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Imagine having Rod Blagojevich come out today to announce that you are Illinois' next senator? Talk about the kiss of death. At this point, I'll bet he could make out like a bandit soliciting handsome fees not to name people senator.

I have four questions about the above sentences.

Is 'could' a past form of 'can'?

Does the underlined part mean a bandit soliciting handsome fees to a person not to name other person senator?

Is 'soliciting' is a present participle?

Can I say 'Does the underlined part mean a bandit solicits handsome fees not to name people senator.

Thanks
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Liveinjapan Is 'could' a past form of 'can'? No, it's conditional, "if" understood. (he could if he wanted to)

Does the underlined part mean a bandit soliciting handsome fees to a person not to name other person senator?. Yes. (not to name the person being solicited)

Is 'soliciting' is a present participle? Yes.

Can I say 'Does the underlined part mean a bandit solicits handsome fees not to name people senator.Yes. I assume you follow the point that anyone named by him would be suspected of bribery, and that you follow the application of "kiss of death."
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The expression is "make out like a bandit" which means "gain a lot of wealth"

It's not "a bandit soliticing..." butrather that he would make out like a bandit. How would he do that? He would do that by asking people to give him money. Why would they give him money? They would give him money to NOT name that person as senator.

Anyone he names as a senator now would automatically be throught to be very corrupt. So the author is joking that people should give him money to make sure he doesn't name them and ruin their reputation.
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Thanks so much, Avangi!
Understand.

One more please?

My last question was not well written. Can 'soliciting' be replaced with 'solicites'? 
Hi, I thought I'd replied to this, but I guess I got interrupted. I was having trouble trying to figure exactly which sentence you are referring to. (I guess you mean "solicits.")

I also remember thinking about the error I originally missed. We solicit bribes "from" a person, not "to" a person. But it would be fine to say, "I went to him to solicit a bribe [from him]."
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 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.
Grammar GeekThe expression is "make out like a bandit" which means "gain a lot of wealth"
Understand!

Thanks a lot, GG and Avangi.