Choice Words From Gov. Blagojevich

November 2005: "We have worked hard to make neighborhoods safe and keep criminals off our streets. This year, I am proud to say, we signed several important pieces of legislation to keep our communities even safer."
-- A letter the Blagojevich administration asked parole agencies to hand out. The move was criticized by some who said it appeared the governor was having state employees do his PR.

March 2006: "As I said before, I was very strong in my condemnation of what [Nation of Islam leader Louis] Farrakhan said. ... It was hateful and anti-Semitic, and I condemned that. But I don't agree, I don't believe in guilt by association."
-- Standing by his decision to retain a state panel appointee after five members of a state hate crimes panel resigned over controversy surrounding the Nation of Islam member.

Sept. 2006: "Their families are extremely close, and like most close friends, they have exchanged gifts over the years."
-- A statement from the governor's office addressing questions about a $1,500 birthday check that Blagojevich's daughter received from a newly hired state employee.

May 2006: " I hope tomorrow when we read the papers we see great headlines saying congratulations to this administration for ferreting out wrongdoing. Because I think fundamentally it is a real different place today than it was under my predecessor Gov. [George] Ryan."
-- On a federal investigations into allegations that state hiring processes were corrupt.

August 2006: "I said, of course I'll never take bribes. Not only would that be dishonest, it would be illegal, and I would never do anything to dishonor the memory of my father."
Recalling a conversation he had with his mother during a speech at a Democratic party gathering.

November 2008: [The seat] "is a [expletive] valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
-- On selling the open Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, according to the arrest affidavit issued in December.

December 2008 "... This is America, you know, and I appreciate if you want to tape my conversations, give me a heads up and let me know. ... I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me, I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."
-Blagojevich on Dec. 8, 2008, responding to reports he'd been taped.

December 2008: "Is this a joke?"
-- The governor's reaction to federal officials waiting outside his house at 6 a.m., Dec. 9, to arrest him, according to the head of the FBI's Chicago office, Robert Grant.

December 2008: "Hang loose, to quote Elvis. Hang loose."
-- Responding to reporters eager for answers on Dec. 17, 2008, while he was gearing up for a morning run.

December 2008: "Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy new year, feliz navidad y prospero ano nuevo. The people of Illinois are entitled to have two United States senators represent them in Washington, D.C. As governor I am required to make this appointment. If I don't make this appointment then the people of Illinois will be deprived of their appropriate voice and vote in the United States Senate."
-- On announcing the appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

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