23Nov/110

Dead Meat Walks the Plank December 6th

Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

Blago is next to be sentenced, on December 6.  Conventional wisdom among the Crook County media pundits is that, since Tony Rezko drew 10½ years, Dead Meat is facing the realistic prospect of even more time.

The prosecution said that Tony was “uncooperative”; even though he volunteered to go to jail before he was sentenced.  (Who gave him that advice?)  If the intent was to rack up goodwill points at his sentencing, it didn’t work.  All it did was give him a preview of the future – at least until his friend Barack springs him with a commutation of his sentence.  (Is Vegas posting odds on that yet?)

But for Dead Meat, there’s no commutation, no pardon, no escape on the horizon coming from the White House.  Blago and Barack didn’t have that special, symbiotic relationship built, literally, on bags of cash that once linked Tony and Barack at the wallet.

So what’s Dead Meat to do to mitigate the depth of the water he’s to fall into when he walks the plank on December 6th? How might he, unlike Tony, “cooperate?”

He can’t relate details about the former Chicago corruption days of the POTUS, and, thereby, shave off jail time. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has done a stalwart job of protecting Chicago’s favorite son through the whole sordid affair that’s whirled around Tony and Rod.  Blago starts talking about Chicago Obama and he might get life without parole!

He can’t squeal on Attorney General Eric Holder’s association, once upon another time, with the effort to endorse a mobbed-up casino in Rosemont. Holder is Patrick Fitzgerald’s boss. How would that work? – Blago fessing up that Holder’s law firm was to get $300 g’s for certifying that the people behind the casino were all former Eagle Scouts and fine, church-goin folks, when he knew otherwise. No joy there for Blago.

So does he tell on the current Governor’s Chief of Staff for what he might have done as Tony’s Chief Financial Officer? Naw, that’d be small potatoes. Besides, who cares? He has some dirt on the current Gov himself? Yawn.

Or, maybe he details how Rezko’s close business associates Dan Frawley and Dan Mahru participated in…oh, serial bad behaviors of interest?  Nope. You don’t use a big fish to catch smaller ones.

Okay, suppose Blago does a core dump on Illinois corruption, names names, give dates, outlines plots and pinpoints where the bones are buried, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Maybe he exposes details of the nefarious world of a longtime, high-profile, corrupt, senior alderman.  Or, tell true tales about the Daley’s.  Rahmbo might like that, but it wouldn’t help Blago.

So just what information, what “cooperation”, does Blago have to offer now that he knows how deep the water may be when he walks off the plank on December 6th?

Is there even anything he can tell that will make the outcome any less catastrophic for him?  Or, would his prosecutors just as soon he say nothing and vanish quietly into the federal penal system? Sort of like Norman Hsu did – remember him? You probably don’t, and that may be just what the U.S. Attorney’s office is hoping for. That Dead Meat disappears down the federal rabbit hole and in, say, 15 years, no one notices when he walks out with short gray hair, his children grown, Patty remarried, a self-defeated man. Not a pretty picture.

Not looking good for Dead Meat.

23Nov/110

Rezko Sentenced to Await Obama’s Pardon

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

WOW!  Today Federal U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve sentenced Tony Rezko to 10½ years in prison!  That can’t be good news for Blago. He’s next.

This reporter is, frankly, surprised – astonished is a better word – that St. Eve came down so hard on Tony.  (But we don’t back off the analysis of the Sun Times article yesterday wherein a case was implicitly made by the reporter for giving him time served.)

Does this mean that Tony will do at least the federally mandated 85% of his time before being a free man again? Maybe. Maybe not.

Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama was considerably less than forthcoming and truthful when describing his relationship with Tony before the ’08 election.  In short, he lied. Illinois Pay-to-Play will elaborate on that assertion in the weeks ahead.

We expected that, today, Tony might be a free man, sentenced to time served. Or, that his sentencing might be postponed yet again. We were wrong. But that won’t stop us from sticking out collective neck again.

Rezko expects to be pardoned by his friend Obama. Whether Obama wins or losses (or doesn’t even run in) the next election, he will pardon his friend and financial benefactor Tony after the ’12 election.  Tony is expecting that, given two eyewitness accounts known to us wherein Tony said he expects Obama to pardon him.

