Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Daily Herald: Dems explain why they let governor make appointment

I have a feeling AG Lisa Madigan may have tried to commit the wrong Democrat. As best as I can tell neither SecState White or Senator Reid have a legal leg to stand on. Burris will be our Senator. From today's Daily Herald.

Illinois Democrats stand by their decision against holding a special election to choose the state's next senator, maintaining that even if anyone anticipated Gov. Rod Blagojevich would name a new senator, they were confident the appointment wouldn't stand.

With Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refusing to sign papers authorizing Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris, and Senate Democratic leaders refusing to seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown maintained that the appointment is moot.

And he's not wasting time: Burris goes to court over appointment


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Blagojevich 1, Illinois GA 0, Team Obama -1

Yesterday's lesson is don't play chicken with a kid from the Northwest Side. He'll team up with a kid from Centralia and they'll double blindside you.

Democrats got scared about a special election and failed to immediately strip Blagojevich of the power to appoint Obama's replacement.

Instead they went straight to impeachment proceedings, but then feared a balanced 50/50 committee that would allow GOP members to call witnesses like Emanuel and Jarrett, and oh my follow some paths to this story Team Obama didn't want followed.

So we ended up with weak hearings and hesitation while Fitz contemplated coming to the rescue with a few choice tapes. (Who runs this impeachment? Read Fitzgerald must be worried.)

So the kid from Cicero Ave, and the kid from Centralia, call that really tough ex-panther kid and clobber the blowharts on their break.

Grow up hanging around street corners in Chicago and you could have seen this coming.

They don't teach it at the U of C where they have all those blue poles to call for rescue. In the rest of the city you gotta take the bully out yourself the first time. 'Cause if you blow it, he'll be back; and sometimes with other toughs you didn't think would join him in revenge.

So rack up a point for the The Guv, zero for the GA, and deduct 1 point for Team Obama for thinking they didn't have to come to the fight at all. They could hide behind Fitz and his blue pole instead.

Somebody's gotta tell Obama's folks the world isn't Hyde Park surrounded by those invisible protective walls with those blue panic poles all over the place. Sometimes you gotta come to the fight and stand up for yourself.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An open letter to the people of Edelstein

Stop exporting your dangerous, violent gangs to Peoria. 'Kay?

Crossposted to Peoria Pundit.


Burris is caught in a nasty political storm

Things just keep getting weirder in Illinois. It’s been widely understood that the U.S. Senate leaders would reject any appointment by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. But now, not only is Blagojevich defying the undeniable, he’s also managed to involve race in a situation that already is clouded by sensationalism.

Blagojevich on Tuesday said he is appointing former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fulfill the last two years of Obama’s Senate term, but Burris is unlikely to actually serve in the seat. Secretary of State Jesse White said he is refusing to co-sign the paperwork, thereby blocking the appointment. Even if White lacks authority to do so, all Democratic U.S. senators already announced they would reject the governor’s appointment regardless of whom he picked.

State Treasurer Alexi Gainnoulias said Blagojevich’s actions heighten the need for a quick impeachment. “Regardless of whether he wanted to appoint Mother Theresa or Abraham Lincoln, I believe Blagojevich lost that right when he allegedly attempted to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder … Because of Blagojevich’s actions, the appointment process has been tainted and will continue to be tainted as long as he holds office.”

Republicans continue to call for a special election to replace Obama, but the Illinois Democratic leadership did not advance legislation that would allow for that to happen. House GOP Leader Tom Cross said in a Statehouse news conference today that, yes, the Republican Party would stand to benefit from a special election, but it’s the only way to start to clean the stain left by Blagojevich’s arrest December 9. “The special election is the one way to say, not only to this state, but to the country: We learned something. We got it. We’re going to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”

Cross said he was shocked Tuesday morning when he heard the governor would appoint a Senate replacement even though an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving the appointment topped a 76-page criminal complaint against the governor. “I thought it was a joke. Literally, I thought, ‘There’s no way. It’s just some sick, funny, wacky rumor that’s on the Internet, that there’s no way in a million years it’s going to happen. He would not do this.” Cross said he couldn’t take the wildest guess about why the governor would actually follow through on the appointment. Then he pondered that the governor might be akin to a rabid dog in the corner that’s going to lash out in anger at the world.

Cross said Tuesday’s action could quicken the pace of the House committee investigating cause for impeachment.

Whatever the governor’s intentions, Roland Burris is now caught in a political storm that might blow over his 40 years of experience. The Centralia native of southern Illinois became the first African American elected to a statewide office, serving three terms as state comptroller between 1979 and 1991, followed by one term as attorney general. His political experience includes serving as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.

But his political experience also includes repeated and failed attempts to win higher office. He’s run for governor three times, including in 2002 against Blagojevich. He also ran for the U.S. Senate and for Chicago mayor. Read this Illinois Issues profile of Burris in 1998: “What makes Roland run?

Kent Redfield, political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said although Burris had been lobbying for Obama's seat and although he’s always had the image of aiming for higher office, it’s surprising that he accepted the appointment. “I think he’s letting his ambition cloud his judgment. He and the governor seem to share one thing, which is that ‘it’s about me.’”

Accepting the position after Blagojevich’s arrest also has potential to taint Burris as "Blagojevich’s senator," Redfield added. “It doesn’t matter if he’s pure as the driven snow.”

Blagojevich actually made a plea to the public during his Chicago news conference, seen on CNN. “I’d like to ask everyone to do one last thing: Please don’t allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man.”

The plea thickened when U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush joined the news conference and thanked God for Blagojevich’s selection of Burris because he is an African American with 40 years of public service. He said maintaining an African American seat vacated by Obama is a matter of national importance. “Roland Burris stands head and shoulders above most elected officials in this nation, and so there’s no rhyme or reason that he should not be seated in the U.S. Senate,” Rush said. Then he added this racially-charged challenge: “I don’t think there’s anyone, any U.S. senator, who’s sitting in the Senate right now, [who] would want to go on record to deny one African American from being seated in the U.S. Senate. I don’t think they want to go on record doing that.”

