Blago, Guilty on 17 Counts

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 27 2011 3:01 PM

Blago, Guilty on 17 Counts

Just a massive and decisive defeat in court for the former governor of Illinois. The list of counts -- he only got off on three, two of them because of deadlocks -- is here , and they cover corruption above and beyond the schlepping of Barack Obama's open Senate seat.

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- Alleged attempt to shake down the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital for a campaign contribution. Maximum penalty of 20 years.

- Blagojevich allegedly conspiring with an aide to shake down a racetrack executive for a campaign contribution. Maximum penalty of 20 years.

- The alleged attempt to force then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel's Hollywood agent brother to hold a fundraiser for Blagojevich in exchange for releasing a school grant. Maximum penalty of 20 years.

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Blagojevich had quite a productive life between trials, including a starring role on Celebrity Apprentice and a (false!) autobiography that no one bought. Multiple times, Blago tried to call Obama officials to the stand; he was denied. All the remaining drama in this sordid, stupid affair is over whether he can, or will, drop dimes on the president that, by all reports, he's never forgiven for his electoral success. There was a moment, believe it or not, when Blagojevich was a rising Democratic star, and a possible candidate for the big job.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.