I knew trying to list all the people in the Blagojevich complaint would be a time sink; I knew it would be hard or impossible to figure out some of the people described in the document; and I knew the effort would be of ephemeral value.
But I went ahead. And after listing the roughly four dozen people mentioned in the government’s narrative of events, I can say it is a pretty interesting exercise and allows me to at least generally answer one question I had the day Blagojevich was arrested: How was it that federal investigators were hot on the trail of the governor’s administration within a matter of months after he was first sworn in? Of course, if you’ve followed the progress of the Antoin Rezko trial–out here in California, I did not–you know the answer: Rezko and other Blagojevich people were so unabashedly aggressive in their pursuit of “contributions” that flares were going up all over the place by the end of 2003. Also not apparent if you haven’t followed Illinois politics closely is the fact Blagojevich and the Democrats found willing partners among Republican operatives who didn’t want to see their own private skimming operations disturbed. And finally, for now: The complaint gives an example or two of people who refused to knuckle under to the state’s official extortion team, who either threatened to did go to the cops. In both cases, the schemers backed off. That said, it’s remarkable to read how many people, some of them seemingly honest and accomplished, who wanted in or were willing to go along once Team Blagojevich put the arm on them.
Anyway — back to other subjects for now, though I’ll continue to fill in the blanks on the Dramatis Personae where I can and probably put the updated list on a separate page somewhere. As before, any input welcome.
One final nod: to my brother Chris, who text-messaged me last Tuesday at 7:52 a.m. that “in case you haven’t heard, Blago was arrested.” Thanks, Chris!