Blagojevich will not go to Costa Rica

July 21, 2010 11:22:08 AM PDT
A judge blocked former Governor Rod Blagojevich's plans to appear on a reality TV show. The judge denied Blagojevich's request to travel to Costa Rica to take part in the show.

Rod Blagojevich said on Tuesday he's just a guy trying to find a way to earn a living to support his family.

One man who has been in the former governor's position before tells ABC7 if that's the goal Blagojevich is doing all of the wrong things.

"Wann be on TV? Get in!" Blagojevich told a passerby on Tuesday.

Rod Blagojevich seems to still revel his role in the public spotlight. But a federal judge pulled the plug on Rod's reality TV ambitions, ruling there will be no sideshow in Costa Rica.

"This is just another day in the big city and you move forward," said Blagojevich.

"Here's the bottom line: You're talking about your life," said James Laski, former Chicago city clerk.

Former Chicago City Clerk Jim Laski pled guilty to a corruption charge and did a year in federal prison. He says Blagojevich just doesn't seem to get it.

And Tuesday on the bench Judge James Zagel seemed to agree.

"I don't think this defendant fully understands and I don't think he could understand... the position he finds himself in," Zagel said just before denying Blagojevich's request to join Geraldo Rivera and a cast off from American Idol for an NBC reality show that would have a paid him a maximum of $123,000.

"I would be spending every waking moment sitting down with attorneys going over all the paperwork, the tapes and transcripts instead of trying to go to Costa Rica to eat bugs and play with snakes," said Laski.

Blagojevich's lawyer admitted in a court filing the reality show is "silly" but said, "the defendant needs this work to support himself and his family."

Finding work, even for a pol who fessed up and did his time, is tough. Jim Laski says Blagojevich's estranged father-in-law Alderman Dick Mell may be his only hope for financial support.

"Who's going to hire you when you're going to court and may be going to jail?" said Laski.

For his part, Blagojevich says he appreciates seriousness of his situation. And denies narcissism is his motivator.

"Everyone has a right to their opinion. I've been in politics a long time people say things to criticize you. It's just part of the process isn't it?" said Blagojevich.

On the financial front there was some good news for the former governor. The judge indicated he will be allowed to use the $2 million left in his campaign fund to pay for his defense. But that'll just put a dent in the total legal bill which could be four or five times that.


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