CHICAGO - Being the daughter of the Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan, Illinois' Attorney General Lisa Madigan's opinion in support of same sex marriage made public Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune surprised no one. Indeed, AG Madigan's agrees with her and her father's political party platform. Although AG Madigan identifies herself as a Roman Catholic, she separated herself from her religious affiliation by supporting the redefinition of marriage to include same sex couples. The measure waits before the Illinois House.
I believe that passing the marriage equality bill is the only way to fulfill the promise of equal protection under the Illinois Constitution. While I have supported marriage equality since my days as a state senator over a decade ago, I have since conducted an extensive legal analysis that has only emboldened my support as attorney general.
A ban on same-sex marriage violates the state Constitution's equal protection clause. The law does not allow the state or federal government to create a separate class of marriage based on a person's sexual orientation. There is no other way to describe this than to call it discrimination. That is why, in state court, I have intervened in a lawsuit challenging Illinois' current marriage law, and at the federal level, my office has filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court that support overturning California's same-sex marriage ban and finding the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
WASHINGTON DC - Cato Institute released their 11th bi-annual Fiscal Policy Report Card on Governors this week, and Illinois' Governor Pat Quinn scored a 16, the lowest grade of the nation's state CEOs. The report grades governors on their fiscal policies from a limited-government perspective. The governors receiving an "A" are those who cut taxes and spending the most, while the governors receiving an "F" raised taxes and spending the most. The grading mechanism is based on seven variables, including two spending variables, one revenue variable, and four tax rate variables.
Pat Quinn of Illinois took office after his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed. Unfortunately, Quinn is following the same approach that earned Blagojevich an “F” grade from Cato in 2008.3 In 2009 Quinn signed into law a $1.1 billion tax increase. In 2011 he pushed through a massive $7 billion tax increase, which included higher individual income taxes, corporate taxes, and estate taxes. Quinn raised the top individual income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent, and raised the top corporate rate from 4.8 to 7.0 percent. Illinois corporations pay a special tax on top of the basic rate to bring the overall rate to 9.5 percent. In 2012 Quinn approved a large cigarette tax increase. Quinn also spends too much, and he has tried to paper over the state’s fiscal problems by issuing billions of dollars of bonds to cover unpaid state bills and to fund the state pension plan.
Illinois Review recently interviewed John Bambenek, a conservative Republican candidate running for the 52nd State Senate district which stretches from Champaign to Danville.
Where did you grow up and what do you do for a living?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, in Oak Grove. I moved to the University of Illinois for college and that’s where I met my wife and never left. I’ve been in Champaign for seventeen years. Professionally I do electronic fraud prevention, so essentially I deal with Russian hackers trying to steal your credit card and bank account information.
How did you decide to run for State Senate?
I’ve been active in politics for a while, most actively since I’ve had children and seen the direction of the state in terms of its ever-increasing tax burden, debt burden, and the amount of jobs and opportunities leaving the state. I’m much more conscious as to what kind of future my children will have. With this status quo, they won’t have the kind of opportunities I’ve had, and as a father that’s not really acceptable to me. The way to change that is to change the people who are there.
By Mark Rhoads -
In politics, emotion often trumps logic and it is very hard for candidates with huge egos to give up their childhood dreams. But facts are facts. There have been 19 GOP primaries and caucuses since January 1. Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia on March 6 by a plurality even with a majority of GOP voters casting their vote for other candidates than Newt by 53 percent to 47 percent.
A President Dares Us Once Again.
In Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story, “Alice in Wonderland,” young Alice is wandering through that magical fantasyland when she encounters a talking egg, which confused her by sprinkling clearly-misused words into the conversation. When she called him on it, Humpty Dumpty assumed his most arrogant pose and declared "When I use a word, it means just what I chose it to mean – neither more nor less."
How dare the girl call him on his abuse of language?! If he wanted to use a word to mean something it had never meant before, and would never mean thereafter, he would do so. No matter whether his abuse would enable his audience to understand him (surely that is the purpose of language, n’est ce pas?) or not; successful communication was not his goal. He just wanted to sound impressive, authoritarian, definitive… and he expected any audience, particularly someone so insignificant in his eyes as a little lost girl, to regard him with the appropriate awe, whether comprehending or not.
