Saturday, March 22, 2008

GOPUSA ILLINOIS Daily Clips - March 22, 2008

-- In Combine, cash is king, corruption is bipartisan - John Kass,1,2408773.column
(THE COMMENTARY: All week, Stuart Levine, the Republican snitch who loves his gladiator movies, has been telling the story of Illinois. He tells it from the witness stand in federal court, weaving the tale of this political boss and that political boss, that Democrat, this Republican, all working together for the common good. He means, the good stuff in their wallets. So I'm wondering, rhetorically for the purposes of a Sunday column, what do we call this relationship, again? This Illinois custom of quiet sharing of power across party lines for the benefit of a fat connected few? What is it? What is it, again? Formally, Levine is putting things together for the prosecution in the corruption trial of Illinois political fixer Tony Rezko. That's the narrow focus. Actually, he's telling a larger tale, about power and clout in our state. So I called former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, the Republican maverick from Illinois who tried to fight political corruption and paid for it. For this sin, he was driven out of Illinois politics by political bosses, by their spinners and media mouthpieces, who ridiculed him mercilessly. Senator, what do you call that connection that Stuart Levine describes from the witness stand, you know that arrangement across party lines, with politically powerful men leveraging government to make money - what do you call it? "What do you call that Illinois political class that's not committed to any party, they simply want to make money off the taxpayers?" Fitzgerald said. "You know what to call them." What? "The Illinois Combine," Fitzgerald said. "The bipartisan Illinois political combine. And all these guys being mentioned, they're part of it." Oh, yeah. The Combine. I've been calling it The Combine for about a decade but hardly see it referenced elsewhere, and I don't want others to think I'm hoarding the Illinois Combine all to myself. Today, I'm sharing. I'm inviting other colleagues—political writers, editors, broadcasters and any combine suck up professors (DIERSEN QUESTION: Paul Green?) - to use "Illinois Combine" particularly if they're having difficulty explaining how two parties can be as one when there's money on the table. It's not trademarked. Come on guys, jump in, the Cellini's warm. "In the final analysis, The Combine's allegiance is not to a party, but to their pocketbooks. They're about making money off the taxpayers," Fitzgerald said. He should know. He fought The Combine and lost, and the empty suits running the Republican Party encourage their friendly scribes to blame the social conservatives for the disaster of the state GOP. Conservatives aren't the problem. Corruption is the problem. It is what it is. We are where we are, in The Combine state, and if you raise your head too high, The Combine will come along and chop you down. Ask Fitzgerald. But the Rezko trial is part of the U.S. Justice Department's attack on The Combine. The "Operation Board Games" investigation is about how appointments to state boards and commissions overseeing state pension fund investments and hospital construction were leveraged into paydays for the insiders. And what is playing out in the federal building is The Combine on trial. At one point in the testimony last week, Levine explained how ecumenical it is. He wrangled an invitation to a 2003 Christmas reception at the Bush White House. The invitation was courtesy of Robert Kjellander (pronounced $hell-an-der) a big shot Republican from Illinois who would become treasurer of the Republican National Committee. Kjellander is currently setting up the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where Republican nominee John McCain will no doubt denounce corruption and pay-to-play politics, with Kjellander in the wings. During the testimony last week, Levine said there had been others invited to the Bush White House, courtesy of Kjellander. There was Kjellander's buddy - and political boss - William Cellini, the road builder, hotelier, gaming czar and leader of the Springfield Republicans. And there was Rezko, the conduit to Democratic Gov. Rod "The Unreformer" Blagojevich, with whom Cellini and Kjellander had business ties. They brought their wives. They enjoyed themselves. Cellini and Kjellander haven't been indicted. Blagojevich hasn't been indicted, but he reeks of George Ryan, and if he goes down, the Illinois political scorecard will read: Illinois Governors 4 Chicago Mayors 0. "I was trying to point out, to the media and to the public, what these guys were doing behind the scenes was bad. Sometimes I felt like Cassandra - destined to prophesy the truth and not be believed," Fitzgerald said. Senator, I know the feeling. But it's believable now, in open federal court, for those with eyes to see. And those who pay taxes in The Combine state.)
-- Greenberg challenges Bean on support for Serbia - Jim Tankersley,1,7604872.story

