18Jun/130

After a decade of Patrick Fitzgerald “The Combine” alive and well

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

"Combine Hack"

 

Article penned by Lee Cary for TeaParty911.com gives the cold hard facts.

Illinois GOP Central Committee picks “Combine” lobbyist as Chair

By Lee Cary

On June 1, 2013,the Illinois State Republican Central Committee (IRCC) elected John “Jack” Dorgan as its Chair and showed how “The Combine” works.

In Illinois, there’s only one political party. It’s The Combine – the collaborative combination of Democrat and Republican politicians and party officials who work together to harvest the taxpayers’ money.

The Tea Party organizations in Illinois are up against The Combine. Understanding what that means requires understanding what The Combine is, and how it operates.

The “Combine”

About fifteen years ago, a descriptive label was coined to apply to the Illinois political environment by Chicago Tribune writer, John Kass. He called it “The Combine.”

Former Illinois U.S. Senator (1999-2005) Peter Fitzgerald was the last Senator or Governor to challenge The Combine. It cost him his political career.

...continues at http://www.teaparty911.com/blog/illinois-gop-central-committee-picks-combine-lobbyist-as-chair-part-1/

http://www.teaparty911.com/blog/illinois-gop-central-committee-picks-combine-lobbyist-as-chair-part-2/

http://www.teaparty911.com/blog/illinois-gop-central-committee-picks-combine-lobbyist-as-chair-part-3/

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29Nov/120

The Sun Tribune, Chicago’s Newspaper Combine

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Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic Chicago Tribune columnist and political satirist John Kass coined the term “combine” to refer to the combination of Illinois pols from both the Democrat and Republican parties who combine their efforts to fleece the Illinois public.

It fits nicely with political reality.

It also fits when applied to the two, big, daily newspapers that represent Chicago’s dead tree media: the Tribune and the Sun Times.

Each has their benefactors and constituency, like the two political parties, but, like the two political parties in Illinois, they really don’t compete against each other.  They combine their efforts to share the market that is Chicagoland’s designated “big” stories.

Take, for example, the David Koschman Case.  The Sun Times resurrected the story about the same time it, coincidentally, became the media shill for the new Rahm Emanuel regime in City Hall.  Their motive?  Discredit the former long-standing Daley regime machine, and, thereby, build up the new, more honest, City Hall bunch in-charge.

In the meantime, Koschman Case Special Prosecutor Dan Webb has, to date, billed $585,000 while conducting an alleged investigation into the incident that happened over 8 years ago. It’s just another charade for the benefit of the Cubs, Bears and Sox fans.  (A better use of that money, and much more, would have been to give it to Mrs. Koschman for the wrongful death of her son.)

Then there’s thalleged Frawley-McMaholawsuit that the Times reported – only to have it vanish from view in a couple of days, like a mole that sticks its head up from its hole, and then ducks back down. Just another effort to smear a former Daley crony. It went nowhere – just where it was intended to go.

On the other side, there’s the Trib’s involvement in the Blago Saga when one of its reporters tips off Blago that his phone is bugged by the feds. Then, behold, out comes a book by two Trib reporters that reveals the paper received special, privileged information from the US Attorney’s Office.  (Even going back to the original tip-off to Blago, you suppose?)  

So did you hear the Sun Times cry “Foul,” and “Hey, how’d the Trib get special treatment?”Where’s ours?” No you didn’t – and you won’t.

Why not? Because the two papers are not competitors. It’s a combine arrangement.

They each get their share, play their designated role, and maintain the pretense of an independent, competitive newspaper environment where the truth comes out as eager reporters hustle to scoop each other on the next big story. The stuff of Hollywood movies.

In true life, the newspaper combine matches the political combine that Kass has long highlighted.

And it works, both for the pols and for the newspaper editors and reporters.

Why: Because the suckers keep reading the dead trees thinking they’re getting “the news,when what they’re really getting is the news the combine wants them to get.

Get it?

[hat tip: John “Combine” Kass]

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7Sep/120

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald gives the United States of America it’s first Tin-Pot Dictator “Barack Hussein Obama”

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay  

 

The communications posted below are just one example of how Patrick Fitzgerald and the Chicago Tribune worked together to insure that Barack Hussein Obama, aka "The Chosen One" would win the 2008 Presidential election.  Illinois PayToPlay will have more on this soon.

