Friday, December 21, 2007

Fitzgerald Tightening Noose Around Blagoyevich

The Sun-Times reports that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office has filed more documents in a criminal case against a former top fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagoyevich, Tony Rezko, tying the governor to a quid pro quo conspiracy to raise political funds. "Gov. Blagojevich told a prominent Democratic fundraiser that the governor 'could award contracts, legal work and investment banking to help with fund-raising,' according to a federal court document released Friday," Steve Warmbir reports. Prominent Democratic attorney and fundraiser Joe Cari has already pleaded guilty to charges in 2005. The documents claim Blagoyevich told Cari he “had a lot of ways of helping his friends and that Rezko and [Christopher Kelly] were his point people in helping his friends and coordinating fundraising,” according to the court document.

What Fitzgerald is alleging happened in the Blagoyevich administration goes on in Indiana all the time. The difference is that Chicago has a prosecutor who will prosecute cases of political corruption. In Indiana, it's simply viewed as a way of conducting government business and nobody gives a damn. If you don't want to participate in this corrupt system, you won't get very far in Indiana politics. Fitzgerald has already sent former Gov. George Ryan to prison on similar public corruption charges. It looks like Ryan will have a cell mate soon enough if Fitzgerald has anything to say about it.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the IL Governor on the hot seat for scoring free tickets to the Hanna Montana concert for his daughters? He called "someone" and wah lah free primo tickets. He has no shame. When asked about it, he says all he owes for the tickets is to buy dinner for a Senator (the guy who scored him the tickets). That kind of stuff is something voters can easily understand.

What a slimeball.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Yes, he got the tickets from State Senator Jimmy "The Bagman" DeLeo, who was convicted in a previous scandal of carrying bags of money to Cook County judges as payoffs. I was always a little confused on how his conviction didn't disqualify him from continued service in the Illinois Senate. When I worked for the House back in the 80s, DeLeo was a state representative. I remember Carol Mosely Braun (later a U.S. Senator) sitting on DeLeo's lap and making out with him during a committee meeting. As I looked at them in thorough disgust, Braun said to me "What are you looking at." Yeah, the absolute worst people seem to rise to the top in politics. When I became involved in politics as a teen-ager, my parents implored me to stay away from politics because they were all crooks. Twenty-five years later, I've become convinced my parents were right all along.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Here's what the two slimeballs said to the Sun-Times about the Hanna tickets:

"If you think my daughters are going to ask me to try to get them tickets to see Hannah Montana and I'm going to tell them 'No,' well then you're wrong. I think it's a good thing to do for your kids. I did what I could to get them tickets to see Hannah Montana.

"I got tickets the way a lot of people get tickets: You call a friend and say, 'Hey, can you find some tickets?' In that particular case, Sen. DeLeo did. I said, 'How much do I owe you for the tickets?' He said, 'Don't worry about it. You can get dinner next time.' That's what friends do."

Anonymous said...

Isn't Rezsko also involved with US
Sen. Obama? Maybe his neighbor?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of Blagoyevich
but what do you think of a governor
who gets free airfare on a chartered jet + a free hotel stay + ticket to a bowl game in a warm climate and then claims that it is
all "official state business"
so it isn't a gift? Also notice
that he apparently didn't pick a
trip to Toronto with Ball State Univ. or Detroit with Purdue in

See the link:

Shouldn't Daniels at least pay for this bowl game trip out of his own multi-millionaire pockets?

Anonymous said...

Advance Indiana --

Sorry to be off topic, but what happened to the Indy Flashover Blog? Has it gone the way of IndyUndercover?


Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 9:58, I would take up that question with Ike Randolph and Abdul Hakim Shabazz. They should be able to answer who was behind Indy Flashover.

Anonymous said...

Illinois and Chicago politics have been intricately woven together for generations. The Democratic Machine of Chicago politics has controlled much of what happens in Illinois since Anton Cermak defeated Big Bill Thompson for mayor in 1931.

I can remember as a kid growing up in Logan Square in Chicago the power of Richard J. Daley's political machine. If you knew the right people, you could get things done in the neighborhood. If not, well then you waited.

Old Rod B. should have taken lessons from "The Boss". You keep the voters happy by providing the services needed, and you keep a list of where the bodies are buried to keep political adversaries at bay.

As a side note to those who don't know much about Chicago politics, Cermak was shot and killed in what was thought to be an assassination attempt on FDR. I remember my grandparents taking about this years later and laughing at the thought that the bullet was meant for Roosevelt. Pretty much everyone in Chicago knew that Cermak was killed either by Capone or some other faction upset at Cermak's attempted crack down on Chicago crime.

Ah Chicago, the best pizza in the world and the best politicians money can buy! But then again Indy has been heading that way too, except for the pizza.

C. Hedges said...

People should have known Blagojevich was bad news when his father-in-law broke bad on him when he first came on the scene.

Blagojevich hasn't been able to get anything done in Illinois -- even with every part of government controlled by the Democrats. That has to be telling when members of his own party don't trust him and fight against him at every turn.

Of course, since nothing can get done, that means Blagojevich just hangs out in Chicago -- the "capital of Illinois" and location of the governor's residence -- and only goes to Springfield when absolutely necessary.

BTW -- The only reason I know how to spell Blago's name is because I routinely drive under $17,000 signs that proclaim he is governor when I drive on the Illinois Toll Roads.

In fact, in Northwest Indiana we hear more about Blago than we do about our own governor. So much that sometimes it seems like Blagojevich is our governor at times.

Anonymous said...

We need Fitzgerald to come to Indy to clean house.

Why hasn't Carl Brizzi charged Monroe Gray et al with corruption, official misconduct, ghost employment, RICO, bribery?