Posts Tagged ‘Illinois corruption
The Party of Stupid is at it again in Illinois: Cocktail Party GOP establishment continues bizarre war against Hispanics
Read the article above for the latest on the Cocktail Party GOP establishment’s bizarre war on Hispanics in Illinois.
If you remember, this summer Illinois GOP state Chair Pat Brady and Cook County Chair Lee Roupas tried to remove Eloise Gerson, a Jewish Hispanic woman, from her elected position because Eloise blew the whistle on a sex scandal Brady and Roupas covered up involving the disgraced Chicago Young Republicans political social club.
That blew up in the GOP’s face, because Eloise Gerson is a Jewish Hispanic woman.
It is beyond stupid for the Cocktail Party establishment to war with any special interest group, let alone someone who is part of THREE.
Evidently, Pat Brady did not learn his lesson last summer with Lee Roupas and the CYR scandal.
If you ever wonder why Republicans lose so many winnable races in Illinois, just bookmark this page and refresh your memory.
My friends and I here in Chicago are all doing whatever we can to stop Rahm Emanuel from becoming the next Mayor of the city, despite a massive push by the Media to make this happen.
For those of you who don’t know Mayor Daley, and have never met him, don’t believe the caricature you have of him, as presented by the Media. Yes, he’s head of the Chicago Machine, and yes he’s done a lot of odd things over the years — with the sale of the Chicago parking meters to a private company being the last straw with a lot of voters.
The one thing you really need to know about Daley, though, was just how nice of a man he honest too goodness is. One day last week, one of my friends had lunch downtown with his wife and little baby, in an Irish pub somewhere in the Loop’s warren of tiny buildings jammed between skyscrapers. In the back, at a table all by himself, sat Da Mayor, reading the paper and munching his lunch. Daley saw the little baby staring at him, and he smiled, waived, and came right over to see the little boy…who instantly lit up when the Mayor gave the baby loving attention. He stopped and chatted with my friends for a good ten minutes while their food came, as if he was an uncle or old family friend they ran into…instead of a politician they had never met. This has been my experience with Mayor Daley the whole time I’ve lived in Chicago.
And if you like that, then you need to know his wife Maggie Daley is even more kind, more gracious, and more caring. She’s honest to goodness the nicest woman I have ever met. She’s the First Lady of the nation’s third largest city, married to a man who’s practically an emperor considering his power and clout, and yet she’s as kind and friendly as one of your mom’s best friends or your favorite teacher from grade school, always happy to see you and proud of what you’ve made of yourself.
The thought of people as terrible as Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule replacing Mayor Daley and his wonderful wife Maggie as the new Chicago power couple offends people on a visceral level here.
The situation we’re up against, however, is one where Democrats ran Carol Mosley Braun as a stalking horse for Emanuel to keep the black community from running a candidate who could actually win the race. Braun’s campaign is imploding right now, after she forced other black contenders out of the race, or scared them away from running. Braun never wanted to be Mayor. She’s going to get a major payout from Democrats for doing Emanuel this favor, and blocking a black candidate from having a real chance at becoming Mayor. Expect one of her “consulting firms” to get a big city contract from Emanuel as a thank you if he wins, or for Braun to be given some other prize by the White House for doing them this favor.
You can’t talk about the Chicago Mayor’s race without talking about the White House, and that’s just what happened yesterday after a strategy session I went to, for people trying to help Miguel del Valle capitalize on his EXCELLENT debate performance last week and make inroads for him to come in second place behind Emanuel in February 22nd’s election (which is Phase One of the Mayor’s race, after which the top two vote-getters will head to an April run-off contest…it’s guaranteed Emanuel will win the February 22nd vote, but he won’t get a majority, and the run-off will be needed).
Del Valle is the best hope for Chicago, while both Gerry Chico and Braun are only in the race to split votes so that Emanuel can squeak ahead.
The Chicago Mayorship is Emanuel’s thank-you from Obama and his White House for Emanuel abandoning his long-held dream of “making history” as the first Jewish Speaker of the House (since Emanuel was next in line to become Speaker after Nancy Pelosi). By leaving Congress to become White House Chief of Staff, Emanuel surrendered that dream, with the proviso that once the Mayor’s office was open in Chicago, it would be his. That’s why Obama gave Emanuel that large send-off from the White House with loud fanfare, despite the fact that many in the Obama orbit think Emanuel did a terrible job as Chief of Staff and he’s largely blamed for all of the administration’s many daily failures.