We hope we’re wrong about that prediction, too. Very wrong. Tony did the crime – he should do all  the time.  And more.

It’s time that will tell.

7Nov/110

Forbes Exposes How Chicago’s Pay-to-Play Works With Green Energy

Thomas Barton, Illinois Pay-to-Play Political Commentator

Writing for Forbes’ on-line magazine, Larry Bell, an expert in climate, energy, environmental and space policy issues, explains how the Obama administration has deployed the Chicago Way in awarding contracts. His article, entitled “Obama Kick-Back Cronyism, Part 1: Stimulating Green Energy the Chicago Way” can be read here.

“This article is the first in a four-part series discussing the early formative Chicago political career days of Barack Obama as community organizer, lawyer, Illinois state senator, financial foundation executive, and U.S. Senate campaigner. Part 2 will emphasize his activities related to Illinois health care issues leading to Obamacare.”

You can read Part Two here. It’s entitled “Obama Kick-Back Cronyism - Part 2: Illinois Health And Human Disservices.”

It’s unclear whether Forbes will complete the four-part series with Parts 3 and 4.  Maybe they got a phone call.

 

30Oct/110

Chicago Media’s Complicity in Nationalizing Illinois’ Pay to Play

Introducing Jontel Kassidy, Senior Capital Correspondent

As the nation wakes up to the systemic corruption of the Obama administration, and James O’Keefe outs journalistic fraud at the New York Times, it’s only a matter of time until the Chicago mainstream media comes under scrutiny for ignoring the background of the once junior Senator from Illinois during their coverage of the ’08 election.

Not because Chicago’s media luminaries didn’t know his associations with persons of questionable political ethics.  Not because they didn’t know of his lack of experience at running anything as large as a White Castle franchise.  And, not because they didn’t know of his friendships with, let’s say, person with less than conventional beliefs about the nation he was campaigning to lead. Not for any of those reasons will the Chicago media come under popular indictment for journalistic malpractice.

Their professional veracity will be, and is already being, questioned because they were like the piano player in the bordello. He banged away on the keyboard every day while the banging in the building went on upstairs. And then the day after the police raided the place – someone forgot to pay protection – he said, “You mean Gertrude really isn’t their aunt? And the nieces are, are…women of ill repute?  Who could have known?”

The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass wrote the perfect piano player piece last September 11th.  It began:

The Solyndra scandal cost at least a half-billion public dollars. It is plaguing President Barack Obama. And it's being billed as a Washington story.

But back in Obama's political hometown, those of us familiar with the Chicago Way can see something else in Solyndra — something that the Washington crowd calls "optics." In fact, it's not just a Washington saga — it has all the elements of a Chicago City Hall story, except with more zeros.

Wow! What a journalistic revelation! You mean the politician from Chicago, now in the White House, is metastasizing Pay-to-Play across the nation and the folks back in Chicago knew it was coming?  And they didn’t warn the rest of us? That takes your breath away, don’t it?  Coming as it does from Chicago’s most prominent living reporter.

It brings to mind that scene from the movie Die Hard where Bruce Willis throws a dead terrorist out the window of the besieged building in order to get the attention of the Twinkie-munching patrol officer.  When the body lands on the hood of his black-n-white and the shooting starts, Willis yells, “Welcome to the party, Pal.”

Well, welcome to the party, Kass! You didn’t know that Pay-to-Play would metastasize throughout the nation with a President Obama? Or you did know and didn’t say?

While you're writing about solar corruption these days, here are some other tumors you might check out. Start with the Daily Calleryea, I know, it’s one of those amateur media outlets you pros look down on – and learn about First Solar, SolarReserve ($737 federal loan), SunPower Corporation and Abengoa SA. They’re part of the solar power scam. And Barry has buds there, too.  What a surprise!  More Pay-to-Play.

Just one more lead, cause you don’t need to be over-worked: Whatever happened to Cathy Zoi, former acting undersecretary of Energy at the Department of Energy? (Here’s a clue.)

