Game-legislating Illinois Guv Busted on Corruption Charge

He claimed to be incensed about the content of the Grand Theft Auto series of crime games, but federal prosecutors allege that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was himself a criminal.

Blagojevich and his closest advisor are in FBI custody today, reports CNN

Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.


Federal prosecutors say Blagojevich, Harris and others conspired to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate replacement, according to the statement.


Blagojevich, Harris and others are also alleged to have withheld state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field. The statement says this was done to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members who were critical of Blagojevich.

The Chicago Tribune cites remarks by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald:

The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering. They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.

GamePolitics readers will recall that it was Blagojevich who championed his state’s 2005 video game sales law. The statute, however, was ruled unconstitutional before the year was out. Ultimately the failed legislation would force Illinois  taxpayers to reimburse the video game industry more than a half-million dollars in legal fees.

In 2004, Blagojevich lobbied to to have ads for GTA San Andreas removed from Chicago Transit Authority buses.

GP: Naturally, we’re adding Blagojevich to our list of anti-game hypocrites.

Big thanks to: GP readers Norm and BlindJustice15

for the tip!

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  1. Zerodash says:

    The saying goes, "sinners pray loudest".  The more somebody rails against something (homosexuality, corruption, violence, etc), the more likely it is that they are doing just what they claim to hate. 

  2. digdug says:

    Are all these anti-game politicians corrupt? It seems like a great way to find out who’s a corrupt politician: just find the ones that are bashing videogames and theres a good chance that therye commiting crimes, real ones.

    I just want to add though that often these left wing politicians go after video games because they are weak on real crime. Im not sure if thats the case with this Blago guy or not, but they seem to think that being tough on fantasy violence makes up for being weak on the real thing and will fool voters. Unfortunately, I think it does sometimes. They also are offended by guns or by the use of force. So its something that personally offends them and goes against their left-wing political ideology as well. Its the same as the religious right trying to censor tv for anything sexy. Its them trying to force their ideology on everybody else, and censor ideas that they think are the opposite of theirs.

  3. Buckeye531 says:

    Is anyone watching the US attorney’s press conference on Blagojevich? This guy is beyond hypocritical. He is an unlawful, anti-constitutional piece of crap. Not only on games, but according to the US attorneys, he tried to extort the Chicago Tribune.

  4. nighstalker160 says:

    There’s a press conference on this right now, this is incredible.

    Apparently he was selling to the highest bidder the appointment to Obama’s open Senate Seat.

    He was promising people he could lean on Obama and get him to appoint the highest bidder to a Cabinet position.

    He was pressuring the Tribune to fire an editor.

    He was going to pull back an $8 million grant from a CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL because the director wouldn’t give him a contribution.


  5. Flaps says:

    Wow, this guy isn’t just corrupt – he makes a lot of characters from GTA look decent by comparison.

    Sell the vacant senate seat – sure!

    Try to intimidate the media – OK!

    Ask for and accept multiple bribes – Why not?

    Sound like a thug on wire taps – F*ck yeah!

    This guy is a real piece of work and a true con artist. Rockstar really needs to parody this guy in the next GTA – they don’t even need to exagerate…at all.

  6. Twin-Skies says:

    News like this makes me want to break into song: 

    Sorry, Nicky, human nature-
    Nothing I can do!
    It’s… Schadenfreude!
    Making me feel glad that I’m not you.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  7. MasterAssassin says:

    Good riddance! I live in Chicago so I’m used to this but this man has destroyed our state. It’s funny that he was claiming to be a great father and trying to protect me and all the other kids of IL from violent video games(I was 14 when he tried to pass that law) and yet at the same time was engaging in illegal and corrupt behaviour including trying to auction off Obama’s Senate seat and trying to Extort the Tribune. Great Father?! What kind of message are you sending to your daughter when your breaking the law for your own greed. Before you start trying to protect all the kids of IL you should start being a good role model to your own child! I feel bad for his daughter actually espicially considering that his wife may also be indicted. It’s already bad enough knowing one of your parents is likely gonna go to jail but both has to be traumatic for her. I hope they throw the book at him though for this though, what he did makes Ryan look like a Catholic School boy. It’s funny how everyone who claims to be "protecting the children" from being corrupted by Grand Theft Auto and other violent games seem to all have ethical problems of thier own.

