Archive for ‘Chicago’

December 11, 2008

BlagoGate, Day 3

Yet more evidence contradicts Obama’s claim that he had no contact with (allegedly) corrupt Gov. Rod F—ing Blagojevich, and it looks like Tony Rezko’s rolling over for the feds, too. Meanwhile, my capitalist greedhead friends at Club For Growth have determined that Blago is right: A Senate seat is a “f—ing valuable thing.” A lifetime value of about $6.2 million, to be exact.

John Fund comments on Obama’s silence about the blatant corruption of “the Chicago Way”:

What remains to be seen is whether this episode will put an end to what Chicago Tribune political columnist John Kass calls the national media’s “almost willful” fantasy that Mr. Obama and Chicago’s political culture have little to do with each other.

UPDATE I: Sabato’s Crystal Ball:

Of Illinois’ immediate past eight governors, Blagojevich would be the fourth sent to prison. That is a stunning statistic, and it reminds us of how bad a culture of corruption is once it takes hold. States such as Oregon and Virginia have developed governmental cultures that are clean–voters and the political class alike reject corruption as antithetical to what they are. Citizens and politicians in other states, e.g. New Jersey and Illinois, seem to accept a certain amount of corruption as the cost of doing business. That is corrosive, and eventually leads to such a toxic environment that it is plausible a governor could attempt to sell a seat in the U.S. Senate, seek to have a journalist fired using threats that equal little more than petty extortion, and engaged in such simple and obvious graft that the entire nation stands in a stunned gaze.
Who is to blame for acts of corruption? The guilty officials, of course, are the people we must hold culpable. Yet, the citizenry also bears its share of the rap once a culture of corruption develops because they have tolerated it. The public shouldn’t accept corruption under any guise–the people possess the means to turn dirty pols out of office and they have a responsibility to do so.

It’s the crooked voters!

UPDATE II: Obama denies everything:

“I have never spoken to the governor on this subject,” Obama said, adding that he has asked his staff to collect the facts about their contact with Blagojevich on the matter.
“This Senate seat does not belong to any politician to trade,” Obama said. “It belongs to the people of Illinois.”

And it’s a f—ing valuable thing!

UPDATE III: A good roundup at Dr. Melissa’s.

UPDATE IV: Survey says: Blago less popular than syphilis. And maybe he’s bonkers, too.

UPDATE V: Ace of Spades:

Bear in mind, of course, Sarah Palin was a moron for taking on the less-spectacularly corrupt Alaskan political machine. See, if she had been as brilliant as Obama, she wouldn’t have needed to respond with crude measures like fighting corruption and defeating corrupt politicians; she could have employed nuance and smarts to finesse around it, and even profit from it.
Whew. We really dodged a bullet there.

Jeffrey Lord on the Camelot precedent.

UPDATE VI: John Cole and Ben Smith cage match (which I learned of because Cole linked me). I’m agnostic on the issue of whether it is “censorship” for Obamabots to give the heave-ho to questions about Blago on Change.gov. Eventually, however, there is a limit to what busy beavers on the Internet can do. This is all part of a P.R. battle, with Democrats trying to convince the world that the putrid corruption of Chicago politics, as personified by Blago, cannot possibly taint the sainted Obama. Good luck with that.

UPDATE VII: Dept. of Obvious Headlines:

UNION LINKED TO CORRUPTION SCANDAL

UPDATE VIII: Michelle Malkin is having entirely too much fun with Patty F—ing Blagojevich.

UPDATE IX: What’s a scandal without a timeline?

PREVIOUSLY:
12/10: The Obama memory hole
12/10: BlagoGate, Day 2
12/9: ‘Tainted’
12/9: Monetize this!
12/9: FBI arrests Obama ally

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December 9, 2008

Monetize this!

Reading through the Blagojevich indictment and counting the expletives (20, FYI), I’m thinking this is how you know you’re dealing with Chicago Democrats: You have to issue a “not safe for work” warning before linking their federal indictment. Also, I notice that the federal prosecutor felt compelled to issue his own disclaimer:

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Right. And the public is also reminded that “corrupt Chicago Democrat” is redundant. From the prosecutor’s press release:

On November 10, in a lengthy telephone call with numerous advisors that included discussion about Blagojevich obtaining a lucrative job with a union-affiliated organization in exchange for appointing a particular Senate Candidate whom he believed was favored by the President-elect and which is described in more detail below, Blagojevich and others discussed various ways Blagojevich could “monetize” the relationships he has made as governor to make money after leaving that office.

