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Blagojevich, his brother, top aides indicted

winnar111

Banned
Mar 10, 2008
2,847
0
0
http://www.chicagobreakingnews...-governor-impeach.html

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his brother, and a former top fundraiser were among six men indicted today on political corruption charges, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago announced.

In addition to Rob Blagojevich, 53, and fundraiser Christopher Kelly, 50, charged were Lon Monk, 50, a lobbyist and former Blagojevich chief of staff; John Harris, 47, also a former chief of staff to Blagojevich; and William Cellini, 74, a Springfield insider for decades.

The sweeping indictment comes four months after Blagojevich was arrested and charged with engaging in pay-to-play politics in a major federal complaint that accused him of trading state jobs, contracts and regulatory favors for campaign contributions.

The criminal complaint charged Blagojevich with attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama and seeking the firing of Tribune editorial writers in return for state help on the sale of Wrigley Field. The ballpark and newspaper are owned by Tribune Co.

While those allegations are repeated in today's charges, the 19-count indictment also includes allegations that convicted insider Antoin "Tony" Rezko steered real estate commissions to former first lady Patti Blagojevich despite her performing no work and paid cash to Monk for a car and home improvements. The indictment claims Blagojevich attempted to extort a U.S. congressman for campaign cash by withholding a $2 million state grant to a public school in the congressman's district.

All told, the ex-governor faces 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy and lying to federal agents. The government is seeking forfeiture of $188,370 from Blagojevich and will try to take his Ravenswood Manor home if needed.

"We're saddened but not surprised by the indictment" Blagojevich lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said. "Gov. Blagojevich is innocent and will fight this in court."

The formal charges also draw Blagojevich's family further into the scandal. While Patti Blagojevich was referred to in the indictment but not charged, the grand jury did indict the ex-governor's brother.

Rob Blagojevich took over as head of the governor's campaign fund last August, just two months before federal authorities won court authorization to wiretap the then-governor's home phone and campaign office.

"We were hoping it wouldn't happen, but it did," said attorney Michael Ettinger, who represents Rob Blagojevich. "Now my client is looking forward to being vindicated at a trial. My client has said from the beginning that he was not doing anything outside the bounds of normal fundraising."

Ettinger said he was in Florida at Disney World with the former governor and their families. He said Rob Blagojevich was not with them.

This marks the third time Kelly has been charged by federal authorities but the first time for alleged wrongdoing with the former governor. In January the wealthy roofing contractor pleaded guilty to tax fraud for concealing his use of corporate funds to cover gambling debts, but just weeks later, he was charged in connection with a kickback scheme at O'Hare International Airport.

Michael Monico, who represents Kelly, said his client is not guilty of the charges. "Chris Kelly did not engage in pay to play politics," he said.

Authorities have alleged that Harris tried to carry out the governor's plan to have Tribune editorial writers fired for critical editorials of Blagojevich. Cellini was indicted last fall on charges he extorted a Hollywood producer to make a Blagojevich campaign donation.
Monk was also heard on the recordings.


Good stuff. 1 corrupt Illinois politician down, 2 to go. What's the over/under on a pardon?

There are a couple good things about Blago, though. He understands that the state doesn't need a radical tax increase, and he makes people like Geithner pay before they play.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,260
4
81
lol article doesn't mention what party blago is in. If he were GOP, article would have been filled with "REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR" in caps.
 

ScottMac

Moderator<br>Networking<br>Elite member
Mar 19, 2001
5,471
2
0
Blago is the rule, not the exception, in terms of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois politicians.
And it looks like they got Big Bill Cellini at least mentioned in the indictment, now they got him (the charges might even stick!), they can get his flunky, the current Transportation Secretary.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
106,228
21,269
146
Originally posted by: JS80
lol article doesn't mention what party blago is in. If he were GOP, article would have been filled with "REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR" in caps.
It's Chicago. Party affiliation is assumed.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: zinfamous
Originally posted by: JS80
lol article doesn't mention what party blago is in. If he were GOP, article would have been filled with "REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR" in caps.
It's Chicago. Party affiliation is assumed.
The linked story is a local Chicago story - they know his party.

The national wire story includes:

"The Democrat's arrest meant curtains for his political career..."

Another liberal media bias lie debunked.
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
Dang it Craig....don't go throwing reality into a "Liberal media bias" circle jerk. They might all go limp if you do!

And I was about to do the same thing and even link to the AP story which says that he is a (D).
 

bobcpg

Senior member
Nov 14, 2001
951
0
0
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,712
3,169
126
Originally posted by: bobcpg
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Because Obama is not involved!! People like you are still mad because Obama kicked McCain`s ass in the election!!
Get over it!!
 

