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Trading favors

Monday, Mar 31, 2008

* Trading a vote for a job or a project isn’t exactly new, but when you’re under the microscope, everything looks bigger than it is…

The legislative aide to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich suggested in a 2003 e-mail he could win a senator’s vote if the administration hired the lawmaker’s secretary.

The e-mail from Joseph Handley was obtained by The Associated Press. It seeks confirmation from Blagojevich patronage staffers that they planned to hire Rhonda Wood. She was at the time secretary to Senator Larry Walsh.

Handley wrote: “If this can be confirmed, it helps me with Walsh on important vote.” […]

Walsh is now Will County executive. He says he tried to help Wood but there was no discussion of votes on legislation. Wood wasn’t hired.

Quid that may or may not have been suggested, no real pro and the quo never went through. Not a huge story, but not a good way to start off the week, either.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


26 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    Response by the Gov: I already have Emil, you need to ante up somthing more.


  2. - Cassandra - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 11:56 am:

    Quelle surprise.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 12:13 pm:

    Pat Fitzgerald is a maverick; he’s not interested in a couple years service followed by a corner office in a LaSalle Street firm. He’s undertaken the Herculean task of cleaning the stables. Old accommodations are no longer being recognized. His zeal is formidable and his powers are terrifying.

    Advice: anything close, don’t put it in writing; during conversation, a Tony Soprano hug/patdown is in order; conversations should be held outdoors, preferably while walking.

    Better yet, anything close, walk away. It’s really not worth it. This too, shall pass.


  4. - A Citizen - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 1:22 pm:

    This whole thing is just terrible. It’s going to ruin politics in Illinois. If we can’t “trade” jobs for some favorable outcome, or contracts, or legal services, or favors . . . . government is going to grind to a halt. Gridlock will look like a high speed express. Obviously, this is all Fitz’s fault - just ask guv!


  5. - phocion - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 1:52 pm:

    Did Ald. Stone’s son try to get a job with Blago, too?


  6. - Big W - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Is it just me or does it seem Abby Ottenhoff is a robot or been programmed for the Blago……she says the same thing every day!!!!LOL I bet she is getting tired of this…..LOL


  7. - If It Walks Like a Duck... - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 3:18 pm:

    Oh pleazzzz, like this is a surprise. Let’s focus on the big picture (i.e., systematic corruption). Also, the Gov’s lame answers on WMAQ’s video are a classic Psych 101 illustration of pathologic lying. Calling Patrick Fitzgerald- Are you watching the news or reading the CFB?


  8. - steve schnorf - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 3:47 pm:

    That’s no news at all, other than things are getting so odd around Springpatch that it seems like news.


  9. - Sock Puppet Express - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 4:34 pm:

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says the administration hires people for state jobs on merit and doesn’t seek legislative favors in return……
    seeks confirmation in the e-mail that two people — including the secretary — would move to new posts. Neither ultimately did.

    Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff says a candidate’s qualifications are the only consideration in hiring for jobs protected from political influence.

    NAME ONE!


  10. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 4:39 pm:

    Must be a really slow news day. Anyone, and I mean anyone that makes an issue of this simply has never worked in the legislative process. And please don’t start how the GOP or someone else would never do this. This how it works, like it or not. Anyone who acts like this is the first time something like has been done, has never, ever worked a bill.


  11. - BullDog II - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 4:49 pm:

    Handley seen the writing on the wall a couple months ago…did’nt he take a cush cable job?


  12. - Sock Puppet Express - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 4:56 pm:

    No slower than listening to the “news” that Jim Ryan, Lee Daniels and Jim Edgar say they not know Stu had a little drug problem.


  13. - Macbeth - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 4:57 pm:

    I’m more interested in the purple hotel. Do we know where the purple hotel is?

    It sounds like some perverted after-hours hangout of Barney the Dinosaur.


  14. - Disgusted - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 6:05 pm:

    Ah, the administration only hires on merit. That would explain Mike Chalmness (Mr. Immunity from Prosecution) heading up the Illinois Terrorism Task Force. Hummmm!