He has a bad attitude, is evil to people, is beyond childish, carries grudges, and berates even those who try to help him. Say what you want about Daley being corrupt and in charge of the Machine, but that’s the polar opposite of the man who has been this city’s Mayor for generations. Chicago is in for a very rude wakeup call with Rahm Emanuel at the helm, but this is his quid pro quo with Democrats for serving Obama in Washington.
In talking with various political types here in Chicago yesterday about all this, it kept coming up that many of them don’t think Obama is running for a second term, despite what the Media keeps insisting. They think he will use “family reasons” for not seeking re-election, either making up something about wanting his daughters to grow up outside the limelight of the White House, or even using grandmother Robinson as an excuse, saying she’s sick and Michelle Antoinette wants the family to relocate to Hawaii for their health.
I still think he’s going to use his Parkinson’s as his excuse, like LBJ and his heart condition, so that he can leave the White House with immense sympathy and start his book tours and lecturing. This is why he wanted to be president by the way, so that he would never have to work a real job for the rest of his life. He just wants to write books, the way Jimmy Carter does, that impugn and attack America, while making millions of dollars traveling the world as a former US president who can always be counted on to trash our country. He is quite looking forward to this, and Michelle Antoinette is thrilled to be looking at mansions in Hawaii to move to. No one here on the ground in Chicago expects these people to live here ever again. Why should they? They took everything they could get from Chicagoans, never giving anything back or helping the black community in the slightest, and now that they have achieved everything they ever wanted, they are looking forward to the post-presidential perks that will be afforded to them in Hawaii.
Where, clearly, his presidential library and museum will indeed be located, right on the water, with as spectacular a view as possible for this new center to his cult of personality.
It might seem incredible that Obama would just walk away from the presidency, leaving Democrats in the lurch for 2012, but I was told, repeatedly, to watch what David Axelrod and Michelle Antoinette have both been doing in recent weeks…they give no signs whatsoever that they are engaged in a re-election campaign.
Axelrod was recently on a Chicago Sunday political show and kept dodging all talk of the re-election campaign, which is like Oprah Winfrey turning down a large supreme pizza or a sandwich bigger than her head. It’s unheard of.
Axelrod’s favorite topic in the world is how he got Obama elected president, which means Axelrod’s second favorite topic in the world should be how he is going to re-elect Obama in 2012. He left the White House claiming that’s why he was moving back to Chicago, to focus on the re-election bid, and when given the perfect opportunity to wax on about that, and praise himself and his efforts, he completely dodged the topic, wanting nothing to do with it. Why?
Pressed by the reporter, Axelrod apparently said “the president’s re-election is just one of the interesting projects I am working on”. What could be peer, in terms of being interesting, to re-electing a president if you are a political consultant? Chicago political veterans picked up on this and saw it as a sign that those in the Obama ranks either do not believe he will win in 2012, or that he won’t even run, largely because of the former.
Then there was Michelle Antoinette on Good Morning America last Thursday or Friday, wearing something hideous as usual, also downplaying the re-election campaign and dodging questions about her involvement in it. This, too, is strange because Michelle Antoinette has always loved talking about how influential, powerful, and generally wonderful she (thinks she) is.
Like Axelrod, Michelle Antoinette poo-poohed the re-election talk, not taking the opportunity to go on about how much her husband deserved a second term to keep doing whatever it is all day, the end results of which the American people clearly hate.
She had a very “one and done” attitude about living in the White House for Obama’s term, and people here in Chicago who know her said that she was in particularly bad spirits after returning to DC from Hawaii, because she just didn’t want to ever leave and resents having to spend any time at all in DC.
The Obama cultists in the Media keep insisting “there’s no way Obama doesn’t win re-election”, and the Cocktail Party GOP defeatists pick up their usual Eeyore cues from that and essentially seem geared to give up before the 2012 election even begins, but I keep coming back to something a good friend of mine asked me the other day that I honestly didn’t have an answer for.
She posed this question — which I invite you to answer in comments below: “Have you ever heard anyone who didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 wish they could go back and vote for him now, after seeing him as president?”.
This is a new take on what we hear a lot, that people who voted for Obama, now unhappy with his job performance, wish they could go back in time and not vote for him. This feeling seems to be widespread now that a good deal of the hopeychange Kool-Aid has expired.
But, have you honestly ever heard ANYONE say that “I didn’t vote for him in 2008, but he’s done such a good job I wish I had known better and can’t wait to vote for him in 2012″?
