When you are faced with criminal charges, most of the time, you don't want to launch a massive publicity campaign to respond. That's because usually, criminal charges are filed according to the rule of law and a person is Innocent until proven guilty.
But apparently in Illinois, few seem to remember that little phrase "innocent until proven guilty" and Gov. Rod Blagojevich has found himself in the awkward position of having to fight not only the federal criminal charges against him, but the slander and defamation campaign by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, and his "Cabal of Selfish Legislators" including Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn -- who wants Blago's job -- and Madigan's daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who seems to pick and choose when the law will or will not apply.
Tragic drama has highlighted Illinois' already sullied reputation; remember, it wasn't Gov. Blagojevich who cloaked Illinois with the majestic robe of "Culture of Corruption."
Blagojevich is under siege, thanks to the unorthodox and questionable conduct of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who unleashed a half-assed case against Blagojevich not to strengthen the law, but to smear the governor. Fitzgerald never even sought an indictment against Blagojevich -- at least not a legal indictment. And instead, he pursued the public indictment of lynch the accused before the trial, which is exactly what has begun in Illinois' scandal-plagued legislature, in the Illinois Senate.
Should we go through the list of legislators sullied by immoral and unethical and even criminal conduct who have skated past with nary a burp from their colleagues. Suddenly Blagojevich is the bad guy?
He may be guilty of the federal charges, but the outrageous manner in which he is being attacked by the legislature this week is just too unfair. There is no way Gov. Blagojevich can get a fair "trial" in the Illinois Senate. It is stacked against him, with everyone trying to pretend that Blagojevich can get a fair trial when everyone knows he cannot.
He has been denied the right to defend himself and can't even call witnesses, yet the Illinois Senate, in cahoots with Fitzgerald, can pick and chose from the alleged evidence and present what they want without Blagojevich ever being able to challenge any of it.
I think Blagoejvich should have the right to call as witnesses David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, and even President Barack Obama. After all, this is about -- allegedly -- Blagojevich seeking to "sell" the vacant Obama Senate seat to the "highest bidder," or so we have been told in an unprecedented public lynching of Blagojevich by Fitzgerald.
Regardless of whether Blagojevich is innocent or guilty of the Federal charges, this week's trial in the Illinois Senate and his impeachment by the Illinois House are just one big, ugly kangaroo court conducted by a political lynch mob of selfish politicians all seeking not the justice behind the controversy but the benefits they all hope to reap.
Blagojevich has finally decided to respond by hiring a PR Firm, something he should have done as soon as Fitzgerald turned the federal criminal case into a publicity-seeking circus. Blagojevich has hired Glenn Selig. Selig's agency is The Publicity Agency based in Chicago and LA, which might explain his ability to get Blago on the national news, "Good Morning America" and "The View." Good job. Maybe we might finally start hearing both sides of this one-sided political lynching.
-- Ray Hanania