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Blagojevich Appears At Chicago Comic Con 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the bottom-of-the-barrel-villian dept.
theodp writes "Earlier this week, a federal jury convicted Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich of lying to the FBI and deadlocked on 23 other charges. Still, that didn't stop Blago from connecting with his 'loyal supporters' Saturday at the Chicago Comic Con, where the ex-Gov charged $80 for each photo taken with him and $50 for autographs. He even hob-knobbed with celebrities like Adam West and Richard Roundtree. 'I met Batman. I met Shaft, and I know something about getting the shaft,' Blagojevich said."

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Blagojevich Appears At Chicago Comic Con

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  • Getting the shaft? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:00AM (#33331778)
    Oh, you're gonna know something about getting the shaft, all right. The shaft, head, balls, the whole thing. Blag is unbelievable. He's guilty as sin and everyone but him seems to know it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      He's guilty as sin and everyone but him seems to know it.

      It appears based on the jury results that there is at least one other person in the country who wasn't convinced. In spite of what you may believe to be the facts of the case, US law does say that for these charges a unanimous jury verdict is required to convict the accused.

      • by NormalVisual (565491) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:08AM (#33331828)
        It appears based on the jury results that there is at least one other person in the country who wasn't convinced

        Or perhaps was "convinced" to not be convinced...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moryath (553296)

          Blago is your standard corrupt Chicago politician.

          Remember, this is same the city where the dead rise to vote on a yearly basis.

          • by Dogtanian (588974) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:09PM (#33332190) Homepage

            Blago is your standard corrupt Chicago politician. Remember, this is same the city where the dead rise to vote on a yearly basis.

            They should put up a candidate with the surname "Brain" then. Or "Brainsssssss". He'd win a landslide....

            Well, assuming he didn't get his.... well, brains eaten, that is.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by fizzup (788545)

              They should put up a candidate with the surname "Brain" then. Or "Brainsssssss". He'd win a landslide....

              Well, assuming he didn't get his.... well, brains eaten, that is.

              I don't think that would be an impediment to victory...

              • Hell, considering we spent 8 years with Chimpus Caesar as our leader a lack of brains could well pave the path for a presidential run...
          • Blago is your standard corrupt Chicago politician.

            And what is so unique about Chicago versus, say DC with guys like Marion Barry or any other big city in the USA?

          • You don't think the downstaters are just as corrupt? George Ryan was from Kankakee and the Republicans downstate are just as much as a machine as the Democrats in Chicago are.

      • by bhartman34 (886109) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:14AM (#33331858)
        The man was obviously corrupt as shit out of a whore's ass. How much would you like to bet that there was jury tampering involved here?
        • by Tassach (137772) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:47PM (#33332442)

          You don't understand the mentality of straight-party-ticket voters.

          It doesn't matter what THEIR guys do, only what the OTHER team's guys do. The attitude is, "Well, he might be a crook but he's OUR crook".

          I've been involved in state politics. It's unbelievable. I've seen guys with FELONY FRAUD CONVICTIONS get re-nominated time and again for their state House of Representative seat because they have the weight of the local political machine behind them (and, presumably, because they've got dirt on somebody higher up).

          It happens at the national level, too. The only thing that can come up with that explains Michael Steele's continued tenure at the helm of the GOP after strippergate and all the other scandals is that he's got the key to a closet full of skeletons.

          • There's a substantial difference between voting in a booth and voting on a jury. In a booth, no one can see how you vote. On a jury, the other jurors can go to the judge and say, "This woman isn't considering the evidence and isn't following the law." It takes a lot more chutzpah to do something that brazen.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Moryath (553296)

              On a jury, the other jurors can go to the judge and say, "This woman isn't considering the evidence and isn't following the law." It takes a lot more chutzpah to do something that brazen.

              Actually, short of getting into a major fistfight, it's very rare and difficult [google.com] for anyone to get tossed off of a jury, even if there is an alternate still available. Most of the time it requires someone getting physically violent. Only in the most rare circumstances - a juror sits in the corner, states something that shou

              • Doesn't a juror who has his/her mind made up, regardless of the facts or arguments of the other jurors, constitute someone who's failing to deliberate?