CHICAGO - If you wonder sometimes how things slipped so far downhill in Illinois, let's give credit to where credit is due - at least in part. Here's what powerful media voices in Illinois' political hierarchy wrote about the now-convicted, soon-prison-entering former Governor Rod Blagojevich in October 2002. Blagojevich was Chicago media's pick over former Attorney General Jim Ryan:
Despite lecturing his opponent Mitt Romney last week by saying, "This nation is divided because of attitudes like that," former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is dropping from the GOP presidential race Monday morning and will endorse Romney. The Hill reports:
"It's true," said a Huntsman campaign source. "He doesn't want to stand in the way of the person who's best capable of beating Barack Obama, and that's Mitt Romney."
by John F. Di Leo
Racing to the Finish Line
Racetracks exist at the pleasure of the state. As highly regulated businesses, they need the blessing of the state to set up shop, to open for business, to continue from year to year. If they want to hold more races per day than they used to, or to be open more days per week, or more weeks per year, they need the permission of the state. And, as in most states, the Illinois gaming commission is run, for the most part, by the governor.
In 1969, Governor Otto Kerner (D, The Stables) was discovered to have accepted bribes (in the form of preferred stock!) from a racetrack or two, in exchange for granting the racetrack’s special requests (approving a favorable racing schedule, planning an extra highway exit or two to route consumer traffic toward the track, etc.). The wheels of justice turn slowly, but Governor Kerner was eventually convicted, and did time in federal prison as a result.
Back in 2008, Barack Obama’s former employer and patron, former slumlord Antonin “Tony” Rezko, was convicted of six counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and two counts of abetting bribery. Today he was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison. This is the man who facilitated Barack and Michelle Obama’s purchase of a Hyde Park mansion that they otherwise couldn’t have afforded, and who has been an Obama political contributor since 1995, or as the Washington Post calls him “Blagojevich fundraiser.”
Everybody and his dog knows what a smarmy, sleaze ball that Blago guy is. What many of us have a tough time understanding is how two guys, the afore-mentioned Blago, and the current occupant of the Oval Office, both of whom emerged from the same stinking slough of corruption, and who share the same benefactor, could have been perceived so differently.
by Teri O'Brien
I took the title of this post from the late Milton Rakove, political science professor and chronicler of what has come to be known as “The Chicago Way.” It was the title of one of his books, subtitled “An Oral History of the Daley Years.”
I thought about Prof. Rakove’s book yesterday as I watched our Thug-in-Chief at yet another propaganda event, staged by the CBS branch of his PR team, address a sob story from laid off government employee, Karin Gallo. The 43 year-old mother-to-be sought help from the One in the following exchange:
Social and religious conservatives in Illinois were an energized catalyst for victory in former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald's 1998 bid and an obstinate albatross in Judy Baar-Topinka's 2006 gubernatorial bid loss against former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The hot topic among Republicans statewide after last November's election was why social conservative Bill Brady lost and social liberals Mark Kirk and Judy Baar-Topinka won statewide races. The conclusion drawn among many was that Illinois social conservatives held their noses and voted for Republican social liberals while social liberals refused to extend the same courtesy to the gubernatorial candidate, a staunch social conservative. But somehow the election's wins and losses were interpreted to mean that social conservatism had become an irrelevent relic of the 80s Reagan years, and issues such as abortion and gay rights mattered no more.
Nothing could be further from the truth in Iowa where presidential candidates are vying for early caucus support, the Washington Times reported today.
As they say in Illinois politics ... "You can't make this stuff up." House Speaker Mike Madigan's son-in-law joins the RTA as its lobbying hired gun. Guess the family law firm business of property tax appealing has no openings. Greg Hinz reports:
A press release announcing the appointment cites Mr. Matyas' "extensive legal and legislative background" but somehow neglected to mention that he is married to the former Tiffany Madigan, Speaker Madigan's daughter.
Another Madigan daughter, Lisa, is the Illinois attorney general.
American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union were crucial in Obama's 2008 campaign
Statehouse News Online was at Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr's press conference Thursday after the government dropped its case against former governor Rod Blagojevich's older brother Robert and indicated the case against Rod would be retried after the first of the year. Here's an excerpt of that press conference:
from the IL GOP:
(CHICAGO) – Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady today challenged Pat Quinn’s claim to be running an “honest government” and his promises to “clean it up” in the wake of convicted ex-governor Rod Blagojevich. Brady pointed out that Quinn has retained more than two thirds of top officials appointed by Blagojevich and has countless other connections with insiders going back three decades.
