Tag Archives: Tony Rezko

The Tattlesnake Fitzgerald Finally Indicts Blagojevich for Jaywalking Edition

19 Charges Against Blago, 16 of Them Felonies, But Not Much St. Pat the Prosecutor Can Hang His Halo On

The AP has reported that federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald finally indicted impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich yesterday, April 2, on 16 felony charges, including conspiracy, attempted extortion, wire fraud and racketeering.

This all stinks to high heaven Fitzgerald needs four months to indict a guy who, in his words, was on a “crime spree” and then doesn’t even have a press conference to announce the particulars of the indictment? Quite a bit different from the media circus he ringmastered last December to drive Blago from office. Plus, his key witness is apparently the jailed slimebucket Tony Rezko. Rezko is doing hard time in solitary and might be amenable to saying whatever Mr. Fed wants to hear to shave off some months from his sentence not what you’d call a stellar witness.

Charges that Blago used his influence to arrange job interviews for his wife with companies doing business with the state where she wasn’t hired, used ‘improper influence’ (did he have a gun?) to block efforts to consolidate state retirement funds, held up taxpayer money to fix the Tribune Company’s privately-owned Wrigley Field, and ‘discussed the possibility’ of having Fitzgerald replaced tip off the flop-sweat desperation of a prosecutor trying to pad his case. Privately ‘discussing the possibility’ of removing a prosecutor, blocking the consolidation of state funds desired by a corporation, withholding taxpayer money for a private sports enterprise, and arranging job interviews for your wife are now illegal? Fitzgerald is going to be mighty busy from now on, prosecuting every single politician in Illinois.

Also named in the charges is a ‘Candidate A’ that some of the TV Talking Heads are claiming is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The allegation is that Candidate A was offered Obama’s vacated US Senate seat in return for a contribution to Blago’s campaign of $1.5 million. All well and good, except Jackson has already categorically denied that he discussed any kind of deal with Blago or his staff.

According to Jim Warren, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, speaking on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night, there is little in these 16 counts that was not brought out in Fitzgerald’s press conference last December. If so, Fitzy is armed with 16 counts of wet noodle here he supposedly has wiretaps that have Blago discussing bribes, but no actual bribes taking place. He might be able to make a thin-beef conspiracy charge stick but, then again, does he really want Blago and his staff taking the stand to expose the way the sausage is made in Springfield by both the Dems and GOP?

Regular Tattlesnake readers know that I have a friend who has 20 years experience with non-profit organizations trying to bring health care to everyone in Illinois. She reports that Blago was the only governor, and one of the few statehouse politicians, who ever took the issue seriously, and even appointed a liaison to the non-profit health care groups, with the aim of instituting single-payer universal health care for every Illinois resident. For this, and other progressive ideas, such as supporting unions and cracking down on the mortgage-lending industry, Blago was loathed by the corporate Powers-That-Be who have been trying to get rid of him since he took office. On the Republican side, the attacks have been spearheaded by the Chicago Tribune, and on the Dem side by Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan, a corrupt leftover from the old Daddy Daley Chicago Machine who wants his daughter Lisa, currently the Illinois AG, to be governor someday.

Read more

The Tattlesnake – McPalin: It Just Gets Deeper and Deeper Edition

Random Notes on the Worst Presidential Campaign in Modern History, Tonight’s Debate, and Other Rumorous Swill

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
– Mark Twain

“Sooner or later people are going to figure out that if all you run is negative attack ads you don’t have much of a vision for the future, or you’re not ready to articulate it.”
— John McCain in 2000.

Gov. Cosmetically-Enhanced Pit Bull has hit the road, eructating hoary disproved Obama slurs and smears to try and save what’s left of McCain’s Electoral Death March from burial under an FDR-size landslide next month.

The McCainiacs have become so tone-deaf, and run out of so much of the infamous bullshit alluded to by Howard Beale in “Network,” that McCain’s camp is inexplicably continuing to chase the GOP base that responds to Palin’s cutesy-wink tirades and snippy town-gossip slights. Even if the 30 percent of registered voters that comprise this ballyhooed base turn out to vote, McPalin still loses big, in no small part due to the most badly managed presidential campaign in modern history.

Faced with an economic crisis that may eclipse the Great Depression, the McCainiacs bafflingly went small-bore with discredited petty minutiae: Obama hung around with ‘domestic terrorist’ Bill Ayers; received favors from Tony Rezko; was part of the Chicago political machine that breathed it ‘s last a decade before Obama entered politics. If they are enthralled by the notion of legions of Working Class Independents showing up to save the day, maybe they should check Frank Luntz’s focus groups of Uncommitted voters who are checking the box for Obama this election — the blue-collar voters of yesterday are the blue-vest voters of today, and they aren’t happy with the Republican Slide to Doom. As the Time blog noted on Luntz’s focus group in August:

“They don’t like his choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin … a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin’s speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday — the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming (?) biography, and only blipped upward when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere — which wasn’t quite the truth, as we now know.”

Things haven’t improved for Palin since then: Her peculiar winky-dink debate performance, while it may have raised a cheer from the truly oblivious wingnuts, and something else from the NRO’s ‘Lonely Guy’ Rich Lowry, did nothing to add independent voters to the McCain margin; just the opposite – Obama’s numbers ratcheted up once millions got a good look at Alaska’s Horse-Hockey Mom in full roar.

Political junkies wonder which McCain is going to show up tonight to debate Obama: the sour, smirking old crank ready to pop with contemptuous anger that appeared at the last encounter, or the cloying used-car salesman with his eyes wide open to denote false virtue and his oily “My friends” jargon that induces somnolence. Either way, if Grandpappy Maverick veers off into the ‘Land of Dirty Mudge,’** which seems likely, he chances making Obama look even more presidential in contrast or risks a devastating counterattack from the Democrat.

Latest word is the Obama camp has been letting McCain’s surrogates play out the hanging rope on the Keating Five scandal by insisting that McCain made a single mistake long ago in an otherwise sterling political career, apologized for his ethical apostasy, and has taken the high road of the Populist Reformer since. Next watch for Obama ads featuring McCain’s connection to lobbyist Vicki Iseman in the late 1990s and his unethically interceding for her clients, and damning new evidence that didn’t appear in The New York Times story on the disgraceful ‘tit-for-tat’ episode to expose the lies of the McCain apologists.

Then there are McCain’s ties to the anti-Semitic and racist U.S. Council for World Freedom, which might make even some conservatives hesitate to vote for him – after all, the group has been linked to ex-Nazis.

Read more