Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley made a puzzling comment Friday about the 19-count federal indictment of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and five associates.
“Well, really, it’s really unfortunate for him,” Daley said. “He’s a young man, 52 years old. He has two children, a wife. Look at them, all young. These are young — basically young people involved in politics. It’s a very sad comment.”
What’s really sad is Daley didn’t condemn what the Blagojevich group is accused of doing. Instead, he made a comment that makes me think he feels bad for Blagojevich and company simply because their younger generation of politicians aren’t getting away with corruption the way the old-school pro pols did back in the day.
Daley surely feels pity for Blagojevich because he knows U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald may be breathing down the mayor’s neck next. It is worth noting that one of the men charged in the Blagojevich indictment, John Harris, was Daley’s chief of staff before taking the same job with Blagojevich in 2005. Harris reportedly is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He might have some interesting things to say about Chicago corruption that have nothing to do with Blagojevich.
Fitzgerald says his probe into political corruption is ongoing, and as an Illinois taxpayer, I am thankful for the U.S. attorney’s tireless effort. The six-year investigation, dubbed Operation Board Games, has led to charges against 17 people so far. He may not kill the whole weed, but yanking out a few main roots hopefully will give pause to those who seek to spread the seeds of political corruption.