Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on rob blagojevich. In the end, the governor received 14 years in prison, of which he will have to serve 12 years. Since this was one of the longest prison sentences on record for a public official, the message in this case is that corruption will end in prison. Introduction Rod Blagojevich was an Illinois Governor who was probably one of the most, if not the most, corrupt politicians of all time. This governor was involved in several “pay to play” schemes, which means that he would only give political favors if he received something in return, mainly campaign contributions. He was wiretapped by the FBI, and was heard on tape discussing these schemes. They include a corrupt deal involving a tollway, a horse racing track and a children’s hospital. He also was caught attempting to extort the editors at The Chicago Tribune, stating that, if they did not fire certain editors and start giving him favorable press coverage, he would block the sale of Wrigley Field, which was a deal that the Tribune was attempting to make. The most egregious example of corruption, however, and this example made him nationally famous, is the deal regarding the vacant senate seat of Barack Obama. The governor was caught on tape attempting to sell this seat for political favors for him and his wife, or, in the alternative, substantial campaign contributions. The government brought charges against him with regards to these incidents, in the case of The United States of America v. Rod R. Blagojevich and John Harris, AO 91 (Rev 5/85). The final trial where the governor was convicted of 17 charges of corruption was in May and June of 2011, with the sentencing of 14 years occurring in December of that same year. In the end, the message to not only Blagojevich, but to corrupt individuals everywhere, is simple – if you engage in corruption, then you will pay. The Events The events that eventually led Rod Blagojevich into prison were long-standing and wide-reaching. Indeed, he was probably one of the most corrupt politicians in the history of politics. The summary of what Blagojevich was involved in can be stated in the words “pay to play.” In other words, Rod was shaking down multiple players in efforts to enrich himself as governor. The tollway project was $1.8 billion, and Governor Blagojevich was privately seeking the person to benefit from this contract to contribute $100,000 to Blagojevich’s campaign (Justice Department Briefing on Blagojevich Investigation). Other examples include a shakedown involving Children’s Memorial Hospital. The governor awarded $8 million funding for this project, and was privately asking the CEO of that hospital to make a $50,000 contribution to him. When the contribution was not forthcoming, the governor was intercepted by the government on the telephone, asking that the funding for the hospital be rescinded. A 2007 horseracing scandal was also included in the 76 page complaint against the governor. In this case, the governor had a bill on his desk that would divert money from casinos in the state and put this money into horseracing tracks. A phone interception showed that the governor was seeking $100,000 from an individual who was working with the person who was attempting to get the bill passed.


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