Blagojevich signs book deal
March 2, 2009 (WLS) -- Former Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a six-figure book deal on Monday.
His publicist says he will expose the dark side of politics. But the deal isn't sitting well with some lawmakers who impeached him.
One lawmaker has filed a bill designed to keep convicted felons from profiting from their criminal activity. He says it is aimed at the former governor. Others question whether Blagojevich could reveal anything interesting before his case even goes to trial.
He's faced questions, some serious, some not so serious from television hosts all through New York. And Rod Blagojevich has told his story numerous times on national television appearances. But California-based book publisher Phoenix Books apparently believes the public has an appetite for more, signing the former governor to a six-figure advance.
"I'm not surprised Blagojevich is writing a book. A lot of people have tried to do that as a way of cashing in on their experiences and their notoriety. It would surprise me if it were a good book," said Dick Simpson, UIC political science professor.
His publicist is promising the book will reveal new information, saying the governor will tell the American public the truth about what happened. He does not intend to pull any punches and will reveal information and provide insights that will at times be embarrassing to himself and to others.
Legal experts suggest that may be a poor strategy. Blagojevich's former lawyer Ed Genson quit the case, purportedly because Blagojevich insisted on doing interviews.
"He needs to have a lawyer look over the galleys before this is published. He doesn't want to get himself in anymore hot water than he is in right now," said Harold Krent, dean, Chicago-Kent Law School.
Harold Krent says it's also possible Blagojevich will make no money from the deal.
Illinois House member Jack Franks has filed a bill designed to keep the former governor from keeping the profits from any book deal if he's convicted.
"I don't think Rod Blagojevich has a principled bone in his body. I think everything he's done is for his benefit and his benefit only," said Rep. Jack Franks, (D) McHenry County.
The book has the working title of "The Governor." The publisher says it will be released in October. And that would likely be before the criminal case against Rod Blagojevich goes to trial.
local, john garcia
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