Wow. The allegations against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich are astounding. It is well known that the Chicago political machine is corrupt. Blagojevich’s predecessor is currently in prison for corruption. However, Blagojevich is accused of selling Barack Obama’s senate seat, selling favors for other positions, and threatening journalists that criticized him. I’m amazed that someone could be so corrupt and oblivious to the attention that such corruption would surely bring. It goes to show that most criminals are really dumb.
However, Governor Blagojevich’s eventual departure from his office will also be great payback for budget cuts that cut some ant research:
I’ve been itching for years to figure out what’s really going on with the evolutionary history of Camponotus, a hugely important ant genus with a godawful mess of a taxonomy. The State of Illinois had finally provided the wherewithal, an independent postdoc to do research on a project of my choosing. That would be Camponotus.
So forgive me if I seem petty when I explain that’s exactly when Mr. Blagojevich pulled the rug out from under the Survey, slashing their budget and eliminating several positions.
Suddenly, no job. No Camponotus. At that point we were already moving to Champaign-Urbana so I had to scramble to find another position. Thanks, Blagojevich. Perhaps next time I’ll have my bribe all packaged for you. That’s how your system is supposed to work, no?
Sadly, the list of charges leveled against Mr. Blagojevich does not seem to include “Impeding the Phylogenetics of Camponotus“. But, I’ll settle for the lesser crime of trying to sell Barack Obama’s old senate seat, if that’s what it takes to get rid of him.