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Blagojevich Conviction Reaction

Monday afternoon, a federal jury convicted Rod Blagojevich of 17 of 20 charges of corruption against him, including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

While Blagojevich was 'stunned' by the verdict, not many local legislators were surprised by the outcome of his trial. Illinois Senator Bill Brady says Blagojevich went wrong when he started to use his political office for his own gain. He believes the state will get stronger because of this.

[audio:blagoconviction.mp3]A Word From Sen. Brady[/audio]

Illinois State Secretary Dan Rutherford was a member of the Senate when Blagojevich was in the Governor's office. Rutherford says he knew even back then Blagojevich was guilty. He adds Blagojevich deserves everything he is going to get.

[audio:blagoconviction3.mp3]A Word From The Treasurer[/audio]

Blagojevich is now the second former Illinois governor to be convicted on corruption charges. Representative Bill Mitchell does not take any satisfaction in the conviction of now a Republican and Democrat Governor to be convicted, however, he says the common denominator for the two former Governor's are their success in Chicago and Cook County on election days.

[audio:blagoconviction2.mp3]A Word From Rep. Mitchell[/audio]

Rep. Mitchell believes voter integrity is the key to prevent scandals in the future.

[audio:blagoconviction4.mp3]A Word From Rep. Mitchell[/audio]

The new convictions against the ousted Illinois Governor will add 300 years to the maximum prison sentence he faces, however, legal experts say he's more likely to get closer to 10 years.

When he sentences Blagojevich later, Judge James Zagel will take into account a variety of factors. One variable federal judges can consider is whether a defendant took the stand and lied. Prosecutors say that's what Blagojevich did at his retrial. If Zagel agrees, he could point to that testimony to justify a longer term. He was convicted of lying to the FBI last year, that carries a 5-year maximum sentence.

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