Thursday, March 26, 2009
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Ex-Gov. Blagojevich cries foul on airwaves

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[March 26, 2009]  CHICAGO -- Impeached former Gov. Rod Blagojevich filled in as a talk show host Wednesday on Chicago radio, using the mike to complain he was "hijacked" from office and blasting the new governor's plans for an income tax increase.

Blagojevich had a two-hour gig on WLS-AM, filling in on the "Don Wade & Roma Morning Show" because the regular hosts are off this week.

Blagojevich is a talk show novice and he acknowledged it.

"This is harder than being governor," he quipped.

But Blagojevich quickly got more comfortable as the two-hour show wore on after initially stumbling over his title as "former governor" when he first introduced himself.

Blagojevich used the show as a platform to blast the lawmakers who kicked him out of office in January after his arrest on federal corruption charges. He denies wrongdoing.

"I was hijacked from office. ... It was a political fix and I predicted that," Blagojevich said.


He got a healthy dose of sympathy from CNN's D.L. Hughley, who was a call-in guest on the show.

Blagojevich hinted on-air at his legal problems, saying he has some challenges ahead.

"I'm going to trust in the truth, and as it says in the Bible, the truth shall set you free," he said.

Blagojevich was ousted from office after being accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat, among other things.

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Blagojevich also took a moment to plug the book he's writing, but admitted it isn't coming easily. He joked about only being a few pages into it.

He didn't waste any time before blasting Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to increase the income tax rate by 50 percent.

Blagojevich says it's the worst thing Illinois could do because it would hurt small businesses. He took comment from callers who seemed to agree.

Quinn has said the state needs to raise the income tax to fix an $11.5 billion deficit.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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