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THIS JUST IN… AG Madigan agrees to refer her investigation to the feds …UPDATED: Explosive allegations in Fitzgerald letter

Friday, Jun 30, 2006

From a press release:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that she will refer her ongoing investigation of alleged illegal hiring practices in various state agencies to the U. S. Department of Justice at the request of U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

In a letter to Madigan, Fitzgerald cited the problems inherent in overlapping investigations in making his request that Madigan merge her investigation into his.

“We are coordinating with the U. S. Attorney to avoid the potential for inadvertent interference with each other’s investigations,” Madigan said. “My top priority is that these matters are thoroughly and professionally investigated, and I am confident that will be the result of this agreement.”

Fitzgerald praised the professionalism of Madigan’s office and her contributions to the investigation. Madigan’s office released Fitzgerald’s letter today but could not comment further on this or other ongoing investigations.

I’ll post Fitzgerald’s letter in a minute or so.

UPDATE: The pdf file was too huge to post without needlessly chewing up bandwidth (I think because of the redactions) , so Click here for page one of Fitzgerald’s letter. Page 2 is here. (jpg files)

UPDATE 2: Fitzgerald’s letter to Madigan claims that the federal investigation currently includes:

…the alleged rigging of state employment practices to enable political hiring in violation of Rutan and include, among other things, the preparation of fraudulent hiring documentation. Our investigation has implicated multiple state agencies and departments and we have developed a number of credible witnesses.

[Emphasis added]

UPDATE 3: Fitzgerald goes on to discuss Madigan’s investigation.

While we were conducting our investigation [Redacted by the government] in November 2005 your office independently also obtained information concerning fraudulent hiring practices at two state agencies and commenced an investigation of those allegations.

Additionally, we understand that your office has begun its investigation of the allegations [Redacted by the government] which you believe would cause a broadening of your existing investigation to other state agencies.

[Emphasis added]

UPDATE 4: ArchPundit makes a very good point in comments:

It sounds more like tests were being rigged instead of just preferring political allies over non-allies once they got in the pool. Worse, to do so requires a conspiracy–and that this includes essentially all Executive Agencies, a wide ranging conspiracy and could even provide enough for RICO predicates.

UPDATE 5: A very brief AP story is up:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration is the focus of an ongoing federal investigation that has “implicated multiple state agencies” in allegations of corrupt hiring, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has confirmed.

Fitzgerald said his investigation has yielded credible witnesses related to “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud.”

[Emphasis added]

UPDATE 6: The AP now has a longer story posted.

Fitzgerald approved releasing the letter to the public, said Madigan spokeswoman Melissa Merz, and Madigan has agreed to drop her investigations. Merz would not comment further.

This is the first time Fitzgerald has said he is investigating the administration, although Blagojevich has acknowledged his agencies and some of his high-ranking aides were being scrutinized. […]

Fitzgerald’s letter says his office began investigating Blagojevich about a year ago and opened another investigation - which has now been merged with the first - late last summer. […]

Fitzgerald said his investigation and Madigan’s probe of similar allegations might conflict. He asks Madigan to suspend her probe because “the most important consideration for both our offices is that the very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud be thoroughly and expeditiously investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted.”

UPDATE 7: Statement from the Blagojevich office:

Statement from Abby Ottenhoff, Spokesperson for Gov. Blagojevich on letter released today by Attorney General Madigan:

“When we came into office we began to reform a system that was difficult to change. Under immense pressure to pad the payroll, we instead cut it by more than 13,000. With that said, we did have to hire people to help run state government. Among those we hired there were some bad apples who violated the rules. The systems we put in place in our first year helped ferret out this wrongdoing. We insisted on an independent Inspector General for precisely this purpose. We’ve acted on those IG recommendations up to and including termination, and where appropriate, referred them to the US Attorney for criminal investigation. We will continue pursuing those who would break the rules.”

So, a few “bad apples” are responsible for “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud“? Hardly. This statement tells us nothing, as usual.

UPDATE 8: The AP has transcribed the Fitzgerald letter from the original pdf format and posted it online in a more readable, quotable format.

UPDATE 9: The governor was in the Peoria area today. He was supposed to arrive about 2:30, less than an hour after this story broke. So far, there’s nothing online yet except this WMBD story about him touting All Kids. I fear the story may have broken too late for the locals to figure out what was going on and ask him about it.

