December 12, 2008

Long term effects of a one time Senator from Illinois

Both Abraham Lincoln and Peter Fitzgerald served one term in Washington representing Illinois. Lincoln served in the House of Representatives in 1846 and Peter Fitzgerald served one term in the Senate in 1999. Lincoln's term in the House was relatively unremarkable, though it may have fueled his ambitions for higher office. However, it eventually led to more than one term as President at which time he ended slavery and kept the country from splitting. He is considered one of our greatest presidents. I would say that Peter Fitzgerald has also had a huge impact on our country by one little recommendation: nominating Patrick Fitzgerald (who is not related) as U.S. Attorney General for the Northern District of Illinois. Why might you ask? Four cases:

1. He had former Illinois Governor George Ryan convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud, attempted extortion, and money laundering.

2. He gave Mayor Richard Daley a piece of humble pie indicting mayoral aids of mail fraud and uncovering the Chicago City Clerk taking bribes.

3. He had Lord Conrad Black (media mogul) convicted of criminal fraud.

4. He brought indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, in the Plame CIA leak case. Mr. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in the Plame case.

4. His most recent case involves charges of Governor Rod Blagojevich (pronounced
Blah GOY ah vich for those of you not from Illinois) in soliciting bribes and mail fraud.

As an aside, which may or may not be sour grapes, here is some additional information: Barak Obama and Blagojevich rose through the ranks of the Chicago political machine fairly quickly. Barack Obama, worked with Blagojevich at some level to get him elected as governor in 2002. He must have worked with the governor one or two times while he was state senator and Rod Blagojevich was governor. Yet despite the fact that Barack Obama rose up from the Chicago "Boss" system and Illinois political system which recently has been described recently as "possibly the most corrupt state in the Union", he still managed to have a squeaky clean image during the Presidential campaign. I wonder how that happened?

I, for one, am glad that we had Peter Fitzgerald represent us as a senator, be it ever so brief. He, like Lincoln had a huge impact, at least on our state because he nominated Patrick Fitzgerald, who is trying to clean up the Illinois political system.

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