SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More reform and renewal - pigs at the perpetual trough edition

Saturday, Sep 30, 2006

The party never ends.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, seeking a contractor to oversee the establishment of a major Southern Illinois recreational facility in late 2003, bypassed the downstate firm that had already done the master plan for the project.

Instead, the administration handpicked a Chicago company that had contributed almost $30,000 in charter plane flights to Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign.

Since then, the Sparta World Shooting & Recreational Facility, heralded by Blagojevich as a boon for Southern Illinois’ economy, has also been a boon for that contributor, Knight E/A Inc. The Chicago engineering firm has received more than $2.5 million so far from its no-bid contract as construction manager of the Sparta project. […]

Knight Infrastructure, meanwhile, had already become a major political supporter of Blagojevich. During the 2002 campaign, records show, Knight donated charter plane services to Blagojevich on six occasions, at a value of more than $29,726. Wolfe, the Knight company president, gave Blagojevich a personal $10,000 contribution in September 2002, and another $5,000 in June 2003 - right around the time the administration was deciding how to proceed on the Sparta project.

Yet another unintentional coinkidink, according to the Blagojevich administration. Those contributions may look carefully timed and influential, but they weren’t. Nope. That would be wrong.

Peruse more stories on the relationship between Knight and the governor here and here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Squideshi - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 1:34 pm:

    This is why we need to ban contributions from state contractors, and Rich Whitney is the only candidate proposing this type of ethics reform.


  2. - Guy Fawkes - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 1:37 pm:

    Did Knight E/A Inc. or Wolfe write any checks out to Governor Blagojevich’s daughters for birthday, Christening, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Festivus?


  3. - Anonymous - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rod just has to be dreading every weekend these days. This is the third week in a row that he’s gotten his buttocks handed to him. And I haven’t even seen tomorrow’s Trib yet, I’m curious to see if they go for the trifecta.


  4. - Martha Mitchell - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 6:55 pm:

    This man and his sychophants all have no shame. It’s like he’s daring the feds to charge him with something. He thinks he’s above the law and has defied the federal system with his prescription plan and with his hiring schemes, as well as All Kids. Another big one is on the way.


  5. - Anon - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 9:55 pm:

    One important fact left out of the above report: Knight Infrastructure (now called Knight E/A) is controlled by Republicans. The firm is managed by a partnership owned by Peter Fox, a prominent Downstate developer who served in the cabinet of Jim Thompson. Kim Fox (Peter’s wife) was one of Jim Thompson’s top fundraisers.

    Another owner is Catherine Prange, the wife of Nicholas Hurtgen. Hurtgen and Republican Bob Kjellander worked together on the $10 billion bond deal – the one in which Kjellander received a $800,000 fee for which he can’t explain what he did to earn.

    Although Knight contributed to Blagojevich’s campaign fund, Republicans have received the bulk of Knight’s contributions.

    When all is said in done both Democrats and Republicans will be hurt. Another case of Democrats and Republicans working together to screw the taxpayers.


  6. - Cassandra - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    And there are those who still say that Blagojevich is not selling state jobs and contracts and that blog posters need more proof before making such allegations. I understand the need of former Republican honchos to work their way back into Blago’s good graces, but really.

    Good investment return for Knight though. They paid out $45,000 in rides and cash and got a $2.5 million no-bid contract. Where in the market
    can you get those returns.

    As I’ve said before, Illinoisians have already decided that corruption is ok by electing pols like Blagojevich, Daley and Ryan. So why not sell the contracts outright and put the money in state coffers. For a $2.5 million no-bid, the state could likely make more than $45,000 on the open market. Instead of enhancing Blago’s campaign/retirement fund, the money reaped from selling state contracts directly could go to the schools, etc.


  7. - Merit - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 1:16 pm:

    Just another in the long line of crooks that have run our state. He will be in jail in less that four years…


  8. - Angie - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 2:40 pm:

    Good grief! As someone who worked in the healthcare industry in the past, I have to say that I’m not at all surprised about all of these rather interesting coincidences where people get cushy jobs/promotions if they support Democrats like Rod Blagojevich. I worked at a company where a top exec, during the FIRST WEEK of employee orientation for brand new hires, went around the room grilling every single new hire as to how they voted. I mean, he pointed at everyone and asked if they were Democrat or Republican. Wow. I was stunned. Then, I noted that a Democrat suddenly got promoted within a month, even before her trial period was up. She was an awesome employee, I do have to say, but why did they bump her up before the 3 month trial was even up? Suspicious in my opinion, especially since our supervisor was openly liberal, but now I see how the healthcare industry folks are really cozy with the Blagojevich administration. I mean, I’m just not surprised at all to read this stuff.