“Pat Quinn once called Rod Blagojevich a person of integrity,” said Chairman Brady. “But look at his record. He has not made a clean break with the past. But, if you know some of Quinn’s history, that’s hardly a surprise.”
Quinn left state government in 1980 amid accusations that he was a “ghost pay roller” under then Governor Dan Walker, who himself was later convicted. Quinn has since maintained close ties to numerous questionable insiders, hiring and promoting many of them.
True to comic book form, former Governor and barely-convicted felon Rod Blagojevich was a key attraction at Saturday's Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, where comic book fans paid $50 to $80 for his autographs and photos. CBS 2 reports:
In a room where fans swarmed the captains of the SS Enterprise, Anakin Skywalker and Batman, Illinois’ own larger than life character, Rod Blagojevich, attracted as many if not more of his own groupies Saturday.
The ex-governor repeatedly smiled and posed with admirer after admirer at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
Despite the presence of some 500 actors, artists, writers, pro wrestlers and models, Blagojevich was touted atop the show’s website and enjoyed prime real estate on the convention floor with a booth near the entrance. While Blago got no appearance fee, he kept proceeds from autographs ($50 each) and photos ($80 a pop).
The rest here.
CHICAGO – Former State Treasurer and 2006 Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Judy Baar Topinka released the following statement Tuesday in response to the verdict of a conviction on one charge and a hung- jury on the remaining 23 counts announced in the trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich:
“While I applaud the jury for convicting Rod Blagojevich of lying to the FBI, I am disappointed in today’s announcement of a hung-jury on the remaining counts in the trial of Rod Blagojevich. I believe the evidence of his guilt was clear and persuasive, however it is clear that at least some of the jurors were unable to reach the same conclusion.
“Today’s decision does not change the facts in the case or the reality that personal enrichment cannot be tolerated. It does not diminish my confidence in our judicial system, or my strong belief that a jury will ultimately hold Blagojevich fully accountable for his actions – and I would hope that the prosecution would move to retry the remaining counts without delay.”
“Justice will prevail; it will just take longer than many of us hoped.”
The Blagojevich jury told the judge this morning that after 11 days, they've come to a firm decision on 2 of the 24 charges facing the former governor. The jury has returned to work. If you're confused about exactly what Rod Blagojevich has been charged with (remember, his brother Robert is also on trial) here's alist from a thorough rundown listed at the TalkLeft blog:
More on the counts and this author's perspective on them are HERE.
Sometimes all you can do is shake your head with Illinois politics. Other times, you can get mad enough to do something about it. Today's Southtown Star "Always Right" column reviews this past week's news stories about Giannoulias' family bank loaning to convicted felon Tony Rezko and his development partner Iraqi billionaire, Saddam Hussein-associated, Nahdmi Auchi. It also mentions Rod Blagojevich and the contemptuous Coin Operator lobbyist/Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios and House Speaker/IL Democratic Party chairman Mike Madigan twosome.
Giannoulias told a local television reporter this week that it's all D.C. guilt by association. In other words, folks, the whole Giannoulias-Rezko-Auchi-Hussein connection is meaningless. Look the other way, and vote for Alexi to become one of 100 U.S. senators in November.
Right. Shaking your head?
When Barack Obama comes to Chicago this week to raise funds for U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, maybe he'll be in the mood to answer a few long unanswered questions about his ties to Tony Rezko and his real estate business partner Nadhmi Auchi. It will be fitting, considering a Sun-Times story revealing Obama's favorite U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias' family bank loaned $22.75 million in February 2006 to a development company owned by already then-suspected felon Tony Rezko and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's arms dealer, billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. Sun-Times reports
On Feb. 14, 2006, newly obtained records show, the bank made a $22.75 million loan to a company called Riverside District Development LLC, whose owners, it turns out, included Rezko.
You won't find Rezko's name on any documents filed in the public record in connection with the loan.
But Rezko acknowledged his ownership stake in Riverside District Development to a federal judge about a year after the loan was made, according to a transcript of the court hearing.
Broadway Bank, owned by the Giannoulias family, was already having trouble getting money from Rezko for another real estate loan, but that didn't stop them from loaning him more. Records show one loan was paid, but the second appears outstanding and on the books when the feds shut down Broadway in April 2010.