UPDATE 10: Notice in “Update 7″ how the Blagojevich press release talks about referring cases to the US Attorney’s office and diligently rooting out corruption and cooperating with law enforcement?

Also, notice Patrick Fitzgerald’s praise for AG Lisa Madigan’s investigative work in his letter.

We recognize that significant effort was expended by your office concerning allegedly illegal hiring activities, and appreciate the professionalism of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General […]

On a personal note, I know that you have committed significant resources to the efforts to investigate public corruption and have assigned particularly talented attorneys to that effort. I appreciate the approach you have taken in this matter, and will be cognizant, as you suggest, that if we determine that there is criminal conduct which cannot be reached by federal prosecution and for which there is the possibility of state action, to make that information immediately available to you where appropriate. And while I know that you expect nothing more than that my office and the FBI conduct the federal investigation professionally and expeditiously, please be assured that when the circumstances of the investigation permits, I hope to publicly recognize the contribution of your office.

My point is, where’s the letter from US Attorney Fitzgerald praising the governor’s efforts to root out corruption? If he doesn’t have one, and can’t get one, then what does that say about the governor’s press release? Do they understand how much they insult our intelligence and do they enjoy it?

UPDATE 11: “Fitz of July” or “4th of July Fitzworks”? Which do you prefer? Got any others? (”Fitzmas in July” has been suggested in comments.)

UPDATE 12: Tribune:

Fitzgerald’s comments, contained in a letter he wrote June 20 to Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, represent the clearest explanation to date of the efforts by federal prosecutors to examine potential wrongdoing within the state’s hiring system.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


79 Comments
  1. - PoliticalTruth - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 1:58 pm:

    Fitzgerald should investigate Lisa Madigan’s father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. The Nader campaign accused Madigan of using state employees, on taxpayer time, to object to Nader’s nominating petition in 2004. When the Free and Equal Elections Coalition protested this outside Madigan’s office, state troopers showed up and arrested at least one demonstrator for trespassing on state property (i.e. a public sidewalk.)


  2. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:01 pm:

    Given this, we should not expect hiring-scandal related indictments until after the election. This is actually bad news for JBT. I expected this news and have actually been surprised it has taken this long. It is very good news for Lisa Madigan. Particularly with Fitzgerald’s comments, she can avoid the Jim Ryan problem down the road.


  3. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:03 pm:

    Ok, given the new update, there’s definitely some good news for JBT. I just don’t think, with this development, that indictments will come soon enough to save her, particularly if her fundraising numbers are as bad as has been rumored (about $1 mil cash on hand).


  4. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:12 pm:

    Wow…


  5. - paper bag over my head - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:25 pm:

    Forget the election for a moment. Isn’t anyone besides me disgusted that another low life politician from Illinois has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I am embarrassed to be from this state. As far as I am concerned it is only a matter of time before our second Gov in a row goes to jail. Does any other state have as much to be ashamed of as the voters in the state of Illinois?


  6. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:32 pm:

    Texas.


  7. - SilverBackDemocrat - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:41 pm:

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I still do not believe there will be any “concrete” evidence that proves “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was fraud. It was too hard for me to read the letter from Fitzgerald, but, nevertheless, if there was fraud, it will be ferretted out. The credibility of the alleged informants will be scrutinized to see if there is an “axe” to grind. I am assuming that all human resource employees are from previous administrations, so if there is dirt, they would be more than willing to hand it over. This is one of the main reasons I believe there in no there, there. I could be wrong, but I do not think so. As I said yesterday, if you have an “A” grade you are qualified for the job, period. Therefore, the persons who were hired are legitimate. It is not hard to get an “A” grade for a job. You just have to be qualified. A Bachelor’s Degree can just about make you qualified for any state job. Unlike most new hires and or promotee’s prior to the Blagojevich Administration, most (and I mean almost every single hire or promotee) has a Bachelors degree. Meaning, competent. Just because you do not like someone or they make a decision that you would not make does not make them incompetent. The difference between the hires during Blagojevich and previous Republican Administrations is “Educated People getting hired and promoted, not GED and High School graduates.” That is just what I have seen in my Department.
    In closing, I hope that there was not any wrong-doing in how or who was hired or promoted, etc. To wish for hurt or harm on another person is “sad.” It is not what goes into your mouth that is “sinful” but what comes out of your mouth because it is coming from your heart.


