4. Rod Blagojevich
Blagojevich, also known by his nicknames “Blago” or “B-Rod”, began his political life serving as an Illinois state representative from 1993 to 1997, before going on to be the U.S. representative from Illinois’s 5th district from 1997 to 2003 and eventually being elected as the 40th Governor of Illinois in 2003. It would be after his 2006 re-election and his second term, that Blagojevich would make some questionable decisions that would eventually see him behind bars.
In December 2008, a federal investigation and trial found he was guilty of public corruption after attempting to solicit bribes to occupy the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama upon his election to the presidency. Blagojevich was subsequently impeached, convicted, and removed from office in 2009 by the Illinois General Assembly as well as being barred by the Illinois Senate from holding public office within the state ever again.
Although Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for his role in the corruption scandal, he would only end up serving eight years as President Donald Trump formally commuted his sentence in 2020. Blagojevich is still very much in the public conscience as he was featured in a recent four-part documentary on Hulu and currently has a politics-themed podcast called “The Lightning Rod” on WLS-AM 890.