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Political experts weigh in on Blagojevich release; “This sends a bad message”

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NORMAL (HOI) - Former Rod Blagojevich had his 14 year prison sentence commuted by President Trump. He remains a felon, but does not have to serve the final 4 years of his jail term. Experts at Illinois State University said this sends the wrong message. Blagojevich was found guilty of attempting to sell a Senate seat.

"Historically I think Illinois has wrestled with this and so to commute his sentence, really signifies to a lot of people that maybe Trump doesn't take corruption too seriously," explained Professor of Communication Dr. Joseph Zompetti.

"I think optically, perceptually it doesn't look good, but we know that president trump is like Teflon, he'll bounce back," he added. Zompetti said most citizens feel relatively powerless when it comes to the government. Situations like this where someone has taken advantage of their power and then have punishment taken away don't help, he added.

Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Meghan Leonard also said, "To take political corruption and treat it in a way that suggests that President Trump does not see it as important and does not see it as a bad thing," she explained. She added, "I think it's good that politicians from both sides have understood this to send a bad message."

Dr. Leonard thinks Patricia Blagojevich played a signigicant part in getting the President's attention. "To speak directly to president trump through his medium of choice, she's gone on fox news multiple times and said you know you should pardon my husband effectively, I think was really effective," she explained.

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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