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This just in… ABC: Jackson whistled in by the feds, lawyers up, is Senate Candidate 5 *** May meet with feds on Friday ***

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008

* 10:50 AM - No wonder J3 kept such a low profile yesterday. He was busy talking to the G

Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is the anonymous “Senate Candidate #5″ whose emissaries Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reportedly claimed offered up to a million dollars to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

According to the FBI affidavit in the case, Blagojevich “stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided ROD BLAGOJEVICH” with something “tangible up front.”

Jackson Jr. said this morning he was contacted yesterday by federal prosecutors in Chicago who he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.”

Jackson Jr. said “I don’t know” when asked if he was Candidate #5, but said he was told “I am not a target of this investigation.”

Jackson Jr. said he agreed to talk with federal investigators “as quickly as possible” after he consults with a lawyer.

Not good.

*** 1:20 PM *** J3 may have a Friday date with the G…

Jackson hired longtime Chicago lawyer James Montgomery Sr. on Tuesday after federal prosecutors unveiled criminal charges against Blagojevich and top aide John Harris, sources said.

“There is nothing there to implicate the congressman,” Montgomery told the Tribune. The attorney said he and Jackson have been advised by a top deputy to U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald that Jackson is not a target of the investigation.

Montgomery said he expected Jackson would meet with officials from Fitzgerald’s office as soon as Friday.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 10:55 am:

    Rep. Jackson probably got everyone in his “interview” to hug each other.


  2. - Heartless Libertarian - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 10:58 am:

    If you aren’t Senate Candidate #5, you would know it. Did you offer $1.5 mil for the seat? If not, you aren’t #5. Crash and burn imminent?


  3. - jaundiced eye - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:00 am:

    This just keeps getting better and better … Could we get a trifecta of Jr., the Rev. and Operation PUSH?


  4. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:00 am:

    How do you impeach a Rep?


  5. - Quacktastic - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:01 am:

    Will we need a special election for two Congressional seats and the US Senate seat?


  6. - Bakersfield - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:01 am:

    If so, will the House now do the right thing and expel JJJ? Anyone think Jan or Danny will want to go on the record with that one?


  7. - phocion - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:02 am:

    It appears we won’t ever be witnessing a Senator Jackson, Governor Jackson, or Mayor Jackson. What a toxic mess.


  8. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:05 am:

    The damage is done.

    He went out of his way over the past few weeks to make a fool of himself over Obama’s seat and made himself a top candidate. Even if he isn’t Senate Candidate #5, he has taken a huge hit in credibility. Even before yesterday’s revelations, Jackson made this entire Obama Senate Seat a circus and a mockery.

    He blew it so bigtime! He might as well be the guy because his political hit is severe even if he isn’t.


  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    Now we know who is the second dumbest guy in Illinois government i


  10. - Illinois.Pundit - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    How could he be both candidate 5 and not a target of the investigation?


  11. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:07 am:

    If memory serves me correctly, Junior has made history if the feds say he is not a target…they never ever (to my recollection) make that pronouncement.


  12. - The Doc - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:07 am:

    Heartless, you’re dead-on. Schakowsky and Davis both flat denied it. For JJJ to hedge when asked the question is equivalent to an admission.


  13. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:08 am:

    Wow,
    This is going to get stranger and stranger isn’t it.

    “Whe the going gets weired the weired go pro’ — Hunter Thompson


  14. - 2for2 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:08 am:

    Is it possible for Jackson to have misplayed the entire process any worse than he has? He looked pathetic with his public campaigning for the job then possibly gets swept up into this whole thing? Stunning. I wonder if the S-Times will recant its endorsement of him for the seat?


  15. - Bakersfield - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:08 am:

    Wasn’t he supposed to be one of the “good ones” I have a feeling that even if the folks in IL or the guy in the WH try to ignore this that Nancy Pelosi will want nothing to do with the Illinois mess and get rid of him.


  16. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:14 am:

    If Jackson does talk to them, he is walking into a waiting charge of lying to the FBI. They have hours and hours of tape on this thing. Even if he was TRYING to be truthful (which would be a first for him), he couldn’t help but contradict something they have on tape.

    I predict: an immunity deal (that Jackson will spin in some ridiculous fashion) that will require him to testify against Blagojevich at trial — meaning if it actually GOES to trial, Jackson’s political career is over.

    Here’s hoping.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:15 am:

    Commonsense in Illinois
    If memory serves me correctly, Junior has made history if the feds say he is not a target…they never ever (to my recollection) make that pronouncement.

    Eh, you might want to ask Glen Poshard about that. If Scott Lassar hadn’t made that announcement on the eve of the election, the Wooly Mustache might still be our governor today.