The last Democrat to win re-election (the ONLY Democrat to win re-election since FDR) was Bill Clinton. I worked as a volunteer for Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996, going door to door for him in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I honestly DO remember hearing over and over again that “I didn’t vote for him in 92, but I’m voting for him now because he’s done a good job”. Many people regretted throwing their votes away on Ross Perot and decidedly backed Clinton in his re-election, admitting they would have voted for him the time before if they had known what a good president he would be.
That’s largely because Clinton not only connected with them on a personal level and seemed to care about regular people in a warm way, much like Mayor Daley here in Chicago, but also because the economy was powering along and riding the Dot-Com initial wave like gangbusters.
For Obama to win re-election, he will need people who did not vote for him in 2008 to wish they had done so, and to turn out and vote for him in 2012.
I just can’t imagine anything that could make them feel that way.
I strain myself to think of even one thing this administration has done that’s of any good.
Using Daley as an example again, even people who hate the Chicago Machine, the parking meters, and the patronage and corruption in this town have to admit Millennium Park, the Cultural Center’s programs, the beauty on our streets and parks, and all Chicago’s many festivals are marvelous and that in these regards Mayor Daley has had a direct positive impact on their lives as Chicagoans.
Can anyone out there (who isn’t the recipient of $50,000 in “Obama money” from the Pigford scheme) really say they are better off now than they were before Obama became president?
Better question: can anyone really say with a straight face that Obama delivered any real hope and or change?
THAT, right there, is why I think Obama will not seek a second term and why David Axelrod and Michelle Antoinette avoided talking about a re-election campaign. The ads against this man just right themselves, since he over-promised and under-delivered more than any politician in American history.
Foolish people and confirmed idiots bought into the hopeychange nonsense in 2008, giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, but I just don’t see how they are duped again. I don’t see how Obama repeats the 2008 phenomenon, even with the Media 100% on his side like usual.
I don’t see how he gets practical people to say “I didn’t vote for him last time, but he’s done such a good job I want to vote for him now”.
Do you have any thoughts that could shed more light on any of this?
Is there an election strategy for Obama you think would work in 2012?
Can YOU, using as much creativity as you can muster, come up with even one reason why someone who did not vote Obama in 2008 would vote for him in 2012 because he or she thinks Obama did a good job (and be specific about what job he did that was good)?
Governor Christie is actively courting Illinois businesses to move to New Jersey (and he is not the only Governor to take advantage of Pat Quinn’s chronic stupidity)
Megan Fox ran a great column yesterday on Governor Chris Christie very smartly taking advantage of Illinois’ suicidal tendencies regarding tax increases — he, and other Governors of states across the country, is actively courting Illinois’ businesses to abandon the high taxes and hyper regulation of Illinois’ union thug environment and pack up to move to New Jersey.
If you live in an overtaxed, hyper-regulated, Democrat-controlled blue state can you chime in with any reports you have on this happening near you, too?
Here’s some of what Governor Christie is saying to businesses in his direct marketing plea to get them to abandon Illinois for the Garden State:
The job creators of our country are mobile, and they are looking for a climate that provides the certainty and stability that comes with a fiscally responsible government that manages its budgets accordingly,” Christie said. “In New Jersey, we mean business.”
Fox said Illinois’ slogan should be “In Illinois, chasing business away is our business”.
I’ll add that being myopic, greedy, and foolish is Governor Pat Quinn’s apparent business.
Do you know of any other really prominent efforts by smarter governors across the country to poach either Illinois’ or another blue states’ businesses, as these companies seek havens to escape aggressively high taxes forever being ramped up to cover the Democrat entitlement programs?
It’s bizarre that Michael Steele decided to run for a second term as RNC Chair, as noted in an article yesterday by Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post (that’s the paper that accused me of rigging Dancing with the Stars for Bristol Palin, so take whatever it says however you want…then largely use the paper to line litter boxes or wrap old fish in).
Here in Illinois, one of the big signs that Steele would not be Chair for a second term was the fact that Illinois GOP state Chair Pat Brady had cut ties with Steele and distanced himself from him…despite claiming a personal friendship with Steele.
This, however, is something that Brady does, often. He uses people and brings them close as needed, for as long as they are needed, and then they are cast out and attacked by him when he feels he needs to save his own skin in some way.
Brady’s performance as a fundraiser in Illinois has been anemic, worse than even Steele’s on the national level. Brady will be a one-term Chair of the GOP in Illinois and any hopes he ever had to run for office himself have been dashed, because of the attacks he coordinated with Lee Roupas (Cook County GOP Chair) against Eloise Gerson here in Chicago earlier this year.