Burris said he had no relationship with “that situation,” referring to the governor’s legal problems. Standing at Blagojevich’s side, he said: “I have no comment on what the governor’s circumstance is. And as a former attorney general of this state, I know, and I think most of you all know, that in this legal process, you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty.”

The House committee investigating impeachment is on hold until at least January 5, when the feds could decide whether to release recorded conversations detailed in the criminal complaint.


Blagojevich to name Burris to Senate

From the Tribune. At this point in time I'm not sure I want my name attached to a disgraced Governor, especially with the knowledge that the US Senate might not allow me to be admitted into the chamber. I suppose since the Governor is fighting the current charges against him, he might as well appoint a man to fill Obama's seat.

Apparently he's been making noises since Obama's ascension to the Presidency as well as not too long after the Governor's arrest for attempting to sell off the vacant US Senate seat to the highest bidder.



Cross posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:


Illinoisans who want to give Gov. Rod Blagojevich the boot out of office can go to for the latest information on the Blagojevich scandal and advice how they can help change the state’s political system.

“Like his predecessor George Ryan – aka Federal Inmate Number 16627424 – Rod Blagojevich is an embarrassment to the state of Illinois,” said Cynthia Canary, Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR). “The arrest of Gov. Blagojevich on a variety of corruption charges has lit a fire under taxpayers. If he’s not going to resign, they want to boot him out of office.”

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) is redoubling its efforts to enact meaningful campaign finance reforms, and ICPR will help Illinoisans become advocates of the Governor Blagojevich's impeachment.

“Removing Gov. Blagojevich from office is not all that is needed to end the culture of corruption,” Canary said. “We have to reform the laws that now allow special interests to give unlimited amounts of money to campaigns, and we need to bring much more sunshine into the operations of state and local governments.

The fight can begin with a visit to

ICPR created the website as a tool to help Illinoisans unfamiliar with lobbying legislators and curious about the impeachment process.

Visitors to the website can write letters to Gov. Rod Blagojevich urging him to resign and can send letters to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn suggesting ways to improve the system. Visitors also can learn more about the reforms needed to make state politics and government more fair and honest and can link to ICPR’s website with a searchable database of campaign contributions to the governor, legislators and other candidates.

The reforms advocated by ICPR include limiting the size of campaign contributions, banning contributions by corporations and unions, prohibiting large transfers of campaign cash by legislative leaders to candidates, creating a system of voluntary campaign financing of judges, taking politics out of legislative redistricting, strengthening the State Board of Elections, toughening lobbyist regulation, requiring state officials to report more detail personal financial information concerning debts and investments, and making it easier to access public records through the Freedom of Information Act.

To comment, please visit ICPR's blog.


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Monday, December 29, 2008

Impeachment: Day 5, defense

Things could get a lot more interesting in the Statehouse January 5. Federal prosecutors want to release some of the secret recordings detailed in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich. If the recordings were released, it would enhance the depth of evidence gathered by the Illinois House committee investigating if there’s cause to impeach Blagojevich.

To this point, there have been two veins of evidence gathered by the committee. One is the criminal complaint filed by the feds. However, the committee has been limited in how far it can delve into the allegations because it was asked not to interfere with the federal probe. The second vein is potential non-criminal offenses, primarily whether Blagojevich abused his executive powers. The governor’s attorney has argued that the committee has failed to meet a burden of proof that the governor did anything other than “chatter” and “jabber” about ways to use his powers.

But if U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald gets approval from Chief Judge James Holderman to release recordings of four conversations in full and redacted form, the House committee would have potentially criminal evidence, not just political evidence. Fitzgerald technically isn’t required to get court approval before releasing recordings, but his motion filed Monday said he is doing so now “out of an abundance of caution.”

The conversations would be limited to one alleged deal to collect $100,000 in campaign contributions to Blagojevich by January 1 in exchange for his signature on a bill. The bill described in the affidavit would shave 3 percent of riverboat profits to subsidize the horse racing industry.

The description of the conversation — found in paragraph 68(e) on page 39 of the criminal complaint — includes “Fundraiser A,” “Contributor 1” and “Lobbyist 1.” Anyone who thought they would be harmed by the release of the recordings can file a motion to stop the release.

Edward Genson, the governor’s attorney, would not say Monday whether he would fight the release of those recordings. He repeatedly has argued that the wiretaps and bugs of the governor’s conversations were illegally obtained and should not be included as evidence in the House investigation or in a criminal trial.

Genson got his chance to present a formal defense of the governor at Monday’s hearing in the state Capitol.

“The fact is we’re fighting shadows here,” he said to legislators. “We’re fighting unnamed people, we’re fighting witnesses that aren’t available, we’re fighting people that haven’t been indicted, we’re fighting preliminary hearings that haven’t been, we’re fighting parades of allegations that people who are dissatisfied with the administration but certainly haven’t talked to us about criminal conduct. We have a mere complaint.”

Genson said the committee must meet a burden of proof provided in the 1997 impeachment investigation of then-Illinois Supreme Court Justice James Heiple. The standard then, he said, was that non-criminal offenses “must be of a magnitude and gravity comparable to the criminal standard.”

Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat on the committee, said this committee is not bound to the standards provided in a 10-year-old case. In fact, he said, the state Constitution only requires that a committee find “cause.”

“Each member of the House of Representatives, and, if it gets that far, each member of the Senate, will decide what ‘cause’ is and what ‘cause’ means,” Lang said. “There is no definition in the law.”

Lang also took issue with Genson’s interpretation of the standard needed for information that is not part of the criminal complaint. “In my view, and I’m going to guess the view of many sitting with me, a non-criminal violation of the Constitution is still a violation of the governor’s constitutional oath,” Lang said. “And, therefore, if this committee finds that the governor has violated his constitutional oath for whatever reason, that would be cause or grounds for possible impeachment.”

Lang also countered Genson’s comments that the conversations outlined in the criminal complaint consist of “chatter” that fail to prove that anything illegal happened. Lang said talk of so-called pay-to-play politics is enough for this committee. “It’s a crime in the state of Illinois to offer to do a public act for value. Whether somebody takes you up on that offer is irrelevant.”

Committee members said they’re weighing the totality of circumstances presented since the governor’s arrest. Yet, many members aren’t exactly keeping a poker face.

“I think a lot of members have begun to make up their minds, at least members on this committee,” said Rep. Gary Hannig, a Democratic member. “And it appears to me that they’re beginning to move towards the side of impeachment.”

The committee is on hold until at least January 5 or until the court decides whether to support Fitzgerald’s release of the selected recorded conversations.


A picture Ill. Rep. Lou Lang doesn't want you to see

My representative in the Illinois House of Representative is Lou Lang (D-Skokie), chairman of the House Gaming Committee and widely regarded as a close friend of the casino industry in this state.

Lang, who sits on the House impeachment panel, has been playing the role of the tough guy, as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune has reported.

The Rockford Register-Star named Lang as among the "governor's toughest critics."

Well, how does Lang explain that photograph, which I took in the summer of 2007, on the front window of his Skokie office?


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Quinn on the isolated Blagojevich and his Palace Guard

Quinn said the Guv isolated. That Quinn hadn't spoken to him since August. Quinn could have started a blog before the complaint. Why the wait? What was stopping Quinn from speaking like this much earlier? Would Paul Simon or Paul Douglas have reminded silent the way he and Obama have?

If the Guv is nuts, he has a defense. What's the defense of the sane who knew and remained silent in the face of this disgrace?


Legal Insurrection: Got News For You -- Emanuel and Jarrett Will Testify, And The Blagojevich Impeachment Trial Will Be Delayed

The Insurgent writes,

The media is all atwitter over the decision of the Illinois House committee considering articles of impeachment against Gov. Rod Blagojevich to deny the request by Blagojevich's attorneys to subpoena Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. The House decision comes at the request of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who is concerned that the subpoenas may interfere in the criminal case against Blagojevich.

The media has it both right and wrong. Right, the House apparently made the decision not to issue subpoenas. Wrong, that Emanuel and Jarrett won't have to testify at some point. The media is failing to draw the distinction between the House proceedings drafting articles of impeachment, and the actual trial.
The full link, but the guts of it is this,
The key provisions are the requirement that the Senators do justice "according to law," and that the Chief Justice "shall preside." While there will be plenty of legal arguments over what this means, it is clear that these provisions impose a higher level of due process than the purely legislative House proceedings, which are not limited by such provisions.
Justice according to law....something the Guv's fellow Democrats --and supporters in 2006-- quick to strip away. They won't win.

Blagojevich lawyer to submit Obama internal report
The lead attorney for Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he plans to submit President-elect Barack Obama's internal report on contacts with the governor to the Illinois House committee weighing impeachment.

Attorney Ed Genson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the report would support Blagojevich's claims that he hasn't done anything wrong in his handling of Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Earlier in the week, Obama released the internal report that supported his insistence that there had been no inappropriate contact with the governor's office by Obama or his staff.
It does take two to conspire. Blagojevich can't be guilty of auctioning off Obama's seat all-by-his-lonesome. Fellow Democrats call him nuts, but he's not so nuts to auction Obama's seat to hallucinations.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Blagojevich Blogging

State Senator Lou Lang (D-Skokie) on Genson's request to call Emanuel and Jarrett as witnesses.

Genson is demanding the lawmakers subpoena Rahm Emanuel, Obama's incoming chief of staff, as well as longtime adviser Valerie Jarrett, saying Blagojevich can't get a fair impeachment hearing without them.

"This is a smoke screen," said Lang, whose committee will meet again Monday. "He's asking for subpoenas of witnesses he knows the U.S. attorney does not want us to have, and I, for one, am not going to allow him to turn this into a circus or sideshow."
Neither Genson or Fitzgerald run the impeachment hearing. Lang and his fellow Blagojevich supporters from 2006 run it. They owe Illinoisans an explanation why Blagojevich can't defend himself now. Don't blame Fitz. The Legislature can call whom they wish. They don't need Fitz's blessings.

Rahm's word: Rahm the Enforcer
In her 2007 book about the Clintons, “For Love of Politics,” Sally Bedell Smith describes an incident in which an unnamed Clinton administration official colorfully denigrates then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, at the time one of Washington’s most powerful Democrats, after Moynihan criticized Clinton’s transition.

“Big deal,” a ‘top administration official’ told Time magazine, adding, “he’s not one of us … he couldn’t obstruct us even if he wanted to. The gridlock is broken. It’s all Democratic now. We’ll roll right over him if we have to.”

Emanuel called the senator’s office after the story appeared, promising to fire whoever gave the quote to Time. A horrified Clinton echoed the promise, saying “We know it was someone who didn’t know us.”

But as the late senator’s personal papers showed, Emanuel’s promise was disingenuous, to say the least. At a dinner with the Time reporter, Moynihan was told that the “big deal” quote came from none other than Emanuel.
The disingenuous need Genson's cross examination.

Legal Insurrection on the NY Times Clinton Blagojevich double standard.
Why the difference in treatment? Why not give Blagojevich the same presumption of innocence given President Clinton? Both Clinton and Blagojevich were accused of using executive power to garner campaign contributions, both were accused but not yet convicted of crimes while in office, and both presided over a government impeded by the scandals surrounding their offices.

Just a guess. In the Clinton case, the NY Times was protecting Clinton, so Clinton could not be thrown overboard. In the Blagojevich case, the NY Times is protecting Obama, so Blagojevich should go quickly and quietly.
Tell me it ain't so.


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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rainy foggy day Blagojevich posting

An open post for the Day on the Guv. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's lawyer criticized by lawmakers

Genson said the panel was using Fitzgerald's request [to stay clear of his witnesses] as cover to deny Blagojevich a fair impeachment hearing. Genson suggested last week he was considering a potential challenge to the impeachment in federal court.

