"When the gap between ideal and real becomes too wide, the system breaks down."
— Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror The Calamitous 14th Century)
Blagojevich on verdict: "I, frankly, am stunned"
From the Chicago Tribune archives:
By Kathryn Krumsee | November 2, 2002
I'm with John Kass on this election. I am going to write in Paul Vallas with no care that my vote has gone to waste because I cannot with any conscience vote for either of the two clowns on the governor's ballot. If term limits are the solution to this terrible fix our state and city have gotten into politically, then we need to start working now to put them in place.
In the closing hours of the 2002 Gubernatorial Primary, March I believe it was, several goons from the Blagojevich Campaign vandalized the home of Paul and Sharon Vallas down the block from me. It was in the very early morning hours. Paul was out campaigning and Sharon was home with their three boys, Paul, Gust, and Mark.
A crew vandalized the yard sign, which is de rigueur in urban politics, but took it one step better - they terrorized a woman and her three kids. This was pure Milorod Blagojevich. Some of the political geniuses in the 19th Ward had made a pact with Blago, for whatever Byzantine notions of fortunes to come, and turned the cold shoulder to neighbor Paul. The Joyces and the Sheehans stood with Paul Vallas, as did most of the 19th Ward. The cowards who tried to spook Sharon picked on the wrong woman. Sharon Vallas is as tough as Calculus. Sharon tried to confront them herself, but they bolted - never to be caught. That is also politically de rigueur in this our urban jungle and the Reformer IVO-IPO Progressive Blago squeaked out a primary win and Illinois lost the talents and integrity of Paul Vallas.
Rod Blagojevich, whom our supine news anchors and blow-dried beat reporters called 'Charming' yesterday after Mr. Pistachio racked up 17 of 20 charges.
The Charms of Blagojevich were long lost on this helot voter and most of his neighbors. We viewed Rod Blagojevich as a shameless gate-crasher and serial dope.
Politics is loaded with shameless gate-crashers and serial dopes, but Blago is not just one rotten apple - he is the whole orchard.
This clown was willing to send his bride into the jungle to eat bugs in order to squeeze a few more dollars out of a culture that equates Larry the Cable Guy to Barbara Tuchman and a soul-patched, head-shaved mope like Howie Mandel to Paul Schofield. Why not a Blago over a Paul Vallas? Why not? Who's to say?
Illinois accepted Rod Blagojevich - Mr. Pistachio. He won the 2002 Democratic primary against one solid candidate and the National joke who would take Senator Obama's seat Tombstone Roland, the general election against another solid man Republican Jim Ryan and yet another term against the clownish Illinois Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka in 2006. I wonder who voted for Blago?
WLS tossed this disgracefully 'Charming' bully a few bucks, when his clown act, following the impeachment, in 2009 went National. Having a guest host who would devour used Depends at State and Madison at high noon would have been more dignified.
Blago is going to the Federal iron hotel for many, many, many semesters. His wife and kids will be on their own. Sharon Vallas and her three boys were on their own that night before the primary.