“Monetizing” politics is the raison d’etre of Chicago Democrats. According to Chicago rules, Blagojevich’s mistake wasn’t being greedy and dishonest, it was being greedy, dishonest and stupid.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

September 22, 2008

New ad: ‘Chicago Machine’

Here is the McCain campaign’s documentation for the ad:

· Barack Obama: “And, You Know, In Terms Of My Toughness, Look, First Of All, I Come From Chicago.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 4/2/08)
· Barack Obama Assuring Democrats He’s Tough Enough Because “He’s Been Schooled By Chicago Politics.” “The feistier, more sarcastic tone came as worried Democrats urged Obama to get tougher and show more passion. Obama has tried to assure donors and voters that he’s been schooled by Chicago politics. ‘I’m skinny but I’m tough,’ he says.” (Kathleen Hennessey, “Obama Mocks McCain In Nevada Stops,” The Associated Press, 9/18/08)
· The New Yorker: “Obama Had Won His First Campaign By Using Old-Fashioned Chicago Machine Tactics At A Time When The Notion Of Machine Politics Was Increasingly Anachronistic.” (Ryan Lizza, “Making It,” The New Yorker, 7/21/08)
ANNCR: His economic adviser, William Daley. Lobbyist. Mayor’s brother.
· OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER: As An Obama Adviser, Former Commerce Secretary William Daley Participated In A Meeting Of Barack Obama’s Top Economic Advisers Last Week. “The press conference followed Obama’s meeting with top economic advisors and his running mate Biden, who participate d by phone. The meeting participants included former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; Gene Sperling, former National Economic Advisor for Pres. Bill Clinton; former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Laura Tyson, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors and former Fed Chair Paul Volcker; Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett; former Commerce Secretary William Daley; former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill; and Joseph Stiglitz, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.” (Domenico Montanaro, “Obama: Tax Cuts, Stimulus Needed,” MSNBC’s “First Read” Blog, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com, Posted 9/19/08)
· ECONOMIC ADVISER AND CHICAGO MAYOR’S BROTHER: Daley Serves As An Obama Adviser For Economic Policy And Is The Brother Of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. “At his stop in New Mexico, Obama sought to keep the focus almost exclusively on the economy, appearing with a panel of experts that included William Daley, brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a former U.S. commerce secretary.” (John McCormick and Jill Zuckman, “Rivals Spend Day As Frequent Fliers,” Chicago Tribune, 2/2/08)
· LOBBYIST: Daley Was The Chief Lobbyist For SBC. “Then this spring, Whitacre and his chief lobbyist, SBC President William Daley, produced banner headlines with an effort to bypass the Illinois Commerce Commission and appeal directly to the Illinois General Assembly for relief. … In late 2001, he hired William Daley, a Clinton administration Cabinet member and the Chicago mayor’s brother, charging him with lobbying for change.” (Michael Oneal And Jon Van, “Tone-Deaf Approach Hinders SBC,” Chicago Tribune, 7/6/03)
· LOBBYIST: While Serving As SBC President, Daley Also Led A $40 Million Lobbying Effort For Industry Deregulation. “Last week those three companies, led by SBC President William Daley, summoned chief executives of several large vendors, including Christopher Galvin of Motorola Inc., to a Washington dinner where they outlined plans to launch a $40 million marketing and lobbying offensive to abolish industry regulations.” (Jon Van, “SBC Competitors Seek Congress’ Help,” Chicago Tribune, 11/1/03)
· LOBBYIST: From 2002 Through 2005, Daley Was A Registered Lobbyist For Fannie Mae. (U.S. Senate Office Of Public Records Website, soprweb.senate.gov, Accessed 7/27/08)
ANNCR: His money man, Tony Rezko. Client. Patron. Convicted Felon.
· MONEY MAN: Tony Rezko Was “One Of The Biggest Fundraisers” For Barack Obama. “‘This was discussed a lot. They wanted to have a good showing,’ said a source familiar with the fund-raiser [Rezko held for Obama], speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘Tony was one of the biggest fund-raisers.'” (Chris Fusco and Tim Novak, “Rezko Cash Triple What Obama Says,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/18/07)
· MONEY MAN: Barack Obama Has Admitted To $250,000 Worth Of Campaign Funding Provided By Tony Rezko. “For the first time, Sen. Barack Obama put a figure Friday to the amount of campaign contributions that indicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko raised for the senator’s campaigns, and the number — about $250,000 — was far more than he previously acknowledged.” (Tim Novak, Chris Fusco, Dave McKinney and Carol Marin, “More Rezko Dough Found,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/15/08)
· CLIENT: Barack Obama Did Legal Work On Some Projects Involving Tony Rezko’s Company, Rezmar. “But Obama did legal work on real estate deals while at Davis’ firm, according to biographical information he submitted to the Sun-Times in 1998. … And he did legal work on Rezko’s deals, according to an e-mail his presidential campaign staff sent the Sun-Times on Feb. 16, in response to earlier inquiries. The staff didn’t specify which Rezmar projects Obama worked on, or his role.” (Tim Novak, “Obama And His Rezko Ties,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07)
