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A Dozen Ways Corrupt Rod Blagojevich Was a Better Governor than Corrupt Bob McDonnell

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 30, 2013 at 13:27:15 PM EDT

(Given recent developments, I thought this story was worth pushing back up to the top. The question is, which governor was/is more corrupt? I'm leaning towards McDonnell, in part because he actually managed to get $$$ for his corruption. I'm not sure Blago actually pulled that one off. - promoted by lowkell)

True, in some ways (corruption, bribery) Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is becoming a lot like disgraced (and convicted) former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But in terms of accomplishments while in office, McDonnell is actually much worse than Blagojevich. Here are a dozen examples of how Blagojevich kicks McDonnell's butt. Seriously, can you think of anything McDonnell's accomplished in any of the following areas that even comes close to what Gov. Blagojevich accomplished? I mean, heck, they are/were both totally corrupt, but at least Blagojevich improved things for a lot of people in his state. McDonnell? Well he did...uh...then he...and...uh....

1. "All Kids" Health Care (11/15/05): "Surrounded by elementary students and parents, lawmakers, health care providers and children's advocates at Nathan Hale School in Chicago, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the landmark All Kids plan into law, making Illinois the only state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every child in the state."
2. Minimum Wage Increased (11/18/06): "Governor Blagojevich signs groundbreaking legislation to increase minimum wage in Illinois - Nearly 650,000 Illinois workers to benefit as minimum hourly wage increases to $7.50; Wage to reach $8.25 by 2010"
3. Preschool for All (7/25/06): "Gov. Blagojevich signs groundbreaking Preschool for All legislation - Illinois becomes the first state in nation to give all three- and four-year-olds the opportunity to attend preschool"
4. Illinois Warriors Assistance Program (1/29/08): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was joined today by Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Barry Maram, representatives from the Illinois Psychiatric Society, the Brain Injury Association of Illinois, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and local veterans to launch the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program.  The Illinois Warrior Assistance Program is a first in the nation program that will screen returning Illinois National Guard members for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while offering TBI screening to all Illinois veterans, and a 24-hour toll-free psychological helpline for veterans suffering from symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."
5. Global Warming (11/15/07): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the governors of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin today signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, strengthening his commitment to fight global warming in Illinois and throughout the Midwest.  This historic agreement aims to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in Illinois and across the region.  The Accord will help achieve the goal Gov. Blagojevich announced in February to reduce GHGs in Illinois to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."

lowkell :: A Dozen Ways Corrupt Rod Blagojevich Was a Better Governor than Corrupt Bob McDonnell
6. Clean Energy (2/14/05): "The Governor's proposed Renewable Portfolio Standard would require electric utilities or other electricity suppliers to provide 2% renewable energy to their Illinois customers by 2006, increasing 1% annually to 8% by 2012.  This requirement would mean that nearly 4,000 megawatts of power be generated by renewable sources by 2012, enough to serve nearly 1,000,000 Illinois households.  At least 75% of renewable energy - or 3,000 megawatts - would be generated by wind power."
7. Mercury Emissions (1/7/06): "The state of Illinois is taking action to cut mercury emissions from power plants by 90 percent over the next three and a half years. Governor Rod Blagojevich unveiled the proposal Thursday, saying it will reduce toxic mercury emissions faster and more thoroughly than new federal restrictions adopted last spring and will achieve the largest overall amount of mercury reduction of any state in the country."
8. Embryonic Stem Cell Research (8/28/07): "Governor Blagojevich signs law reaffirming Illinois' commitment to stem cell research - Legislation permits embryonic stem cell researchers to receive state funds"
9. Public Transit (10/23/08): "Beginning Friday, low-income disabled individuals will be allowed free rides on all regularly scheduled buses and trains that run on fixed-routes throughout the state.  Governor Rod R. Blagojevich welcomed the implementation of the new People with Disabilities Ride Free program for which he signed Senate Bill 1920 in August, which requires transit systems throughout the state to provide free rides to people with disabilities who meet the income requirements of the State's Circuit Breaker program."
10. School Safety (8/16/05): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the School Safety Drill Act that will help keep students, teachers and faculty safer when they're at school.  House Bill 2693 significantly improves school emergency preparedness by, for the first time, setting clear, minimum requirements and standards for public and private school emergency planning.  The new law also ensures that school officials work more closely with local first responders."
11. Protecting Children from Sex Offenders (8/14/08): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed five pieces of legislation to increase protections for Illinois children from convicted sex offenders. These new laws provide the public with important information about unaccounted for sex offenders and strengthen barriers keeping sex offenders away from children and their homes, schools and child care facilities."
12. Small Business (7/20/04): "Building on his pledge to expand business opportunities for small business owners across the state, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 4947 - allowing the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to set aside more contracts and allow more small business companies to participate in the Small Business Set-Aside Program.  Currently, about 3,000 businesses participate in this program, which gives a preference to small businesses competing for state contracts.  With this new law, an additional 3,300 may be eligible to participate in the Set-Aside Program."

