Politicians Behaving (Really) Badly : News & Views Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his top aide were arrested today on federal corruption charges.
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Politicians Behaving (Really) Badly

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media on December 8, 2008. Scott Olson, Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson, Getty Images

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his top aide were arrested today on federal corruption charges.

The most egregious claim: The 51-year-old governor essentially tried to sell to the highest bidder the open Senate seat that once belonged to President-elect Barack Obama.

Here's a partial listing of what's contained in the complaint, as reported by NPR:

* Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper's editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

* Blagojevich allegedly proposed: getting a salary from a non-profit organization or a labor union affiliate; putting his wife in paid positions on corporate boards for as much as $150,000 a year; campaign contributions; and an ambassadorship for himself.

* Blagojevich discussed using his authority to get an appointment to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.

The governor even — allegedly — tried to shake down a local children's hospital, linking state funding to personal campaign contributions.

If the allegations are true, Blagojevich can be added to a growing list of modern-day politicians gone bad — including former Rep. William Jefferson, former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, Detroit ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Newark ex-mayor Sharpe James ... to name a few.

What do you think of Blagojevich's arrest and the revelations contained in the complaint?

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