December 11, 2008— -- Governor Rod Blagojevich promised his mother he would always be honest and "never take bribes," according to a 2006 video posted online by the Democratic National Committee.
Recounting his first election victory as an Illinois state representative, the now disgraced Governor recalled what his mother told him in a speech to a party gathering in Chicago, hosted by party chairman Howard Dean.
"She said son, now that you won, whatever you do, be honest. And I told her, oh Mom, of course I'll be honest because that's how you raised me," Blagojevich says.
Then, he recalled, she said, "Promise me, son, that you will never take bribes and 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."
His father, a former prisoner held by the Nazis in World War II, was a Serbian immigrant who came to the U.S. and worked in steel mills. His mother passed away in 1999 after battling lung cancer.