Again, Bob McDonnell accomplished none of these things. For instance, on clean energy and global warming, McDonnell's been a relentless proponent of fossil fuels (coal, "drill baby drill," etc.), while doing absolutely NOTHING to help promote clean energy in Virginia. Needless to say, McDonnell - right winger that he is - also hasn't moved to help workers by raising the minimum wage, to institute preschool for all kids, to encourage public transit (for right wingers, it's "public" bad, "private" good!), or to promote embryonic stem cell research (his mentor Pat Robertson wouldn't approve).  In sum, McDonnell's that wondrous combo of corrupt AND an ideological right-wing nutjob. Blagojevich had the corrupt part, in spades, but at least he didn't have the latter...

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Perp walk (0.00 / 0)
Hope the FBI can get the goods on "Bob's for jobs"   so that  we  can have the pleasure of watching Bobby D do the perp walk in cuffs from the Governor's Mansion to the paddy wagon.

Oops (4.00 / 1)
Lest I forget, once the Feds get Bobby McDonald to the slammer be sure to subject him to a full body cavity search similar to what he wanted to do to Virginia's women. Turnabout is always fair play.

Yes, after he's fully probed by the FBI.... (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Really, Lowell, let's be fair (0.00 / 0)
Gov. Bob has MUCH better hair!

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.

Ha, I was actually going to joke (0.00 / 0)
that Blagojevich has much better hair than T-Bob does! LOL

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[ Parent ]
The Poll on Bearing Drift (0.00 / 0)
now calls for Bob's resignation by a 2 to 1 margin.

Take that with a huge grain of salt (0.00 / 0)
They hate McDonnell for raising taxes, also are Cooch boosters who probably want to see McDonnell gone as quickly as possible, so this distraction goes away...

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[ Parent ]
C'Mon ... Illinois? (0.00 / 0)
I lived in Chicago.  Great city.  Great people.

But good government in Illinois?  Please ....

The state is in the worst financial condition of any state in the union.  Somehow, even Michigan (with the utter disaster of Detroit) has been better governed from a financial perspective.

I am horribly disappointed by McDonnell's behavior.  His sleaziness and unbridled hubris are sad to see.

However, comparing the killing fields of Chicago and the nearly bankrupt treasury of Illinois to McDonnell's "gifts" and trans-vaginal mis-steps is more than a stretch.

My post didn't argue that IL has "good government" (0.00 / 0)
It simply says that corrupt Blago got a lot more done for his state than (even more?) corrupt McDonnell. Not sure where you're getting the other stuff ("comparing the killing fields of Chicago..." HUH?!?).

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[ Parent ]
Blago ... (0.00 / 0)
If Blago did so much for Illinois why is that state in the worst financial condition among all 50 US states?

I lived there, my wife grew up there - trust me, the state is a train wreak.

As for the killing fields of Chicago - while violence in cities like Richmond and Washington, DC has been decreased the violence in Chicago is staggering.  If Blago was such a clever governor why is Chicago an outlier in gun violence?

You're not just skating on thin ice with this comparison, you're skating on thin air.

Illinois is a mess.  Of Illinois' last seven governors, four have ended up going to prison!

Trust me, no matter what you think of McDonnell - he (and his predecessors) have done more for the people of Virginia than Blago and his predecessors have done for the people of Illinois.

[ Parent ]
The Difference (4.00 / 1)
I have told my son who lives in the Chicago area (Yep, he's an upscale, suburban Republican) that the difference between Illinois and Virginia is that in Illinois they send the crooked politicians to jail, irrespective of party. In Virginia, we just delude ourselves into believing that Virginia "gentlemen" (Yep, I can use that phrase until we have a female governor...not holding my breath) are honest, God-fearing men who simply are "above" corruption...regardless of party.

Illinois does have the fiscal mess you allude to; however, I don't fault Blago for all of that. The current governor, Quinn, is very honest, but he can't solve that problem, so I expect him to not be governor in the future. And, good luck to whoever is.

Lowell is pointing out that Illinois, while Blago was governor, passed legislation that actually addressed serious social problems. McDonnell and the GOPers in charge in Richmond don't care to address problems. Case in point: Medicaid expansion. At some point, legislators in Illinois will have to find ways to fund those programs that help people. At some point, Virginia legislators will have to stop bowing down to their wealthy, fundamentalist masters and actually try to acknowledge the problems the state has. At present, one of those problems is the corruption of the governor and the attorney general and the lack of effective ethics laws in the Code of Virginia, plus a tax code riddled with loopholes for rich contributors and favored businesses.  

