played the distressed daddy for the federal judge, invoking his young daughters and wife (who held her notoriously foul tongue in check) to bemoan how his "life is in ruins."
How far Blago's fallen from the glory days of 2008, when he was gloating at the prospect of naming a candidate to fill then-President-elect Obama's seat. "I've got this thing, and it's f**king golden," he crowed. All that glitters now, though, are the paparazzi flash bulbs that Blago faces on his perp walks.
Earlier this week, Bill Richardson, former Democratic governor of New Mexico, disgraced former presidential candidate and failed Obama Commerce Secretary nominee, faced new reports of a federal grand jury into his possible violations of campaign finance laws. The funny-money business is tied to an alleged mistress payoff a la disgraced former presidential candidate and Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.
Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports, investigators are probing how "Richardson's close allies steered more than $2 billion of public money into investment funds run by money managers who in turn agreed to pay millions of dollars in consulting fees to high-profile Democratic fundraisers and other supporters of Richardson."
The star that joined together this little constellation of sleaze? Disgraced U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder and Blago go way back. Holder himself suffered selective amnesia about the relationship during his confirmation hearing. He somehow "forgot" to mention that Blagojevich had appointed him to probe corruption in Illinois casino licensing decisions. State officials had objected to Blago's crony appointment of fundraiser Christopher Kelly to the state Gaming Board. Kelly's business partner was now-convicted felon and shakedown artist Tony Rezko, Obama's former bagman and real-estate fixer.
Holder pocketed $300,000 from Blago to "investigate" and -- surprise, surprise -- concluded that no corruption existed. They stood shoulder to shoulder at a 2004 news conference to make the announcement. But Holder failed to disclose it on his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, which he signed five days after Blagojevich's arrest in December 2008 for putting Obama's U.S. Senate seat up for sale.
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