Reuters Calls GOP Gleeful Over Blago’s Arrest

December 10, 2008

MM via Reuters

U.S. conservatives rubbed their hands with glee on Wednesday over news that the Democratic governor of Illinois has been accused of attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama.

But news of his arrest came at a perfect time for conservatives reeling from big losses in November’s congressional and presidential elections that put Obama in line to succeed U.S. President George W. Bush on January 20.

It seems Reuters has confused conservative “glee” with “journalism”; reporting the news and asking valid questions.  The media have covered GOP scandals in the past, and they should do so.  That is their job and it is what they are paid to do.  In this instance Blagojevich just happens to be a Democrat.  A conservative covering the story should not be seen as glee, but as a media representative practicing their craft; uncovering any conspiracy, asking appropriate questions, linking the dots.  Many GOP scandals have been unfolded on the television and I cannot remember the last time a MSM outlet asking whether the liberals were acting unfairly and with inappropriate glee?  As Michelle Malkin put it:

Maybe I missed it, but I don’t seem to remember the finger-wagging Reuters articles headlined “US liberals gleeful over [Abramoff/DeLay/Stevens/Foley/etc.  Do you?

P.S.  Since when is Rush Limbaugh the representative of the GOP?  He is an entertainer.  If we held the liberal “entertainers” (AKA Hollywood) to Reuters standard of glee, Reuters would never have a slow news day regarding liberal glee over GOP gaffes and controversies.




  1. Reuters can (insert a popular Snoop Dogg phrase).

    This is the Chicago Machine’s chickens coming home to roost. There are so many bad eggs in this batch that believing no one in the Obama camp/inner circle is down with the get down with this style of Chicago politics is spending too much time with Cheech and Chong. The only glee coming from the right is watching the media having NO WAY to spin this at all in order to protect the ONE.

  2. I think THIS summed up that issue quite nicely.

  3. Let’s not mention former REPUBLICAN Governor George Ryan. He has been found GUILTY of WAY worse than Blagojavich has been charged with.

    Ryan’s political career was marred by a scandal involving the illegal sale of government licenses, contracts and leases by state employees during his prior service as Secretary of State; in the wake of numerous convictions of former aides, he chose not to run for reelection in 2002. The scandals are widely believed to have hurt Republicans’ chances for re-winning Illinois’ governorship[citation needed]; state Attorney General Jim Ryan (no relation) lost to Rod Blagojevich in the 2002 election, ending 25 years of Republican governorships. All told, seventy-nine former state officials, lobbyists, truck drivers and others have been since charged in the investigation, and at least 76 have been convicted.

    The corruption scandal that led to Ryan’s downfall began over a decade earlier as a federal investigation into a deadly crash in Wisconsin that killed six children. The investigation revealed a scheme inside Ryan’s secretary of state’s office in which unqualified truck drivers obtained licenses through bribes. As the AP wrote: “The probe expanded over the next eight years into a wide-ranging corruption investigation that eventually reached Ryan in the governor’s office.”

    In March 2003, Scott Fawell, Ryan’s former chief of staff and campaign manager, was convicted along with Ryan’s campaign fund on federal charges of racketeering and fraud. Former deputy campaign manager Richard Juliano pled guilty to related charges and testified against Fawell at trial. The investigation finally reached the former governor, and in December 2003, Ryan and lobbyist Lawrence Warner were named in a 22-count federal indictment. The charges included racketeering, bribery, extortion, money laundering and tax fraud. The indictment alleged that Ryan steered several state contracts to Warner and other friends; disbursed campaign funds to relatives and to pay personal expenses; and obstructed justice by attempting to end the state investigation of the license-for-bribes scandal. He was charged with lying to investigators and accepting cash, gifts and loans in return for his official actions as governor. In late 2005, the case went to trial.