  8. Trackback ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:43 pm:

    very, Very Bad for the Blagojevich Administration

    The only upside to this whole deal is that it hit on a Friday before the holiday. Otherwise, this is just huge. Lisa might refer to this as the Bill Brady can bite me letter Some early comments over at…


  9. - chinman - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:45 pm:

    Silverback,
    You have to be the most stupid person to ever enter this blog. Get ready to be really sad.


  10. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:51 pm:

    It sounds more like tests were being rigged instead of just preferring political allies over non-allies once they got in the pool. Worse, to do so requires a conspiracy–and that this includes essentially all Executive Agencies, a wide ranging conspiracy and could even provide enough for RICO predicates.


  11. - scoot - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    Silverback—get back to work. Anyway..I hope this is the beginning of the end for this administration. They absolutely “DO NOT” deserve another 4 years in office!!


  12. - SilverBackDemocrat - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:00 pm:

    Tests’ being rigged is more credible. Yet, it is hard to fathom that being the case because “all” state employment tests’ use “standardized” testing instruments and methods. Nevertheless, we will see what the truth is eventually. Inuendo and hearsay is exactly what it is, “propoganda.” Let the chips fall where they drop. If this whole mess it legitimate good; if not, then so be it. Life is a winding road that has a lot of twists and turns, but what comes around, goes around. Buyer beware.


  13. - statehouse quad cities - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:04 pm:

    sounds like blago’s folks may have been doing what thompson, edgar and ryan did — shame on all of them.


  14. Pingback IlliniPundit.com » Blog Archive » Huge Developments in Fed Investigation into Blagojevich - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:09 pm:

    […] Rich Miller has the story - certainly the biggest political story in Illinois so far in 2006. […]


  15. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:13 pm:

    Rich….This is the real 4th of July present! Let the fireworks begin!


  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:14 pm:

    LOL. Instead of fireworks we got Fitzworks


  17. - Anon... - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:15 pm:

    “sounds like blago’s folks may have been doing what thompson, edgar and ryan did — shame on all of them”
    Of course, except that this govenor promised to end “business as usual”. Now it’s up to Mr Fitzgerald to end “business as usual” in this state. THANK GOD! The politics in this state have been disgusting, I’m ashamed, and yes, it needs to stop! It’s time for it to stop!


  18. - Ashur Odishoo - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:16 pm:

    Rich Miller with the breaking news story of the year. Wow. Has anyone ever seen a corruption investigation in Springfield like this before?

    “Fitzgerald said his investigation has yielded credible witnesses related to “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud.”” - This has to keep some people up at night.

    This is no longer about political ideology, spin or Republican vs. Democrat noise. This is getting serious. Scary serious.

    Ashur Odishoo
    Candidate
    State Representative 11th District


  19. - junkietoo - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:16 pm:

    Political Junkie-
    Doesn’t this look like the sort of story that the Dems would want to dump on a Friday before a long holiday weekend when the regular press isn’t around to cover things?


  20. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:20 pm:

    junkietoo…Oh, for sure but this is so big that it won’t get buried. Rod loves to make national and international news, so he ought to really love this one.


  21. - SilverBackDemocrat - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:36 pm:

    The key words in the phrase are, “IF appropriate, prosecute.” This is not an open and shut case that is sealed. The appearance/perception to some people (Democrats) could be, “Republicans are nit-picking,” trying to do everything thing they can to smear and bring down the first Democrat Governor in Illinois in almost 3 decades. It could
    “rally the Democratic base,” just like the smear machine helped rally the base for President Clinton. We will see….


  22. - Concern Citizen - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:46 pm:

    One only has to look at IDOT where “Ms. Waldo” from Business Service is franticly looking for a position to justify her existence at District One. What a perfect example.


  23. - schroedk - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 3:55 pm:

    I was just commenting to my wife the other day about the level of corruption of BOTH major political parties in this state. Because of grad school and affiliations required during school, I’ve had the pleasure to live in 6 states over the past ten years. NEVER have I witnessed the level of corruption as I’ve seen in Illinois. Sure, you know it’s there, but either it’s a little bit better covered up or the political players are a little bit more self-controlled and willing to play by the rules at least to some extent. I, too, am embarrassed for Illinois. I’ve long thought about going into politics (for the naive notion of making a change for the betterment of society), but the political powers-that-be in Illinois seem to have made it almost impossible for an honest, straight-shooting politician to make it in this state. Yes, there are exceptions, even in Illinois, but I personally have only counted two state politicians in Illinois that I would trust what they told me. Illinois is the only state that I’ve actually felt a strong need and desire to vote for a third-party candidate.


  24. - PoliticalTruth - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:07 pm:

    On Monday the Green Party filed a nominating petition containing a full slate of candidates for Illinois state offices, to be elected in November of 2006, with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The petition includes the signatures of more than 39,000 Illinois citizens, even though only 25,000 were required for ballot access. Established parties are only required to collect 5,000 signatures, but the Green Party gathered 5 times that many in matter of only 90 days! Assuming that the Democrats aren’t successful in getting the Green Party kicked off the ballot, you will actually have a chance to vote for a third-party in 2006.


  25. - One Man Can Make A Difference Foundation - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:10 pm:

    Way to go Patrick Fitzgerald. He must be back home.

    Bottom line, his letter says to me that Attorney General Lisa Madigan has conflicts of interest in investigating the Governor’s office and she and other state officials may be witnesses and or indicted.

    Welcome back Patrick


  26. Pingback Reverse Spin » A Blagojevich investigation scorecard - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:12 pm:

    […] The letter being released today and posted on Rich Miller’s blog refers to only one of nine state and federal investigations. I’m assuming that Lisa Madigan will continue her other investigations and is just deferring her work on the hiring scandal. […]


  27. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:14 pm:

    One Man…..I think Lisa Madigan asked Fitz’s permission to release the letter so she could distance herself from Hairspray and the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. She probably found out a lot of stuff she didn’t want to know in her own investigation and is happy to hand this mess off to the Feds.


  28. - schroedk - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:16 pm:

    The fact that the Green Party was able to collect so many petition signatures in a short amount of time tells me that the more liberal-leaning constituents in this state are getting pretty fed-up, too, with the two mainstream parties. Unfortunately, since I’m more conservative-minded, I lean more toward the Constitutional Party or Libertarian Party, which, like most third-parties, has its own share of whackos or is unable to garner enough support. Leave it to the mainstream parties to be so afraid of losing their power that they pushed through a more stringent requirement for third-party competition. Makes me want to vomit.


  29. - Reddbyrd - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:16 pm:

    Dear Mrs/Ms/Mr. Schroedk:
    Without dismissing the Illinois cases, you really need to read about the work of your Dept. of Justice is doing in other states to see the snot (Rich’s censorama machine does not like swear words) is hitting the fan in a lot ‘o spots.

    Illinois is not alone.

    Then factor is all the sleaze in the corporate worlds and it is no wonder there is little time to chase drug dealer, smugglers and the guys who get Katrina contracts and hire illegals to do he work.
    Opps, I forgot Cheney/Halliburton is exempt.
    Good job Capt. Fax
    1


  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:24 pm:

    “OMCMAD,” I suggest you read Fitzgerald’s letter before making such goofy comments.


  31. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:25 pm:

    Rich…..Please don’t close comments for the weekend too soon. Hopefully people will be able to behave themselves. Thanks.


  32. - Downstater - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:29 pm:

    SilverBackDemocrat,
    You can try to spin this any way you want but this is bad news for Blago and company. If the FBI and the US Attorney are as deep into this investigation as it appears and there are credible witnesses, you can bet there are going to be fireworks. Rich, good job breaking this story. Hopefully this will be the start of cleaning the stench out of Illinois politics.


  33. - naming my next kid Fitz - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:34 pm:

    Silverback is obviously an apologist for the Blago administration and in deep, deep denial.

    Now that “da G” is in this, expect a long, hot summer as Blago gets a rotisserie ride usually reserved for barbeque suppers. And it couldn’t happen to more deserving people.

    I want to see which of the press staff in Blagoland gets to do the patented “Baghdad Bob” denial speech to the press. (”There is no invading army, we have achieved total victory!) In a dead weekend without much other news to go on, expect all the reporters to dig their teeth in and hang on for a great long ride. I’m going to buy a whole new scrapbook just for the resulting clips.

    Happy weekend, everybody!