The RNC and Brady had a major falling out over that, because in making this power play to eliminate Gerson (the Chicago GOP Chair) Brady and Roupas made the unbelievably stupid move of being two white men from the suburbs who attacked a Hispanic, Jewish, diminutive, older, urban woman.
There’s just about every demographic the GOP is accused of being out of touch with right there, in the form of Eloise Gerson, and the state and Cook County GOP chairs engaged in a scorched-earth campaign to destroy her…so that Brady and Roupas could replace her with one of Mitt Romney’s guys in preparation for 2012 (whereas Gerson is not a Romney acolyte and would not play their game).
It feels like Brady got spanked by Steele for what he did to Gerson, because that blew up spectacularly in Brady and Roupas’ faces, embarrassing the GOP at a city, county, state, and national level.
In any given month, Cocktail Party GOP establishment in Illinois has more double-crossing, back-stabbings, and revenge-for-hire bids than a full episode of Bob Mackie-wardrobed Dynasty, where participants are encouraged to not just wear shoulder pads, but cups as well. Politics is a bloodsport, and ain’t nobody fights harder than the entitled who wish to protect their respective “boys-only!” fiefdoms. Women are tolerated in the Cocktail Party midst so long as they shut up and do as they are told, while the boys all go out for expensive cigars and cognacs at super-VIP-receptions after the cocktail party events all the regular-VIPs are tolerated at. Ain’t nobody without a Y-chromosome allowed any stogies here in Chicago.
So, Gerson had to go, according to Brady and Roupas, so a good, team-player, “Romney Guy” could be installed in her place…seeing as how Chicago’s so close a staging ground to Iowa for 2012.
It’s stunning how much energy is taken up here in Chicago by the “Romney Guys” in the Cocktail Party staring these endless wars on Mittens’ behalf…attempting to smash down anyone who resists running the latest in a failing string of “It’s His Turn!” candidates on the GOP ticket. It’s like you having the biggest crush on Rick Astley 25 years ago and dreaming about taking him to the prom…and then being forced, against your will, to go with him to your high school reunion instead…where you can’t wait to get away from the guy, think he’s creepy, and never knew what you saw in him way, way, WAAAAAAY back when.
Just because Mitt Romney’s been waiting in line to be a losing presidential candidate since the 1970s does not mean “Romney Guys” in Chicago and other major cities should declare open war on fellow Republicans in an effort to remove them from positions of influence so that they don’t become obstacles to Mittens Romney in 2012.
I honestly suspect Gerson was targeted because she’s outspoken, independent, and female…and the Cocktail Party Illinois GOP establishment wanted her removed before she “went rogue” and spoke the truth about Mittens Romney’s doomed candidacy (Romneycare, much?) the way she spoke the truth about all sorts of things Pat Brady and Lee Roupas conspired to coverup and deal with in the “boys-only!” club.
This is probably happening all across the country, in your town as well, since the “Romney Guys” out there all feel entitled to the cushiest of GOP jobs…since “it’s their turn!” too.
Whoever becomes the new RNC Chair needs to be someone who tells the Cocktail Party establishment to shove it…because I am telling you this right now that the Tea Party movement is as sick of the Cocktail Party blue bloods and “it’s his turn!” entitlement on the red side of the aisle as it is of the Left and everything terrible Democrats have been up to.
If the GOP does not reform itself, and boot people like Pat Brady and Lee Roupas out of positions of authority along with Michael Steele, then the Republican Party is not going to exist for very much longer…the same way the Democrat Party is going to collapse like a house of cards until only the Leftists are standing, having alienated all moderates, conservatives, and independents and driven them smack into the Tea Party ranks.
Some new party will emerge from the wreckage, and I don’t know what that will be, but it’s opposition on one side will be the Left that wants to take all your money away and redistribute it to people who keep them in power…and orbiting that the Cocktail Party, which wants to let the Left do whatever it wants so long as the free cake, cucumber-and-mayonnaise sandwiches, cigars, and open bars keep on rolling at their cocktail parties.
In the age of the Internet, you don’t have to be invited to these cocktail parties anymore to know what goes on at them…or to peek behind the curtains and get a gander at everything the Romney Guys are up to.
Make no mistake….the real reason Michael Steele will not be the next Chair of the RNC is because the Cocktail Party establishment had to spend too much time worrying about whatever Steele was up to, and that took time away from their Romney 2012 efforts…which jeopardized their spots in line waiting for Romney 2012 jobs they believe should rightfully be theirs.