As for what set you off – i.e., Solyndra – no worries there, John.  As you wrote, “The FBI is investigating what happened with Solyndra.” Right, and Eric Holder is their boss. We all remember how Eric had such a stellar legal reputation that Dead Meat planned to pay his law firm $300,000 to certify that the mob mutts who were going to build a casino in Rosemont were really all upstanding troop leaders for the Boy Scouts.

You Chicago media boys and girls, keep bangin’ on your pianos, while Rome burns.

16Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? Series Summary (Part 10)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

The first sentence in Part 1 of this series asked this:

“Is the United States Attorney for the Northeastern District of Illinois an intrepid crime fighter, as he’s typically portrayed by most of the Chicago and national media? Or, is the legend of a modern day Untouchable Elliott Ness largely a media-created myth?”

What followed made a case that the Untouchable image of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is largely a myth.

As to circumstantial evidence:

“It means that existence of principal facts is only inferred from circumstances. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Lonas, 225 Ky. 717, 75 S W.2d 348, 350. 

When the existence of the principal fact is deduced from evidentiary by a process of probably reasoning, the evidence and proof as said to be presumptive. Best, Pres. 246; Id. 12. All presumptive evidence is circumstantial because necessarily derived from or made up of circumstances, but all circumstantial evidence is not presumptive. Burrill.

The proof of various facts or circumstances which usually attend the main fact in dispute, and therefore tend to prove its existence, or to sustain, by their consistency, the hypothesis claimed.  Or as otherwise defined, it consists in reasoning from facts which are known or proved to establish such as are conjectured to exist.”  (p. 309, Black’s Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition)

So, what are the facts and circumstances that we know that collectively tend to prove, or sustain by their consistency, the existence of the hypothesis that Patrick Fitzgerald is a politically-driven, not jurisprudence-driven, prosecutor whose image as an intrepid, unbiased crime fighter is a media-created fabrication?

Here are a few headlines from Parts 1-9:

Fitzgerald acknowledged that someone leaked information to the Chicago Tribune, via a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, while the reporter, John Chase, sat mute in the front row of the news conference where the arrest of Blago was described as an effort to stop a crime spree. (Chase has told a source known to this writer that he would not identify who leaked him the information on First Amendment grounds.)

In fact, (1) Blago’s crime spree had, with Fitzgerald’s knowledge, been going on for several years.  (2) Chase has not been called to account for tipping off Blago that his conversations were being recorded by the feds. (3) Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice has taken no steps – like that taken by Fitzgerald when he jailed Judith Miller of the New York Times in the Valerie Plame Case – to force Chase to reveal the source of the leak. And, (4) Fitz’s demeanor in discussing the leak in a press conference can be accurately described as disinterested. 

The urgency to arrest Blago was manufactured out of whole cloth. The leak had to originate out of the DoJ. And, the closest outlet for the DoJ to the Chicago Tribune is Fitzgerald’s office. You connect the dots.

In retrospect, we know now that Richard Armitage was the confessed leaker in the Valerie Plame Case.  We also know that Fitzgerald knew of Armitage’s confession before undertaking a long and costly investigation that convicted a key staff member of Vice President Cheney of a crime not connected to the Plame leak. And, that this media event, upon which the foundation of the Untouchable myth was built by the main stream media, was politically-driven. 

The Plame “investigation” boiled down to a surrogate WWF-like wrestling match between two Big Beltway Boys: Armitage representing Powell – Libby for Cheney. With Fitzgerald as the biased referee.  And, it will be so chronicled by unbiased historians in the future.

The arrest of Blago was timed, not to stop a crime spree, or the selling of a Senate seat – since the latter notion is built on the myth that, once Blago got paid for appointing someone, the act was immediate and irrevocable.  The arrest was timed to save Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr., from criminal prosecution for bribing a governor in order to receive a Senate appointment. Connect the dots. It was about saving J.J., Junior.

The Mole was planted by the DoJ to contribute to building a case against Tony Rezko in order to (a) help scuttle Blago – who has his own self-destructive gene – and, (b)protect the image of Barack Obama as a Chicago politician untarnished by association with the likes of a Tony Rezko. 