 

All questions and or information related to this criminal activity should be directed to :

 

           Congressman Darrell Issa              ca49interndo@mail.house.gov

                                              

            Dale Neugebauer                           Dale.Neubebauer@mail.house.gov

               Chief-of-Staff  

               

            Washington, DC                                (202) 225-3906 

            California                                           (760) 599-5000

 

 

 

From: (redacted)

To: "David Young" <david_young@grassley.senate.gov>

Sent: Friday, June 3, 2011 8:58:46 AM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)   

 

Mr David Young 

 

Please see that Senator Charles Grassley receives a copy of this.

 

(name redacted)

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: (redacted)

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011 9:17:04 PM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)   

 

Glenn,

 

As we discussed, The fact that Rod Blagojevich is not making John Chase and the Chicago Tribune an issue in this case is very telling.  What will be most interesting is.  To what extent is Darrell Issa going to ignore what is happening before he is forced to step up ? 

 

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/blago/5231-session-1423-blagojevich-home.html

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: (redacted)

To: 

Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:59:49 PM

Subject: Fwd: My Source (TIP)  

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: (redacted)

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 10:43:11 PM

Subject: My Source

 

Glenn,

 

I think this speaks for itself.

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: 

Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:07:17 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Randall Samborn" <Randall.Samborn@usdoj.gov>, "Kimberly Nerheim" <Kimberly.Nerheim@usdoj.gov>, "ca49interndo" <ca49interndo@mail.house.gov>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>, "Justin Roth" <justin.roth@mail.house.gov>, "Gerould Kern" <gkern@tribune.com>, "John Kass" <jskass@tribune.com>, "Jeff Coen" <JCoen@tribune.com>, "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>, "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Dave McKinney" <dmckinney@suntimes.com>

Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:15:23 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

Ladies and gentleman,

 

 My source at the Chicago Tribune (referred to below) is John Chase. The same John Chase that warned Rod Blagojevich that the feds had a wiretap on him.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Concerned citizen

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Carol Marin" <cmarin@suntimes.com>, "Dave McKinney" <dmckinney@suntimes.com>

Cc: "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>

Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 7:52:38 AM

Subject: Fwd: Or maybe

 

What about the folks at the Sun-Times ? 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>, "Justin Roth" <justin.roth@mail.house.gov>, "ca49interndo" <ca49interndo@mail.house.gov>, "Cheyenne steel" <cheyenne.steel@mail.house.gov>

Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 9:12:10 PM

Subject: Or maybe

 

Or maybe, no one wants the truth to get out ?  

Does anyone want to know who in the Chicago Tribune organization informed me that the Tribune was sitting on the John Thomas (FBI mole) story to protect Barack Obama, at the behest of Patrick Fitzgerald ? Surely Rod Blagojevich and his lawyers will want to know or will they ? Why wouldn't they want to know ?

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Cc: "Sheldon Sorosky" <kapsor@aol.com>, "Aaron Goldstein" <aaron@notguiltyinchicago.com>, "Rod Blagojevich" <Rod@seligmultimedia.com>

Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 8:42:04 PM

Subject: Maybe everyone is inept ?

 

Glenn

 

To date, not a single person that has received this string of emails has asked me the simple and obvious question, who is your source at the Chicago Tribune. Remember what we discussed.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxx

Concerned citizen 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "Glenn Selig" <glenn@thepublicityagency.com>

Sent: Monday, April 18, 2011 8:23:27 AM

Subject: Fwd: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

Glenn

 

I appreciate that you are talking to Rod Blagojevich about what we have discussed, however in the mean time, has Sheldon shared this email with you ?

 

xxxxxxx

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "John Kass" <jskass@tribune.com>

Cc: "Chris Fusco" <cfusco@suntimes.com>, "Eric Zorn" <ericzorn@gmail.com>, "Gerould Kern" <gkern@tribune.com>, "Donald Hayner" <dhayner@suntimes.com>, "Dale Neugebauer" <Dale.Neugebauer@mail.house.gov>

Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 9:44:29 AM

Subject: Fwd: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

John 

 

You continue to be an outspoken fan of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald despite the fact you have been given evidence that should concern you deeply.

Perhaps since you and the Chicago Tribune feel so strongly about the virtues of Patrick Fitzgerald you can ask him a few questions that need answering.

