Thursday, December 11, 2008

Every auction has two things...

…an auctioneer and BIDDERS.

And so it is with Blago selling the senate seat in Illinois. Obviously he had some bidders.

Jesse Jackson Jr. has held a press conference with his new lawyer to declare his innocence. Jackson is believed to be “Senate Candidate 5” in the federal complaint. Mr. 5 is the one who was actually throwing around dollar figures.

Now, you can only hope that all these bidders and their surrogates (like the union) were acting under the direction of federal authorities in setting up this sting operation. I’m thinking that isn’t the case.

The trouble is, not everyone is as stupid as Blago. He wasn’t very careful. The bidders will be hard to pin down because they use other people to do their negotiating. They never touch the money, they never write memos, and they never talk on the phone. As Patrick Fitzgerald put it, the “message…came through multiple hands.”

In political parsing, the likes of Jackson can “truthfully” say they never talked to Blago or his staff and they never made an offer for the Senate seat. But they could very well have sent signals through people they knew, people like Levine and Rezko and Cellini and a hundred other power brokers in this state.

How loyal are your underlings?

There will be more indictments to be sure, even if Patrick Fitzgerald told everyone to avoid jumping to conclusions about individuals involved with the bidding. If you read the transcript of the press conference you will conclude that others are being investigated.

As for Jesse Jr., “the hit dog howls.”

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