Quotes, reaction from Blagojevich sentencing
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to 14 years in prison on corruption charges. Here are notable quotes and reaction:
"I'm here convicted of crimes. The jury decided that I was guilty and I am accepting of it. I acknowledge it and, of course, am unbelievably sorry for it."
-- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to Judge James Zagel
"Whatever good things you did for people as governor, and you did some, I am more concerned with the occasions when you wanted to use your powers to do things that were only good for yourself."
-- Judge James Zagel before announcing Blagojevich's sentence
"His apology was a little circumspect; it was more how a politician would apologize or a lawyer. I think the judge did make the right decision."
-- James Matsumoto, jury foreman in Blagojevich's first trial
"He was corrupt when he took the oath of office. He was corrupt until the day he was arrested."
-- Prosecutor Reid Schar
"He has to be taught a lesson."
-- Louise Ogg, 84, a museum volunteer in Cairo, Ill., who met Blagojevich during his first gubernatorial campaign.
"He let me down, like he let down the people of Illinois. ...The sentence is very stiff indeed but necessary."
--Gov. Pat Quinn, who was lieutenant governor under Blagojevich
"It's a tragic situation. If someone told me that the very next governor after Ryan would be tried, convicted and sentenced for corruption acts, I would have said that they were crazy. The sentence is stiff, and ... says that corruption cases are being treated more like gun and drug cases."
--Patrick Collins, former U.S. attorney who prosecuted case that sent ex-Gov. George Ryan to prison.
"Blagojevich refused to govern responsibly and, instead, put Illinois up for sale. He tarnished the state's reputation nationally and internationally, and he destroyed the public's trust in government. May today's sentence put an end to corruption in the Illinois' governor's office."
-- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
"Judge Zagel's sentence is a clear warning to all elected officials that public corruption of any form will not be tolerated."
-- U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois
"Today's sentence ends the Rod Blagojevich saga, but unfortunately his enablers continue to burden the people of Illinois with financial mismanagement and higher taxes that have caused the downward spiral of the Illinois economy, and also widespread distrust of our public officials."
-- Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady
"I take no joy in seeing any father taken from his children and family for an extended period of time. And yet there is no question in my mind that it is the right decision given the extraordinary damage Blagojevich caused our state, and the importance of sending a clear and unmistakable message that corruption will not be tolerated in our government."
-- Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who lost the 2006 gubernatorial election to Blagojevich.
"He put a price tag on state jobs, state actions and state contracts. He had to get paid before anything could happen. The damage he did was more severe than anything George Ryan did."
-- David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform