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Riz Khan
Blagojevich's takedown
Has the system of political corruption become too accepted and too entrenched?
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2008 07:30 GMT

Watch part two

As US presidential campaign spending reached unprecedented heights in the 2008 election, no one ever thought a US senate seat could literally be "for sale".

But that is exactly what the US attorney and FBI alleges has occurred in the state of Illinois where governor Rod Blagojevich has been accused of trying to "sell" president-elect Barack Obama's US senate seat in a pay to play scheme. 

According to the charging documents, Blagojevich sought to raise $2.5 million from those seeking the senate seat. But is the granting of a key political appointment in exchange for money really that out of the ordinary? On Thursday's Riz Khan show we speak with Chicago insider, former mafia lawyer turned government witness, Robert Cooley.

He personally rigged the murder trial of a 'made-man' in Chicago by bribing the judge. Years later, disgusted by the corruption around him, Cooley switched sides and helped the government take down Chicago's First Ward.

We ask, is this unprecedented political corruption or just business as usual and who else might be taken down in the scandal? 

This episode of the Riz Khan show airs from Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 2030GMT with repeats at 0030GMT and 0530GMT on Friday.


You can join the conversation. Click on 'send your feedback', email riz@aljazeera.net or join our Your Views debates.

 

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