 

1 Who leaked sealed information about the wire tap on Rod Blagojevich to John Chase, and have they been charged for that crime ?

2 Who leaked the information to John Chase that John Wyma was cooperating with the U.S Attorneys office ?

3 Why are the John Thomas files sealed ?

4 Etc., 

5 Etc.,

6 Etc.,

Get answers to these and you will be on your way to recovery.

FBI director Patrick Fitzgerald ?  Pay-to-Play on steroids, he should know.   You should talk to John Chase about this, as you know I have !

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: "jskass" <jskass@tribune.com>

Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 6:42:03 PM

Subject: Chicago Tribune - John Thomas

 

 

To whom it may concern

 

John Thomas was a mole for the FBI in the case in Illinois against Tony Rezko and others.  The Chicago Tribune was aware of the fact and chose not to write a story about him at the behest of Patrick Fitzgerald (U.S Attorney Northern Dist IL). The Tribune eventually wrote a story about John Thomas, however the story they wrote was not accurate.  My source at the Chicago Tribune claims that when Patrick Fiztgerald asked the Chicago Tribune to sit on the Thomas story, claiming it could put his life in danger, the Chicago Tribune refused.  The Chicago Tribune told Mr Fitzgerald that they were going to run the story anyway.  It was only when Patrick Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune that if they ran the story that it would affect the Presidential election did the Chicago Tribune agree not to run the story.  My source at the Chicago Tribune confirmed this meant Obama. My source also informed me of other information that would be of interest to the people of Illinois that was not being reported in the Chicago Tribune.

 

 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: 

To: 

Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 8:03:33 AM

Subject: FBI director Fitzgerald ?

 

I have known about this for a while, however I do find the timing of this interesting?  

Could make for interesting confirmation hearings.

 

 

www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0317-20110317,0,5332476.column  

chicagotribune.com

 

If Fitzgerald goes to Washington, will political cockroaches like Blagojevich multiply?

 

John Kass

March 17, 2011

advertisement

Rod Blagojevich awoke after a night of uneasy dreams to find that he had been transformed:

 

Not into just another Illinois political cockroach — one more former governor awaiting a federal criminal trial — but as a WLS-AM morning radio talk show host shamelessly sucking up to his potential jury pool.

 

So as WLS invited former Gov. Dead Meat to use the federally licensed airwaves to politic to the jury and claim his innocence, he dropped the name of famed writer Franz Kafka.

 

And his co-host, wife Patti, chimed in, saying those federal prosecutors in Chicago were really unfair.

 

"The whole thing, it's a story out of Kafka," said Dead Meat. "You know he wrote this novel 'The Trial,' which is just an unbelievable thing about how somebody can be falsely accused of things, and then they just drop a big thing on you, and create a firestorm and before you have a chance to catch your breath, you've been defined a certain way."

 

Dead Meat was referring Kafka's story of Josef K., a young bank official who is arrested by federal agents and tried, though neither he nor the reader ever learn the exact nature of the crime.

 

It's a crazy reference, because Dead Meat knows the charges against him — like trying to sell that "(bleeping) golden" U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.

 

And both he and Patti know the names of all the prosecutors and FBI agents, including U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

 

"My point is, it's a selective prosecution," Patti told the audience.

 

And she mentioned the story of her husband's replacement, Gov. Patrick Quinn, and his appointment of former state Rep. Careen Gordon, a Democrat from Morris.

 

During her campaign, Gordon opposed a tax increase but lost anyway. Then in January, Quinn needed her vote to pass his 67 percent income tax hike. He offered her an $86,000-a-year job on the state prison review board. As a potentially interesting confirmation hearing neared, Gordon withdrew her name from consideration Wednesday.

 

Quinn and Gordon insisted there was no quid pro quo, but anyone who believed that is a chumbolone.

 

"Why is it OK for Quinn and Careen Gordon to act this way?" whined Patti. "But we're sitting in a situation where you're going to go to trial again for the second time, for something far less concrete, than what they actually did."

 

What Quinn did is contemptible, but at least Quinn didn't have his fingerprints all over Obama's Senate seat.

 

On Wednesday, Patti was less (bleeping) Lady Macbeth and more like a 5-year-old, wondering why she and Rod got caught when everybody else gets to do it.