The next Chair will be someone who can raise a lot of money, take burden off the state, county, and city GOP chairs, and let the Cocktail Party get back to eating cake and drinking free drinks while they all congratulate themselves on how great their blazers look…and how much sharper they will be with Romney 2012 buttons on them.
Last night, a lawyer we know here in Chicago called us with what could be a very interesting tip. He said that at a meeting he had yesterday, during a break, someone was talking about the Pennsylvania and New Mexico Attorneys General being in a great deal of trouble over outsourcing of legal work — with profits directed towards political cronies.
Here’s how he broke this down to us:
(a) In PA and NM, the AGs claimed they were overwhelmed with work and hired private firms as subcontractors to the state government to work on legal matters for the state.
(b) Investigators looked at the firms hired and saw that in many cases they were not large corporate firms that would be expected to shoulder this sort of subcontracting work — instead, they were obscure, small firms that were being paid a lot of money to do what amounted to minimal work.
(c) The investigators then looked at the firms and saw that these small operations were connected politically to cronies of the states’ political machines (in particular, the pay-to-play scams disgraced Governor Bill Richardson has been shamelessly running in New Mexico (which could very well see the notorious curly-fry eating scam artist headed to federal prison shortly)).
So, essentially, in PA and NM, the Attorneys General wanted to get state money into the hands of political operatives loyal to them, so they used this law firm subcontracting racket to launder that money: whatever was paid to the small firms essentially went into the hands of whichever cronies the small firms then directed the funds to, since the AGs could not pay those people off directly.
This is the first we are hearing about any of this — but it’s fascinating if true.
And very topical, as the lawyer we spoke to believes Attorney General Lisa Madigan could be involved in this type of scam herself. We were told to look into the records kept for the Attorney General’s office in Illinois and figure out what legal work the state subcontracts out to private firms; the next step is to identify which firms receive payments from Madigan’s office, and then determine who those firms are in bed with in the political world.
We were told all roads lead back to Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, Lisa’s father, and the Madigan Family political machine (accounting for roughly 40% of the corruption in the state).
We know there are a lot of sharp, investigative minds out there reading this site every day.
Here’s a chance to make a big contribution to exposing corruption in Illinois.
What can you find out about the PA and NM Attorneys General and the investigation into their shenannigans?
What can you find out about Lisa Madigan’s subcontracting of legal work to private firms in Illinois?
What can you find out about the firms Madigan has subcontracted to?
It sure feels like there is a story here…but we need help cracking it.
Remember all the effort Blagojevich put into media appearances in the week before his impeachment trial?
Running coast to coast, grabbing national attention instead of defending himself in Illinois?
Doing everything possible to get as much attention for himself as he could?
Well, looks like it paid off — a 6-figure book deal, with said book to come out in October.
And Blagojevich says he is going to name names and spill all of Illinois’ dirt.
That’s a lot of dirt.
He is incentivized to do so, too, because the juicier the book is, the more royalties he gets.
Ironically, he’ll make more money off of all of this than he would have earned if he’d remained Governor (at his salary of around $175,000 a year).
This afternoon, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will speak for the first time about the federal complaint filed against him. The stance he has taken so far seems to indicate he is going to fight tooth and nail, and would have to be dragged out of office kicking and screaming. It’s a good bet he wants a special election ordered for Obama’s Senate seat, too — just to spite the Democratic party in Illinois, which knows there is a very, very good chance Republicans will pickup that seat in a special election (with Mark Kirk most likely winning).
If you haven’t been following the events unfolding in Illinois…tune in today at 2pm CST or so, because Blagojevich is interesting to see in action, where interesting to see in action is the understatement of the year, and Blagojevich in action means you will be transfixed by the terrible awesomeness of his hair.
There’s more than a little of Dennis in Rod…and not just in the coif.
Attorneys are spending this weekend trying to convince Blagojevich to step aside, but not resign, in a compromise that will be pushed this week
Tonight, we went to a fundraiser here in Chicago and, of course, the topic of conversation was Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The most amazing thing we heard was that a loophole in the Illinois constitution is the key to resolving this mess.
In the constitution, there’s a provision for the Governor to voluntarily “step aside” and allow Lieutenant Governor Quinn to temporarily become Acting Governor. As the constitution is written, Blagojevich is empowered to step aside any time he wishes, pass his governing powers to the Lt. Governor, and then reclaim his position as Governor any time he wishes. While he is in this self-created limbo, Blagojevich would collect his full salary and maintain his security detail. He would still be Governor, but Lt. Governor Quinn would be “Acting Governor”.