Getting Tony out of the way was necessary to hiding his relationship to Barack. And, keeping him sequestered at an undisclosed location was necessary to remove him from access to the media. But perhaps even more importantly, Rezko was never called as a witness in either Blago trial, yet he was among Dead Meat’s leading extortionists.  All part of concealing Barack Obama’s involvement in Illinois Play to Play. 

By its general passivity, the Chicago media have been complicit in hiding of Rezko. After all, Obama was their guy, too.

In the end, Tony will be sentenced to time voluntarily served – wherever that was – and eventually be pardoned by his longtime friend and financial benefactor, Barack.  (Remember, Eric Holder facilitated the pardoning of Marc Rich.)

The Mole was a big winner in all this. He never appeared in court to testify against Rezko, since his appearance might have led to testimony as to Rezko’s long financial support of the young Illinois, and then U.S., Senator. The Mole is on record as having witnessed the two together in a much closer relationship than Obama has ever admitted.  For his work, the Mole made out like a bandit. New name. New career. New wealth. In a New Town.

In a second Obama administration, Fitzgerald will be rewarded by being appointed the next FBI Director. Or, maybe even soon, he’ll get Holder’s job, if Eric’s connections to Fast & Furious sink him.

This is a circumstantial case.  But remember Fitz’s words:  “I think people need to understand we won't be afraid to take strong circumstantial cases into court." 

To conclude: Three public entities head the list of those responsible for putting Barack Obama in the White House.

  1. The Chicago Tribune, the Sun Times, and the entire Chicago TV media,, for selectively withholding information concerning Obama’s past in Chicago.
  2. Former Tribune political reporter and consultant to Blago during his Congressional campaigns – David Axelrod.  And, the…
  3. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

This story is far from over.

11Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? A Fitz Question for the Chicago Media (Part 8)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

When faced with an opportunity to display their professional inquisitive prowess, reporters from the Chicago dailies generally like to wind-up and lob softball questions to Fitz.

So, maybe they’d welcome a little help framing their queries. Here’s a couple for them…

First a little background: Jack Lavin is Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief of Staff these days. Once upon a time, he served as Blagojevich's director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Tony Rezko recommended him to Dead Meat for the job.  Before that, he was Chief Financial Officer of Rezko Enterprises. That means he handled Tony’s money.  Countin’ it. Movin’ it. That sort of thing.  (Smile for the camera, Jack.)

He’s given some of his own money – a little over $20 grand – to Democrat politicians (much of it to Obama, but also $2K to Jesse Jackson Junior, and $2K to Sen. Barbara Boxer), all through the Big Bundler hisownself, Tony. Hey, not a thing wrong with that.

Given Jack’s past starring role in Rezko Enterprises, maybe some enterprising Chicago reporter might ask Fitz this question:

“Is there any evidence to suggest that, while he was Rezko’s chief bean counter, Jack Lavin moved a $3,000,000 line item from the Panda Restaurant operated by Tony over into his Papa John’s Pizza books in order to help get a loan from GE Capital?”

And then, as a follow-up:

“Well, if you can’t answer that question, or won’t, then who kept Rezko’s second set of books for his Papa John’s Pizza store? And why have we never heard about that?”

Hat tip: C. Mc.

10Oct/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? The Regime’s Undertaker (Part 7)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

When the Obama Regime wants a story buried who does Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice call? Fitz, the Undertaker. For example…

Fitz’s Alleged Investigation into the John Adam’s Project

On March 19, 2010, Newsweek (linked by The Daily Beast) was among the MSM outlets that ever-so-briefly reported that “Holder Taps Fitzgerald for Gitmo Photo Probe.”

“Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has tapped the Justice Department's most feared [reinforcing the Untouchable Myth] prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, to lead a sensitive investigation into whether defense lawyers at Guantánamo Bay compromised the identities of covert CIA officers. The probe was triggered by the discovery last year of about 20 color photographs of CIA officials in the cell of Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, an alleged financier of the 9/11 attacks, say three current and former government officials who asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing case.”

The subject of the alleged investigation was the ACLU’s John Adam’s Project.  Don’t remember it?  That’s understandable. It only briefly popped up on the lame stream media’s radar, and then – presto – it vanished.

FOX’s Bill O’Reilly covered the story at the time.