 

The last time I'd heard her speak was on a TV reality show, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"

 

She'd just eaten a plateful of live jungle bugs, perhaps Costa Rican cockroaches, and she was using the tip of her tongue to work them out of her teeth, the way you work celery out of your molars, when she began blubbering about Rod's innocence.

 

It was difficult to watch back then, but she got through it, and enough potential jurors must have seen it, too, because Dead Meat was convicted on only one federal count — lying to the FBI.

 

The retrial is scheduled to start April 20, and Fitzgerald has his prosecution team streamlining the case.

 

And now Fitzgerald might be making a move, to Washington. He's on the short list to replace Robert Muller as director of the FBI.

 

Whether he gets the job or not is something else again. I think Fitzgerald would like the post. Friends of his have been talking about it for years. He's obviously qualified, and he has hunted crooked Democrats and crooked Republicans with equal gusto.

 

But would the Chicago Way White House — with mayoral brother Billy Daley as chief of staff to the president — want an uncontrollable Fitzgerald running the FBI for the next 10 years?

 

Who knows? Billy Daley is approving the short list being leaked out to the media, with Fitz's name on it.

 

"He's clearly the best qualified candidate for the FBI director's post in the country, bar none," said former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, no relation, who defied the Illinois Combine by installing the independent Fitzgerald in the job.

 

It made them so angry that Sen. Fitzgerald was run out of Illinois politics as a result.

 

"It would be Chicago's loss if Patrick Fitzgerald became director of the FBI," the former senator said. "All sorts of characters in Chicago would be delighted if Patrick were promoted out of town. As FBI director, his responsibilities would be focused on a broad spectrum and he wouldn't have time to focus just on Chicago."

 

Blagojevich was consistent throughout his shameless morning talk show rant.

 

He was the wronged man. His enemies wanted his hide. He was the one who fought on behalf of the people against all those schemers, liars and knaves.

 

But he got the Kafka reference wrong. It wasn't "The Trial" he should have been thinking of, but "The Metamorphosis," which Kafka would have begun this way, if he were covering the trial.

 

"As Rod Blagojevich awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. … His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes."

 

If the best exterminator leaves town, what will happen to all those political cockroaches?

 

They'll multiply. As in the old days.

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12Apr/120

Reporter, reporter, you’ve made us laugh (at you)

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Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

                                                    

It’s hard to report serious news as light comedy.  Tribune reporter Eric Zorn tried recently in his article Matchmaker, matchmaker, make us a match-up”.  But the piece was a short round.

For you lifelong civilians, a “short round” is a shell that goes out of an artillery tube after only a portion of the charge propels the business end of the shell.  The dud sound that accompanies a short round is unmistakable.  The shell explodes short of its target - sometimes with disastrous consequences.  Anyway…

Zorn’s piece had something to do with the Republicans not being able to find a viable candidate to run against State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

He believes that the Koschman case is becoming an embarrassment to the State’s Attorney and that she may be vulnerable to an opposing Republican candidate, resulting in a real, contested election for her job.  (Eric, go down the hall and let John Kass tell you about the “Combine”.)

Somebody forget to tell Eric that the G.O.P in Crook County is akin to a neutered tomcat who has a vague recollection of what the sport of politics is all about, but has no…ah…capabilities to engage in it.

“It would be nice,” Zorn wrote, if there was a “robust campaign”.   Robust is such a robust word. It carries inherent gravitas, as does the word gravitas itsownself.  Anyway…

Zorn’s piece would have merely remained a short round, short of being robust, but then he compared the Koschman murder to Trayvon Martin’s death and got all serious on us. Thud went his out-going round.

Of course, they’re alike in that, in both cases, one person killed another. But beyond that, they’re about as similar as the aforementioned neutered tomcat and the tiger that attacked Roy – or was it Siegfried? – during their big cat act in Vegas.

Zorn wrote, “But in both cases there remain ‘troubling questions that have yet to be answered,’ as Toomin put it Friday in his analysis of Koschman. And in both cases, those agencies closest to the original investigation are poorly situated to provide satisfying answers to those questions.”

Well, gee, it’s taken eight years for a judge to come to that conclusion in the Koschman case. But in the Martin case, after about seven weeks, the locals still have control of the investigation and are being scrutinized by the entire national media.  Yet, already, Zorn is saying the fix is in?