No Blagojevich testimony, he admits he "talks too much" and the Teachers' Retirement Fund charges are dropped, as reported by Illinois Statehouse News ...
Rod Blagojevich's brother Rob could be the only witness the defense calls, and Wednesday they will decide whether or not they will wrap up their case before the jury. Statehouse News' Bill McMorris reports:
Statehouse News' Bill McMorris provides a summary of Tuesday's proceedings:
What you reap, you will sow ... and it often comes out at the most inupportune times. In John Kass' Trib column today, he grinds up one faction of Chicago's seedbed of political corruption -- "The Bi-Partisan Combine" -- as revealed in Joseph Aramanda's testimony at the Blagojevich trial Wednesday ...
What could be tastier than two Democrats — President Barack Obama and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich — hanging out with the treasurer of the Republican National Committee at a Wilmette fundraiser hosted by a political fixer who would soon be in federal prison?
According to testimony by businessman Joseph Aramanda (who later wrote a $10,000 campaign check to Obama), it happened in 2003 as Obama was mounting a campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Obama was there. So was Gov. Dead Meat. And their buddy, the political fixer they had in common, Tony Rezko, was there, too, because it was Tony's house.
Yep -- Rezko, Blagojevich and Obama together with then-Republican National Committeeman/RNC Treasurer Bob Kjellander. Kass focuses ...
A Rasmussen poll today shows that 57% of Illinoisans think impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich should go to jail. While that's an overwhelming majority of the pool from which the trial jurors were selected, that 57% shows Illinoisans aren't as sure he should go to jail as they were a year ago.
Rasmussen polled shortly after Blagojevich's December 2008 arrest and his January 2009 impeachment, and at that time 79% of Illinoisans thought Blagojevich should go to jail. Men, the poll says, are more adamant about jailtime than women and younger voters are more inclined to want to see him end up in jail than those over 40.
So, is it possible that the Blagojevich "victim" approach will sway jurors? That he didn't see anything wrong with his requests for political favors to be anything out of the ordinary -- similar to George Ryan's COS Scott Fawell pleaded during his trial? That it was "the way things are done in Illinois"?
Your thoughts ... do you think Blagojevich should go to jail?
from the IL GOP
The Illinois Republican Party has launched a comprehensive web site to follow the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. “The Blago Files” will be updated regularly with summaries of the court proceedings and links to the vast news coverage expected over the next several weeks.
We are looking forward to helping Illinois voters keep up with all of the testimony. The trial will put the spotlight right where it belongs: on the corruption that's been allowed to fester far too long under Democratic Party control in Illinois.
Jury selection begins today at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, with opening statements expected as early as Monday. The voters will learn the sordid details of how Blagojevich schemed and plotted against a backdrop of pay-to-play politics.
Friday, impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich lost an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the start of his trial June 3rd. And through FOIA requests, WGN TV got a copy of his mug shot taken December 9, 2008 when he was arrested at his Chicago home.
Blagojevich is facing federal charges of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, and leveraging the powers of his office to enrich himself and a close ring of associates. He has attempted to subpoena Barack Obama as a witness, and the overseeing judge has left the door open for Obama testimony.
The charges include racketeering, attempted extortion, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion -- in other words, the Chicago Way.
If anything like Blagojevich's impeachment proceedings in January 2009, trial followers are likely to witness first hand slick trial attorneys' tactics of using emotion, doubts, half-truths, silence and drama to get their clients off. Stay tuned ...
by Sam Pierce
Life is hard... so we choose to make it even harder for our children and grandchildren. Aren't we swell? Isn't our comfort worth the blood, sweat, and tears of our descendants? Don't future generations owe us their lives? Are our offspring anything other than carbon-based credit cards?
Live for the moment! If you are smart, you'll land a government job from which you can retire at a relatively young age and be paid handsomely by the taxpaying suckers for the remainder of your days. If you are politically connected to the right parasitic politician, you might be able to follow the example of Carol Ronen. Former IL State Senator Carol Ronen (Barack Obama supporter), was able to bump her pension by $38,000 per year by working for disgraced and subsequently impeached Governor Rod "Hair Helmet" Blagojevich for eight grueling weeks.