  18. - tominchicago - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:15 am:

    Commonsense in Illinois
    If memory serves me correctly, Junior has made history if the feds say he is not a target…they never ever (to my recollection) make that pronouncement.

    Eh, you might want to ask Glen Poshard about that. If Scott Lassar hadn’t made that announcement on the eve of the election, the Wooly Mustache might still be our governor today.


  19. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:15 am:

    That drumbeat ain’t from the Little Drummer Boy! I think I see that vineyard in Rich’s near future….


  20. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:17 am:

    At this point the only credible Senate “candidate” will have to be someone from outside Illinois. How about Caroline Kennedy or Al Franken? Al Sharpton? Alan Keyes?


  21. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:17 am:

    The Feds do tell people that they are not targets of an investigation. In fact, they will issue “non-target letters” to that effect on request by an individual or their attorney. It often enhances cooperation by individuals rightly concerned about their status. That just means they are not currently a target, a status which could certainly change based on further evidence.


  22. - Jake L. - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:19 am:

    He met with Blago on Monday. Ha ha. insert sound of plane crashing and burning.


  23. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:23 am:

    Bill the only credible candidate is you….


  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:25 am:

    Bill, Freudian slip? What about you, daddio?


  25. - vole - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:26 am:

    Have to ask: What is the difference between this and bundling $1.5 million dollars for a candidate and then getting a cush appointment? There seems to be a distinction here between getting caught on tape for some wheeling and dealing that typifies how a lot of action gets done in Washington and Springfield. Not saying any of it is right, but just have to wonder. Many politicians, including Emanuel have enriched themselves with the revolving door and used it for future political gain. Hastert used the earmark process to get some highway construction near his rural property. Some of this has passed the smell test and this doesn’t. I am a little confused.


  26. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:29 am:

    I’m pretty much out of it, being honest and all. Besides if there is a real election, well that is just too much work.
    See my facebook wall for my formal statement.


  27. - question - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:29 am:

    At what point does triple J’s conduct become a crime? For instance, let’s assume that he said to Rod: “Appoint me and I’ll work to raise money for your campaign.” Is that a crime? What if he said “Appoint me and I’ll back your run for reelection.” Crime?

    And for Rod; is it a crime if he said “I’m gonna appoint Triple J because he said he will support me in the next election”? And what if he said “I’m gonna appoint Triple J because he said he will raise money for me”.

    I’m not excusing the behavior of either, but any Governor in the country is going to consider the political implications of who they are going to appoint to fill a vacant Senate seat. How explicit and specific can those considerations become before a crime has been committed?


  28. - Greg - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:34 am:

    Do you all this this expanding crime scene will have significant ramifications for the national party’s image?


  29. - Keep Smiling - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    Hey Vole, some of this passed the smell test only because our sense of smell in Illinois has been dulled down to two fragrances - 1. like business as usual and 2. foul but not surprising.


  30. - Reality - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:38 am:

    The comment by “Question” illustrates exactly why this state is in such a mess. Considering political ramifications is normal but actively soliciting $$$ or kickbacks is a crime. Most of the nation knows this–save Illiois and Louisiana and perhaps New Jersey—WAKE UP ILLINOIS. THROW THE COMBINE OUT and start all over with people with few to no debts. The whole mindset has to change. This is not acceptable behavior.

    Garbage In = Garbage Out

    We need a political revolution in this state.


  31. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:38 am:

    I stand corrected…my gingko is obviously on the blink today. Thanks friends for the reminders.


  32. - Amy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    well, they can tell you you are not a target. that does not mean you won’t be a target if something else comes out. besides, the stink is on him! guess you CAN’T hug it out……JJJ.


  33. - Deeda - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    I sure hope Chicago politics change after all this.


  34. - JohnnyC - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    Sources confirmed to the Sun Times that JJJ is Candidate 5.


  35. - Deeda - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:45 am:

    I feel bad for Balgo’s kids. They go to school everyday and can you image what other kids are saying to them. We need to stop all this play for pay politics because it is just hurting not only the kids but the people of Illinois. Things need to change.


  36. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:49 am:

    To tease out Question’s scenario a little further:

    Hillary Clinton dropped her bid for the nomination and later received an appointment as Secretary of State. Penny Pritzker has raised funds for Obama and is rumored to be up for an appointment to something or other (so too every ambassador posting, doubtlessly).

    Quid pro quos to some extent or another.

    The real answer: if it offends Patrick Fitzgerald, it’s a crime. There’s no legislative definition of “honest services” — he gets to decide.

