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Did the governor just admit to being a potential defendant?

Thursday, Jul 31, 2008

* The governor’s legal team is using a somewhat unusual tactic to convince a court that it doesn’t have to release federal subpoenas requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Act…

In an argument to the Illinois Appellate Court, Blagojevich’s legal team cites a 27-year-old federal court ruling that says “potential” criminal defendants don’t have to turn over grand jury subpoenas in civil litigation. That’s one of the arguments the governor is making in an effort to overturn a Downstate judge’s ruling that the Better Government Association, a Chicago watchdog group, is entitled to the subpoenas under Illinois’ open-records law. [Emphasis added]

* More from the BGA’s attorney…

“In the Admiral Heating case, the court extended the rule that prohibits prosecutors or grand jury members from disclosing information,” says Donald Craven, the Springfield lawyer and open-records law expert who’s representing the BGA. “The court extended the rule to prohibit defendants or potential defendants from disclosing that information, as well. It seems to me that the governor is now characterizing himself as a defendant or potential defendant, rather than just as a witness before the grand jury, in an effort to bring himself within the confines of this rule.” [Emphasis added]

* The governor’s press secretary responds…

“This is just a deplorable manipulation of the facts,” he says, “in an effort to make headlines and advance an illusory theory in the press that would overwhelmingly be thrown out in any court of law.”

The governor is planning an unrelated press conference this afternoon. Maybe the reporters can ask him to clear things up.

* Somewhat related…

* Blagojevich raises cash while reform bill sits

* Governor steps up fundraising

* State contractor: Stop me before I give money to the governor again

* SJ-R Opinion: Governor, do the right thing

* City Club of Chicago Welcomes Governor Blagojevich

* Jim Ryan: ‘Something is not quite right’

* Former head of Ill. prisons sentenced to 2 years

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - lifer - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:07 am:

    Welcome back we missed you. As for the gov this is probably be true but we are all a potential something. Grasping at straws


  2. - S. Illinois - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:18 am:

    Remember Rich, anything his lawyers say is just “classic legal puffery.” It has no bearing on the reality in RRB’s head.


  3. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:19 am:

    == Maybe the reporters can ask him to clear things up. ==

    Maybe they can and maybe he will. Maybe. But probably? What a pleasant surprise that would be.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:24 am:

    Rich,

    Isnt the ethics bill going to force the Senate back into session eventually. The governor claims he will veto at which point the house will override and the senate will be forced to come back and override as well. Unless the Senate Dems want their general election opponents to send out fliers that the senate dems are “protecting the guv’s campaign fund”.

    Isnt this more plausible than a potential agreement on capital?

    The bill was sent to the guv on 6/30. Which means he has until Aug 30th to act. If he vetoes the House has 15 days. They will most likely act immidiately. Then the senate will be forced in within 15 days of the house action.

    What do you think?


  5. - Just a thought - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:24 am:

    “This is just a deplorable manipulation of the facts”

    You have to admit, if anybody would know anything about deplorable manipulation of facts, it’s the Governor’s office.


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:32 am:

    Anonymous, the 15 day clock essentially kicks in when the originating chamber reconvenes. If he vetoes it during the special session, then the clock starts. If he waits until after the special session, then the clock doesn’t start until the fall veto session.


  7. - What planet is he from again? - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 9:37 am:

    ==Maybe the reporters can ask him to clear things up. ===

    Welcome back Rich, and thanks! I needed a good belly laugh to get me going.


  8. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:07 am:

    First problem, the State of Illinois is not and can never be a criminal defendant. The FOIA requests are to the State and the office, not the individual. So setting aside whether the FOIA fed precedent should be considered, it does not apply in any event to an enitity that could never be a criminal defendant.


  9. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    Yes, I’m sure Rod himself will set the record straight. And Ken Griffey, Jr. will revert back to his former gold glove self in center field for the ChiSox.


  10. - the Patriot - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:31 am:

    It is pretty easy to figure out. The judge/opponent just needs evidence to support the defense. I would ask for a copy of the indictment, or an affidavit from the Governor that he has reason to believe he either has been named, or will be named a criminal defendant.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 31, 08 @ 10:39 am:

    Your clustering of articles under this posting reveals to us an incredible crisis in our governor’s office.

    The posting itself confirms what we’ve been expecting for some time - Rod Blagojevich is under severe enough investigation that his legal team views him as a defendant. We expected this and it appears that the time has come when circumstances beyond his control demand this public recognition.

    Below this posting is arrayed links that suggest that Rod Blagojevich is using his office to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from state contractors. He is doing this while quietly ignoring SB 824, which has been waiting his signature since the end of May. In 2002 he campaigned as a reformer, publically condemned his political opponents for unethical behavior, and elected to clean up Springfield and “end business as usual”. Now he has a bill awaiting his signature to not only end the years of political blackmail forced on Illinois businesses, but also put an end to his own usage of it. Instead we see him creating excuses which is inexcusable, isn’t it?

    Jim Ryan confesses to being a political junkie, and exposes himself as another political individual who believes that if everyone was educated like him, then our political situation would be resolved because we would all agree to the same solution. Well, yeah.

    But don’t assume ignorance is to blame. We hear how stupid we are every two years and have been hearing this since 1776.

    The people of Springfield today has discovered another reason they should be voting “yes” for a Constitutional Convention. Thousands of them will be negatively impacted because the constitution has allowed Rod Blagojevich to upend their lives. He doesn’t have to have good reasons to do so, he is impowered to do so, and he is politically motivated to do so in order to retaliate against his political opponents. This kind of power should be reviewed and it will be if enough Illinoians vote “yes” this November.

    We have voted to give some of our elected officials too much power. We can see that over the past 100 years, our government has been taking power from the legislative branch to the executive branch. Voters have demanded that during times which require action, that action be taken through the executive branch. We have demanded that when decision need to be made, the Four Tops could be depended on with powers verging on the dictatorial. As a result we not only have a state government in crisis, but 100 year old theory of government proving itself incapable of governing anymore.

    It is high time we, as responsible citizens, take a look under the hood of this flaming Edsel. We can all point to the deliquent arsonist Rod Blagojevich as the driver when flames engulfed our state, but we have to also recognize that our government cannot renew itself perpectually without citizen action every 20 years.

    Vote Con-Con in 2008


  12. - Disgusted - Friday, Aug 1, 08 @ 4:55 am:

    Funny thing, huh. The City Club of Chicago’s e-mail site won’t open. I wanted to sent them a note, asking if having the governor speak on “public policy” was the best they could do.


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