"They are railroading him," Genson said Friday. "If a person is telling the truth, what difference does it make if he tells it twice? How does that hurt their case? That's just the legislature and Mr. Fitzgerald trying to put a reality on something that doesn't make sense."
Genson's got a point. The explosive charge is the Gov auctioning off Obama's seat. If there is a conspiracy here, we need both sides of it to talk. ****
Chicago via Sri Lanka: Chicago - America’s ‘most theatrically corrupt’ city
Either way, the gut reaction of most Chicagoans to the FBI complaint against Governor Rod Blagojevich, outlining his baroque plans, to "monetise" Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat was not shock or even disgust. It was surprise that he had been so reckless as to discuss them on a bugged telephone. To this day, Illinois campaign finance laws are astonishingly lax – there is no cap on the amount of cash a politician can solicit.
Takes two to chat on a phone. That at least two reckless fools in this theater.

A neat interactive time line on key Blagojevich events. HT Blagojevich Blog


We sell more seats than the Governor

Chicago area's Leather Creations ad via The Cleveland Reader


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Friday, December 26, 2008

The Official Guide to Blagojevich Blogs

This is going to be a handy link.

Thanks Bill


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Politics: LaHood a 'Cellini guy?'

Chicago Tribune political curmudgeon John Kass Kass doesn't think too highly of Congressman Ray, our soon-to-be-new Transportation Secretary:

Mr. Kass, re: Gov. Big Hairovich, this may be premature, but do you think it would be useful to begin pondering publicly who can be trusted as governor? Maybe someone outside of Chicago? Or is that a fantasy? Joe M., Belleville

Dear Joe—It's not premature, not with all the sleaze in this state. If the candidate is a Democrat from Illinois, they'll be on bended knee to Mayor Shortshanks at Chicago's City Hall or House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Lisa's Daddy) or State Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin?). And if they're Republican, they'll bow to the indicted party boss Big Bill Cellini or his enabler, Big Jim Thompson, or the Republican establishment that dares criticize President-elect Barack Obama for his connections to sleazy politics, yet applauds Obama's appointment of a Cellini guy, U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Combine) as secretary of transportation. [emphasis mine] That's change we can believe in. How about we ban all current Illinois politicians from the list of prospective governors? There must be someone other than U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald who has served the public interest without picking the public pocket. We need Fitzgerald where he is, in Chicago. But are there any others who've fought Illinois political corruption and the Chicago Outfit and who'd be interested in running for office? There might be one out there.

Cellini's name has popped up on occasion in the pages of Peoria Pundit. One of the complaints I've had about the local media is how it perpetrated the folksy "Congressman Ray" image, while pretty ignoring his connections to some of the corrupt politicians that big city newspapers were hammering away at on an almost daily basis. Kass goes overboard sometimes, but he has a point.

So if you're shocked to see "Congressman Ray" described as a "Cellini guy," blame the local news media.

For an education, read the Sun-Times article on Cellini.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.


Wanted: Cat bloggers

No, no, no. Not this kind of cat blogging.

I'm talking about Caterpillar. Considering how Peoria is a hotbed of blogging, I'm surprised there aren't one or two or seven people out there blogging away about the inside workings of this Fortune 500 company that, from what I see, likes to push its corporate weight around.

Of course, any insiders who want to blog what goes on the shop floor or behind closed doors at Caterpillar World Headquarters would have to be anonymous. And I would be happy to help, perhaps with a group blog focusing on Big Yellow.

Just send me a message, and we can arrange for Cat-blogging on the Blog Peoria Network.

Crossposted to Peoria Pundit


Peoria Museum backers taking a second drag off the public tit

Backers of the downtown museum project want the upcoming economic stimulus package to include $4 million to build a parking deck. This is in addition to the extra sales taxes they want Peoria County residents to pay at the cash register.

My two cents: The County Board is going to vote this month on whether to put the sales tax hike on the April 7 ballot. In 99 percent sure it will be on the ballot, because I doubt there are three politicians in the entire county with the testicular fortitude to say "no" to Caterpillar, which whispers that they will leave Peoria whenever there's a chance they won't get their way.

I can predict what will happen. The argument will now be made that if we say no to this sales tax, we'll be saying good bye to a free $4 million from the Feds. After all, isn't our guy Ray LaHood in charge is doling out transportation dough? Aren't these jobs going to go to "local" guys?

Feh. We need to spend our cash on essential services, not bread and circuses.
pigs at the trough

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

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Fitsmas Day Blagojevich chat

A lawyer at last night's Christmas Eve party told me it takes everyone to make a criminal conspiracy. One party can't conspire alone so if the other did nothing wrong, it's no conspiracy. I imagine that's where Genson is going with this: Blagojevich's Lawyers Seek Subpoenaes for Emanuel, Jackson Jr.

Lawyers for embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich want two key aides to President-elect Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. subpoenaed, according to Chicago media reports.

Blagojevich's legal team has asked the Illinois House panel that members of Obama's incoming administration testify before the House impeachment committee, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, WBBM-TV and the Chicago Sun-Times reported late Wednesday.

Ed Genson, Blagojevich's chief lawyer, said testimony from the aides will prove the governor's insistence that he did nothing illegal to fill Obama's now vacant U.S. Senate seat.

The news comes days after Obama's team released an internal review that confirmed no "inappropriate" discussions had taken place in the Blagojevich probe.

Leo over at Leo's Blog takes Politico to task: Politico Now Blaming Obama for Having 'No Role' in Picking Replacement Senator
So first they condemn Obama for potential shenanigans with Blago over the nomination of a replacement senator and when that's found to be complete rubbish, they then go after him because he played "no role" in a nomination process that he has absolutely no legal part to play.

This "necessarily raises the question": Is one of the qualifications for working for Politico that you have to be a totally clueless idiot? Does anyone still think these dolts have any credibility?
They'd build some credibility if they asked Team Obama for their lists to replace Biden and Clinton too, or was this just a Blagojevich thing?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Cros-posted from ICPR's Blog, The Race is On:

What a year it's been! The long presidential election, the financial upheavals, the continuing crisis in Iraq and Afghanistan - so much to remember. The Washington Post took a look back at the biggest scandals of the year and concluded that Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged effort to sell the Senate seat ranked as the second biggest scandal of the year. #1 went to Bernard Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme defrauded investors of as much as $50 billion.