                I mean, maybe I'm being too idealistic here, but it shocks and saddens me that it's this easy to buy a verdict, and it kind of makes me wonder: If it really works this way, how does anyone, anywhere, ever get convicted, if their attorney has an IQ even slightly above room temperature?
                • ...because their client lacks "jury tampering" money?

                  • Yeah, but that just makes it worse, doesn't it? Not only are the guilty going free, but they're going free on the basis of their money, putting poorer clients at a disadvantage.

                    Blagojevich is the epitome of all the corruption in the political and legal systems. If he's convicted at retrial, I'd support the death penalty. For what he's done, I think he deserves it.
          • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['x.c' in gap]> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:43PM (#33332858) Homepage

            While I generally believe you, and I don't doubt that Steele knows some stuff, I suspect a better explanation for him is that Republicans have no idea how to cope with race.

            For the longest time, the right has complained bout 'racial quotas' and stuff, and I though they were just ginning up anger, but they're serious.

            They simply cannot judge people of other race based on their merits, on their skills, on, as MLKj put it, the content of their characters. They look at a black person and they don't see 'good leader' or 'bad leader', they see 'black person'. If they are forced to hire black people they will, indeed, select them randomly.

            With Steele, they managed to do that to their boss, which is just outright hilarious.

            Of course, it didn't help that the pool of black people willing to work for the Republicans was pretty low to start with.

            I don't doubt that there are a lot of skeletons in various closets, but I suspect that they wouldn't let Micheal Steele have access to them that fast. (OTOH, he did apparently know about the lesbian strip club.)

      • The problem with cases like these is that the politician distances himself from the actual wrongdoing. It's the aids and other staffers that are making the deals, because they are both less likely to be prosecuted and easier to throw under the bus. It's not that surprising that Blagojevich was only convicted of one charge, it was the one charge he could not completely distance himself from. It's hard to prove someone was lying unless you have proof that they know the truth.So a politician can be dirty as si
        • by Moryath (553296) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:38AM (#33332014)

          Did you read the comments from the lone juror holdout? Who "just happened" to be a state employee, "just happened" to have worked on Blago's campaign, and was probably guaranteed a spot on someone else's campaign staff in the future as payoff for hanging the jury?

          This is just typical Chicago corruption as usual.

          • by bhartman34 (886109) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:49AM (#33332088)
            How in the hell was someone like that not excluded from the jury?? Was the prosecutor in on the whole thing???
            • by Moryath (553296) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:12PM (#33332214)

              Welcome to the land of "jury selection [google.com]."

              Essentially, each side only gets so many challenges. They can try to challenge for cause, but they get only a few "peremptory challenges" (removing someone they are worried about without saying why). Further, the peremptory challenges are restricted because you have to be extremely careful [findlaw.com] about striking certain people lest someone scream about "racism", "sexism", "ageism", etc.

              Most likely, since the woman was not a "direct employee of Blagojevich", the judge ruled that she couldn't be struck from the jury with cause even though she was one of his former campaign workers, since campaign work is often a paid position and they could argue that it was "just a job." That would have meant that it would burn a peremptory challenge to get her removed, and there were probably some people the prosecution wanted on the jury even less that they'd already used all their peremptories on.

              The other thing that potential tampered/"ringer" jurors trying to slip into a case like this will pull is trying to put themselves at the back of the line. Remember, voir dire works in sequential order, either one juror at a time or banks-of-twelve at a time. If the prosecution had already used up all their peremptories by the time she came up in the process, they were stuck with her.

              • Thanks for the link. I find the whole thing nauseating. What it basically says to me is that a clever defendant will always be able to hang a jury. It's a shame that common sense can't prevail, and that a juror like that can't be shown the door, by the judge, in the interest of a fair trial. Why even give both sides a certain number of challenges? If there are valid reasons to keep someone off the jury, both sides should be able to challenge every single person who's brought up, and the judge should de
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by mdmkolbe (944892)

                If the prosecution had already used up all their peremptories by the time she came up in the process, they were stuck with her.

                Really? When I was called for jury service, the layers declared their peremptories after they interviewed all the potential jurors.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by khallow (566160)

                  Really? When I was called for jury service, the layers declared their peremptories after they interviewed all the potential jurors.

                  Jury selection varies by state and probably depends a little on the resource constraints of the court as well. In California, I was on a jury for a murder case (the actual sentence could have scaled from self-defense/no crime through involuntary and voluntary manslaughter up to murder one without death penalty) and we were selected in batches of six.

              • by hedwards (940851)
                They do, however they also presumably get to have jurors dismissed for cause, and in this case that seems like about as blatant a cause as any. The reason why they get those for cause choices is so that they can have problem jurors removed, as in jurors that are more than just undesirable removed.
      • by mr_mischief (456295) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:26AM (#33331952) Journal

        Yeah, a former state employee from Chicago voted not to convict the former state governor from Chicago. Shocking? No. This is Chicago we're talking about. She probably also voted for him four times in each of his two elections for governor in the first place.

        If they want a truly fair trial for him, they need to move it to another federal district. If they want a sure conviction, they should move it somewhere in Illinois south of Interstate 80.

      • by Rivalz (1431453)

        While in the eyes of the law you are not guilty unless you have been convicted.
        How many truly guilty people get convicted? It is completely different to prove someone's guilt.
        The way I look at it is if they had a big enough jury and needed unanimous verdict I could get away with anything.

    • Something that seems to be too prevalent among politicians today, both locally and nationally. He is displaying nothing less than many of those in Congress or White House (as in certain Chairmen who were would have been in jail concerning their IRS problems if they were mere "voters). No, its the problem of the political class, they feel immune because they control the laws and worse they have enough lackeys among large organizations that get out the word. Hell, look at the even more recent Countrywide r

    • I think he's slimy as eternity is long, and deserves to be in prison on straight principle. But going into the trial I wasn't convinced that the government had a case. Without sitting through the trial I'd hesitate to say one way or the other.
    • They will probably have to separate Blago from the general prison population for his own safety. A nice white guy like him wouldn't last long in most American prisons or at least not without the sort of bargain being referenced by the parent above.
    • He's guilty as sin and everyone but him seems to know it.

      He knows he's guilty, but he thinks that if he lies often enough then people will believe that he's innocent. He's a pathological liar.

    • Oh, you're gonna know something about getting the shaft, all right. The shaft, head, balls, the whole thing. Blag is unbelievable. He's guilty as sin and everyone but him seems to know it.

      The real question is whether or not he is capable of feeling guilt.

    • One thing I don't get is why people would pay $80 for a photo of him, other than maybe a press bureau. Is it because he's the hair model of the Lego minifigs?

  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfh (56) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:01AM (#33331790) Journal

    I can't be the only one who is wondering what the fuck this guy is doing at a comic book gathering. Are comic books becoming circus acts and carnivals now?

    My childhood is at risk here, fellas.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

      by skids (119237) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:25AM (#33331946) Homepage

      He's a clown. It's is natural instinct to search out the nearest carnival-like environment. Preferably one with lots of rolling cameras.

    • See, he's sitting in the Batmobile.

      Now, look at his name "Blagojevich".

      Remove the vowels...."Blgjvch"

      And....TA DA! Batman villain! He's incognito, though. When he's in his villain mode, he wears a brightly colored suit with skin tight pants with both political party's symbols all over it.

      There's many more like him. And there's another political villain called "Three face" - he's a Conservative, then a Liberal, and then a Centrist.

      They're out there and only Batman can save us!

    • by camg188 (932324)
      His haircut is comical.
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      Wizard World conventions are carnivals. Avoid at all costs.

      Comics columnist Rich Johnston was there, and asked The Blag about him being at a "comic con": whether it was because he saw a future for himself as a "comic" or as a "con". [bleedingcool.com] The Blag caught the joke, and laughed it off, apparently still certain of his own invulnerability.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      yes why the hell didn't the organisers have him thrown out its a private event and having such a dodgy individual doesnt to much for the brand.
      • I was there. I am ever going to another Wizard World con. They are crap... the last time I went to Chicago Comic Con it was not a Wizard Con, and it was great...

        It's no surprise they allowed him to be there. There was very little to do with Comics at this Comic Con, and the celebrities were a joke.

  • If Blagojevich wants to entertain, I say he and Tom DeLay should be dropped on a deserted island to fight to the death in a televised event. The survivor would get a comfy pillow in his jail cell and a coupon for a free McDonald's happy meal. Get your popcorn and get ready to rumble!

    • Nah. We should make it an all-convicted-governors bash. George Ryan, Rod Blagojevich, Dan Walker, and Otto Kerner (except Otto Kerner already died and so needs to be disqualified).

      Corruption in Chicago area politics is nothing new, and it making its way into the governor's office is nothing new, either.

      • except Otto Kerner already died and so needs to be disqualified

        Exactly. Now that he's dead, he's eligible to vote in Chicago's elections which would give unfair advantage to Blago.

  • I don't believe Blagojevich was innocent. I think he was found not guilty. But he's not alone.

    This article from 2009 illustrates what I mean:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B74AI20091208 [reuters.com]

    The USA is facing a silent wave of corruption, eroding our institutions from within. Normally, I'd disparage alarmist panic, but in this case, I think it's legitimate because it's rising along with the other symptoms of a nation decaying to third-world levels of disorganization:

    * Oligarchy
    * Corruption
    * Debt
    * Crime
    * Ur

    • by halowolf (692775)
      Well "Not guilty" and "Innocent" are 2 different legal terms that many people get confused over, as Judge Judy likes to point out.
      • by ivan_w (1115485)

        I was under the impression that for a correct application of common law and/or civil law, you were innocent until proven guilty..

        So to me, "innocent" is true unless a "guilty" status is achieved. Therefore "Not Guilty" is a sufficient condition to name the defendant "innocent".

        Of course, "not guilty" doesn't mean acquitted, so a retrial is possible without risking double jeopardy. (but he still has an "Innocent" status).

        But IANAL of course.

        --Ivan

        • by ivan_w (1115485)

          Forget it..

          Of course..

          Not Guilty "Implies" Innocent
          Innocent "Does NOT imply" Not Guilty

          Duh !

          --Ivan

        • by hedwards (940851)
          No, courts get 3 choices, guilty, not guilty and mistrial. Not guilty means that the jury decided that the prosecution didn't meet the legal requirements for a guilty verdict, it does not now nor has it ever been the same thing as innocent. Sure many, and hopefully most are innocent, but it just means that the evidence wasn't sufficiently compelling to warrant a guilty verdict.

          Once you're found to be guilty, the focus of the courts turns to the proceedings as you're now legally guilty whether or not you
    • by mr_mischief (456295) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:32AM (#33331990) Journal

      He was not found not guilty. He was convicted on one of 24 counts and the jury deadlocked on 23 counts. A deadlocked jury doesn't count as an acquittal or a conviction, and he can (and most likely will) be retried on 23 counts.

      • by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:46AM (#33332068)

        I heard on NPR that the judge declared a mistrial with regards to the remaining 23 accounts and has ordered a retrial. Of course, going into that with wide-spread public knowledge of the other conviction, plus constantly pulling stunts like this, isn't really going to help him. Although, I think the big question is, who would pay $80 to get their picture taken with this greasy douchebag?

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          Who would pay $80 to get their picture taken with this greasy douchebag?

          If they'd be able to get away with it, some guy with a cream pie to apply to Blago's face first.

        • by sco08y (615665)

          I heard on NPR that the judge declared a mistrial with regards to the remaining 23 accounts and has ordered a retrial. Of course, going into that with wide-spread public knowledge of the other conviction, plus constantly pulling stunts like this, isn't really going to help him. Although, I think the big question is, who would pay $80 to get their picture taken with this greasy douchebag?

          If he was just a greasy douchebag, it'd be one thing, but he's also a real character. So is Roland Burris; I'd want my picture with both of them.

      • by shma (863063)
        And from basic logic [wikipedia.org], not not guilty is the same thing as guilty. So logically, he must be guilty if he's not not guilty.

        I rest my case.
    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      And yet, Greece is still there, and still enjoying a pretty decent quality of life overall.

      In a few hundred years, I'd wager that America will still be here, still in decline. We were in decline when that crazy president freed all the slaves. We were in decline when the Communists were infiltrating our government and industries. We were in decline while jobs were outsourced overseas. Now we're in decline because politicians are corrupt.

      Hyperbole aside, I think that what we're facing now is very similar to t

    • by hedwards (940851)
      He wasn't found not guilty, the judge had to declare a mistrial on quite a few of the other counts, and he was convicted on one. He'll go to prison where he belongs, it's just a question of how many of the other charges stick for the next go round. Which likely will be a substantial number seeing as he won't have the funds for anything other than a public defender. Presumably that's what his appearance at the comic show was about.
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      I think he was found not guilty.

      No, he was not found guilty.

      To clarify with parentheses:
      You said "found (not guilty)" which is incorrect.
      I said "not (found guilty)" which is correct.

      The hung jury/mistrial means his guilt on the 23 counts is currently indeterminate. Schrödinger's catbox has not been successfully opened.

  • It's a powerful insight into his personality that he keeps using the word "vindicate" to describe 11/12 people voting to convict, with the 12th not quite convinced the prosecution proved the case. Also, that he claims that he is certain that a second trial will exonerate him, in other words he expects to improve from 1/12 to 12/12 by re-telling the same story in a slightly different way, and that he will then return to politics and run for office again.

  • The guy may be slimy, but what he did is business as usual in American politics - particularly in Chicago.....

    He pissed somebody off or stepped on some toes and THAT is why he's being prosecuted - then, rather than lying down, which would have resulted in lesser charges or some sort of deal, he told the powers that did this to him to "fuck off" and grandstanded, which they really didn't like, so they're going after him....

    I would say "that's American politics in 2010" for you, but I'd imagine there are plen

  • "loyal supporters" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:40PM (#33332388)
    People are paying $80 a photo to get a joke photo. Something they can show a friend and say "look, blag showed up atcomic con. What a desperate loser." and that coming from comic con goers is mighty damning.
  • by arctan1701 (635900) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:19PM (#33332672)
    What did it cost to punch Blago in the face?
  • I'm ashamed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:23PM (#33332714) Journal

    ...to be associated with any comics con attendees who paid $80 for a photo of Blago. Just ashamed.

  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#33332792)
    Since he's an example of a real-life supervillan.

    I'm going to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder! Buahahaha!
  • Is it III, lll, IlI, or lIl? I can't really tell without changing the font...
  • If it walks like a douche bag, and talks like a douche bag, and has a douche bag's haircut...it must be a............?
  • In the last season of Celebrity Apprentice [nbc.com], he didn't even know how to type, use a MacBook, and Office! But then I am not surprised by these types of people. Heh. You can see the embedded video clip on here [suntimes.com] (probably only works for American locations).

  • In perfect setting.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n9ng5h2Nuk [youtube.com] -- "Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich lost his job for suspected corruption. But at his trial, the jury could not reach consensus on whether he tried to sell Barack Obama's old senate seat. As a result of the hung jury, the judge declared a mistrial. However, Blago was found guilty on one count of lying to the FBI. The prosecutors are planning to re-try the case as soon as possible. In the meantime, Blago is declaring victory."

  • by trawg (308495) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:27PM (#33336282) Homepage

    I'm sorry, what? I cannot imagine anywhere here in Australia ever willingly handing over money to a politician for a photo or an autograph. Is that a normal thing for an American politician to do?

    I can understand people paying actors, celebs, writers, artists etc at a ComicCon for that sort of thing. I personally wouldn't do it (and I say that as a pretty avid comic fan), but I can understand why people would. But politicians?

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