Thomas Barton, Political Commentator
ABC 7 News dissed distinguished Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter by announcing his arrest at O’Hare Airport for having tried to take an “unloaded .25-caliber pistol and an ammunition clip containing five bullets in a carry-on bag onto an airplane”.
What’s the big deal?
Chicagoans all know, or should, that Trotter is “anti-gun”. For example,
“In 1995, Trotter voted ‘no’ on narrowly-defeated legislation to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is the only state in the nation where citizens have no concealed carry rights. Two years later, he voted ‘present’ on a measure that ultimately passed both the Senate and the House that would have reduced the penalty for getting caught with a concealed firearm. That bill died through amendatory veto by then Gov. Jim Edgar.
There’s more. While police sources said that Trotter did have a valid firearms owner’s identification card, (FOID), it listed his Springfield office as his address, in apparent violation of state law requiring the card carrier’s residence be provided. It will be interesting to see if that pistol was registered in Chicago, as required by city ordinance.”
Picky, picky, picky.
According to ABC 7 News, “The senator has a FOID card and was licensed to carry the weapon on his job. However, [Asst. State’s Attorney] Scaduto told the court the gun was not registered in the City of Chicago. “ So? What’s the problem? Register it now.
Look, all we need is a standard retroactive administrative adjustment (SRAA) to square-up Donne with the law. How hard can that be in the Chicago judicial system? What - two phone calls hard?
He needs to “carry the weapon on his job” down in Springfield, we’re told. Of course he does. It’s a lawless place down there. Shootouts regularly break out in the Capital Building on the floor of the Senate. Gang bangers abound.
So what if Donne wants his piece on an airplane? He’s not a terrorist – except maybe when it comes to Illinois finances. We won’t talk about that, though. Sorry I mentioned it.
Recall that, once-upon-a-time, Chicago’s early and leading advocate of a strict ban on handguns was none other than First Ward Alderman Fred Roti, who, thanks to the testimony of former mob lawyer turned informant Robert “Bob” Cooley, was revealed to be a member of the Chicago mob. The Outfit doesn’t want average citizens packing either - just its wise guys.
But nobody is accusing Donne of being mobbed-up just because he’s against citizens carrying a weapon, although he does. He’s special. He’s an important Illinois State Senator, for heaven sakes. Come on - he needs self-protection.
Donne wants Jesse Jackson Junior’s old congressional job. Don’t forget, J. J. Jr. is a self-described martial arts expert, making his hands lethal weapons. They let him fly without handcuffing him.
(Although they might have flown him in handcuffs had he not resigned, but that’s another story – only lightly covered by the Chicago media, by the way.)
So let’s give Donne a break. Stop dissing him!
Haven’t we all had occasion to recall, at the last minute, that we’re packing a piece as we’re about to climb aboard?
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
Tony Rezko's partner Daniel T Frawley shared this letter he wrote to his attorney with Robert Cooley. In this letter Mr. Frawley claims his ex-attorney George Weaver can confirm that he (Frawley) provided cash for Tony Rezko to payoff Barack Obama ! Patrick Fitzgerald's replacement will need to take a look at this.
Perhaps Congressman Joe Walsh will also take notice ? (Special Counsel?)
As for the Chicago SunTimes and the Chicago Tribune, maybe if we hold our breath ?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM
To: robert XXXXX <Robert Cooley's email address withheld>
Here is Weaver's real concern and this is fact not opinion.
Weaver told my sister Kathleen and I this story at his (Weaver's) office
Weaver then repeated the same story to Jeffrey Steinbach a couple of days
later when Weaver called Jeff before Weaver
met with USAO Caroline McNiven and FBI supervisor Pat Murphy.
Weaver then went in and told the same story to the USAO.
Weaver then called me immediately after leaving the USAO office. (Within 5
minutes via pay phone)
Jeff then confirmed to me what Weaver told the USAO after speaking with the
Weaver's Explanation in first person:
I did not tell the USAA about the alleged payment from TR to BO because I
I was afraid that all of the news coverage would bring reporters to my door
and they would camp out there.
I was afraid I would be labeled a racist and Dan and Kathy you know I am not
political at all.
I was especially worried about the affect this would have on my son Michael.
I did this to Protect my family and myself from the publicity.
NOW here is the part that George lied to Jeff and the USAO to.
George told them (USA) & Jeff) that he George had a drink with me at the bar in George's office building. (121 N. La Salle St.)George said he told me then and there what Tony Rezko told George regarding BO and the alleged payoff. George Said that the reason for doing so was to hold this information out incase I did not get a good deal from the USAO then George could use this info as the last turn of the screw on TR and get me the best deal. George said that no one would believe me if I did not recall the story George’s way and that my sister and brother would also be indicted
George then went to Jeff and the USAO that story
I had already met with the USAO with Jeff and told the true story. I
originally went along with Weaver’s story because I was worried about my
brother and sister, but after about 10 days I went with Steinbach and
straightened out the misunderstandings. never knew whom TR gave the cash to
all I knew is Weaver Said the money went in cash in plastic grocery sacks to high elected
official. I always assumed it was Rod.
Jeff told me that the USAO knew Weaver lied to them and that USAO has
nothing but disgust and disdain for Weaver.
Jeff said the USAO could charge Weaver with Conspiracy, lying to the FBI and
obstruction of justice.
Of course we do not care about the criminal aspect but the civil
Government law enforcement people can testify to weaver' lying and
Were we also have weaver is Weaver told his wife Janice and his mother in
law what happened with BO & TR
We can depose Weavers wife and mother in law.
Weaver was so worried abut involving his family this or the threat of it
along with the publicity is Weaver's Achilles heal.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
Since last February 27, Illinois PayToPlay (IP2P) has posted five emails sent to Robert “Bob” Cooley by Daniel T. Frawley. Here are links to the five articles that highlighted those emails: February 27; March 1; April 8; April 17; and April 19.
There are more to come in the days ahead.
IP2P readers know that Cooley was the star witness in a series of Chicago trials in federal court in the early 1990’s that, as part of Operation Gambat,resulted in over a score of convictions involving a sitting Federal Judge, prominent Illinois politicians, and the Chicago City Council’s 1st Ward Alderman, a member of the Chicago “outfit”.
IP2P readers also know that Daniel T. Frawley was once a Chicago cop, then a business partner of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and is now a sentenced felon who pled guilty to bank fraud. They also know that Frawley cooperated, for years, with the U.S. Attorney’s office in the investigation of Rezko and, although not called to testify against Rezko, helped put Tony behind bars.
Frawley was recently sentenced for one year and one day, after multiple sentencing delays. The judge tainted his sentence by questioning Frawley’s mental stability. At IP2P we believe his sentence was as much, perhaps more, about what he knows than what he did. And, that the timing of the jail time is aimed to keep him quiet until after the November election.
We suspect that the reference to Frawley’s potential mental instability by the sentencing judge was aimed at impugning his credibility in these emails, even after the feds used Frawley to gather information on Rezko, and in “at least a half-dozen different criminal investigations”. Although Frawley has committed to making restitution of over four million dollars, probation was never in the cards for him. (or was it ?)
Meanwhile, the two big Chicago daily newspapers, the Tribune and the Sun Times, have displayed no interest in pursuing multiple story leads that have surfaced from Frawley’s emails to Cooley.
IP2P asks - Why is that?
We think Steve Bartin, writing for the website NewGeography.com, in an article entitled “Blago’s Historic Sentencing: Organized Crime in Illinois,” may have hit upon the Tribune-Times problem when he asked, “Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich?”
The answer to Bartin’s rhetorical question is – Yes, of course.
That endemic Chicago corruption continues to exist is due, in no small part, to the complicity of the city’s two major daily newspapers, be that complicity benign, malignant, or a blend.
Nationally, Chicago is recognized as synonymous with corruption.
IP2P asks - Where’s the shame at the Tribune and Times?
In the future, IP2P will release more Frawley-Cooley emails, providing the two papers more leads to ignore. Until, perhaps, the citizens of Chicago begin to pressure their two major newspapers to take their jobs seriously.
A somnolent press cannot long remain free.
Pay-to-Play Editorial Staff
Steve Bartin, writing for the website NewGeography.com, in an article entitled “Blago’s Historic Sentencing: Organized Crime in Illinois,” asks an important question. One that the Chicago media, particularly the Tribune and Sun Times, should be asking themselves today: “Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich?”
At Illinois Pay-to-Play, we’ve been wondering the same thing. Bartin mentions Robert Cooley in his piece. We at Illinois Pay-to-Play trust Cooley. He’s proved his veracity as few in Chicago have. His story, linked within the excerpt from Bartin’s article below, proves his reliability.
Also, we here are aware of the identities of several reporters, from both big Chicago tree-killing news outlets, who were given information by Cooley about Candidate Obama’s associations with…let’s say, persons-of-interest, before the ’08 election. In most cases, the information was ignored. It didn’t fit the papers’ template of support for their local Senator. Obama, they assumed, would help Chicago get the Olympics, guaranteed to help slow the city’s slide toward bankruptcy and grease the palms of some connected Southside land developers and contractors – not to mention politicians. Good for business, and, therefore, circulation.
In one particular instance, a well-known reporter was so bold as to say to Cooley something to the effect that, “Our editors don’t want us reporting on that.”
We can report here that a staff member at Illinois Pay-to-Play had a similar response, nearly verbatim, with a reporter for one of the two major dailies concerning another corruption story.
Here’s part of what Bartin writes:
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced today to 14 years in prison. Illinois will now have the dubious distinction of having two back-to-back Governors in jail at the same time. Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich? When you look into the background of the former Governor the tentacles of organized crime can’t be ignored.
Rod Blagojevich has been identified as a former associate of the Elmwood Park street crew of the Chicago Mob by Justice Department informant Robert Cooley. The allegations concern Blagojevich paying street tax to the Chicago Mob to operate a bookmaking operation. Former senior FBI agent James Wagner confirmed that Cooley told the FBI about Blagojevich in the 1980s. The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune still haven’t reported on the Cooley allegations concerning Blagojevich.
Visit here to read the rest of Bartin’s article.
As the nation becomes further aware of Illinois’, and especially Chicago’s, depth of corruption, its attention is likely to turn toward the Chicago newspapers and start asking questions. One of those questions will be this:
Could the depth of Illinois corruption exist without, if not the direct complicity, at least the negligence and incompetence of the two big dailies?