Brendan Miniter writes about Blagojevich's worsening ethical problems at Opinionjournal's political diary:On several occasions Gov. Blagojevich does a double take and asks for questions to be repeated as one reporter after another grills him on the details of what's becoming a damaging new ethical scandal. The details are known thanks to Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase: In September 2003, Gov. Blagojevich accepted a $1,500 check from a family friend, Michael Ascaridis, shortly before helping that friend's wife land a $45,000-a-year state job. The wife previously had flunked the civil service exam, and the governor now admits instructing his chief of staff to help find her a place anyway. Gov. Blagojevich also neglected to report the check on his annual disclosure forms until the FBI began snooping around his financials this summer. He defended the error by saying the check had been a gift for one daughter's christening or another daughter's seventh birthday, he wasn't sure which. . . . .
Ms. Topinka remains a serious contender because Mr. Blagojevich has been unable to push himself across the 50% threshold. His job approval rating is anemic and with some 12% of the electorate undecided on who to vote for this November, Ms. Topinka would stitch together a narrow victory if Mr. Blagojevich continues to flounder in explaining what for many voters will be a very simple story: A friend of the governor cut a check and then his wife landed a state job.