· PATRON: “As A State Senator, Barack Obama Wrote Letters To City And State Officials Supporting His Political Patron Tony Rezko’s Successful Bid To Get More Than $14 Million From Taxpayers To Build Apartments For Senior Citizens.” (Tim Novak, “Obama’s Letters For Rezko,” Chicago Sun-Times, 6/13/07)
· PATRON: Barack Obama Paid $300,000 Less Than The Asking Price For His Mansion, While Tony Rezko’s Wife Rita Paid Full Price For A Vacant Lot Next Door On The Very Same Day. “Two years ago, Obama bought a mansion on the South Side, in the Kenwood neighborhood, from a doctor. On the same day, [Antoin ‘Tony’] Rezko’s wife, Rita Rezko, bought the vacant lot next door from the same seller. The doctor had listed the properties for sale together. He sold the house to Obama for $300,000 below the asking price. The doctor got his asking price on the lot from Rezko’s wife.” (Tim Novak, “Obama And His Rezko Ties,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/23/07)
· CONVICTED FELON: Tony Rezko Was Convicted Of Wire And Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, And Aiding And Abetting Bribery. (Bob Secter and Jeff Coen, “Rezko Convicted,” Chicago Tribune, 6/5/08)
ANNCR: His “political godfather.” Emil Jones. Under ethical cloud.
· POLITICAL GODFATHER: Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones Is “Barack Obama’s Political Godfather.” “Ethics legislation is stalled in the Illinois State Senate, bossed by Barack Obama’s political godfather, Senate President Emil Jones who put the brakes on the measure and may let it die. Obama called Jones from the road in Nevada this morning. Jones indicated to Obama–according to the Obama team — he would bring the bill to a vote and would support it.” (Lynn Sweet, “Obama Urges Political Godfather Emil Jones, Illinois Senate President, To Pass Stalled Ethics Package,” Chicago Sun-Times’ “Lynn Sweet” Blog, http://blogs.suntimes.com, Posted 9/17/08)
· POLITICAL GODFATHER: “When Obama Praised Jones As ‘My Political Godfather,’ Jones Began Using The Theme Music From ‘The Godfather’ As His Cell-Phone Ringtone.” (Ryan Lizza, “Making It,” The New Yorker, 7/21/08)
· ETHICAL CLOUD: “[S]tate Senate President Emil Jones, Serves Under An Ethical Cloud. He Has Several Family Members On The State Payroll And Uses His Clout To Aid Their Business Interests.” (Ron Fournier, “Obama’s Life And Record In Springfield, Ill., Hint At The President He Would Be,” The Associated Press, 6/16/07)
ANNCR: His governor, Rod Blagojevich. A legacy of federal and state investigations. With friends like that, Obama is not ready to lead. JOHN MCCAIN: I’m John McCain and I approve this message.
· INVESTIGATIONS: Governor Rod Blagojevich Has “A Legacy Of Federal And State Investigations.” “The bill of particulars against Rod Blagojevich is numbingly familiar. His is a legacy of federal and state investigations of alleged cronyism and corruption in the steering of pension fund investments to political donors, in the subversion of state hiring laws, in the awarding of state contracts, in matters as personal as that mysterious $1,500 check made out to the governor’s then-7-year-old daughter by a friend whose wife had been awarded a state job.” (Editorial, “Removing a governor,” Chicago Tribune, 10/28/07)
· INVESTIGATIONS: In June 2008, A Federal Judge Unsealed Records That Showed That Blagojevich Was Questioned By Federal Agents For His Involvement With Tony Rezko. “Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been interviewed multiple times by federal investigators looking into allegations that he and key members of his administration offered contracts and state work in exchange for campaign fundraising help, according to documents unsealed Thursday. The documents were made public in the Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko criminal case on the same day that Blagojevich held a major fundraising event at the River East Arts Center. Similar events in past years have reaped millions of dollars for the governor’s campaign, much of it coming from firms that landed lucrative state contracts and individuals given coveted state jobs or board appointments.” (Jeff Coen and Bob Secter, “Feds Quizzed Blagojevich,” Chicago Tribune, 6/27/08)

August 21, 2008

Obama and Annenberg

Dan Riehl continues investigating Barack Obama’s involvement with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation-funded project to improve Chicago public schools that spent $50 million and yet “had little impact on student outcomes.” The project appears to have been basically a full-employment program for left-wing academics.

UPDATE: Riehl also notes the problematic role of Chicago politician Emil Jones in Obama’s career. Jones is typical Chicago machine pol.

Not long ago, I called Chicago “one of the most corrupt cities on the planet,” and got an angry e-mail from a Chicago resident, insisting with civic pride that his city is THE most corrupt city on the planet. I’ll let folks in New Orleans defend their own claim to World’s Most Corrupt City.

August 18, 2008

Cover-up? In Chicago?

You don’t say! One of the most corrupt cities on the planet, so crooked that even the public librarians are in cahoots with Daley’s Democratic Party machine.

So Stanley Kurtz’s effort to examine the records of the Annenberg Challenge Foundation — chief nexus of the connection between Barack Obama and Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn — is currently blocked.