George Zimmerman was arrested on April 11, 2012, and charged with Second Degree Murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.  State Attorney Angela Corey is for real.

But where was Zorn, and where were the other Trib reporters in the days, weeks, and years after David Koschman was killed in 2004?

Zorn wants a real election for Alvarez’s seat.  Chicago wants a real newspaper with “Tribune” in the banner.

To parody the close of Zorn’s piece:

Serious responses only. Call 800-500-DOPE and ask for Phil Cline. No baggage. No weirdos.

 

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11Dec/110

The Fitz Solution to Corruption: The Citizens Report It

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Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

While commenting on Blago’s prison sentence, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald repeated what has become for him a common theme: Illinois citizens are responsible for stopping corruption by reporting it to the authorities.

In the longer video of his comments aired by NBC News Chicago, in response to a reporter’s question (1:16 into the clip), Fitz says (beginning at 1:34) that there needs to “…be a change in the public’s attitude. People seem resigned to corruption at times and…they’re afraid to say ‘no’ when someone in power asks them for something they shouldn’t. The people in power should be afraid to ask.”

So, Fitz’s solution is for citizens who are approached to give cash, benefits and favors in exchange for some consideration by corrupt officials, should run and tell the authorities – the federal, state, county and local police, and the various prosecutorial agencies.

That’s The Fitz’s Solution.  It has several weaknesses.

1.  To whom do citizens report corruption when their trust in the authorities is – to be kind – less than complete?

It’s an exaggerated comparison, but what were the consequences to citizens who reported corruption in East Germany to the Stasi? Only if the corruption wasn’t, in some way, sanctioned by the state, were the consequences anything but negative to the citizen.

2.  Much of the corruption in Illinois pay-to-play shakedowns happens at a small business level.  A three-trucks plumbing contractor submits a bid on a public housing project. The sub-contractor is told that a modest political donation to a particular politician would considerably enhance his chances of being awarded the contract. Suppose it’s a federally funded project.

Is the States’ Attorney’s office going to launch an investigation after the Plumbing contractor reports the shakedown? When billions are involved, what resources will be used to address, say, an alleged $3,000 bribe?  Garden variety graft, events that don’t reach the level of the $14 billion that Blago cost the taxpayers of Illinois, is so widespread that there just aren’t enough policing and prosecutorial resources to stem a crime wave like that underway in Illinois.

3. In a culture steeped in corruption like Crook County, kickbacks and greased palms have been going on for so long, so successfully, and with such impunity that Fitz’s suggestion that the authorizes are ready to aggressively prosecute the crooks that citizens report is flat goofy.

The “change of attitude” Fitz’s preaches has to start with the agencies tasked to enforce laws.

To blame the people is to blame the victims.

The Fitz Solution is like saying that the people of Russia are responsible for the corruption of the Putin regime. They voted him in, after all.

That the Jews in 1933 Germany were responsible for the horror the Nazis delivered on them. They should have reported the injustices to the German Courts.

That innocent Mexican civilians are responsible for the violence of the drug traffickers along the border.  After all, the violence couldn’t happen without the victims’ complicity (and, in some cases, that of the U.S. Department of Justice for selling guns to the cartels!).

It’s patently absurd when a high profile “crime fighter” – or the “Exterminator,” as John Kass calls him – blames the victims.

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21Nov/110

The Sun Times Asks “How much time will Tony Rezko serve?”

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Natasha Korecki, Federal Courts Reporter for the Sun Times, asked that question in a recent article.

Tony is scheduled, once again, to be sentenced Tuesday, November 22, in federal court. We’re holding our collective breath.

The rest of Natasha’s piece is designed to prepare us for a sentence of “time served.”  Here’s what we’re told:

