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4 Governors Who Did Time

When I met Rod Blagojevich at a Chicago Cubs game in 2007 (that's us), he was a wily incumbent who had just won easy reelection despite longstanding rumors of corruption. Today, facing a federal corruption trial, Blagojevich may soon join the fraternity of governors who have gone to prison.

With help from the chaps at the Political Graveyard, I identified at least 17 governors who achieved this unfortunate distinction. Here are four who make me gag.

1. "A truly heartfelt apology"

GeorgeRyan.jpg Ironically, Rod Blagojevich campaigned as a reformer, promising to clean up the corruption of his predecessor, Illinois Governor George Ryan, imprisoned for fraud and racketeering. In his most infamous scheme, Ryan oversaw the sale of driver's licenses to unqualified drivers—one of whom, in 1994, killed six children in a highway accident. Just this winter, fourteen years later, Ryan officially offered "a truly heartfelt apology" in hopes that it would earn him a Presidential pardon.

2. "The Rascal King

JamesCurley.jpgJames Michael Curley, elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1935, avoided prison for taking bribes when Bostonians collected $46,629 to pay his fine. A working-class Democrat and Irishman, Curley enjoyed great popular support, which allowed him, among other abuses, to appoint cronies to office, use state patrolmen as golf caddies, and throw a wedding banquet for his daughter that featured 2,000 pounds of lobster. These antics eventually caught up with the Rascal King, though. Convicted of misconduct in 1946, he spent five months in prison while still the sitting mayor of Boston.

3. "Vote for the Crook"

EdwinEdwards.jpg A resilient Cajun politician who served as the 48th, 50th, and 52nd governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards weathered two dozen investigations during his long career. During one campaign, Edwards' supporters even distributed bumper stickers reading "Vote for the Crook." Edwards liked to gamble. He often registered in Las Vegas under names like "T. Wong" and settled his tabs with suitcases full of cash. Convicted in 2000 of fraud and racketeering, Edwards turned 81 behind bars this year. Like George Ryan, he's hoping for a pardon.

4. "Overcoming adversity and surviving"

JohnRowland.jpg John G. Rowland was a popular three-term governor of Connecticut until 2004, when a federal investigation revealed his penchant for accepting gifts, like a hot tub, a canoe, free vacations, a $14,000 kitchen for his summer home, Cuban cigars, cases of champagne, and—coolest of all—a vintage Ford Mustang convertible. Having completed a ten-month prison stint, Rowland today advertises himself as a motivational speaker, warning audiences about the perils of power and sharing life lessons about "overcoming adversity and surviving."

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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iStock

Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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