O’Reilly followed up in this interview with conservative pundit Ann Coulter.


It seems there was, and probably still is, a dispute between the Regime and the CIA. On May 27, 2010, in a piece written by Marc Thiessen for the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, Thiessen stated,

“The Justice Department reportedly clashed with the CIA over investigating the John Adams Project—with the CIA complaining that Justice did not take seriously enough the threat the ACLU’s actions posed to CIA officials.

The Left is—of course—up at arms over the Miller amendment, calling it a “McCarthyite attack” on the al Qaeda lawyers and criticizing House Democrats for going along with the amendment.”  [Follow the links for details]

That would, of course, be the same “Left” that heralded Fitz’s dogged pursuit of the leaker in the Valerie Plame case, long after Richard Armitage confessed.

The question is: In the last 19 months what’s become of the Undertaker’s dogged pursuit of the truth in the John Adam’s Project?  Answer: Zip, zero, nada. It’s been buried by an administration politically amenable to the project’s objectives – i.e., exposing the identities of the CIA interrogators of terrorists.  Buried by Fitz, the Regime’s Undertaker.

26Sep/110

Patrick Fitzgerald: Intrepid Crime Fighter? Or, Politically-Driven Leaker? Saving Jesse Jr. (Part 4)

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

As the FBI planned the arrest of Blago, most of the serious wantabees lobbying for appointment to Obama’s Senate seat had backed off the pursuit, no doubt realizing that association with Hot Rod was about to become toxic.

But, there was still one candidate with his eyes on the prize.  Right up to the day of Blago’s arrest, Candidate #5’s people were working hard to put a package together to buy their guy the seat. Had Fitzpatrick waited a bit longer to pull the trigger on Blago, Candidate #5 might have been swept up in Fitz’s rush to stop a “corruption crime spree” in progress.

But it wasn’t to be, because the precise timing of the arrest of Blago was really about saving Jesse Jackson Junior’ political career.  And maybe even his freedom.

The Designated Bundler: Raghuveer Nayak

A prominent member of the Chicago Indian business community plays a key role in this story.

Here’s how the Chicago Tribune described Raghuveer Nayak in a December 10, 2008 article:

Nayak, 54, is a political and community leader in Chicago's Indian community who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Blagojevich, including more than $200,000 from Nayak, his wife and his various corporations. Nayak and his wife have donated more than $22,000 to Jackson, federal records show, and raised more for the congressman.

Nayak owns a series of surgery centers on Chicago's North Side. He also founded and until recently retained an ownership stake in a drug testing laboratory with millions of dollars in Illinois public aid contracts.

The Fund Raising Event

According to that same Tribune article, Nayak and Jessie Jackson Junior’s brother, Jonathan Jackson, co-hosted an October 31, 2008 “Blagojevich fundraiser” in Elmhurst. “According to several people who were there, Nayak and Jonathan Jackson go back years and the two even went into business together years ago as part of a land purchase on the South Side.”

So the Jacksons and Nayak were long-time buds.

Joliet pharmacist Harish Bhatt was among those attending the event. More on him later.

The December 10, 2008 Tribune also reported that:

Two businessmen who attended the meeting and spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that Nayak and Blagojevich aide Rajinder Bedi {remember his name, too} privately told many of the more than two dozen attendees the fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jackson's bid for the Senate.

A year-and-a-later, on July 7, 2010, a Chicagobreakingnews.com article reported that:

A supporter of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told the Democratic congressman in 2008 that he would raise $1 million in return for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich naming Jackson to the U.S. Senate, a federal prosecutor said today.

The allegation, made on a busy day at Blagojevich's federal corruption trial, was the first time authorities publicly suggested Jackson was aware of efforts by his allies to swap campaign cash for his appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Prosecutors also played a rapid-fire sequence of secret wiretap recordings that show Blagojevich reluctantly warming to Jackson as a Senate pick after first profanely ripping him as a non-starter.”

Nearly three months later after the Chicagobreakingnews.com piece, on September 21, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times (article available here) followed suit with,

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, sources said the fund-raiser has told federal authorities.

The allegation by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak counters public statements made as recently as last week by Jackson that he never authorized any deal to attempt to buy the Senate seat.