    Rob Blogojevich: Arrested on corruption charges

    Elliot Spitzer: Hired a prostitute and cheated on his wife

    Leland Yee: Voted against banning lead in children’s toys(a poisonous substance I might add)

    Kathleen Blanco: Left New Orleans to drown durring Katrina

    Jack Thompson: Disbarred on misconduct charges

    In conclusion trying to "protect children" from violent video games makes you corrupt, incopetent, unethical, and a douche bag(And I think there is a bigger case for this then violent video games making kids violent)

  8. BearDogg-X says:

    Give you that one, though I do consider him corrupt since he voted against banning lead(a poisonous substance) in children’s toys.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  9. Krono says:

    The Spitzer thing absolutely pales in comparison to this. The worst Spitzer did was be a hypocrite, and pay for sex. When it came to light, he had the decency to resign quickly in the face of an outcry.

    Blagojevich on the other hand is charged with pretty massive corruption in terms of stuff along the lines of bribes and kickbacks. Somehow I doubt he’ll resign and play nice with the investigators like Spitzer did.


  10. JustChris says:

    Wow, what’s with my state and sleazy politics? This guy used to be cool to a lot of people. But on the other hand, local politics don’t interest me as much as national politics.

  11. Mr. Stodern says:

    At the risk of sounding like a certain person who seems to be been vanquished, I’m not the least bit surprised that someone like Blagobitch is more corrupt than the Ephors from 300. Especially since the Spitzer prostitute incident.

  12. BearDogg-X says:

    Another hypocrite gets busted for corruption. How ironic as a Democrat whines about video games "corrupting young minds" when they’re the one who are corrupt.

    Let’s see, Blagojevich joins Eliot Spitzer and Leland Yee at least. I’m pretty sure Kathleen Blanco(former Louisiana governor) was also corrupt.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  13. sheppy says:

    We don’t have a left wing in this country.  We have right and further right.  We don’t have socialists, communists, or idealists either.  Any illussion to the contrary is a lie.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  14. Daria_C says:

    Its compensation. You know how the guy with the smallest $%&# always buys the biggest truck? Its the same with politicians. The more corrupt they are, they more vocal they are about crimes in video games.

  15. DarkSaber says:

    You need a patch off the net for that one…


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  16. E. Zachary Knight says:

    No it is the whole become a politician and accept bribes mission. This mission comes directly after the serial rapist mission which comes directly after the shoot up the police station mission.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  17. hayabusa75 says:

    Maybe he’s calling up Jack right now to defend him.  Boy, he’s in for a little surprise.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  18. DeepThorn says:

    You’re telling me, I just saw the video of him saying record everything I say, "I have nothing to hide.  I am an honest person, and believe everyone should be honest." haha.  That is some great stuff.  You know most politicians are like that guy though, doing dirty deeds and getting away with it most of the time.

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
    How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  19. zel says:

    dun dun dun, and another one bites the dust…  🙂


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  20. DarkSaber says:

    Oh yeah, that ‘Bribe a Politician’ minigame you play right after the one where you have to rape prostitutes… 


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  21. SinisterInfant says:

    Is it sad that I live in Illinois and didn’t know about this till I read it on this site?  I hope the Tribune company comes out ok from this.  They gave me my first job delivering papers.

  22. ZippyDSMlee says:

    How about we haz a solid link between crime and poltiains nowz!
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  23. The_Bobman says:

    At this rate, our next IL Gov will be arrested just after taking office.  You’d think they would learn by now.  I’m just going to go ahead and start voting for the canidate I want to see most in jail, not office.

  24. GTCv Deimos says:

    IL should enact a law saying that any local senator convicted of corruption should be loaded into a catapult and launched over the horizon.

  25. sqlrob says:

    I’d say it’s no worse than the rationale used to link games and violence.

    It may be a very good example to use. If they deny it, then use the exact same excuse to deny their supposed link.

  26. DarkSaber says:

    Has this happened enough for us to say there is a direct link between trying to legislate games and corruption?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  27. sheppy says:

    Saddest thing is this… this will be the second straight governor we’ve had in prison.  I just have to question if Illinois politicians have ever been decent human beings.  I can’t find any before Capones time.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

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