Live blogging Blago's radio show on Chicago's WLS
The former governor is a natural radio host. Completely comfortable in front of the microphone. Promoting the weather and traffic like a pro.
Playing Elvis's "A Little Less Conversation" to kick off his show. Blago says, "Good morning, this is former governor Rod Blagojevich. How are you? This is a time for more conversation and a little less action."
"It seemed like it was just yesterday that I was the governor of the 5th largest state in America," he began. "And now I'm here filling in the seat of Don Wade -- you can say I've achieved higher office."
8:12am -- Blago announces his guests on the morning's program. They include the reporter who appeared flummoxed last night when President Obama called on her -- ABC's Anne Compton.
DL Hughley, the comedian is also on the show. Remember he's got that CNN program which is getting canceled later this month. He got a lot of newsplay when he had GOP chief Michael Steele on the show. Remember? Steele said Limbaugh was incendiary and ugly and that he was not the de facto leader of the GOP and BOOM.
8:12am -- Blago wants to take some calls from listeners. But before he does, however, he has a conversation with the newsman and the meteorologist.
Blago: Let's take a call or two.
Newsman: Are those headphones going to mess up your hair?
Blago: I brought my brush.
Meteorologist: You brought the football?
Blago: I'm not governor anymore, it is a smaller brush.
8:15am -- Blago blasts Governor Pat Quinn for proposing to raise state income taxes.
"There's no need to raise the state income tax," he said. "A tax increase on the people is the worst thing you can do in my judgment."
"I kept the promise not to raise taxes for six years. It took him less than six weeks to break that promise."
"If you don't want to pay, you've got the power to change it," he tells listeners.
8:25am -- Blago compares President Obama to President Reagan while talking to ABC's Anne Compton. We'll have more of this conversation to come.
8:26am -- Blago implores his fellow Democrats in Congress to support Obama.
8:27am -- Blago thanks Anne Compton for appearing on his show. She responds by thanking him and calling him "sir."
8:28am -- Blago takes a call from Jerry. Jerry tells the governor there is a house of ill repute in his town.
Blago: "What is it, a room full of politicians?"
A producer earns his pay by playing a rimshot sound effect. Nice.
News and weather.
8:32 -- "This is not Elvis," he opens. "This is Rod Blagojevich."
He's got CNN host and comedian DL Hughley on now.
"I'm glad to say you've landed on your feet," Hughley said.
Blago's first Bible reference. The truth will set you free, he says.
DL Hughley says what happened to Blago is typical of what happens to politicians. Huh?
I liked you right away, Hughley said. It didn't work out the way we wanted it to. But you'll land on your feet.
No complaints, says Blago. He makes his first God reference. God has a purpose for him, he says, and he is "His instrument." He is fighting for the little guy, he says.
Hughley could be a politician. He knows how to filibuster. Can talk longer than Joe Biden. What is he talking about? Hard to know.
"I liked you right away," Hughley repeats to Blago. "Some of your approaches are the most innovative things I've ever seen."
Who can argue with that?
DL Hughley likes Obama
8:38 -- Platitudes for Obama. This country needs to understand something, Hughley said. Then he forgets to explain what the country needs to understand.
But he goes on to say that on Obama's first day, he was probably sad he got the job, Hughley jokes. Blago laughs.
Finally an adult in office, Hughley said.
8:40 -- Blago tells Hughley that he's written a whole three pages on his book right now.
You are probably four pages further than George Bush is on his, Hughley jokes. Blago laughs.
News and weather
8:52am -- He tells the sports writer and commentator not to get impeached from his job. The two are discussing the Chicago Cubs and spring training.
Blago tells Mariotti that both the Cubs and the White Sox are well-positioned for the post season.
How do you keep the faith, Mariotti asked of the Chicago Cubs.
Last year was the most painful moment of all, Mariotti said of the Cubs performance last year.
Look at the success of Chicago baseball teams while he was the governor, Blago said. But he's not taking credit for it. But he seems to be taking credit for it.
Blago seems to know baseball.
Of the three guests, Mariotti seems to be the least supportive of Blagojevich. Mariotti didn't seem nearly as enthused as Hughley. Or as respectful as Compton. He was a bit more robotic.
News and weather
Wendy the traffic person is discussing commuter traffic. Traffic stop and go. Sounds like a tough commute.
Partly to mostly cloudy skies in Chicago today. Rain showers on Friday.
9:09am -- Yes. Same song as the 8 am hour.
A shot at Pat Quinn again.
Blago: "I'm going to go off my plan for a second. I couldn't help but hear the news report of my successor talking about how great it is to work with Mike Madigan."
Blago: "I respectfully would say when he wants to raise your taxes by 50 percent, he's working for Mike Madigan and working against you, the taxpayer."
Blago: "Pat Quinn entered into a corrupt bargain with lawmakers. They had a sham impeachment process. I was hijacked from office. I didn't have a chance to prove I did nothing wrong. I wasn't allowed to call witnesses. This was a backroom deal."
Blago then talks about the waste of government that is happening under Quinn.
Here's some examples. Now he is reading off Illinois legislators who have two jobs -- calling them double-dippers. Making money not only as lawmakers but at government jobs.
"You have the power to change that" he tells listeners. "Call them."
"Politicians are surrounded by lobbyists. You don't have to take it," he said. One thing that politicians respond to is the voices of the people, he adds. "If you take the time to learn who your lawmakers are, you might be able to keep them from raising your taxes."
Goes to the phone
9:13am -- Blago takes a call from Patty. She's very supportive. Are they screening these calls?
"They were gunning for you from the "jump street," Patty says. Is that a saying?
"I miss being the governor, Blago says.
"The same thing that happened to you happened to President Clinton, Patty said. From the moment Clinton was in office there were people gunning for you," she says.
"You will be vindicated, Patty promises.
9:16am Takes a call from Jim from Aurora
"Why didn't you reveal the names of the double dippers beforehand?" Jim asks.
"I did," Blago responds.
Was it made as public?
"As much as it could. Hard to get the newspapers to cover everything."
News and weather
9:24 am - No Elvis this time. Music from "Jesus Christ Superstar" is being played.
He's got two actors who are in "Rod Blagojevich Superstar" -- the spoof musical run by Second City theater.
Actor: "We're here for your comfort this morning, Rod."
Actor 2: "You sell a lot of tickets." Much laughter.
And then an invitation.
Actor: "We want you to see the show. Anytime you want. In fact, we'd love you to be in the show."
Blago: "I think I'd like to see the show."
Actor: "We want you to learn some of the parts. Be an understudy."
Blago: "I'd like to play the US Attorney and I'd be real nice to the governor," Blago said. Everyone laughs.
Blago: Is it a family show?
Actor: Yes. Kids who want to grow up fast. And kids who have horrible parents. Everyone laughs.
News and weather
9:38am -- More Elvis -- Viva Las Vegas.
"I sure do love Elvis," Blago says.
There's a cancellation. The reporter or columnist from USA Today is a no-show. S0 Blago is going to share some insights as to what really happens in politics.
Using to time to proclaim his innocence. Talking about double-dippers again.
“Let me make a prediction,” Blago says.
Quinn and Madigan may come back and try to sell the people on a “temporary tax.”.A temporary surcharge.
They are lying to you, Blago says. Any tax increase is permanent.
Traffic and weather
Blago takes a call from a Republican. Says he voted against Blago three times, including one time in a Democratic primary.
Then he stands up for Blago. Says he tells people at work that Blago was railroaded.
We want some hair jokes. Or bring back the guys from Rod Blagojevich Superstar.