  34. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:39 pm:

    Speaking of barbeques…..just wondering if Blago will invite Dick Mell to his 4th of July cookout. Things that make you go hmmmmm.


  35. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:40 pm:

    A) Please do not confuse the onemen…

    B) If Lisa Madigan really wanted to do the Gov. a favor she would have released this at 4:00 PM today. So it would be harder to work into tonights early news cycle.

    OneMan


  36. - death row - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:51 pm:

    Blago is in Peoria tonight at an ALLKIDS promo. Want to bet that he avoids the local news media (regular Captialfax readers I’m told) like leppers?


  37. - tv time - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:52 pm:

    This is big enough it will have legs in the news cycle. Even if it doesn’t, this is a made for TV ad if Judy can raise enough $$.


  38. - Citizen Observer - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:56 pm:

    Anybody troubled by the timing of this public letter by Fitzgerald–while the jurors in the Sorich City Hall job-fixing trial are in recess from their deliberations at their homes, soaking in media coverage? Doesn’t this leak send the impression that, yes indeed, political hiring is a crime and not just a violation of a consent decree in a civil lawsuit, and the big bad Feds are going to systematically get all these bad guys–so be sure and convict the FIRST ones?


  39. - B Hicks - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 4:58 pm:

    If there is something there, there’s something there. If so, it will be uncovered and appropriate action will be taken. But, for now, there are just allegations of misconduct. Come November, there will still just be allegations of misconduct. This thing has a long way to go. I wouldn’t start throwing parties, yet. But, what do I know, it’s not like I’m a lawyer or anything.


  40. - ron - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:04 pm:

    people are so use to corruption they, unfortunately, accept it. look at the corruption in chicago and daley still gets favorable ratings from the voters in chicago.
    i wonder whether this will be much of a story in downstate illinois news media. makes great reading for political junkies, bloggers and reporters, but most people don’t care as long as the govenment services they want continue to get delivered on time. kudos for rich breaking the story.


  41. - Tollway Insider - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:06 pm:

    Mr. Fitzgerald, the Illinois Tollway employees, prior to the current Nazi regime.
    Say thank you !


  42. - Little Egypt - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:07 pm:

    I seriously wonder how often Abby can fall on her sword for her boss. She’s sounding very foolish in defending him. Citizen Observer, it’s not a leak. It’s a letter from Fitzgerald to LMadigan. Big difference.


  43. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:07 pm:

    “Citizen Observer,” Fitzgerald had nothing to do with today’s timing as far as I can tell.


  44. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:09 pm:

    I still think this means no indictments until after the November election. I don’t think this will be adequate for Judy, especially since she won’t have adequate $$$. My prediction, say hello to Governor Pat Quinn!


  45. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:13 pm:

    “ChicagoCynic,” I wouldn’t bet on “no indictments until after November.”

    This particular investigation may now take more time, but there are plenty of other investigations in progress. One in particular could prove very fruitful sooner than you might think.


  46. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:13 pm:

    Cynic…All the money in the world wouldn’t give JBT the kind of ammunition Fitzgerald just handed her for free.


  47. - Dan Curry - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:15 pm:

    The “bad apples defense” returns!


  48. - Peaches - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:20 pm:

    Silver Back: I know one person at IDOC that replaced a licensed architect (qualification required for that position) who was lucky to graduate from a rural high school. He worked construction, building houses for a summer or two, and was put in DOC - supposedly as qualified as the architect with 20 years experience. All courtesy of Mr. Blagojevich.


  49. - GoodbyeRod - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:22 pm:

    Hello, Gov. Topinka!


  50. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:29 pm:

    Rich, Sounds like you’re hearing some good info on timing. I know there is a lot brewing and wouldn’t be suprised if there are low level indictments. But my primary interest, and what I think will be a deal-breaker for reelection, is the hiring scandal and the potential to get Rezko/Kelly. As I see it, the only other one with some real potential to get Rod into real trouble is TRS.

    What’s so amazing is that Rod and his team somehow have genuinely believed (I’ve heard it from several very high level sources) as recently as last week that they (and Tony/Chris) are not in jeopardy. Will continue to be very interesting.


  51. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:33 pm:

    Ok, Rich, on your update 10, I think you’re reaching. You wouldn’t really expect Fitz’ office to praise the governor they are investigating, would you? I mean regardless of how well Rod’s people are cooperating with Fitz, he would never say such a thing.


