Running Government as a Cash Business
By RUSS BUETTNER
Published: July 31, 2010
The lawyer for Rod R. Blagojevich urged jurors last week to acquit his client of corruption charges, in part because Mr. Blagojevich, the chatty former governor of Illinois, was simply too dull to carry out the devious schemes of which he stands accused.
No one would say he is “the sharpest knife in the drawer,” his lawyer, Sam Adam Jr., told jurors during closing arguments.
In the annals of public corruption cases, that would be a novel, though not entirely unprecedented, defense.
Official corruption is much in the news lately — including an upcoming House ethics trial against Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York and expected ethics charges against Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California. So it might be worth revisiting a few politicians who appear to have gotten away with their misdeeds, and some who nearly did.