    By the way, the first website you see when searching those ties to Blago is wherethemoneygoes.com, a blog on the whole healthcare/hospital scandal issue. Great blog! Say what you will about past ties to Eddie V., but one of Editor Novak’s more recent clients was Poshard, and if you Google a piece called “You may be paying for corruption,” you’ll see a nice word about Poshard being honest and ethical (in the little news writeup that appears on Northwestern University’s Kellogg Management news page). The reporter of the piece is Alice Hohl, by the way.

    Novak definitely appears to be onto something big with the whole healthcare industry. Too many interesting coincidences with Blagojevich, wouldn’t you say? And when team Poshard was desperately trying to blow open the Ryan scandal back in 1998, no one listened at first. And weren’t they RIGHT in the end?

    Keep up with the healthcare angle as far as Blago is concerned. Lots of interesting (cough) coincidences going on in that industry. Way too many to doubt that it is all pure coincidence, in my opinion.

    Hope the reporters are all being good skeptics, too. This Gov’s whole career just smacks of “pay to play” innuendo.


  9. - desperate - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    another example of the dastardly deeds this administration is full of. Business as ususla, eh? O you are so full of crap Rodney. Go Judy or Rich- Go!


  10. - And to add... - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 3:26 pm:

    Notice the clever ploy that Rod has come up with for explaining the appearance of ethics issues within his administration? He argues that hey, we’re seeeing all this because I’m here, and I’m helping to weed out the corruption, so don’t blame me when you see all of the roaches scurrying around.

    What a lame excuse. Get one big can of RAID and clean house a little faster there. It would happen if someone would only start doing it right.


  11. - roadkill - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 5:31 am:

    Can you say “Pay to Play.” Even if it’s a coincidence as the administration says, this is an example of how they take a heavy handed approach, which almost always leads to higher costs for capital projects.

    At IDOT we’ve had simple building expansions that should have cost no more than $150,000 ending up costing twice that much once the Capital Development Board and a Chicago based architect (which fouled up the plans twice) got done with them. There are probably dozens of similar examples from other agencies across the state.


  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 7:47 am:

    9:55 anon, if you followed the links Rich rovided that “important fact” was mentioned in several of the articles, including the CORRECT fact that Mrs. Hurtgen sold her interest in the firm after her husband started having legal problems.

    A more important fact from where I sit is that the firm and Fox were named in the subpoena of TRS last year, meaning they have been on Fed radar for quite some time.

    Do you suppose this has anything to do with yet another coinkidink-Fox owns a piece of an airplane leasing company?

    Hmmm..deja Stu all over again, and there’s Blago, wheels up and clueless.


  13. - Gregor - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 7:49 am:

    I alays wondered why Blago, who has always been a staunch anti-gun person politically, first opposed, then suddenly embraced Sparta’s shooting complex. Now we know: it’s all about the benjamins.


  14. - DOWNSTATE - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 9:47 am:

    The even bigger story is who has allowed this kind of expense.The cost was going to be 20 million then 30 million and now they want more which some estimates are saying 50 million.Why doesn’t other legislators take a hard look at cuts in their parks so that Knights fat piggies can be fed.


  15. - steve schnorf - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 10:59 am:

    Unless something dramatic has changed in the past couple of years, Knight is a good company and has been a good vendor to the state for many years.


  16. - Illinois Tollway Guy - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 11:36 am:

    The Feds & FBI should check out how much money Knight E/A Inc. of Chicago reaped from the Illinois Tollway. They were involved in Tollway oases (Tony Rezko) fiasco from the start!
    No more business as usual, What BS!


  17. - Dawg - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:03 pm:

    And what gets me the most, is the Dems will put this lying snake back in office! At least the Repubs got rid of thier slug 4 years ago!
    I just makes me ill!!!!


  18. - PalosParkBob - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:23 pm:

    Correction, Dawg, our “lying snakes” are still around. They’re on the Statewide ticket and running the Party in Illinois!