Hacp

Lifer
Jun 8, 2005
13,923
1
81
I'm tired of hearing about more incompetent corrupt Illinois politicians. We've already had our fair share with stories about Obama and his handpicked Senator, Roland Burris.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Originally posted by: Hacp
I'm tired of hearing about more incompetent corrupt Illinois politicians. We've already had our fair share with stories about Obama and his handpicked Senator, Roland Burris.
Wow, the hysteria in the Republican party really has hit the fan.
 

Robor

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
16,979
0
0
Originally posted by: Red Dawn
Originally posted by: Hacp
I'm tired of hearing about more incompetent corrupt Illinois politicians. We've already had our fair share with stories about Obama and his handpicked Senator, Roland Burris.
Wow, the hysteria in the Republican party really has hit the fan.
Indeed it has. I guess making shit up is good enough now. :roll:
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: Hacp
I'm tired of hearing about more incompetent corrupt Illinois politicians. We've already had our fair share with stories about Obama and his handpicked Senator, Roland Burris.
I'm tired of right-wing posters who post lies like Obama hand-picking Burris.
 

bobcpg

Senior member
Nov 14, 2001
951
0
0
Originally posted by: JEDIYoda
Originally posted by: bobcpg
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Because Obama is not involved!! People like you are still mad because Obama kicked McCain`s ass in the election!!
Get over it!!
No, just wondering that all.

I think its also crazy to totally believe that Obama has no idea anything like this was going on.
 

Skitzer

Diamond Member
Mar 20, 2000
4,415
3
81
Originally posted by: JEDIYoda
Originally posted by: bobcpg
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Because Obama is not involved!! People like you are still mad because Obama kicked McCain`s ass in the election!!
Get over it!!
You are naive if you believe Obama or certain members of his staff were not aware/involved in some way with what was going concerning that Senate seat.
Oh, before you start ..... I did not vote for McCain.
 

Hacp

Lifer
Jun 8, 2005
13,923
1
81
Originally posted by: Skitzer
Originally posted by: JEDIYoda
Originally posted by: bobcpg
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Because Obama is not involved!! People like you are still mad because Obama kicked McCain`s ass in the election!!
Get over it!!
You are naive if you believe Obama or certain members of his staff were not aware/involved in some way with what was going concerning that Senate seat.
Oh, before you start ..... I did not vote for McCain.
Finally, a liberal who gets it!
 

umbrella39

Lifer
Jun 11, 2004
13,819
1,123
126
Originally posted by: Red Dawn
Originally posted by: Hacp
I'm tired of hearing about more incompetent corrupt Illinois politicians. We've already had our fair share with stories about Obama and his handpicked Senator, Roland Burris.
Wow, the hysteria in the Republican party really has hit the fan.
It's pathetic and laughable all at the same time! It has been nothing short of fucking hilarious to watch the neotards posting here implode. Just sit back and watch the show.
 

Skitzer

Diamond Member
Mar 20, 2000
4,415
3
81
Originally posted by: Hacp
Originally posted by: Skitzer
Originally posted by: JEDIYoda
Originally posted by: bobcpg
I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Because Obama is not involved!! People like you are still mad because Obama kicked McCain`s ass in the election!!
Get over it!!
You are naive if you believe Obama or certain members of his staff were not aware/involved in some way with what was going concerning that Senate seat.
Oh, before you start ..... I did not vote for McCain.
Finally, a liberal who gets it!
Ummmm ...... I am not a liberal, try Independent.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,514
5,820
126
Good. Crooked is crooked...regardless of party affiliation.

Crooked politicians need to receive much more severe punishment for their crimes than the average street criminal...IMO, their crimes are far worse.

Not only do they "steal" money, they also steal public confidence in the system...which is a heinous act of and by itself.

Even Joliet is too good for people like this.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,522
3,628
126
If you can't nail someone to the wall directly, use Guilt by Association. All they all lived in the same State!! Guilty!!!!
 

WHAMPOM

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2006
7,628
181
106
Originally posted by: winnar111
http://www.chicagobreakingnews...-governor-impeach.html

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his brother, and a former top fundraiser were among six men indicted today on political corruption charges, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago announced.

In addition to Rob Blagojevich, 53, and fundraiser Christopher Kelly, 50, charged were Lon Monk, 50, a lobbyist and former Blagojevich chief of staff; John Harris, 47, also a former chief of staff to Blagojevich; and William Cellini, 74, a Springfield insider for decades.

The sweeping indictment comes four months after Blagojevich was arrested and charged with engaging in pay-to-play politics in a major federal complaint that accused him of trading state jobs, contracts and regulatory favors for campaign contributions.

The criminal complaint charged Blagojevich with attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama and seeking the firing of Tribune editorial writers in return for state help on the sale of Wrigley Field. The ballpark and newspaper are owned by Tribune Co.

