Thursday, December 7, 2017

Interested in truth? Or only politicking?

It will be interesting to see how (if at all) the Supreme Court of the United States reacts to a brief by several current and former local politicos asking the high court to issue a definitive ruling as to what constitutes bribing a government official.

Only Blagojevich image that interests some
What’s bringing this issue us is Rod Blagojevich – as in the former Illinois governor who is now into serving the sixth year of a 14-year prison term on charges that he tried to solicit bribes in exchange for political appointments.

BLAGOJEVICH, OF COURSE, claims he didn’t have criminal intent. He claims any money given him was purely political contributions made to Rod by his supporters.

An excuse that some may snicker at (Political contributions?!? Yeah, suuuuuure!”) and find absurd.

But to the 19 political people (including one Republican, former state Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano who now is village president of Elmwood Park), they wonder if there is enough confusion that exists as to what is a legitimate campaign contribution and what is a bribe.

In their brief, they say they think the Supreme Court ought to take up the Blagojevich appeal on the grounds that it would allow them to issue a legal opinion that, once and for all, establishes what is a campaign contribution and what is a bribe.

THEY WANT THERE to be a definitive ruling that says just what a government official is obligated to do for his financial backers, and what do those backers have a right to expect in exchange for the checks they write out to political people.
Several current and former Illinois members ...

Which are legitimate questions that ought to be resolved. Although I don’t doubt that some people will not want to hear of such talk. They’re the ones whose distaste for Blagojevich is so intense they don’t care if he was grossly over-sentenced for his offense.

Just so long as he gets punished, they’re happy.

Heck, Illinois Republican Party officials on Wednesday were using the legal brief filed by so many Dems as reason to lambast likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee J.B. Pritzker and tie him to Blagojevich.
... want high court to rule on what's a bribe?

HOPING THAT THE mere mention of the boogeyman they call Rod will be enough to ding Pritzker even further. For them, Blagojevich serves a political purpose that is far more important than any serious interpretation of a legal issue.

The tie is that so many current Dem officials signed off on this brief – including Congressmen Danny Davis, Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky. Along with former Congressmen Bill Lipinski, David Phelps and Glenn Poshard.

This issue will become so overburdened with partisan politics that the fear is any legitimate legal ruling will become drowned in political slop. Because being able to ding somebody with the Blagojevich label is all-important to some people.

These politicos who put their names on this brief probably are right that the high court is going to have to be the final arbiter on this issue. That is, after all, the reason for the Supreme Court’s existence.

ALTHOUGH THERE ALSO are those individuals who think the high court itself ought to be the rubber stamp to implement their partisan ideals (while squashing anything the opposition party might try coming up with).

In this Age of Trump, it might be asking too much to expect the Supreme Court to stick its neck out and establish a stance on a crucial issue that could wind up restricting Republican fundraising efforts as well as Democratic ones.

Is Sosa the Blago equivalent?
It’s almost as confusing as the ongoing quandary concerning Baseball’s Hall of Fame and whether ballplayers caught using steroids are worthy of admission. Sportswriters who make that decision have sought advice from the Hall of Fame – only to be told it is their issue to resolve.

Will the Supreme Court ultimately ultimately take the same attitude; thereby reducing the issue of political bribery to the same confusion as to whether one-time Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa deserves his bronze plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y.?


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