  • The U.S. Attorney, Patrick “Elliott Ness” Fitzgerald, wants Tony to serve 11-15 years for failing to cooperate. (That’s because Patrick’s what John Kass of the Tribune calls, the Exterminator of criminals.)
  • Tony’s lawyer says that Tony’s “talks with the government” help encourage others, like Lon Monk, to testify against Blago.
  • A defense attorney says that the judge could credit Tony for his cooperation (What cooperation?) even though he wasn’t called to testify against Blago.
  • The judge doesn’t have to follow the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation. (Oh, oh. Brace for impact.)
  • Meanwhile, “Rezko served about nine months in the most restrictive jail conditions at the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center — a Special Housing Unit called the ‘SHU,’ where ‘high-risk’ inmates, including accused terrorists and currently a suspected high-ranking leader of a violent Mexican drug cartel, are held. High-profile defendants or those cooperating with prosecutors are also held there.”  (So now the Sun Times knows where Tony’s been. Who leaked this time? Chase again?)
  • Unidentified “legal observers” say the judge could credit Tony for having done jail time in harsh conditions. (Are you feeling set-up yet?)
  • A former Chief of Staff of former Governor, now inmate, George Ryan says that the SHU “should not be shrugged off.”  (Are you feeling Tony’s pain yet?)
  • Tony also spent time in a Wisconsin county jail (Really?) “…where he cannot go outdoors and has not had any physical contact with family.”  (OMG, such an ordeal for poor Tony!)

This article reads like the storyline for a sequel to A Christmas Carol with Tony playing a grown-up Tiny Tim.  Patrick Fitzgerald is the legalistic Scrooge. The kindly Judge St. Eve releases Tony from the clutches of debtor’ prison and he limps into the sunset – a free man.

Sort of like…John Thomas. Another faux witness to corruption in Crook County, never called to testify.

Get ready for time served. Unless there’s another sentencing postponement. And what a shock that’d be!

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6Nov/110

Rezko’s Sentencing Recommendations, Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

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Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

The Jimmy Hoffa of federal prisoners may be getting ready to finally surface, in the flesh. Talk of Tony Rezko’s imminent sentencing is building. Suppose that means anything, this time?

After 3½ years of self-imposed incarceration, somewhere on the planet, he’s about to surface, according to the Chicago Tribune.  According to another source, Tony “has spent much of his more than 3½ years in jail in solitary, rarely getting fresh air and subject to a diet that has resulted in him losing 80 pounds, according to a defense filing unsealed Thursday.”  Poor Tony.  He’s been Steve McQueen in the 1973 movie Papillon.

Paa-leese.  We’re supposed to believe that Tony has been doing hard time at the…well, where has he been all this hard time? On a military base in Wisconsin playing golf in a light disguise four times a week?  Indoor tennis on rainy days? And where is he now? When will those relentless investigative reporters at the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times be able to ask him their piercing interrogatives?

Tony’s attorneys want him sentences to time served. (Where was that again?)

Patrick Fitzgerald’s office wants him sentenced to from 11-15 years because – get ready for this – he failed to cooperate with prosecutors.  That’s why, we’re to believe, Tony wasn’t called as a witness in the Blago trial. After 3½ years, the U.S. Attorney finally decided that Tony hasn’t cooperated. Geeze, Louise. Buying that requires…a willing suspension of disbelief. (The Tribune’s John Kass will buy it, though. For him, Fitzgerald is the Great Exterminator.)

Sentencing by U.S. Judge Amy St. Eve is set, yet again, for Nov. 22.  Waiting for St. Eve to sentence Tony is like waiting for Gogot. Birthdays pass while waiting. Wanna bet it’ll be postponed again?

But what if it isn’t postponed? Will her Honor throw the book at Tony? Or, sentence him to time served.  Or, maybe 4 months in a federal pen where, for the 3 months he has to put in, he can work on his backhand tennis return.

The best way to watch all this is to pull up an easy chair, get a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show. Cause it’s all theatre, folks.  Tony’s friend Obama is going to pardon him eventually anyway.  After all the money Tony passed his way, Tony deserves some executive clemency. Tony’s mentioned he expects a pardon to two former associates.

Aretha Franklin asked the relevant question about all this…

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13Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Exterminator’s Catch & Release Program (Part 9)

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Is the result of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s ten-year, crime-fighting crusade in Illinois the near extermination of corruption?  Or, has it been more about trapping a few big bugs and spraying a catch-and-release treatment on them?

In a March 17, 2011 Chicago Tribune article by John Kass entitled “If Fitzgerald goes to Washington, will political cockroaches like Blagojevich multiply?” Kass bemoans the future of Chicago if Patrick Fitzgerald is eventually appointed Director of the FBI.  Kass wrote, “If the best exterminator leaves town, what will happen to all those political cockroaches?” (Answer: Dear John, They’ll continue as if nothing’s changed, cause nothing has.)