The FBI interviewed that acquaintance -- a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro {with whom JJ Junior was having an affair} -- about a year ago as part of its corruption probe of Blagojevich. Authorities were trying to determine whether Jackson had asked Nayak to offer Blagojevich campaign cash in exchange for the then-governor appointing Jackson to the seat once held by President Obama, according to sources with knowledge of the probe.

Huidobro, Jackson and Nayak all dined together on Oct. 8, 2008 {about three weeks before the Oct 30 Elmhurst fundraiser} -- the same day that Nayak has told authorities he had a key conversation with Jackson about the Senate appointment, sources said. The three then ended up at Ozio, the restaurant and club where Huidobro works and where Jackson has held fund-raisers.

Before he dined with Huidobro and Jackson on Oct. 8, 2008, Nayak said he had a critical conversation with the congressman about the seat while the two were alone. Nayak, also a former Blagojevich fund-raiser, said that Jackson asked him to tell Blagojevich that if the then-governor appointed Jackson to the U.S. Senate, Chicago's Indian community would raise $1 million for Blagojevich and -- after Jackson was appointed -- Jackson would raise $5 million for the then-governor.

Here’s a version of J.J. Junior’s “public statement” mentioned in the second paragraph above:


A concise account of the ramp-up among Blago and his advisors concerning the possibility of appointing J.J. Junior to the Senate also appears in the July 7 Chicagobreakingnews.com piece linked above.

Here’s the setting: During the first Blago trial, Rajinder Bedi was being questioned by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner.

Bedi testified he met with Jackson and another important Indian businessman, Raghuveer Nayak, at a Loop restaurant on Oct. 28, 2008, and Jackson expressed his interest in Obama's Senate seat.

At that point, U.S. District Judge James Zagel sent jurors out of the room, then asked Niewoehner to explain where the testimony was headed.

Nayak says to Jackson in Bedi's presence, “I will raise a million if he appoints you to the Senate seat,” Niewoehner explained.

Zagel barred Niewoehner from asking Bedi about that part of the conversation before jurors, but Bedi did testify that both Jackson's interest in the seat and fundraising were discussed with Jackson sitting at the table. Prosecutors then played wiretaps of conversations in which Blagojevich and his brother, Robert, appeared aware of the approach involving Jackson. {one such transcript is below}.

In one, recorded the same day as that restaurant meeting, Robert Blagojevich told the governor that Bedi had filled him in on the details, including Nayak's offer to do "some accelerated fundraising" on the governor's behalf if Jackson got the Senate nod.

Three days later, Gov. Blagojevich was recorded talking about overtures for Jackson in a conversation with one of his deputy governors, Robert Greenlee.

"I'm tellin' ya that guy's shameless," Greenlee said.

"Unbelievable isn't it," responded Blagojevich. "Then I, we were approached, pay to play. That, you know he'd raise me 500 grand, an emissary came, then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him a senator."

In a Dec. 4 telephone call with one of his advisers, Fred Yang, Blagojevich said he was now keeping an open mind on "clearly somethin' I would never have considered and that's Jesse Jr."

The thought was repugnant, Blagojevich said, but "just between you and me, they've offered a whole bunch of different things they wanna do for me." Those things included fundraising, Blagojevich said on the recording, asking Yang to think about the politics of making a pick that was sure to be unpopular with the Washington establishment.

A couple of hours later, the governor was on the phone with his brother, filling him in on the idea that he had elevated Jackson to the top of the list of candidates he was considering to replace Obama. He wasn't going to tolerate making a pick and getting nothing in return, he said on the recording.

"And I can cut a better political deal with these Jacksons and, and most of it you probably can't believe, but some of it can be tangible upfront," Blagojevich said to his brother.

He directed Robert Blagojevich to get in touch with Nayak and explain that Jackson was a realistic pick, but the promised help had to start coming in immediately. And he warned him to be careful how that message was delivered.

Blago wasn’t keen on appointing J.J. Junior to the Senate, but the more the money-talk heated up, the more he warmed to the idea.

On December 6, the Blagojevich brothers had this brief conversation.

