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Andrew Huff / December 7, 2011 10:00 AM

Considering Rezko's sentence, I'd give Blago 15 years, minimum.

vise77 / December 7, 2011 10:22 AM

Were there a fair way to apply the death penalty, I would support execution, as I would for all major so-called white-collar criminals and public officials convicted of major corruption (along with the worst murderers and gangbangers).

Since we live in an imperfect world, I would say 15 years, perhaps 20, and generally agree with Andrew's reason.

That said, I am doubtful any Blago sentence will deter other major corrupt and excessively power-hungry pols in this state. First, Blago was too dumb to do corruption right, in that he was clumsy and alienated any powerful supporters (Mell, Madigan, the Daleys, etc.). Second, the real big pigs in this state still have little to fear, given the pattern of indictments over the past decade or so (George Ryan being the obvious exception). I hope I am 100% wrong, of course, but I still see the Blago case as more of an aberration than some emerging norm. Call me cynical, but this is my native state.

Cheryl / December 7, 2011 11:29 AM

Life without parole.

RS / December 7, 2011 12:31 PM

I would sentence him to 10 years hard labor as a Cook County Alderman. Hey! Oh! :-)

SW / December 7, 2011 12:54 PM

What really pisses me off? Blago, I bet, hasn't done anything nearly as corrupt at Burke or Madigan do on a regular basis. Or Rahm, or Daley. But he's not as smart as them (well, maybe Daley), and he didn't have the chips to cash in.

vise77 / December 7, 2011 2:08 PM

You pretty much nail it, SW. Blago was a circus clown, a wanna-be, a kid playing grown-up compared with most of those SOBs.

Carol / December 8, 2011 9:29 AM

Somebody please make a list of sentences for other criminals and lets see how they compare. Remember George Ryan was sentenced to 6 years and many people died in horrible accidents, killed by unqualified truckers who bought their commercial drivers licenses

Mike / December 8, 2011 9:32 AM

Read Steve Rhodes' "Wednesday Papers" column from yesterday. That about sums up how I feel. I would have given the guy at least 20 years.

Lawmakers thought he was such a pathological liar that they forced him to sign memoranda of understanding so he couldn't deny what was just said. Once caught, he spread his lies around the globe. He lied at his impeachment proceedings. He lied in every (enabling) media venue he could find. And he lied on the witness stand. Why should we feel even an ounce of sympathy for him?

Don't forget the human toll; his failure to govern is costing us dearly now ...

Blago betrayed public office, and, to me, there are few betrayals larger; this is the basis of our democracy and self-rule. He stole from our pocketbooks and our souls.

He deserves the full penalty of the law.

And all the people who voted for this goon, some twice? Thanks a lot! I wish there was a way to make them all pick up the tab for the investigation and trial.

JasonB / December 8, 2011 11:39 AM

IMO, all politicians should start their careers in prison and work their way out of it.

vise77 / December 8, 2011 12:01 PM

"Remember George Ryan was sentenced to 6 years and many people died in horrible accidents, killed by unqualified truckers who bought their commercial drivers licenses"

Except the charges didn't directly, uh, charge him with those deaths. Sure, one can argue he was, at least in part, morally responsible for those deaths, but legally is quite another matter. Not to defend Ryan, not at all, but he wasn't convicted of those deaths, nor even charged for them, not directly.

Carol / December 8, 2011 8:30 PM

Any way you slice it, George Ryan absolutely WAS responsible for the system of selling CDLs to unqualified drivers. Remember that every time you get on the tollway, that an 80,000 lb. semi driven by an unqualified driver is far deadlier than a gun. George Ryan totally benefitted from all of those bribes paid by the unqualified drivers. These victims are dead, dead, dead and George Ryan presided over that scheme. Want to bet some of those unqualified drivers are still on the road somewhere?

Beer:30 / December 9, 2011 7:12 PM

@ Mike
"And all the people who voted for this goon, some twice? Thanks a lot! I wish there was a way to make them all pick up the tab for the investigation and trial."

The first time I voted for him, I thought he was a decent guy. His old man worked at the steel plant on Cortland and some of his fundraisers were held there. The second time I voted for him, I was voting for Pat Quinn because I KNEW Blago would get indicted and removed and "goo-goo" Quinn would be governor. He'd be a dud, but at least he'd keep his hand out of the till.

If Judy Barr-Topinka hadn't been so virulently anti-choice, I would have voted for her instead. Think about it, Judy.

As for Blago, what he got seems fair. Let's just get him in the rear-view mirror now and move on.

vise77 / December 12, 2011 10:21 AM

"Any way you slice it, George Ryan absolutely WAS responsible for the system of selling CDLs to unqualified drivers."

I agree 100%. But my point was, he wasn't charged for that, not directly, and therefore I don't buy the argument you put forth regarding the six years. One can't be sentenced for a crime one is not charged for.

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