Perhaps our nation wasn't satisfied with the "progress" we made last century. (No Mr. liberal troll, Republicans who spend our children's futures are not being ignored.) Maybe we were afraid that we would never catch up with Europe and that is why the FFT (Feckless Fifty-Two point seven percent of voters) thrust the crash accelerator that is Barack Obama and his Statist majorities upon us.
Associated Press explains what will be happening today when impeached former Governor Rod Blagojevich goes before a federal judge in Chicago:
The new indictment alleges Rod Blagojevich sought ways to get lucrative jobs or money in exchange for the seat left vacant by Obama's election — just as the previous version did — but makes no new allegations of misconduct.
The new indictment repeats all of the charges against Blagojevich in the earlier version but adds eight new ones — one count of racketeering, two counts of attempted extortion, two counts of bribery, two counts of bribery conspiracy and one count of extortion conspiracy.
The new charges are an attempt by prosecutors to ensure that a legal challenge now before the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't delay Blagojevich's trial. The dispute is over a federal law that allows charges of denying taxpayers the right to "honest services." The charge appears throughout the previous indictment against Blagojevich.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians," one of which was Illinois' own U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr and U.S. Senator Roland Burris:
One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
by Sam Pierce
In the age of "Climate-gate" and "Crasher-gate" we may have a scandal that shares the common thread of a break-in with Watergate... that is if the Obama-media would do its actual job and not its duty as propaganda organs of the administration. Some voices spoke of "Chicagogate" after Illinois' helmet-haired joke of a Governor, Rod Blagojevich was arrested (for being a Chicago Democrat politician... well that wasn't the charge, but it explains at least some of the criminal activity.)
One of the Chicago politicky actions that led to the arrest was the attempts to sell the "F***in golden" Senate seat being vacated by fellow Chicago politician and unfortunately new President Of The United States. Now, no one thinks there is any involvement from anyone associated with the White House in any of these activities. We do know that there was "no contact" (except the times they spoke) between the President-elect (remember the podium and the stupid blue sign the narcissist stood behind as he droned to his fawning media sycophants?) Of course, there is no one in the White House who prides himself in his mob-enforcer reputation or who would say send dead fish to a foe.
Carol Marin's column today hits the nail on the head. Quinn's promise for a new day in Illinois politics has been a joke. Even he had to admit the phony campaign reform bill that passed earlier this year was so bad he had to veto it after lauding it just weeks before.
After Ryan and Blagojevich used Illinois' free-wheeling campaign contribution system to benefit generous state contractors and reward family and friends, Quinn gave us all the impression with his swearing in, that that scandalous era in Illinois politics was over. And maybe it would have been, had not Quinn felt "The Chicago Way" pressure to "cooperate" with Speaker Madigan (also the IL Democratic Party chairman) and Senate President John Cullerton's determination to keep things the way they were.
You've got to admit, these guys have guts. The Cook County Democrats' slate of endorsed candidates has been announced by none other than Joseph Berrios, the longtime head of Cook County's Board of Review, Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, lobbyist at the State Capitol for over twelve major entities and reportedly being investigated by the feds. See Illinois Review's ongoing investigation into the Berrios family's audacious political activities.
Anyway, the Cook County Democrats are moving ahead, proudly declaring their 2010 slate, stating:
"Today's endorsement session puts forward a strong, diverse slate of candidates," said Joseph Berrios, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. "These candidates are highly qualified, responsive and above all, pledged to the public trust."
"Pledged to the public trust"? More like pledged to getting the support of SEIU/ACORN. Except for a couple, the Democrats' slated candidates have received SEIU/ACORN money.
by John Brown's Ghost
Even if you don't like to watch Comedy Central's "The Daily Show", John Stewart's comedy faux news show, you might want to watch tonight. On the 10:00 PM air time, former Illinois hairpiece and Governor, Rod Blagojevich will be the guest. Even though Mr. Stewart is a staunch Democrat, he's been pretty hard on Blagojevich. Stewart tends to be fairly acerbic with his commentary, so this could be fun. I would be very surprised if it is a "softball" interview.
Twenty states throughout the nation have initiated voter registration and or polling investigations concerning ACORN/SEIU affiliates and poll workers they've hired in recent elections. But not Illinois. One would think that's because the ACORN/SEIU connection (See HERE) raised no concerns among election law enforcement officials, right?