#3 on the Washington Post list: Elliot Spitzer. Also-rans include former US Senator Ted Stephens of Alaska, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and AIG, which spent $400,000 on an executive retreat the weekend after getting a $124 billion bailout from the US Government. That's tough competition, but our governor beat them all, nearly.

The Pew Center for the Public and the Press recently updated their list of the most-followed political scandals in America. Their ranking asks Americans if they are aware of stories in the news, and how closely they are following the story. The Blagojevich corruption story ranked third, behind #1 congressional check bouncing (April, 1992) and #2, the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story (March, 1998). Our current governor's arrest ranks ahead of the Gary Hart/Donna Rice story (September, 1987) and the Elliot Spitzer prostitute story (March, 2008). To date, there are no allegations of sex in the Blagojevich story, but even so, it's already #3 of all time.

Lest anyone worried that our current governor would be ignored at the holidays, CNN reports that he is the politician most deserving of... coal in the stocking. It's not golden, but, hey, it's something.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann also put out a list, looking at the top 25 most corrupt American politicians of all time. Illinois is well-represented on the list, with Gov. George Ryan at #23, US Rep. Dan Rostenkowski at #21, and Gov. Otto Kerner at #13. And while it's early yet and the full details have yet to come out, based on the record so far, Olbermann is confident enough in Illinois to put Rod Blagojevich at #3 on the all time list of corrupt American politicians. Of course, Rod is still in office, so there's time for him to improve his ranking. #2, Charles Forbes, who ran the Veteran's Bureau for President Warren G. Harding and managed to embezzle nearly a quarter of his $1.3 billion budget; and #1, New York City's Boss Tweed, might want to watch their backs.

All kidding aside, let's hope that 2009 brings a new culture to Illinois politics.


GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 24, 2008

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Jackson Jr on Emanuel's list

Sweet notes J3 was on the list after all,

The Obama list
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Comptroller Dan Hynes
Illinois Veterans Affairs Chief Tammy Duckworth

added later
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Chicago Urban League Chief Cheryle Jackson, former Blagojevich spokesman.
Did they have preferred lists for the Clinton and Biden seats too?

A quote on the Michelle Obama Valerie Jarret connections pulled from this: Better than WTTW's panel on Obama-Blago: Berkowitz w/Peraica on Obama, Jarrett & Daley; the McKennas and the Illinois Combine. Cable & Streaming

Jeff Berkowitz: There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the political office as a family heirloom, stupid.

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: There’s nothing wrong with any of it on its face, but if you look below the surface, there are all these troubling relationships where certain individuals are picking others and bringing them along and giving them cushy positions, whether it is in the hospital, non-profit sector or for profit sector, whether it is at the Habitat, whether it is at the City [of Chicago], whether it is at any of the city’s agencies and there is this cross pollination that in a culture of corruption brings about these kind of unhealthy relationships in a one sided, one party [Democratic] system that we have here in Cook County in the State of Illinois. So, all of that contributes to the culture of corruption that we find ourselves in now which is going to receive national and international attention for the next months and years ahead of us.

Jeff Berkowitz: So, now we get into the Illinois Democratic Party, right? Where offices are family heirlooms, right?

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: That’s right.

Jeff Berkowitz: That’s what we are talking about, really.

Cmsr. Tony Peraica: It’s aristocracy, at it best, yes.
So much for merit promotion. It's all about The List in Illinois.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jack Franks Featured on WLS Radio Talk Show: "I've Never Worn a Wire"

by Cal Skinner

I was doing some shopping and between stores happened onto Bruce DuMont's “Beyond the Beltway” radio talk show on WLS-Radio Sunday night.

DuMont was talking about Governor Rod Blagojevich's refusal to resign, which I predicted the Friday before last.

I'll get to what McHenry County's Democrat State Representative had to say in a minute, but, before I do, let me try to quote what host DuMont said Democratic political consultant James Carville said on some TV show Sunday morning:

“Everyday Rod Blagojevich stays in office does damage to the Democratic Party.”
Republican Bruno Behrend had previously given the same advice on DuMont's show:
“The faster you get rid of this guy, the faster you stop the bleeding (of the Democratic Party).”
Indeed, although I was otherwise occupied Saturday night, it would seem to me there would have been a follow-up to December 13th's opening skit about Blagojevich's and his wife's “bleeping” language.

Especially since Blagojevich made his
I am not a crook
speech on Friday and was all over the national news because of it.

But, back to Franks.

“I think it could be wrapped up pretty quickly...shortly after the first of the year,” Franks, a member of the impeachment committee told DuMont.

He said that the committee will “continue to get evidence and hear from other witnesses...(expecting to decide) on what to put in articles of impeachment.

Any new evidence that might be involved in the U.S. Attorney's criminal investigation will depend on what Fitzgerald allows, Franks indicated.

He specifically mentioned he would like to know the details of the woman who gave Blagojevich's daughter $1,500 for a birthday present, then got a job in Whiteside County and next was transferred to her home county of Cook.

“The potential to do damage is his only trump card,” Franks said suggesting he did not think the governor would resign.

In a discussion about Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s having worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office prior to becoming Candidate 5 in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich, Franks revealed,
“I've never worn a wire.”
Franks stuck to his position that the replacement for President-elect Barack Obama should be elected.

= = = = =
That's Bruno Behrend hold the bumper sticker urging a "Yes" vote on Con-Con at the Decatur Republican State Convention in June. Governor Rod Blagojevich is seen on national ABC news in the center. State Rep. Jack Franks is shown on the WTTW Chicago Tonight show the night the Governor was arrested.

Posted first on McHenry County Blog.


GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 23, 2008

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Lisa Madigan's useless lawsuit

William Jacobson writes: The Illinois Attorney General's Suit To Remove Blagojevich Looks Even Worse In Retrospect

Looking back at the sequence of events and papers filed by the State, it seems clear that AG Madigan could not possibly have expected victory on the merits. As detailed below, the alleged emergencies cited by the State were not true emergencies, and in the case of bond funding, were based on an incomplete presentation to the Court. Legally, the State's papers were cursory and not befitting the weighty nature of the legal issues.

Why then was the suit brought? The only reasonable conclusion is that AG Madigan hoped for the Court to make a political, not legal decision. At a minimum, the following questions need to be answered:
Read his post for the questions. She certainly should have recused herself from the whole mess, and who ever filled in for her would have been wise to skip the whole mess. It just made Illinois look more foolish trying to commit the Gov as incapacitated.


Scott Turow: Even Blago Is Presumed Innocent

Scott Turow looks at Blagojevich's defense and reminds us the worst is yet to come.

What Fitzgerald charged in the complaint is an astonishing and appalling pattern of extortion and bribery involving numerous completed crimes. Blagojevich awarded state contracts and state jobs to giant campaign contributors. The only real defense for Blagojevich is to blame those quid pro quos on his aides and fundraisers and claim he was clueless. And that dog will not hunt. Not only does the government have at least four witnesses who were deep in the scheme who will say that Blagojevich was fully knowledgeable, but the roster of witnesses of is all but certain to grow as Blagojevich intimates caught on the wiretaps make their own deals over time.
Auctioning Obama's Senate seat small potatoes maybe compared to the full case Fitz will make. The Gov will blame and maybe that dog won't hunt but it will be interesting to watch the list of intimates grow.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Impeachment: Day 4

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s defense team gets a week to gather witnesses and put together a presentation to the House investigation committee, which met today for about four hours before adjourning for the week. The committee will return to work at 11 a.m. December 29.

One challenge for Edward Genson, the governor’s attorney, will be to produce witnesses that the committee deems relevant to its investigation. And that investigation is not whether the governor is a swell fella, said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, chair of the investigative committee. The mission is to determine whether Blagojevich has repeatedly abused his power or mismanaged the state.

“What we’re about is: Has he behaved in ways that have so seriously undercut the public trust and public confidence? Has he breached his responsibility to the citizens of Illinois?”

Committee members also face a challenge. They have to decide whether the information gathered so far demonstrates arrogance, incompetence, deliberate skirting of the process or invasion of the legislature’s authority, Currie said. If it is any one of those things, then the bigger question is: Is that an impeachable offense?

Genson has and will continue to argue that the information gathered so far is inadequate for impeachment. “There are no facts here. All we have are inferences.”

On the other hand, he said, “challenging the facts is a difficult matter because quite frankly, everybody who I perceive that’s involved is going to run under their beds and hide when I want to call them.”

As of Monday afternoon, he said he had nine people in mind he would like to invite to testify, but that could change. He wouldn’t mention names. He did say that he would submit a list of potential witnesses to Currie’s office Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, the committee is still waiting to hear from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office about the committee’s own witnesses it would like to invite. You can read names of those desired witnesses in a formal letter to Fitzgerald, asking him to determine whether the witnesses would interfere with his ongoing criminal investigation.

Not even committee members expect Fitzgerald to grant authority to interview everyone on the list. Genson was even more blunt: “The chances of them complying with your or my subpoena is nil.”

More evidence or inference?
Day four of the impeachment investigation involved gathering evidence from public documents and legislative agencies that say they struggle to work with the Blagojevich administration. The testimony, again, produced nothing new but did further the committee’s inquiry into abuse of power and political misuse of office.

  • The Procurement Policy Board, which oversees state property leases, added similar testimony to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules from last week: It’s difficult to get timely information or to get results when asked to adjust the administration’s plans. “This board is being ignored,” said Ed Bedore, Procurement Policy Board member. Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat on the investigative committee, said the trick is to determine whether the board’s experiences demonstrate gross incompetence or corrupt motivations.
  • The Procurement Policy Board also started looking into whether property owners who have contracts with the state also have contributed to the governor’s political campaign. It’s not a formal policy to check, said Matt Brown, executive director of the agency, but he did say they did not check campaign contributions before the governor took office in 2003. One property manager donated $50,000 to the governor’s campaign.
  • Further campaign contribution details were offered by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s executive director, Cindi Canary, whose testimony cited news accounts and state records that show a list of state contractors who donated $25,000 contributions to the governor’s campaign. But there so far is no proof whether those campaign contributions lead to state contracts or vice versa. “Definitely the dots have not been connected,” Currie said. “I anticipate this is exactly the kind of thing that they have been looking for in the ongoing investigation of the Blagojevich administration.”
  • John Scully, former assistant U.S. attorney, verified the extensive review process for federal investigators who request authority to plant wiretaps and bugs as part of criminal investigations. He described at least seven layers of bureaucracy and a standard that must be met, including probable cause that a certain person committed a certain crime using a certain phone or room and that there is no other way to get that type of information. His testimony counteracted arguments by the governor’s attorney, who maintains that the wiretapped information cited in the criminal complaint against Blagojevich shouldn’t be used as evidence because it’s incomplete and, he said, illegal.

Quote of the day
Rep. Suzanne Bassi, a Republican member on the committee, likened pay-to-play politics to pornography: “You know it when you see it.”

See documents involved in the investigation here.


GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 22, 2008

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Fitzgerald Plays Peoria

by Cal Skinner

Here's what might be an interesting development.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald spoke at the mid-year graduation ceremony at Peoria's Bradly University this weekend.

That's what this Chicago Tribune media story reports.

Peoria is not in the court district in which Fitzgerald serves.

If one were thinking about running for statewide public office, someone like Fitzgerald would be trying to make himself known through Illinois.

Could this be an leading indicator that Patrick Fitzgerald might be willing to run for office?

If he wanted to take that leap, following in the footsteps of Jim Thompson, who seemed to lust for the office of governor long before he left the U.S. Attorney's Office, this might be Fitzgerald's first step.

Would he run as a Republican or a Democrat?

Or, as independent?

