Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog: 'Illinois: Where our governors make our license plates'

I read last night in The New York Times that Gov. Rod Blagojevich plans to ask that he be permitted to use campaign funds to defend himself against federal corruption charges. The governor’s campaign fund – chaired by Blago’s brother Robert – is known as the Friends of Blagojevich.

This developed after the Illinois state attorney general rejected a request by the governor to use state funds to pay for his impeachment defense.

By now, everyone in the world knows that Blagojevich, the two-term governor, was arrested this past week on federal charges of conspiracy and soliciting bribes.

This is not a guy whose name is new to members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and, well, all truckers. We know him as the governor who has used his veto power multiple times to stop Illinois from getting rid of its split speed limit even though the state legislature favored uniform speeds.

OOIDA fought him tooth and nail over it. And to think – we could have just offered him money.

Well, I have an idea on how he might finance his defense. Maybe he should start cashing in on some custom T-shirts and bumper stickers? Plenty of others are making some bucks off his situation – not to mention his hair – so I am surprised his office hasn’t jumped on it.

It doesn’t take long to find the red-hot Blago items online. Tote bags, T-shirts, jerseys and mugs, button and stickers – all with zingers like “I offered Rod Blagojevich a half million dollars and all I got was this stupid tee-shirt.” Then there’s “Illinois, Land of Corruption” and “Crook County” in classic black. One tee is kinda psychedelic with Blago’s face in the middle grinning; the words proclaim “Nothing But Sunshine Over Me.” More say “Spare the Rod, Spoil the State” and “In Rod We Trust.”

Then, the same grinning face, beady eyes and Beatle hair with “Would you buy a Senate seat from this man?”

Another with Blago in a prison outfit: “No stars just stripes.”

Then my favorite: “Illinois, where our governors make our license plates.”