  52. - dum de dum dum - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:35 pm:

    It doesn’t matter if the people of IL. are used to this or not. It doesn’t matter if the charges can be proved beyond a reasonsable doubt. It doesn’t matter if this is a long holiday weekend.
    All that matters is what 12 smucks in the jury box are going to think.

    All of that big war chest will now be used to defend the governor of these charges.

    What Dawn Defrates has on this bunch is enough to convict them.


  53. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:36 pm:

    CC, I was just pointing out how ridiculous that press release really was and how it absolutely insults my intelligence.


  54. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:39 pm:

    dum de dum dum….. Dawn isn’t alone.


  55. - Papa Legba - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:42 pm:

    Uhhh. One word… BOOM!!!!

    Can’t wait to hear the denials regarding these developments. They ought to be a real hoot.


  56. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:54 pm:

    Well you’re right about that Rich. Between this, Sorich and the Beavers/Beavers, Stroger/Stroger swap, I think I’m going to be sick. Is this the freedom we’ve been fighting for?


  57. - Max Maxwell - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 5:59 pm:

    This is looking like we will end up with Pat Quinn as governor, after the re-election, indictment and resignation of Blago. Probably about this time next year?


  58. - ChicagoCynic - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:06 pm:

    You got it Max!


  59. - chinman - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:09 pm:

    I thought the fireworks last year at washergate were great. These look to be 200x as good. $500,000 contract vs $100,000,000 contract. Someone please get the ethics test out and post it please. Add the hiring scandal and I feel like I’m drunk. Speaking of drunk get me another lets celebrate.


  60. - politicaljunkie - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:10 pm:

    Under the heading of WT…. 10 minutes into the news and Springfield Channel 20 hasn’t mentioned Blago. I guess that is to be expected. They are the lamest!


  61. - Schiznitz - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:20 pm:

    *tick, tick, tick*


  62. - redheadsunite - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:21 pm:

    lol, Rich. “Fitz of July” or “4th of July Fitzworks” you choose. I prefer “Christmas in July” or”Fitzmas in July”.


  63. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:29 pm:

    What can we learn from all of this kids…

    Don’t F— with your in-laws.


  64. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:30 pm:

    LOL


  65. - Walking Wounded - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:48 pm:

    Rod’s arrogance in his administration reminds me so much of the presidential candidate bid that Gary Hart made in 1988. Hart was so sure of himself that he dared the press corps to follow him around because they wouldn’t find anything to report. Wouldn’t you know, the press proved Hart wrong and he had to drop out of the race.
    ARod’s self serving management system is kicking him right in the rear. Go Fitz!


  66. - dumb ol' country boy - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 6:56 pm:

    Nice to see “da G men” at it again, rightfully so. Hey Silver Back, your starting to sound ignorant with your excuses. This administration is sinking fast,everyone of them will be running to hide when the feds show up. They will sell each other out to protect themselves. I cannot wait to see IDOC’s SPSAs and see them squirm!!!! ha ha ha ha My mama always said..”What comes around goes around !!!” Boy she was right!!


  67. - NumbersGuy - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:17 pm:

    Anybody heard from “The Original Bill” today? His absence is conspicuous.


  68. - Green Lantern - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:21 pm:

    It is very sad to see the wasted potential that Rod has destroyed with his blind ambition , any chance of a national career is gone, His being re-elected is in jeopardy, He has destroyed the life of his in laws after using them as much as he could, he continues to try to jump on popular populist ideas to squeeze votes, He has no shame. He promises everybody something that they will themselves pay off with interest in the future. He is a liar who quotes Elvis. Happy 4th of July Rod.


  69. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:31 pm:

    No Original Bill, unless he is jumping on the pile here under another name. I do give credit to Reddbyrd, who is moving from denial to acceptance, and B Hicks, who is still in denial but shows hopeful signs of moving forward, for showing up here. After all, it’s still a blue state, but a little bluer for certain office holders today.


  70. - 'bout time - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:42 pm:

    And to think that those of us working for the various state IT shops thought the eventual scrutinization of the BearingPoint/Accenture perpetuated ‘IT Rationalization’ joke would be the ‘Unravel Factor’ for this group… This just gets better and better, does it not?