Quinn would, thus, appoint a Senate replacement for Obama of Quinn’s choosing, while Blagojevich gets the money he is concerned with (since his legal bills are so massive that the main reason he is refusing to resign is that he desperately needs that salary — “stepping aside” means he gives up his powers, but keeps his income).
Quinn and Blagojevich hate each other — and while no one could guess whom Quinn would appoint to fill Obama’s seat, it was universally agreed that person would not be Jesse Jackson Jr. or Emil Jones, which is a good thing for everyone. In all likelihood, Quinn would appoint Tammy Duckwork (head of Illinois’ Veterans’ Affairs) or Dan Hynes. Quinn will be compltely above board in his appointment.
Now, regarding Blagojevich, while he is in the limbo of “stepping aside”, collecting his salary, under the current constitution he can reinstate himself any time and take back his governing powers from Acting Governor Quinn. This week, the Illinois legislature will work on legislation to preclude Blagojevich from doing this. The plan is to pass a bill that would require the Governor, once he has “stepped aside”, to petition the legislature in writing to approve him for reinstatement to office. In this situation, Blagojevich would not be restored to office, but would remain in limbo pending impeachment.
From what everyone has heard, Blagojevich intends to remain in office until he is impeached, convicted, and removed from office (at which time his salary would be cut off). Until that happens, Blagojevich needs every paycheck he can get — and “stepping aside” would allow him to focus 100% on his defense, while collecting the money he needs to support his family and pay his legal bills.
For obvious reasons, Blagojevich’s lawyers are pressing him to “step aside” and continue to collect his check while relinquishing his powers to Quinn — because the lawyers want to be paid, and won’t be if Blagojevich does not continue to earn his salary.
In terms of Patrick Fitzerald, we’ve been told Blagojevich is, in fact, the highest level of target in this investigation. Fitzgerald has been leaning on Rezko to give up Blagojevich. There is no effort to lean on Blagojevich to give up anything on Mayor Daley or Obama. Blagojevich is who Fitzgerald has been after…so Blagojevich has no hope of Fitzgerald going easy on him, or of getting a deal for a reduced sentence down the line (if and when things come to that), because, unlike Rezko, there is no bigger fish in Fitzgerald’s sight.
The ONLY thing Blagojevich really has to barter with is the well-being of the state of Illinois, and the only thing he could reasonably ask Fitzgerald for is the exclusion of Patti Blagojevich from prosecution.
The thinking in Chicago this weekend is this:
(1) Blagojevich wants Patti to avoid prosecution so that his children can have one parent who is not in jail.
(2) Fitzgerald has no reason to go easy on Blagojevich himself, but he can decide not to pursue charges against Patti Blagojevich if the Governor steps aside and ends the stalemate on the Senate seat by allowing Quinn to become Acting Governor and appoint the Senate replacement.
(3) Running a Special Election to pick a replacement for Obama will cost Illinois $50 million. If Blagojevich does not step aside, this is what the Illinois legislature will be forced to proceed with.
(4) Fitzgerald could exchange a promise to not pursue Mrs. Blagojevich if the Governor steps aside and saves the state $50 million. That seems to be the type of deal in the public’s best interst that Fitzgerald makes. It looks to be the only deal Blagojevich would possibly get.
(5) This coming week, the state legislature will work to change the “step aside” provision to one in which the legislature has the power to reinstate the Governor, and not the Governor reinstating himself. The legislature will also work this week on the groundwork for impeachment — but they need Fitzgerald’s cooperation for that. Right now, all the legislature has against the Governor are allegations against him — they do not even have the tapes, which are in Fitzgerald’s hands. For there to be an impeachment, there needs to be evidence in the legislature’s hands. This process will take months, and will not be over before June, at the earliest.
(6) Democrats are lobbying hard against any special election, because not only would it cost $50 million, but in all likelihood the race would be won by Mark Kirk, who would then become a Republican Senator representing Illinois. To keep the Senate seat in Democratic hands, Democrats in Illinois are encouraging Blagojevich to step aside and allow Quinn to appoint a Democrat to replace Obama. That’s something that Fitzgerald does not care about, but saving the state $50 million would be something Fitzgerald would consider in terms of the previous notes above.
(7) Jesse Jackson Jr. is never going to rise any higher than Congressman after this. He will continue to be reelected to his seat in Congress as long as he wants it, but his involvement in this mess means he will never be able to win the Democratic Senate nomination now. He can try to run in 2010, but he will not have the support he needs to win. His political career, in terms of advancement, is over now.
