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Is Illinois Gov. Blagojevich nuts?

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves his office on December 10, 2008 in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on numerous felony corruption charges. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves his office on December 10, 2008 in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on numerous felony corruption charges. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey) | License Photo

CHICAGO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Chicago newspaper columnists dueled Thursday over whether embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich could employ an insanity defense to fight corruption allegations.

Federal prosecutors this week charged the two-term Democratic Illinois governor with attempting to auction off the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for personal gain. Blagojevich already was under federal scrutiny over alleged "pay-to-play" politics involving the sale of state jobs and contracts for campaign contributions and was caught on tape allegedly pushing an effort to leverage the Senate appointment.

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Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times makes a case for insanity, saying because Blagojevich came up through the Chicago power structure, he doesn't know right from wrong.

"Nobody ever taught him the proper way to govern. All his role models were crooks," Brown wrote.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass took a different tack, saying there's nothing insane about Blagojevich's behavior.

"It's when they're (Chicago politicians) quiet and reasonable that you've got to worry," Kass concluded.

The Arlington Heights Daily Herald notes House Speaker Michael Madigan may have been speaking the truth when during the summer he called Blagojevich a "sociopath."



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