With Arrest, Blagojevich Joins Other Ill. Governors

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/98046271/98046250" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is the latest in a string of modern Illinois governors who have run afoul of the law. He follows in the footsteps of George H. Ryan, Daniel Walker and Otto Kerner.


When he was elected to his first term in 2002, Governor Rod Blagojevich ran as a reformer.

(Soundbite of Blagojevich speech, 2002)

Governor ROD BLAGOJEVICH (Democrat, Illinois): The people of Illinois are good, honest, and hardworking. It is time, ladies and gentlemen. It is time for a government that's as good and as honest and as hardworking as the people of this great state.

SIEGEL: At that time, Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was seeking to replace Governor George H. Ryan, who was the subject of a corruption investigation. Now Mr. Ryan is serving time in prison for fraud and racketeering.


Ryan joined a long line of Illinois governors. Daniel Walker ran the state in the 1970s. He later pleaded guilty to fraud and perjury charges and spent a year and a half in prison.

SIEGEL: Before that, there was Governor Otto Kerner. He served as governor in the 1960s and then served time in prison for fraud, perjury, conspiracy, bribery, and tax evasion.

NORRIS: And actually, while we're on the subject of tax evasion, a little bit of good news for the state of Illinois. William Stratton, governor from 1953 to 1961, was indicted for tax evasion, but he was later acquitted.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.