Kass is among the Chicago media types who've succumbed to Fitz idolization driven, in part, by the eventual conviction of Dead Meat at the hands of the Exterminator.  And so Fitz stands watch alone today, in his hands-on-hips-Superman-stance, along that thin line that separates law-and-order from Illinois’ Pay-to-Play.

So, OMG! If the Exterminator moves to Washington, D.C., what will stop the proliferation of other political cockroaches, like Dead Meat? Kass asks. (It’s hard to tell when Kass is being serious versus flippant, since his writing style aims to tease, not confront. It’s both a literary niche, and a survival technique. If you really don’t want to, you don’t have to take him seriously.)

If you were reading Kass’ piece on Mars, you’d think the Exterminator had pretty much wiped out corruption in the Land of Lincoln, Crook County, and the City that Capone built.

Such is the power of the myth of the Intrepid Crime Fighter. Question is: How does it match with reality? In the ten years the Exterminator has prowled the Windy City, spraying for cockroaches, has there been any substantive reduction in their numbers and impact?  Well, lets’ do a body count and see.

The Chicago Sun Times, which doesn’t have quite the simpatico relationship with Fitz that the Trib has, recently catalogued the cockroaches trapped in Operation Board Games.  Here’s a short list:

  • Stuart P. Levine, Pleaded guilty in October 2006 (that’s like 5 years ago) of masterminding extortion schemes and skimming “millions from construction deals the school [Chicago Medical School] gave to Jacob Kiferbaum.” Stu awaits sentencing.
  • Jacob Kiferbaum, Pleaded guilty November 2007 (a mere 4 years ago) of participating in Levine’s schemes.  Jake awaits sentencing
  • John Glennon, Pleaded guilty November 2007 of covering up for Levine and Kiferbaum.  John awaits sentencing. (Is there a trend here?)
  • Steven Loren, Pleaded guilty September 2007 “in the attempted extortion of an investment firm that sought business from the teacher-pension fund.”  Steve awaits sentencing.
  • Tony Rezko, Convicted June 2008. Volunteered to be incarcerated. Disappeared down the Federal Rabbit Hole and hasn’t yet surfaced. Tony has told associates that he expects his friend Barack to eventually pardon him. Anyone want to bet against that?
  • Ali Ata, Pleaded guilty April 2008 to not reporting $1.2 million in income from a Rezko deal, for lying to the FBI, and, as a bonus, admitted he got a well-paying state job at the Illinois Finance Authority from Rezko. Ali awaits sentencing.
  • Abdelhamid Chaib, Pleaded guilty July 2010 of interfering “with the administration of internal revenue laws” in a Rezko business transaction.  A.C. was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $50K fine.
  • John Harris, Pleaded guilty October 2009 of helping Dead Meat try to sell Barack’s Senate seat.  Another John awaits sentencing.
  • Alonzo “Lon” Monk, Pleaded guilty October 2009 of mail fraud and scheming with Dead Meat to “get rich off state deals and split the money with Rezko and Kelly.” Lon awaits sentencing. What a surprise!
  • Anita Mahajan, Sentenced to four years of probation in August 2011 and, as the Trib reported, “ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and restitution Monday after pleading guilty to billing the state for drug tests her company never performed.” She over-billed the state $2.1 million. “Anita Mahajan, 60, the wife of a major Blagojevich fundraiser, dabbed at her eyes with a tissue and apologized as she stood before Judge James Obbish to plead guilty to a reduced count of theft of $99,900.”  You’d cry, too, if you got off so light for stealing two-mil from Illinois taxpayers.

One more not mentioned by the Sun Times

  • Joseph Cari, Pleads guilty in September 2005 of involvement in an extortion scheme that aimed to steer state pension business to companies in exchange for campaign contributions to a public official described in court docs as “Public official A [as in Dead Meat].”  In August 2011, Joe – a close friend of Joe Biden – was sentenced to three years of…wait for it…wait for it…yes, pro-ba-tion.  Oh, the state pension fund was for school teachers.

Rezko’s sentencing is pending.  Anyone want to bet against him being sentenced to time served (Where?) and three years of probation?

It’s all part of the Exterminator’s Catch & Release Program for the Cockroaches.

Hat tip: Chicago news humorist John Kass. He’s such a kidder.

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