(8) Emil Jones will not be a United States Senator. Jan Schakowsky, Lisa Madigan, Tammy Duckworth, and Dan Hynes are still in the running for Obama’s seat. However, many people think Quinn will pick someone totally out of the blue who he knows to be a candidate who can withstand any scrutiny that will come. No one knows who that would be.
(9) All of the “Senate Candidates” named in the complaint against Blaogjevich have been identified at this point, except for Candidate #3. The rest are:
Senate Candidate #1 = Valerie Jarrett
Senate Candidate #2 = Lisa Madigan
Senate Candidate #3 = ?
Senate Candidate #4 = Louanner Peters
Senate Candidate #5 = Jesse Jackson Jr.
Senate Candidate #6 = Blair Hull
(10) Lisa Madigan’s Gambit with asking the Supreme Court to declare Blagojevich unable to serve as Governor because of disability was never expected to succeed — not even by Madigan herself. This move had one purpose: to give Lisa Madigan a national spotlight in preparation for her 2010 run for Governor. It is a Win-Win situation for Madigan: she got national exposure that burnished her repuation as a corruption fighter, and people now see her as someone trying to do something to end this nightmare. When her gambit fails, no harm will come to Madigan for trying it, as the Supreme Court will rule that the constitution does not allow the maneuver. So, then it’s just on to something else…but it’s only 2 years until the governor’s race, and Madigan will be remembered as the attempted dragonslayer. It was a very smart move for her own political career — even though it will surely fail to remove Blagojevich from office.
(11) Rahm Emanuel keeps being talked about here as the person who alerted the Feds to the auctioning of the Senate seat. That’s a rumor that started on one of the networks — MSNBC we think, that’s beeng a favorite here in Chicago. The crowd we were hearing these things from is a very pro-Emanuel crowd, but all of them believe Emanuel will emerge from all of this totally unscathed and that he will indeed become Chief of State upon Obama’s inauguration. The feeling on the ground here is that, once again, WORM comes into play in terms of What Obama Really Meant…as in, he first says that no one on his staff talked to the governor about the Senate seat. What Obama Really MEANT to say was that in the use of the word “talked”, Obama really MEANT to say “no one talked about exchanging anything valuable for Blagojevich to pick one of Obama’s preferred candidates, as listed for Blagojevich by Emanuel”. Obama did not MEAN to say no one had been talking to Blagojevich, but that no one had been talking about exchanging anything valuable. All we can say is, this WORM stuff needs to stop because Obama won the election, and now the hard part comes: we’ve had 8 years of a president who’s been ridiculed for poor speaking ability, but who, in our memory, has never had any What Bush Really Meant to say moments. Bush is painful to listen to sometimes — but the man gets his story straight before he opens his mouth. Just remember, Saddam Hussein launched the invasion of Kuwait in the first Gulf War partly because April Galspie, the US Ambassador to Iraq, communicated a message that the US would do nothing about an invasion of Kuwait. Hussein took that to mean one thing, and the US later claimed it meant another, but that miscommunication started a war. “What Obama Really Meant’ needs to stop, IMMEDIATELY, and Obama needs to communicate truthfully the first damn time, and not have 3 or 4 days of explanation as to What Obama Really Meant.
(12) Aside from Blagojevich, the only people being taken down by the Fitzgerald investigation will be people you have never heard of. One of the interesting things we heard tonight was that the prosecutor’s office is so booked solid with people to interview related to this case — in the mid-level range of importance politically — that even people like Jesse Jackson Jr. are being pushed back for their appointments…because everyone and their mother is rushing down to tell what they know, before they become targets too. People are singing like CRAZY, left and right. Fitzgerald’s office does not have enough investigators to interview them all in fast manner. This is why an impeachment proceeding against Blogojevich will take a while to complete. The Governor is entitled to a trial where he will mount his defense — and that defense will take as long as the Governor’s attorneys want. If all of these people are coming forward to tell all of these stories, and if prosecutors are overwhelmed with the deluge, then it seems like the state senate trial of Blagojevich will take a long time in itself as Blagojevich counters all of what these people are saying. That’s the part some people are forgetting in all of this…the legislature, the Supreme Court, and the Governor are all equal in this state. The legislature can no more expeditiously get rid of the Governor than the Governor can just arbitrarily get rid of the legislature and create a new one. There are processes and procedures to follow, and the system is designed assuming INNOCENCE, not guilt. We may all think Blagojevich is guilty — but in the eyes of the impeachment process, he’s innocent until that state senate trial is mounted and he is convicted after his own vigorous defense.