  71. - Little Egypt - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:48 pm:

    Rich, thanks for keeping comments open for however much longer you choose. You have done a masterful job of covering this breaking news today and if it were not for you, it would be well into the weekend before a major news outlet printed/aired this. Certainly it would not have been as comprehensive as your website. Is there an award we can give to the best political blog in the country? If so, you have my vote.


  72. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:51 pm:

    Also “CC” the feds have indeed heaped praise on other high-level pols when they investigated lower level staff. On at least two occasions that I can remember, the federales praised the cooperation of Jesse White’s operation when they busted underlings.

    So, yes, they can go after employees and still publicly congratulate the boss. That hasn’t been done with the governor yet, however.

    I think part of the problem is you have predicted here and perhaps elsewhere that the governor will win almost no matter what, so you are attempting to make everything else fit.

    That’s one very big reason why I never, ever, ever make predictions. Predicting clouds one’s judgement when the facts on the ground suddenly change (as they always do). You risk becoming a hostage to your predictions and you can easily become a partisan shill if you’re not extraordinarily careful.

    It also makes you look like an idiot when you’re wrong. I have enough problems without giving people more reasons to think I’m an idiot.


  73. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:54 pm:

    “LE” and others, thanks, but I didn’t really “break” anything. I just beat everyone else to the punch. We all had the info, but I had the means of getting it out faster and of posting entire documents right away and updating constantly.


  74. - SilverBackDemocrat - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 7:58 pm:

    Beyond a shadow of doubt… Let’s see. If there is 12 members on a jury, there is bound to be a few jurors who will see through all of the hipocracy and venom being spewed at the Governor. I am not perplexed at all about these allegations because this is the kind of rumor starting, and mud throwing that Republicans do to Democrats. It doesn’t matter to me one way or another what comes from the allegations; I’m a loyal Democrat, and I know what kind of shenanegans Republicans play. They just hate, hate some more, and then try to snake you. I hear them complaining every day. I suppose if we were to have a Republican Governor everything would be “rosy” again because they would fire all the Democrats. There has not been any Democrats as managers for almost 3 decades because of Republicans in control of the Governorship (that is legal). There might, and I mean once in a blue moon on accident, a Democrat who was promoted into a management position. This whole “stink” in the air boils down to Republicans being out of power. I hope Democrats in Illinois “Buck-up” and deliver a very high turn-out on election day and “keep the Governorship” in “Democrat Control.” It is entertaining to read all of the folk on this blog rattle back and forth with each (high-fives and slaps on each others back). It is truly funny. When this big-dog, “Alpha Male” throws red meat to you all you bite like a 35 lb. catfish thinking he is going to get a meal by eating “stink-bait.” Keep congratulating yourselves and dreaming because come election day, you will be singing the “Blues” because this truly is a “Blue State.”


  75. - redheadsunite - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 8:04 pm:

    A partisan shill I’m not. I consider myself an equal opportunity critic. Dubya and Blago are both arrogant lawbreakers. As much as I despise Blago, his stupid, illegal activities haven’t cost the lives of more than 2500 brave men and women.


  76. - Let's Just Reinstate Feudalism - Saturday, Jul 1, 06 @ 12:22 pm:

    Silverback, if you are already thinking about juries, your cause is lost by your own admission.

    Redhead, nice try, but we are going to stay on the topic.


  77. - Pete Granata - Saturday, Jul 1, 06 @ 12:58 pm:

    This is terrible for true hackdom! Can an investigation of DuPage County government be next? What a world. What a world.


  78. - ILPundit - Sunday, Jul 2, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    Sometimes I wish I still had my old blog…

    Not only is this pure disaster for the Governor, the nature of things like this — as we have seen with the Ryan scandal and the City Hired Truck scandal — is that the pattern is ever escalating.

    About a week from now, this will have quieted down in the press. Then the next revelation will come out, and it will blow up all over again.

    This is going to haunt Blago through the election. Judy now has a ready made campaign theme with enough strength to change the subject.

    If I am Topinka, I take every penny I have and sink it into TV right now, on this issue, and pray that numbers move and that it exictes her base to give her more money to stay afloat.


  79. - politicaljunkie - Sunday, Jul 2, 06 @ 12:49 pm:

    So the reason for Z Scott’s abrupt departure is finally revealed. Apparently she didn’t want to be part of an administration with such wanton disregard for the law. And they didn’t want a person with ethics and high regard for the law in their administration.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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