  19. - Huh? - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:35 pm:

    HDR is the firm that got beat out by Knight. HDR hasn’t got much work from the state lately because they don’t engage in the pay to play. Over the weekend, I went to the state board of elections and did a search of the contributions in the governor’s race. Not once did I see an individual donation that stated their employer was HDR. HDR is a really good firm. It’s too bad they aren’t getting more work.


  20. - Just Wonderin' - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 4:48 pm:

    I noticed that this news was buried in the mid-section of the SJ-R in Monday’s edition. Calamity Jane took the front page…


  21. - HogsInWiscosnin - Monday, Oct 9, 06 @ 10:49 am:

    The amazing thing is that this corruption has bled north to Wiscosnin. Knight E/A was the number one earner of State Contracts last year. Hurtgen and his Brother-in-Law held a fundraiser for the Govenror and Knight execs gave Thou$and$. Also, usual supect and business partner to Prange/Hurtgen named Ed Aprahamian also gave thousands.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Question of the day
* Emanuel blames state for phony school budget
* AFSCME: Cullerton plan "looks like extortion"
* BGA sues IHSA over FOIA
* Michelle Obama pledges "everything in our power" to help Quinn
* The consequences of budget cuts
* Meza wants to become involved in patronage lawsuit
* "Instant responders"
* Cullerton mulls a solution while the savants incite panic
* Here comes teh crazy - for real
* Caption contest!
* Today's quotable
* Adventures in state-funded stupidity
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * London Transport Network Finally Opening Up To Contactless Mobile Payments
        * LogViewer for Time Machine review: Find Time Machine info in OS X system logs
        * 10 Rising Social Networks You Should Explore
        * Why you should care about CloudKit
        * How to prepare for a Mac disaster
        * Incoming: new update for Nokia X owners
        * 1Password to release new update, extends free trial

        * Book Hotels Contradicting Business Travellers to Save Money
        * 10 Rising Social Networks You Should Explore
        * Are Glass Screen Protectors Better Than Plastic Ones?
        * LG G Vista Specifications Leaked, Will Come With A 5.7-inch Display
        * International LG G3 Prime Coming In September (Rumor)
        * Doesn’t Play Nice
        * This Ultra-Foldable Commuter Bike Is Also Ultra-Spendy

        * New draftee Rodon tops White Sox updated Top 20
        * White Sox focused on long-term at Trade Deadline
        * Carroll strong but bullpen falters in finale
        * Parental love common thread among Hall inductees
        * Carroll strong but bullpen falters in finale
        * Class of 2014 takes its place among game's legends
        * Big Hurt thankful for many as he enters Hall of Fame


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation expan.....
        * Quinn, Rauner plans both leave questions - Sauk.....
        * Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike, criticize R.....
        * A tale of two budgets - Jacksonville Journal-Co.....
        * Gov. Quinn wants to be 'people's candidate' - W.....


        * Police: Chicago men arrested for shooting boy
        * Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice
        * Police: Indiana mom, girls shot in robbery attempt
        * AAR says air carrier deal means up to 175 jobs
        * Gov. Quinn to live off equivalent of minimum wage
        * Cahokia Mounds excavators make interesting find
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery
        * More Illinois counties could join camera program
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery
        * Illinois charity takes veterans on fishing trips

        * To fight crime, Chicago tries wiping away arrests
        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government's '$100,000 club' to 7,800
        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner meets with Sangamon County GOP
        * Howlett Building closed Tuesday after small fire
        * Judge: Illinois can close developmental center
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's

        * Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar in $8.5 billion deal
        * Another local tax inversion? Hospira in talks for Danone unit
        * Democratic candidate for Illinois Treasurer needs on the job training
        * Tribune Publishing CEO: We're buying newspapers
        * Poor families use 'supervouchers' to rent in city's priciest buildings


        * Man accused of stealing kid’s bike charged with hitting dad
        * Man dead, police officer wounded after shooting in Bucktown
        * 2 teens killed, 2 hurt in crash
        * Horses on parade: Statues to honor fallen police officers, raise money
        * Man charged in Orange Line robbery
        * Los Angeles man arrested in 1992 murder of Skokie teen
        * ‘I have faith and hope,’ Lisa Stebic’s sister says
        * Prosecutor: Shooter knew rival wasn’t in crowd but fired anyway
        * Women at work: Balancing life’s load as electricians
        * Charges pending in CTA robbery