In all, it was a very interesting night tonight — with the most intersting part of all being the discovery of this loophole that allows Blagojevich to keep collecting his salary, which enables him to relinquish his governing powers to Quinn, which avoids spending $50 million on a special election to fill the Senate seat since Quinn will appoint a non-controversial Democrat to the seat, which means Republicans are shut out from snatching the seat, and finally Blagojevich is defanged and removed to the shadows while he is impeached — and the business of governing falls to Quinn.
Blagojevich has no incentive to resign and lose his salary (that he needs). It’s at least a half year more of salary that we are talking about here, which is money Blagojevich cannot function without. So, this “step aside” gambit is the only one that has a chance of convincing Blagojevich to give up power.
Because people like Blagojevich backed up against the wall can do crazy things when desperate. If he wanted to, he could refuse to step aside and remain Governor. The special election for Obama’s seat would be called, costing the state $50 million. Democrats would lose the state. Impeachment would come, but that would take until June with Blagojevich fighting it all the way, costing the state more millions, and driving Illinois into further instability and chaos every day. Blagojevich could do a lot of harm if he wanted to.
So, hearing about this compromise being put out there gave all of us a sense of relief — it really does seem like a viable option to get Blagojevich to step aside, and save us all from further nightmare.
Chicago Tribune proves Jesse Jackson Jr. is lying: his representatives DID offer to buy the Senate seat
The Chicago Tribune, surprisingly, is not letting Jesse Jackson Jr. get away with lying about his attempt to buy Obama’s Senate seat.
Surprisingly, because the Jackson family in Chicago is treated like the Kennedys in the rest of the country: normally, the bad behavior, thuggishness, and terrible things the Jacksons do is completely swept under the carpet. Maybe those days are over now the media, especially here, has the Obamas to love instead.
Speaking of Obama, as of today he’s still lying as well, claiming Rahm Emanuel had no involvement in Blagojevich’s Senate seat negotiations. Emanuel still refuses to talk to reporters about this. Yesterday’s excuse was that his daughters were in a Christmas concert and he could not be distracted from that to answer any questions. Let’s see what today’s excuse will be. Today is Friday, and the movie Doubt is opening, so maybe Emanuel will be too busy going to see that, and he can’t answer questions when he is about to see a movie. Also, tonight the Chicago Gay Man’s Chorus opens it’s performance of “Revolt of the Elves”, and hot guys wearing jingle bells could also be a plausible distraction from pressing questions Emanuel doesn’t want to answer.
It’s just strange how stupid these lies are. So far, no one’s gotten into any legal trouble because they are only lying to the public. Obama can come out every day and insist Emanuel had nothing to do with this, and he’s not breaking any law – and obviously figures he will get away with it because he gets away with everything else. That’s how Jesse Jackson Jr. feels, too, because his family is never called on anything either.
But, Patrick Fitzgerald doesn’t seem the sort to pay the Jacksons any sort of deference in this matter — or let Jesse Jr. get away with trying to buy a Senate seat.
This is not going away…and Emanuel WILL have to answer questions eventually.
Maybe it will be today.
One of the questions people have been asking is why Blagojevich needed so much money and was so stressed financially, when he’s making $177,000 a year as the third-highest paid Governor in the US (average Governor’s salary is $124,000/year).
Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, make somewhere between $200,000 and $350,000/year, combined, depending on how well Patti does in her real estate brokerage business. Since the market’s been tanking, Patti’s been bringing in much less lately, so hence the financial strain in the Blagojevich household. Thus far, Blagojevich had been unsuccessful in setting up arrangements like the Obamas enjoyed, where Michelle sat on corporate boards to collect tens of thousands of dollars a year in corporate thank-yous that could not legally go to her husband, but easily went to the wife.
The article above notes Blagojevich has something like $1.2 million in legal bills, and only $3.6 million in his election fund – while facing a tough and expensive re-election battle in 2010 (because, in his mind, he was still a viable candidate to run for a third term, despite his 4% approval rating).
The fact that Blagojevich faced all these same corruption charges and had a low approval rating in 2006 AND STILL beat Republican Judy Baar Topinka by 10 points is part of why Blagojevich felt he could run for re-election again in 2 years. In Illinois, the Republican Party is as organized and effective as the Keystone Cops…one reason Democratic crooks can be as brazen and colorful as they are.