Well, for the sake of reminding ourselves the direct link between Rod Blagojevich and the ACORN/SEIU affiliates, here's a video that will fill in some blanks. The link became clearly evident in the December 2008 revelation that Governor Blagojevich was preparing himself to sit in as a head of the ACORN/SEIU organization. Having received over a million dollars from the ACORN/SEIU PAC, the impeached governor felt has executive order allowing state health workers to collectively bargain was the payoff for the union's huge campaign contribution. The whole scenario was exposed as recorded on one of the tapped calls from the Blagojevich home that Patrick Fitzgerald has on his files. There's much more to come as to why ACORN/SEIU is NOT being investigated in Illinois:
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich told his WLS AM 890 radio audience Sunday that his former fundraiser and close ally Chris Kelly was under pressure from the feds, making the investigators at least partly to blame for Kelly's death over the weekend the Tribune reports today.
Kelly's girlfriend reportedly found him unconscious in his SUV parked outside the Country Club Hills' Forest Lumber near 173rd and Cicero Avenue around 11 PM Friday night. His girlfriend drove him to nearby Oak Forest Hospital, a county medical facility, where Kelly reportedly awakened and became "defensive" with police. Kelly remained at Oak Forest Hospital until he was stablized, at which time he was transferred via ambulance to Chicago's Stroger Hospital. He was pronounced dead around 10 am Saturday morning.
by Cal Skinner
Looks like the two daily newspaper political columnists in Chicago may be in for a feud. I looked at Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin's Sunday column first.
You can tell from the title, "Did pressure from the feds help kill Chris Kelly?
I'm assuming the former Rod Blagojevich fund raiser killed himself, but I guess it's possible that someone forced enough aspirin down his throat to kill him.
Last night, Fox News Chicago laid out what Blagojevich co-defendant Chris Kelly's death could mean for the impeached governor's federal case scheduled for next year...
by Teri O'Brien
The book reviews are in, and they are not good. The consensus is that the author is a typical Chicago politician; that is, a mendacious, corrupt, phony, democrat. No, our Sham WOW (Walks on Water) president hasn’t written another autobiography, not yet anyway. I am referring to the scribbling from our erstwhile governor, the impeached and indicted Rod Blagojevich.
I don’t think it’s really fair to say that Blago is just like the rest of them. He has much better hair. People really hate this book, The Governor. At least one critic, State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Not From Chicago), referred to Blago as “delusional,” by which I guess he means he makes stuff up to advance his story, pander to a particular audience or make himself look good.
So we're reminded today that gambling addictions can bring even the loftiest crashing down ... especially when the local casino's goons are chasing you for almost half a million dollars.
Today, Governor Rod Blagojevich's new book launching was interrupted by news that his former aide Christopher Kelly pled guilty to federal allegations that Kelly scammed two major airlines at O'Hare Airport with consulting fees that ultimately went to pay off debts to a casino and fellow convicted felon Tony Rezko.
Kelly's guilty plea agreement is a little confusing, but details what he admits to doing. See if you can figure out where this is headed and what time he'll get, if any, in federal prison.
Associated Press gives a sneak preview of Blagojevich's book "The Governor" coming out next week, in which the impeached governor says once-congressman/now-White House COS Rahm Emanuel attempted to arrange a return to U.S. Congress after serving at the White House ...
When Mr. Blagojevich talked to Mr. Emanuel after the election about the Senate pick, Mr. Obama's right-hand man "did not lobby for anyone in particular," according to the book.
Mr. Blagojevich said Mr. Emanuel was interested in his own career because he had to give up his congressional seat to work in the Obama White House. Mr. Blagojevich writes that Mr. Emanuel dreamed of being speaker of the House and wanted to know whether Mr. Blagojevich would work with him to name a successor to "hold" his seat until he wanted it back.
Here's a TMZ video of Blagojevich's recent surprise appearance in Chicago. He's got a book coming out next month, and WLS AM 890 gives him their super powered air waves every Sunday afternoon for two hours, from noon to 2 CT. He also unveiled a new website this weekend.
We say keep 'em center stage! As long as Blagojevich stays in the spotlight, we'll all be reminded often how obnoxious and embarrassing Illinois Democratic politicians are. Treat him nice...his federal trial is scheduled for June 3, 2010.