[ Parent ]
Nailed it on all counts. (0.00 / 0)
Thanks. And yes, in Illinois there's tons of political corruption, but sometimes they actually send their governors to jail. Here in Virginia, I guess McDonnell, Cuccinelli et al would argue that it's not "corrupt" because it's legal. Or something. Anyway, they don't go to jail for their disgraceful behavior. Meanwhile, not only do they not HELP our state, they work to actively HURT it policy wise. In sum, they are the worst of all worlds: corporate tools, "social issues" extremists, and as an added bonus corrupt. What a bargain, huh? (snark)

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[ Parent ]
Pick your poison (0.00 / 0)
Illinois passes legislation for expanded social programs but fails to pass the tax increases required to fund those programs.  Virginia refuses to pass the legislation and, therefore, doesn't create a fiscal crisis.  Both approaches are defective.  However, I'd rather have fiscal stability and fewer programs than fiscal crisis and lots of underfunded programs.

And, if you think there is a rift between NoVa and the "rest of Virginia" you should see the rift between Chicago and the rest of Illinois!

Blago didn't create the macro problems all by himself but he didn't do anything to fix the fiscal mess either.

To paraphrase an infamous UVA board member - Illinois has an existential crisis.  No number of important social advances can overcome that fact.  Detroit has had a long, long history of very progressive policies.  However, those policies are doing nothing to help the poor residents of that beleaguered city who cannot count on the street lights working or ambulances responding to 911 calls.

First things first - get the fiscal house in order.  

[ Parent ]
Agree in one rspect (4.00 / 1)
I absolutely agree with you that sound government occurs when the government solves problems that beset its people and also has the courage to fund those programs. Is it redistribution of income? Certainly. It's the "Christian" thing to do, and part of "tikkum olam," and one of the "five pillars if Islam," as well as a matter of simple human decency. In this second Gilded Age we are in, the forces of greed demonize the "47%" that Mitt Romney made fun of. They glorify their greed and happily buy corrupt politicians like McDonnell and Cuccinelli to do their bidding.

I'm not sure which is worse, however...creating programs and not funding them or ignoring human suffering or blaming the victim because of political cowardice and hatred for the "other." Some of the worst health outcomes for Americans, according to a new report, exist in far SW Virginia and West Virginia. Life expectancy is more like Angola than the USA. Should the government in those states refuse Medicaid expansion over fear of some possible fiscal shortfall in the future? I think not. When the life expectancy of men is less than 65, that is a crisis.  

[ Parent ]
More importantly .... (0.00 / 0)
In some ways, the McDonnell debacle is a distraction.  By law, he'll be gone from office next year.  He may be forced to leave sooner.

The real question is Corruptinelli.  He is not getting the full measure of blowback from Giftgate.

Here's one simple point that cannot be denied -

If elected, Terry McAuliffe has pledged to issue an executive order banning the governor or his immediate family from accepting anything more than token gifts.  In other words, I can give Terry's son a coffee mug with my company's logo but I can't pay for his wedding.

This seems like total, complete and obvious common sense.

But where is Corruptinelli on this?  He's off doing his invisible man imitation.

It's time to stop comparing the soon-to-be-gone McDonnell to a federal felon from Illinois.  It's time to shove Corruptinelli's own poor behavior and refusal to adopt common sense reform up his nose.  

We talk about Corruptinelli all the time (0.00 / 0)
and will continue to do so. He's corrupt as hell, totally unethical and/or incompetent as AG.

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[ Parent ]
Drumbeat .... (0.00 / 0)
This particular point needs to become a drumbeat for McAuliffe supporters (or, Corruptinelli opponents) ....

McAuliffe will adress the corrupt gift giving practices in Virginia while Cuccinelli will not.

This is the kind of issue that people understand.  It is the kind of issue that gets people out to the polls - especially if McDonnell resigns.

Let's not let Cuccinelli wake up, return the gifts he has received (or their cash value) and then agree with McAuliffe.  Let's spin him on the spit while the fire is hot.

We need to bang this drum over and over again - Corrupt Cuccinelli, corrupt Cuccinelli, corrupt Cuccinelli.

There are lots of reasons to dislike Cuccinelli and lots of reasons to like McAuliffe.  However, few of these reasons are as simple and clear as McAuliffe's promise to ban gifts to the governor and his family.  Everybody can understand that.  Let's not squander this simple but extremely effective point.

While McDonnell gets pummeled by federal agents and calls for his resignation (even by Virginia's Republicans) this should be the main rallying point for those who want to see McAuliffe win.

The McDonnell saga will eventually blow over.  Then, we can return to the portfolio of reasons to dislike Cuccinelli.  However, until it blows over - let's keep the drum beating.  Cuccinelli is corrupt.  Cuccinelli is corrupt.  Cuccinelli is corrupt.

[ Parent ]

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