Date: 12/6/08

Time: 12:39 pm

Robert Blagojevich Cell Phone

Session: 2615

Speakers:

ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH

ROD BLAGOJEVICH

ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH {The Governor’s brother} Well, here’s one, uh that’s    pending tonight, possibly, with Raghu {Nayak}.  And all I’m thinking, all I’m thinking about saying is, you know, your guy’s meeting with Rod on Monday.  That’s all I’m gonna say, and I’ll leave it at that. Based on what you told me, correct? 

ROD BLAGOJEVICH Yeah, that’s all. You know, if he says, I can do a lot more money, say, that’s you know, you answer that and just say, uh, look one, you know, that’s, that’s your decision…

 ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH One is not tied to the other. One is not tied to the other.  And if you want to, obviously, we want to help you do that.”

 ROD BLAGOJEVICH Yeah, that’s good. I like that. But you..yeah, that’s good.

 ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH Alright, well, I hear your caution, and I’m not being defensive, I’m just trying to be explanatory, that’s all.  Alright, look, I’m freezing my ass off.  I’ve got to get in the shower here.

 ROD BLAGOJEVICH I’ll see you.

 ROBERT BLAGOJEVICH Alright bye.

 ROD BLAGOJEVICH Bye.

On Monday, December 8, JJ Junior and Blago met for 90 minutes during which J.J. Junior said, later, that he merely laid out his qualifications as a potential Senator.  No pay-to-play was discussed, he claimed.

On Tuesday, December 9, the FBI arrested Blago at his home.

Nayak, Harish, and Bedi – What’s become of them?

Raghu has had his own problems with a federal grand jury.

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed dozens of doctors in the Chicago area as part of a probe into a wealthy Indian-American fund-raiser who owns surgical centers — and has ties to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

While the FBI and IRS investigation is centered on businessman and political fund-raiser Raghuveer Nayak, who owns surgical centers in Illinois and Indiana, the feds have cast a wide net: Sources said at least 30 doctors received grand jury subpoenas, and more than 10 of Nayak’s employees have also been subpoenaed.

In addition, two of Nayak’s surgery centers in Chicago were hit with search warrants in late January, and at least half a dozen doctors have been offered immunity or been granted immunity for their testimony, sources with knowledge of the investigation say.

Federal authorities are investigating whether Nayak made improper payments to the doctors in order to draw their surgeries to his centers. Under the allegations, while private insurers paid doctors and the centers for surgeries performed, Nayak is under investigation for allegedly separately paying doctors hundreds of dollars for every surgery brought to the centers. Doctors who perform out-patient surgeries, including chiropractors and podiatrists, practice at the centers and can choose to bring their work to the centers rather than a hospital.

Harish was visited by the FBI.

FBI agents on Thursday searched two Joliet drugstores owned by a major fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was the focus of a state investigation into whether campaign donations were made in exchange for regulatory favors.

Agents took records from the Basinger's Pharmacy stores but declined to say what they were investigating. FBI spokesman Ross Rice confirmed search warrants were executed and said no arrests were made.

The pharmacies are owned by Harish M. Bhatt, a prominent Indian businessman who helped the state's top pharmacy regulator win his job. The Tribune reported last year that state pharmacy auditors probing allegations of Medicaid fraud at Basinger’s complained that their bosses thwarted the investigation.

Bhatt denied he exerted any improper influence and said the investigation stalled for lack of evidence. State police and federal corruption investigators reopened the Bhatt investigation after Tribune reports.

And Bedi got arrested for shoplifting.  Back in April 2009, Bedi was fired from his $100K-plus job at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, so maybe he was short on cash.

Jesse Jackson Junior – What’s become of him?

Well, nothing so far.  He continues to be a United States Congressman. In the wake of his affair becoming public and lingering doubts surrounding his activities as Candidate #5, he decided not to run for Mayor of Chicago.  Nowadays, he keeps a relatively low profile.

Best of all, for him, is that he didn’t get indicted for trying to buy a seat in the United States Senate. For that he has the U.S. Attorney for the Northeastern District of Illinois to thank.

So why would Patrick Fitzgerald want to step in, at the 11th hour, to stop J.J. Junior from stepping on a political and criminal landmine?