No one I know has a clue where he stands on any issue but public corruption.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Courtroom Victory

To say that I've been busy is an understatement, but in the Coincidental Timing Department, comes this bit of news from Common Cause. A federal district court in Connecticut turned down a constitutional challenge to that state's recently passed pay-to-play ban:
The court held that the law, one of the strictest laws in the nation banning “pay to play” contributions, was constitutional, a decision that could have wide impact on states considering similar policies in light of the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
The federal court opinion is available online here.

And the following quote from the release just shows that for the time being, our state will continue to be the poster boy for political corruption.

“Today's decision is a clear victory for good government. The current shameful situation in Illinois -- and the earlier corruption scandals in Connecticut that prompted enactment of this law -- show that too often politicians are willing to trade away their offices for private gain. This law protects taxpayers by assuring that those seeking to do business with the state are not paving their way with campaign contributions. Ending pay-to-play government must be a primary goal of both state and federal officials," said Laura MacCleery, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, which assisted the law firm, Hogan & Hartson in serving as counsel for Intervenor-Defendants in the case.
What I do find interesting is who the plaintiffs were in the case. The Association of Connecticut Lobbyists and the Green Party of Connecticut. The first one I get, but the second one just strikes me as odd.
In any event, it's another victory for banning pay-to-play politics.

To read or post comments, visit Open House


GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 21, 2008

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Blagojevich explains to California's Willie Brown

The Gov calls Willie Brown: Illinois governor seems to be growing stronger. Brown writes,

I can't go into details, but my impression is that the whole mess started because the governor had been considering appointing a political rival, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, to the Senate so she wouldn't be able to run against him when he went up for re-election in 2010.

Apparently, Obama's people weren't happy about the idea of Madigan coming to Washington, and there were some pretty heated conversations between Blagojevich and Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, which I understand will burn your ears off.
Brown writes the last thing Democrats want is a Illinois Senate race requiring Obama to campaign to save the seat for a party. A referendum on Obama before he's even really started.

The Guv's got a few cards left, and he's using them.

I'll keep this open for my Sunday bleepgate posting...
AP via LA Daily News: Raum [sic] Emanuel ties to Rod Blagojevich troublesome

The AP can't spell his first name but it sure sounds like someone is leaking stories to get the Bus in gear for a crush on Rahm.
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich is legendary in Illinois political circles for not picking up the phone or returning calls, even from important figures such as the state's senior senator, Dick Durbin.

But there was always one call Blagojevich regularly took, say his aides, and that was from Rahm Emanuel: his congressman, his one-time campaign adviser and, more recently and more troubling for Emanuel, one of his contacts with President-elect Barack Obama's transition staff.

Arlene Jones asks,
I am also perplexed about when it became "de rigueur" for some white politicians to call on black preachers whenever they find their butts in trouble for doing something scandalous. From Bill Clinton after Monica-gate to Blagojevich with these allegations, why are black preachers the first ones sought out following the sins? No other ethnic or racial group seems to have ministers who come to the aide of sinners as quickly as those in the black community. Do those ministers have a better hotline to God than the pastors of the churches those sinners regularly attend? And if so, can some of those prayers be first for those sick children at Children's Memorial whose health the Governor put at risk by playing political games with their health care!
Good question... I wondered myself Serbian Orthodox priests available?


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Balgo Star Wars

by Cal Skinner

When I saw the Chicago Tribune headline yesterday,

Strikes Back

I thought Star Wars.

Not knowing the plot as well as my son, I had to ask my son whether the Empire represented good or bad.

“Bad,” was the immediate answer.

So there's no contest of what character should represent Rod Blagojevich:

Darth Vader

And where would I find a photo of Darth Vader?

I looked to see if I took one at Disney World.

Guess I didn't get close enough.

Now, I know it was not Rod Blagojevich in the costume.

I doubt Blagojevich has ever been in McHenry County, except maybe to get to Rockford for the first 2002 gubernatorial debate, which he and GOP candidate Jim Ryan conspired to exclude me. (Part of the Tollway goes through the southwestern edge of McHenry County.)

So, just think of it as a representation of concept.

Now, the clone warriors, because of the recent cartoon movie, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” I know are good guys.

Maybe they represent Illinois state representatives.

Maybe they will take Darth Vader out of our universe before he does more evil.

Posted first at McHenry County Blog.


GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 20, 2008

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - December 20, 2008

-- Blagojevich: I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing - Andy Shaw
-- Lt. Gov. urges Blagojevich to resign - Charles Thomas

-- Blago: 'I Will Fight Until I Take My Last Breath' Governor says he will be vindicated
-- ABC7's Andy Shaw to Retire Shaw a recognized and honored reporter in Chicago

-- Blagojevich Says He'll Fight Until 'Last Breath' Governor Says He Is Not Guilty And He Will Not Leave Office
-- Prop. 8 Sponsors Seek To Nullify 18,000 Gay Marriages

-- Feds issue new 'right of conscience' rule
-- GOP: Blagojevich statement 'unacceptable' - Christopher Wills,0,2596512.story
-- Blagojevich: 'I have done nothing wrong'
-- 'I will be vindicated' Governor won't resign, asks for patience - Monique Garcia, Rick Pearson and Ray Long,0,2411246.story
-- On with impeachment - Editorial,0,2031548.story
-- FRONT PAGE TOP OF FOLD: DIERSEN HEADLINE: University of Chicago does what it can to promote promiscuity, promote sexually transmitted diseases (STD), promote pregnancies, and promote abortions. How many new STDs will University of Chicago students acquire each year? How many pregnancies? How many abortions?,0,5906599.story
-- U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to speak at Bradley University - AP (DIERSEN: Who will picket the event: Combine Members, Blagojevich, Blagojevich supporters, the 91,753 in DuPage County who voted for Blago in 2002, the 101,859 in DuPage County who voted for Blago in 2006, George Ryan, George Ryan supporters, Scooter Libby, Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, Jim Ryan, Judy Baar Topinka, Bob Kjellander, Dennis Hastert, Ray LaHood, Bush, Obama, etc.?),0,6487148.story