  15. - Will County Anon - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 6:08 pm:

    Anyone that knows then Sen. Larry Walsh knows that he would NEVER agree to do anything in return for asking a favor. Wood has served Jerry Joyce, Tom Dunn, Larry Walsh, and now AJ Wilhelmi. Her problem was that she really was qualified for any position. Joe Handley was probably trying to show he could play the Blago game by promising something from Larry. He would not have been able to deliver as Walsh opposed the Guv on many big issues. Too bad it’s gotten to this.


  16. - Will Observer - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 6:17 pm:

    First,Senator Walsh was only making a recommendation for a very qualified individual that would have been an excellent choice because of her 20+ years of legislative experience. Second, Handley’s email never said that Walsh made any committment. It was purely wishful thinking on his part. Handley knew they didn’t hire on merit so he tried to play the game to get a qualified person hired.


  17. - To Give Me a Break - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 7:24 pm:

    Are you serious? Come on Joe H. that is really you isn’t it! Anyhow, just because this is the ways things may/allegedly have been done in the past, it just so happens that this (the Blago) administration was the one that was working under the sweeping ethics reform of their own fearless leader. That is the significant issue, not to mention the fact that they were targetting RUTAN PROTECTED jobs. Better get back to your lobbying job!


  18. - steve schnorf - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 7:44 pm:

    Excuse me, Break, but where did you get the info that this was a Rutan protected position?


  19. - To Give Me a Break - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 7:51 pm:

    Steve, you’re excused. The website update on the SJ-R showing the chain of Emails between Handley, Cini, Thomas, Doubet states that the position at IDOT is a “RUTAN COVERED TM VI” position in Traffic Safety.


  20. - Bruno - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:05 pm:

    GMaB wrote: This how it works, like it or not. Anyone who acts like this is the first time something like has been done, has never, ever worked a bill.

    Upon such jaundiced and cynical ‘facts’ state are bankrupted. What seems to be a little job here and little break there turns into a river of greed and entitlement.

    Couple an opaque and jaundiced political class with a hidden pension guarantee clause that most citizens have no clue about, and you’ve got a license to steal.

    And steal they do. $106 billion in unfunded liabilities, $2 billion pension holidays, and a class of people who suck down larger paychecks in the last 4 years of their least productive years so they can quit, live off the taxpayer, and “consult” with their progeny on how to lie even more effectively to the voter.

    Get over it folks. This is just how things are done. Just bend over and take it.


  21. - annon - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:07 pm:

    Just more of the same from Blago & the gang!!! It’s been what 5 plus years of screw-up & it continues. Incompetence at it’s absolute finest !! Is it really a surprise ? The dems are this way on about every level & they still keep getting elected ???? Oh…it’s about time for the annual “ethics test” for all state employees again, except those “exempted ones”.


  22. - Frank T - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:06 pm:

    Brady ‘10!!!!!!!!


  23. - Fox Mulder - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:33 pm:

    Excuse me, Sock, but could you identify anyone in the political or business world who “knew” Stu Levine had a drug abuse problem before the papers started sniffing around, pardon the expression, last year?

    OK, maybe the “males” at the parties knew, but then that would mean…


  24. - jessica - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:41 pm:

    So neither person was given the job..Where is the story?


  25. - To disgusted - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 11:09 pm:

    You picked a poor example in implying that Mike Chamness is not qualified to run the Terrorism Task Force. He did an excellent job as head of IEMA under George Ryan and was ahead of the curve in Terrorism planning. Despite the lack of experience, he was the best Director IEMA has had, although Velasquez will give him a run for his money.

    You could make a convincing argument that he was not qualified to become Director of IEMA when George Ryan appointed him. Which raises the question of the necessity of experience in the field.


  26. - Pete Mitchell - Tuesday, Apr 1, 08 @ 6:34 am:

    The story is that Blagovich ran on the platform that if it looks bad it is bad. The outcome doesnt matter its the fact he sent the email in the first place.


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