While those allegations are repeated in today's charges, the 19-count indictment also includes allegations that convicted insider Antoin "Tony" Rezko steered real estate commissions to former first lady Patti Blagojevich despite her performing no work and paid cash to Monk for a car and home improvements. The indictment claims Blagojevich attempted to extort a U.S. congressman for campaign cash by withholding a $2 million state grant to a public school in the congressman's district.

All told, the ex-governor faces 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy and lying to federal agents. The government is seeking forfeiture of $188,370 from Blagojevich and will try to take his Ravenswood Manor home if needed.

"We're saddened but not surprised by the indictment" Blagojevich lawyer Sheldon Sorosky said. "Gov. Blagojevich is innocent and will fight this in court."

The formal charges also draw Blagojevich's family further into the scandal. While Patti Blagojevich was referred to in the indictment but not charged, the grand jury did indict the ex-governor's brother.

Rob Blagojevich took over as head of the governor's campaign fund last August, just two months before federal authorities won court authorization to wiretap the then-governor's home phone and campaign office.

"We were hoping it wouldn't happen, but it did," said attorney Michael Ettinger, who represents Rob Blagojevich. "Now my client is looking forward to being vindicated at a trial. My client has said from the beginning that he was not doing anything outside the bounds of normal fundraising."

Ettinger said he was in Florida at Disney World with the former governor and their families. He said Rob Blagojevich was not with them.

This marks the third time Kelly has been charged by federal authorities but the first time for alleged wrongdoing with the former governor. In January the wealthy roofing contractor pleaded guilty to tax fraud for concealing his use of corporate funds to cover gambling debts, but just weeks later, he was charged in connection with a kickback scheme at O'Hare International Airport.

Michael Monico, who represents Kelly, said his client is not guilty of the charges. "Chris Kelly did not engage in pay to play politics," he said.

Authorities have alleged that Harris tried to carry out the governor's plan to have Tribune editorial writers fired for critical editorials of Blagojevich. Cellini was indicted last fall on charges he extorted a Hollywood producer to make a Blagojevich campaign donation.
Monk was also heard on the recordings.


Good stuff. 1 corrupt Illinois politician down, 2 to go. What's the over/under on a pardon?

There are a couple good things about Blago, though. He understands that the state doesn't need a radical tax increase, and he makes people like Geithner pay before they play.
DAMN THE LIBERAL MEDIA PRESS! For forgetting to label Blagojevich a nonrepublican. Got your message loud and clear, Whinnar111.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: JS80
lol article doesn't mention what party blago is in. If he were GOP, article would have been filled with "REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR" in caps.
Yep, it's the first thing I looked for. I can't say I'm surprised.

Re: Did Obama or any of his staff know what Blago was up to - I thought it was confirmed that at least Rohm Emanual was aware, and the rumor was that he may have alerted the feds to Blago's scheme.

Fern
 
Feb 6, 2007
16,432
1
81
Originally posted by: JS80
lol article doesn't mention what party blago is in. If he were GOP, article would have been filled with "REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR" in caps.
Where do you live JS80? I'm just curious because I want you to do a little experiment. I want you to pick up your local paper or go to their website and find a story about your state's governor. Does the story include his or her party affiliation?

I just flipped through the Oregonian, and while several stories reference Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski, none of them state that he is a Democrat. And looking through the archives on Oregonlive gives me the same result. I mention this because this story comes from the website of a newspaper based in Chicago. If my own local paper won't reference my governor's party affiliation in articles, it would be presumptuous and foolish on my part to assume that another local paper automatically would.

Perhaps the reason that local papers, websites and newscasts don't do this is because it's downright insulting to imply that the citizens of a state don't know their governor's party affiliation. I don't know. I could see how a larger paper with international distribution would be different - the New York Times, for example - but I just don't see a smaller local paper bothering to print the party affiliation of the major political figure in that state. (I just did a quick check, and when the NYT broke the Spitzer story, they did refer to him as a Democrat; how's that for the liberal media?)

So, does your paper do it?
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
29
86
Originally posted by: bobcpg

I just want to say that I think it is crazy no one is bringing Obama into this. How can all this happen without Obama being somewhat involved.
Obama's name has already been there and gone. When U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald first announced some of the charges against Blago, even that bastion of right wing flame throwers, Fox News's story reported:

Fitzgerald said no allegations were being made that Obama was aware of any alleged scheming by Blagojevich.
The report in the New York Times reported the same:

Mr. Obama, who Mr. Fitzgerald said was not implicated in the case, sought to put distance between himself and the governor during brief remarks on Tuesday afternoon and later in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, saying he did not discuss his Senate seat with Mr. Blagojevich.
Fitzgerald has tons of evidence, including hours of recordings of Blago and his cohorts. and he's proven himself to be a diligent, honest prosecutor. If there were any hint of Obama's involvement, it would be public by now.

Unless you have more info than they do, you're blowing smoke. :roll:
 

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