        * 1 dead, officer wounded in Bucktown police-involved shooting
        * 5 injured, including 4 teens, in Loop crash
        * Police: 2 charged in shooting of 3-year-old
        * 5 shot in separate Sunday attacks
        * Public art display of horse statues to honor fallen officers
        * Addison mother and daughters shot during Hammond robbery attempt
        * Pedestrian hit by car in Avondale
        * Court records: North Mayfair man knocked 12-year-old off bike in theft
        * Riverdale man tried to kill witness to fatal shooting, prosecutors say
        * Marquette Park man held on $2M bail in taxi-driver murder case


        * So, when is it Jane Byrne's turn?
        * Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix
        * State Police Cancels New Trooper Training, Citing Budget
        * Feds' Immigrant Numbers For Illinois May Not Tell Whole Story
        * Listen to State Week - July 25, 2014
        * Inspector General Discloses Political Hiring Investigation
        * Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55
        * Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long
        * Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules
        * Pullman to get an indoor sports facility


        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Angie Muhs: Who will be the next First Citizen?
        * Tony Leone: Put the ALPLM under federal control
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schneider stresses fiscal issues in seeking GOP wins
        * Our Opinion: No harm in Houston changing his mind
        * Statehouse Insider: That’s not a tax hike, is it?
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's
        * Diane Lopez Hughes: Where is the compassion for children at the border?


        * Ava man arrested for driving into parked cars, fleeing
        * From the archives: Flooding in East Central Illinois
        * Top of the Morning, July 28, 2014: From the archives
        * Marion architectural firm helps communities, groups
        * Carbondale RNC hosted fire safety seminar
        * Business calendar
        * People in business
        * Retail roundup: Abe's Gourmet Popcorn is growing
        * Belleville bike shop owner is closing his doors
        * Abe's Gourmet Popcorn is growing; jewelry store closing


        * Dawn Patrol: Chicago greats in Hall of Fame; Lisle man killed in crash
        * Addison woman shot during Indiana robbery attempt
        * Maddux delivers one more brilliant outing
        * 'Emotional' Thomas takes his spot in Cooperstown
        * District 211 saves millions fighting tax appeals

        * Full-service schools could benefit from le...
        * Schock helps introduce 'full-service schoo...
        * Congressmen Hoyer and Schock introduce Com...
        * Schock and Hoyer Introduce School Bill - C...
        * Bipartisan House Bill Would Boost Communit...
        * House approves measures to reform housing ...
        * Schock sponsors charitable giving bill - P...
        * Roskam mapping next House chapter, doublin...
        * House Passes Schock Charitable Giving Meas...
        * Republican Congressman Aaron Schock Defend...

        * Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike, critic......
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * Rand Paul Talks to Black and Democrats Fli......
        * Rand Paul Talks to Black and Democrats Fli......

        * Sen. Rose: Quinn too little, too late to C......
        * Councils bid to electrify Doncaster-Cleeth......
        * Kirk again calls for removal of VA hospita......
        * On ADA anniversary, retiring Harkin promis......
        * Content about Alaska...

        * Former Redflex Employee Testifies At Federal Grand Jury Hearing
        * Did 'Tomahawk Chop' overwhelm White Sox, Chicago moments of glory?
        * Illinois home sales and prices increase in June #IARMarketStats
        * Infographic: Illinois Home Sales and Prices Up This June #IARMarketStats
        * You could win big in the Game On Giveaway!
        * Study reveals the hidden cost of foreclosures in Chicago neighborhoods
        * Morning Minute: Illinois and U.S. housing markets pick up in June
        * Good news if you are buying a home: mortgage rates remain low
        * Sign up for Fall Conference to see the amazing Elizabeth Dozier
        * Morning Minute: Selling your home this summer? 10 tax tips you need to know


        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Frank Thomas Day” in Illinois - Honors “The Big Hurt” and the Class of 2014 Hall of Famers
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Expand the Holocaust and Genocide Commission - Commission Works to Increase Public Awareness Through Educational Programs, Events and Outreach
        * Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on New Pullman Community Center in Chicago - Center will Increase Year-Round Recreational Opportunities for Chicago’s South Side and Create Jobs
        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment for Broadview Park Project - New Development Will Create Jobs and Improve Recreational Facilities
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Unaccompanied Children Crossing the US Border




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller