This fawning piece from Chicago Magazine about Ed Genson, the guy representing Gov. Slobodan Blagojevich made me laugh - pretty hard - this morning. It's a link from the Huffington Post which like most national news outlets is scrambling for perspective on the soap opera that's emerging on the shores of Lake Michigan.
You see I know a little something about Ed Genson and the Chicago criminal justice system because my father is involved with criminal law in the city. He knows Genson, has worked with him (and told me a hilarious story about how Genson likes to use the same story about sitting on his father, the bail bondsman's, knee at 26th and California as a young lad during his closing argument in every case) and described him to me as "the best 'business-getter' in the city," even before the Blagojevich case. So the piece in Chicago Magazine is typical of the PR machine that Genson uses to build his reputation as "Uber Defense Lawyer" in Chicago. Just between you and me, he loses a lot more than someone who has as big a reputation has he does. But as my Old Man told me, "he will fight; he'll litigate."
And in this particular instance I'm thrilled he's fighting because as much as I hate Blago and his ilk, the actions of the state legislature and political establishment in this case are beyond disgusting. Did Democrats in Illinois know Blago was like this BEFORE he got caught thinking about selling a Senate seat? Of course they did. Claude Rains sounded more sincere closing down Rick's Cafe American than most Illinois politicians today sound with their outrage over Blago's activities.
So they decide to cover their tails by trying to railroad him into resigning? Yeah, because if I'm an indicted, semi-broke, corrupt politician, my first instinct will be to resign because a bunch of other, slightly less corrupt politicians want to make me resign. Oh, and there is this little thing called the Illinois Constitution which outlines pretty clearly how to move forward in this instance LEGALLY.
This is about a state political establishment that wants the national embarrassment to stop and the press to go away. They don't want to follow legal procedures and play by the rules now because, well, the law in Illinois was always wildly overrated anyway. Blago is probably guilty as hell, but unless Chevy Chase was right, this isn't Russia, or even Serbia. We actually make people go to trial and make it reasonably fair for the accused to not go to jail if they aren't guilty. The Feds have it easy in this one if the politicians in Springfield would stop acting like idiots which may be too much to ask of politicians.