    Fawell, under pressure from prosecutors, would become a key witness against Ryan and Warner. He would agree to a plea deal with that cut the prison time for himself and his fiancee, Andrea Coutretsis. Fawell would prove to be a controversial witness, not hiding his disdain for prosecutors from the witness stand. According to CBS Chicago political editor Mike Flannery, insiders claimed that Fawell had been “much like a son” to the former governor throughout their careers. At Ryan’s trial, Fawell acknowledged that the prosecution had his “head in a vise”, and that he found his cooperation with the government against Ryan “the most distasteful thing I’ve ever done”[12]. Nonetheless, he spent several days on the witness stand testifying against Ryan and Warner. Fawell, once a tough-talking political strategist, wept on the witness stand as he acknowledged that his motivation for testifying was to spare Coutretsis a long prison sentence for her role in the conspiracy. The jury was twice sent out of the courtroom so that Fawell could wipe tears from his eyes and regain his composure. Ryan’s daughters and a son-in-law, Michael Fairman, were implicated by testimony during the trial. Stipulations agreed upon by the defense and prosecution and submitted to the court included admissions that all five of Ryan’s daughters received illegal payments from the Ryan campaign fund. In addition to Lynda Fairman, who received funds herself beyond those her husband Michael testified he had received, the stipulations also included admissions from the rest of Ryan’s daughters that they did little or no work in return for payments from their father’s campaign funds.[5][13][14] In addition, Fawell testified that Ryan’s mother’s housekeeper was illegally paid from campaign funds, and that Ryan’s adopted sister, Nancy Ferguson, also received campaign funds without performing campaign work.[4][13] The prosecution took nearly four months to present their case, as a parade of other witnesses (including Juliano) followed Fawell. Two of the original jurors were dismissed after it was revealed they had lied on their juror questionnaires. They falsely claimed having never faced criminal charges, causing the jury to be impaneled with alternate jurors.

    On April 17, 2006, the jury found Ryan and Warner guilty on all counts.[15] However, when ruling on post-trial motions, the judge dismissed two counts of the convictions against Ryan for lack of proof.[16] Ryan said that he would appeal the verdict, largely due to the issues with the jury.

    Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, noted: “Mr. Ryan steered contracts worth millions of dollars to friends and took payments and vacations in return. When he was a sitting governor, he lied to the F.B.I. about this conduct and then he went out and did it again.” He charged that one of the most egregious aspects of the corruption was Ryan’s action after learning that bribes were being paid for licenses. Instead of ending the practice he tried to end the investigation that had uncovered it, Fitzgerald said, calling the moment “a low-water mark for public service.”[17] Ryan became the third Illinois governor since 1968 to be convicted of white-collar crimes, following Dan Walker and Otto Kerner.

    On September 6, 2006, he was sentenced to serve six and a half years in prison.[18] Ryan was ordered to go to prison on January 4, 2007, but the appellate court granted an appeal bond, allowing him to remain free pending the outcome of the appeal.[19] His conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit on August 21, 2007,[20] and review by the entire Seventh Circuit was denied on October 25, 2007.[21] The Seventh Circuit then rejected Ryan’s bid to remain free while he asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case; the opinion[22] called the evidence of Ryan’s guilt “overwhelming.”[23] The Supreme Court rejected an extension of his bail, and Ryan reported to the Federal Prison Camp in Oxford, Wisconsin on November 7, 2007.[24][25] He was transferred on February 29, 2008 to a medium security facility in Terre Haute, Indiana after Oxford changed its level of medical care and stopped housing inmates over 70 years old.[26] He is listed as Federal Inmate Number 16627-424, and is scheduled for release on July 4, 2013.[27]

    Ryan’s defense has been provided pro bono by Winston & Strawn, a law firm managed by former governor Jim Thompson. The defense cost the firm $10 million through mid-November 2005[28] Estimates of the cost to the firm as of September, 2006, ranged as high as $20 million. Ryan served as Thompson’s lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1991. After the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Ryan’s appeal, Thompson indicated that he would ask President George W. Bush to commute Ryan’s sentence to time served.[29]

  4. Thanks wikipedia for that comment.

    I beg to differ about who’s transgression is worse. Ryan sold government contracts and licenses. Blago sold something most dear to the democratic system…public office. There is a reason the right to vote is held so high.

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