Written by Lark Turner
Rod Blagojevich got behind the mic at WLS-890 AM Wednesday morning during which he termed his 2009 ousting as governor "my tsunami" and called Springfield lawmakers "cynical scoundrels."
A characteristically chatty Blagojevich aired scathing critiques of what he termed an "unholy trinity" and "triumvirate" in office in Springfield -- his successor Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago)-- whom he accused of taking advantage of Illinois taxpayers.
"It's a feeding frenzy in Springfield. They are lunching up on your money and it's no accident they're doing it in the months after the election," the former governor said, adding later: "Pat Quinn made a deal with the devil with those two guys [Madigan and Cullerton]. ... He is owned by Mike Madigan, he is afraid of Mike Madigan and he does his bidding."
He said Madigan and Cullerton benefited from relative anonymity to the average taxpayer and said the two were "in the back rooms, literally, in the shadows, literally, they're pulling the strings."
Blagojevich, who was filling in for usual hosts Don Wade and Roma, had a Sunday morning radio show on WLS following his 2008 arrest, a controversial move lasting until his first trial began in 2010. He was convicted during that trial of just one of 24 counts against him, lying to the FBI; he'll be retried on 20 remaining counts beginning April 20.
"I did not lie to the FBI. They threw everything at me but the kitchen sink," Blagojevich told ABC 7's Jason Knowles who called into the show. "I'm seeking vindication."
Blagojevich said he is making no assumptions about whether or not a motion filed last week by his lawyers to cancel his retrial and sentence him immediately would be successful. He said it was "not by any means" an admission of guilt.
The WLS promo for the show alluded to Blagojevich's penchant for using four-letter words. During the show Blagojevich said he's been "working the dictionary" for other words to use.
"John Cullerton isn't an 'effer,'" he said. "He's a rapscallion."
During the show Blagojevich took calls from listeners who joined him in bemoaning the recent tax increases under Quinn (Wade is generally conservative). One caller named "Jack," who seemed to have rapport with Blagojevich from his former radio show, suggested a future career path for the embattled former governor.
"I totally disagree with just about everything you did as governor," he said. "You do handle that microphone pretty well, so I think you've got a bright future, but stay out of politics."
Blagojevich said the caller had frequently accused him of being a poor governor.
"I respectfully disagree," he said.
In addition to roundly criticizing Quinn's recent tax increases and Cullerton's proposal last week to tax pensions for high-earning retirees, he quoted liberally from Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and even Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa after an interview with an ABC journalist stationed in Tokyo.
The former governor said he would bring in Geraldo Rivera during the hour, but ultimately Rivera wasn't on. Blagojevich was joined by his wife, Patti, at 8 a.m.