-- How would Illinois and America be different now if Peter Fitzgerald had been reelected in 2004? What would Obama be doing now? - Dave Diersen
(THE COMMENTARY: Please read John Kass' commentary above. I agree with Kass that Peter Fitzgerald "was driven out of Illinois politics by political bosses, by their spinners and media mouthpieces, who ridiculed him mercilessly." Some have complained that I included Peter Fitzgerald in the "Who is most responsible for the current condition of the Illinois Republican Party?" poll at I included Peter Fitzgerald because he was our U.S. Senator for 6 years and his decision to not run again had tremendous consequences for the Illinois Republican Party (IRP). Tragically, the Combine's success in driving Peter Fitzgerald out emboldened the Combine, emboldened those individuals and organizations that the Combine dominates, and emboldened those who want to be members of the Combine. I am as disappointed with Peter Fitzgerald's decision to not run again as I am with my own decision to a) cave into the nasty Democrats who run the Chicago Office of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and b) take early retirement in 1997. I am disappointed with Peter Fitzgerald's position on race and gender based preference giving, reverse discrimination, and retaliation. I sued GAO shortly after I retired charging it with reverse discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation for complaining about it. Peter Fitzgerald appointed both the attorney who represented GAO - Patrick Fitzgerald - and the judge who tried my case - Amy St. Eve. Both Patrick Fitzgerald and St. Eve made it clear that they have no problem with race and gender based preference giving, reverse discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation for complaining about it, at least in my situation. If Peter Fitzgerald had run again, hopefully, he would have walked in the 2003 Wheaton Independence Day parade and he would have attended the picnic that I hosted in the Illinois Prairie Path Park in my precinct the day after the parade (Senator Lauzen had suggested that all precinct committeemen host such picnics). As it was, U.S. Senate candidates John Cox, Chirinjeev Kathuria, Andy McKenna, Jim Oberweis, and Jack Ryan walked in the 2003 Wheaton Independence Day parade and attended my picnic with about 200 others. The Combine did not want Jack Ryan to win the primary in 2004. Jack Ryan nevertheless won the primary, but then, the Combine succeeded in getting him to withdraw. Because the Combine did not want Oberweis to fill the vacancy, the IRP State Central Committee filled the vacancy with Keyes. If Peter Fitzgerald had been reelected, I doubt that the IRP would be in the condition it is now and I doubt that Obama would be where he is now. I do not blame the IRP's current condition on Peter Fitzgerald, I blame it on the Combine and those who helped the Combine drive him out of politics.)

DIERSEN HEADLINE: VERY SAD: Chicago Sun-Times publishes a photo of Kjellander at the top of page 3 of its Saturday print edition,CST-NWS-rezko22.article
(FROM THE ARTICLE: For the first time in Tony Rezko's three-week-old corruption trial, jurors on Friday heard Rezko's own voice on secretly recorded telephone calls -- including a chat in which Rezko seems to be giving orders about how to fix votes on multimillion-dollar hospital construction projects. The conversations, secretly recorded by the FBI in 2004, between Rezko and star prosecution witness Stuart P. Levine, preceded more bombshell testimony by Levine. He told jurors he effectively was given a quid pro quo by Republican insiders Robert Kjellander and William Cellini for pushing through a $150 million state investment deal in 2002 for one of their lobbying clients, the Carlyle Group. In exchange, Levine said, he didn't have to pay an annual $75,000 debt to Kjellander, an ally of former Bush administration deputy chief of Staff Karl Rove. . . Levine said Kjellander called him and asked if Levine, as a TRS board member, could help him get the state to invest with Carlyle. "At that point, did you ask Mr. Kjellander for any money?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner asked Levine. "No sir," Levine replied. "Mr. Kjellander is a very close associate of Mr. Cellini . . . and I was happy to help him." After Carlyle won the investment, he said Cellini, who worked with Kjellander, visited Levine's office. Cellini told Levine he no longer had to pay Kjellander for "present and future help" for a business called Compdent Group. Levine previously testified he paid Kjellander $75,000 a year as a lobbyist to win a State Board of Education contract for Compdent, a dental services provider. Levine was bound by TRS rules to disclose such a personal benefit but said he never did.)

-- Hastert gets job advising the Goeken Group, a Naperville technology firm - Paige Winfield,2_1_AU22_HASTERT_S1.article

Daily Herald
-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Ron Petrucci of St. Charles, someone who outrageously voted for Foster, demonizes Oberweis, and promotes Lauzen

-- Hastert to join Goeken Group in 'strategic adviser' role

-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Hillary, Bill, & Peter Paul Video Clip

-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: Outstanding Obama/Wright video clip sent out by a "suspended" McCain aide (VIDEO CLIP)
-- Krauthammer: Obama Fraud Speech
-- Obama: Grandma Is 'Typical White Person'

-- OUTSTANDING: Poll: Obama loses to Clinton, McCain

-- DIERSEN HEADLINE: NOT SURPRISING: CBS POLL: Percent who believe Obama would unite the country drops from 67 to 52 (Includes video clip)

-- VERY SAD: Illinois State Budget Hearings Clearly a Spend Fest - James Carlini

-- A Brief for Whitey - Pat Buchanan

-- Comptroller General (THE HEAD OF GAO) vacancy intensifies Bush-Hill battle - Jordy Jager
-- "Deceived" National Republican Congressional Committee lost $740,000 - Jackie Kucinich and Aaron Blake

-- Obama Controversy: How Many African-American Churches Are Like Jeremiah Wright's? - Daniel T. Zanoza


Anonymous,  1:28 PM  

Rich Miller said the word Combine is overused, that the Combine does not exist and he was going to delete too many metions to the Combine.

It seems the US Attorney from the Northern District of Illinois believes the Combine exists.

It seems all those wacky social conservatives were right.

Anonymous,  1:38 PM  

Steve Neal was one of the paid media mouthpieces who badmouthed Sen Fitzgerald.

Anonymous,  5:56 PM  

How about taking the weekends off and giving us readers a break? Please........................

Anonymous,  6:02 PM  

these posts are tooooo loooonnnnnggggggg

Dierson has a venue at Illinois Review.

Rich Miller - HELP!!!!!

Anonymous,  4:00 PM  

Doug Ibendahl is the problem. He is a sick disturbed person.

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP