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Blago Recruits Letters of Support on Facebook

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Blago Recruits Letters of Support on Facebook

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The morning after his guilty verdict, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich takes his daughter to school and briefly talks to reporters about persevering.
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Rod Blagojevich wants you.

Actually, just your letters.  And please, only the valentines.

The Blagojevich family posted a statement today on their Facebook page, noting “We have been getting so many requests from people who would like to help us by writing a letter to the judge for sentencing.”  They ask that those letters be forwarded to defense lawyer Aaron Goldstein. 

And plenty of people responded.

“I don’t think you did anything different than the Daleys did for so many years,” wrote Blago fan Madeleine Wirtz Yonker.  “You just ticked off the wrong person.”

Carlos Cortes declared, “You have contributed more to Illinois than any governor ever will.”  Elvis Presley impersonator Jim Elvis wrote, “Anything we can do to help you, consider it done.”

But not all of the postings were hearts and flowers.

Andy Riley declared, “I would love to send a letter to the judge asking them to double the normal sentence for your crimes!”  Another Facebook friend, J.D. Figueroa wrote, “I hope you spend a very long time in there.  Enjoy being in the real world where criminals get what they deserve.”

John Bockrath told Blagojevich in his post, “Hope they put you in for the max, for what you did to the people of Illinois.”

Asked if he thinks the strategy of encouraging positive comment from average citizens will actually help the former governor, Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky said the letters could provide a “granule of sugar in Blagojevich’s favor.”

“I don’t know what effect it has,” he said.  “But it couldn’t hurt.”

Barring the more critical comments, legal observers agree letters to the judge could only help Blagojevich’s cause.

“I think that letters do make a difference with judges,” said former federal prosecutor Ron Safer.  “Judges are people.”

Safer said simple declarations that Blagojevich was a good governor would not serve him well.  What would resonate more, he said, would be specific accounts of kindness or good deeds done outside of the public eye.

“You’re sentencing a human being.  You’re not sentencing a crime,” Safer said.  “And a human being is a collection of acts, good and bad.”

If the Blagojevich family gathered around the computer to view their facebook page, they would find the abovementioned fan letters and brickbats, but also a few comments which seemed to veer off the road.

“I’ve got one of those cool folding chairs that I’m looking to unload,” said Facebook friend Matthew Kidwell.  “Do you know of anyone that could help me sell this seat?”

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