Rod Blagoevich must be tried again

More than 100 people fill a parking lot outside Chicago for a chance to buy some of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's possessions, whether it be a campaign sign or an Elvis statue. The items had been at a storage facility since 2002, when Blagojevich was in Congress, and its owner said the bill had not been paid.
Saturday, August 21, 2010

That former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted of just one felony charge this week was a shock for many Illinoisans. Those of us who have suffered under the gridlock and neglect that typified the Blagojevich administration, who knew firsthand what sort of governor he was, expected a more thorough outcome. But to act as if a deadlocked jury, with a lone holdout on the most serious charges against Blagojevich, should be tantamount to a full-bore acquittal is wrong and dangerous ["No second chances," editorial, Aug. 19]. The case should be tried again.

The Illinois Senate convicted Mr. Blagojevich of corrupt activity. He can never hold public office in Illinois again. Yet he has not expressed contrition for his abuses of public trust. On the contrary, he has loudly portrayed himself as the victim, denying any role in any improper activity. His continued actions only encourage the next public official who thinks of feathering his or her own nest at public expense. The U.S. attorney must finish the job.

The people of Illinois deserve to know what went wrong. The political class needs to see what happens to officials, elected and otherwise, who abuse public office for private gain. For that to happen, and for justice to be served, Rod Blagojevich must be tried again.

Cynthia Canary, Chicago

The writer is executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. She testified at the Illinois House impeachment hearing of Rod Blagojevich.

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