-- Blagojevich: 'I will be vindicated' - Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney,w-blagojevich-illinois-governor-talk-media-121908.article
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Americans speak English. The transcript of Obama's press conference contains some kind for foreign language: "Quisiera tomar esta oportunidad para agradecerle al Presidente- electo Barack Obama por haberme nominado como secretaria del Departamente del Trabajo de los Estados Unidos. Como hija de migrantes, estoy muy honorada por esta oportunidad. "Tambien quisiera agradecerle a mi esposo, a mis padres, Raul y Juana Solis, y a mi familia por todo su apoyo." Was she speaking to foreigners? Hopefully, the Chicago Sun-Times will provide Americans with a translation. As an American, it makes me furious when anyone, especially someone who speaks English, speaks to me in a foreign language.
-- The truth? He can't handle the truth It's not as if he's lying -- to anybody other than himself - Mark Brown,CST-NWS-brown21.article
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Mary Mitchell makes it clear that she wants Whites and religious people not only at the back of the bus, but under the bus, again,CST-NWS-mitch21.article
-- People of Illinois deserve senator of their own choosing - Washington Post,CST-EDT-open20b.article
-- Bailout approved: Automakers to get $17.4B Drastic restructuring required for emergency auto industry funding - AP,w-auto-bailout-approved-122008.article

-- Gov. Blagojevich: 'I will fight' until 'my last breath' - Joseph Ryan
-- Special election for all offices in Illinois? - Don Loresch, Elmhurst

-- GOP: Blagojevich statement 'unacceptable' - Christopher Wills
-- LaHood will be key in big public works plan - Jim Suhr

-- Blagojevich: 'I will be vindicated' - AP

-- Blagojevich vows to keep fighting - Brian Hudson

-- In 2004, Obama supported the people electing U.S. Senators - Fran Eaton
-- Blagojevich: "I Will Fight, I will fight, I will fight" - Fran Eaton

-- Senate Republican's Review the Week Past!B0DB128F5CD96151!5586.entry

-- Blagojevich: It's kind of lonely right now, but - Bethany Jaeger

-- Call Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Ask her to Keep Her Promise.- Mark W. Johnson

-- Stitching Together Contradictions Makes Obama Sound Reasonable but It’s an Intellectual Ponzi Scheme.

-- Was Blago a Chicago Mobster?

-- Rudy Giuliani Breaks Down Blagojevich Case,2933,470037,00.html
-- Obama's Senate Seat Could Stay Vacant for Months Impeachment proceedings against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich could take a number of weeks, meaning Barack Obama's Senate seat will stay in limbo

-- Blagojevich: Obama's Toil And Trouble - Jennifer Skalka

-- Illinois governor: `I'm not going to quit' - Deanna Bellandi and Mike Robinson
-- Illinois Gov. Blagojevich pledges to fight, won't quit - Jim Suhr

-- Blagojevich Vows to Fight Charges With ‘Last Breath’ - Andrew Harris
-- Obama’s Diverse Cabinet Lacks Members From Business Community - Julianna Goldman and Hans Nichols
-- GM Bailout, Fueled by Quiznos, Pre-Dawn Call, Punted to Obama - Kristin Jensen

-- Blagojevich's Defiance Complicates Democratic Strategy - Chris Cillizza

-- Corruption spotlight prompts new Illinois license plate for 2009 - Andrew Malcolm
-- Defiant Blagojevich insists he's innocent - Chicago Tribune,0,5333781.story

-- Defiant Blagojevich swears to his innocence - Peter Slevin

-- Blagojevich: ‘I Will Fight This Thing Every Step of the Way’ - Lisa Tozzi
-- ‘I Will Fight,’ Blagojevich Unapologetically Vows - Susan Saulny and Monica Davey


-- Illinois Governor's 'Pay For Play' Reminiscent Of Tammany Hall Infamy - John Reiniers


Blagojevich - I Will Fight, I Will Fight, I Will Fight Until My Last Breath

Governor Blagojevich deserves a post all his own for this Press Conference.

Back here for the rest of the weekend's blogging.


Keep love in your heart: the Rod Blagojevich story

This is hysterical. Via ILGOP

I'll keep this post open for weekend Bleepgate postings.

LaHood over the Pork Barrel (not Bleepgate but close)

Obama's going to govern the country the same way Daley governed Chicago. Competent Chiefs that garner praise from Corporate Republicans, and contracts as the glue that holds the coalition together. Here's AP's Jim Shuhr in on the guy managing the contracts: LaHood will be key in big public works plan

Retiring Rep. Ray LaHood ranks among his state’s leaders when it comes to bringing federal money home to Illinois. As Barack Obama’s transportation secretary, LaHood would apply those skills on a much grander scale.

For starters, if confirmed by the Senate, he will be looked upon to oversee the monster public works program President-elect Obama has promised as a means of jolting the nation’s down-in-the-dumps economy back to life.
Oberweis as place holder

Joe the Libertarian writes What Should Blagojevich do?
Second he should appoint a placeholder for Obama's Senate seat. My preferred choice is Jim Oberweis...why? Simple, Oberweis is considered a gadfly by now and disliked by not only Democrats but also a majority of Republican (I happen to like him and agree with him most of the time). Also, he is extremely wealthy and would make the 2010 primaries and possibly general election interesting. Also, by appointing a Republican like Oberweis would be a major snub to the Democrats that have stabbed him in the back and weaken the Republican's criticism of him.
I don't think it would dampen GOP criticism but it would be wild ride for sure.

Hugh Hewitt: Blagojevich Will Get All Of the Emanuel Tapes
...Blago’s lawyers are going to get complete copies – not just transcripts – of everything Emanuel said to him.

And, I’m guessing that Fitzgerald has not shared with the Obama administration what it is Emanuel has been recorded as saying, thus the complete silence by Emanuel since this issue broke into the press. He can’t say anything now for fear that there is a recorded conversation that will contradict him.
Obama's administration will start crippled with a COS who can't talk to anyone.


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