    Obviously, Rod Blagojevich isn’t a good test case. But if you’re just a politician trying to do the right thing (assuming there are some of those left), how do you know that what used to be a week-long newspaper scandal, isn’t going to get you charged with a “crime” because Patrick Fitzgerald was offended by the story?

    A lot of smart people are taking the position “why risk it”? and staying out of public service as a result. The consequence: it opens the field up for the brazen idiots like Rod Blagojevich and Jesse Jackson, Jr. who are so arrogant they think they can do whatever they want and won’t get caught.

    Expect more.


  37. - Take It Easy - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:53 am:

    Someone shaking down a Jackson. I’m used to the opposite.


  38. - question - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:56 am:

    Reality–

    I appreciate the outrage that our officials have caused. But please consider my post as a legal (and possibly moral) question, and not as a defense of any actions on the part of the Gov or Rep. Jackson. Your post didn’t answer any of my questions. Thanks


  39. - JonShibleyFan - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 11:59 am:

    Touch ‘em all OneMan. The HST quote sums this up with precision.


  40. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:00 pm:

    –Hillary Clinton dropped her bid for the nomination and later received an appointment as Secretary of State. Penny Pritzker has raised funds for Obama and is rumored to be up for an appointment to something or other (so too every ambassador posting, doubtlessly).Quid pro quos to some extent or another.–

    Sheesh. Not even close to quid pro quos. Hillary can’t beat for the nomination, by the way.


  41. - Illinois.Pundit - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    Put in a prison cell but one time he could have been the champion of the world! Rod, JJJ…no, Ruben Hurricane Carter. Apologies to Bob Dylan!


  42. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:09 pm:

    Anon, Clinton didn’t drop out of the primaries, and no offer was made for SoS back then. No quid pro quo.

    Penny Pritzker has said she isn’t interested in a position.

    Don’t be daft.


  43. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:27 pm:

    Blago and Junior worked very closely together early on so Junior knows what it takes to get Blago to act. He wanted the seat and was willing to deal. It’s just those pesky wire taps that got in the way, otherwise he’d be the man.


  44. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:40 pm:

    Rich,

    I didn’t say Hillary Clinton dropped out of the primaries. I said she dropped her bid for the nomination. She did.

    And Penny Pritzker is still rumored to be up for an appointment to something or other — just not a cabinet position.

    Anyway, the larger point remains: “quid pro quos” of a sort exist in politics at some level or another, everywhere. They aren’t criminal — and if you get right down to it, neither is what Blagojevich is accused of doing a crime in any real sense of the word. Scandalous? Absolutely. Impeachable? Probably. Criminal? Come on.

    And don’t call me daft.


  45. - 60657 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 12:43 pm:

    Agreed that JJJ couldn’t have possibly played his hand worse in this entire process. But . . . I’m definitely not ready to condemn him. Much of the juiciest stuff in that complaint is Blago acting incredibly narcissistic and insane in private, and then tempering his language and actions greatly when he’s actually in discussions with people beyond his advisors. I’m not ready to conclude that Candidate 5’s deal for “something up front” was anything more than one of Blago’s many masturbatory political fantasies, like the Warren Buffett thing.

    But for his own sake, JJJ had better have some exculpatory evidence ready, because he looks baaaaad right now. His chance at the Senate this time around is probably already shot; he needs to worry about his career.


  46. - colt 45 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:00 pm:

    i think it’s easy to monday morning quarterback this one. not being a fan of j3’s politics does not mean that i wasn’t at least an admirer of what appeared to be an aggressive campaign to get the senate seat that he wanted (wants). the governor’s arrest yesterday was absoulutely awful timing for congressman jackson. as a frequent reader of this blog, i don’t recall many (if any) comments over the last few weeks about what an awful, incompetent “campaign” jackson was running for the senate seat.


  47. - Luis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    Jan Shakowsky was a non starter for the Senate Anyways. Her husband , Robert Craemer, was convicted of Federal Fraud and did Prison time.


  48. - blackdem - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:24 pm:

    any thouhts on who the donor/emissary Jackson sent to speak to the governor was? My bet is that it was Giannoulias. He has access and the cash to raise the million,


  49. - Luis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Blackdem, Alexi is smarter than that. His family business, Broadway Bank, has been under Federal Scrutiny, and he is too clever to get caught up in this circus. I hope.


  50. - anon24 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    =Someone shaking down a Jackson. I’m used to the opposite=

    Thanks for the laugh, Take it Easy. In a weird kind of way, I kinda like Blago for that. What goes around, comes around! Blago reminds me more and more of Chucky, the satanic doll. He’s cornered, he just doesn’t know it yet. Wait til he realizes it and starts lashing out indiscriminately. My My the doo-doo will fly. Gov. Chucky will go down with guns a-blazin’!


  51. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:34 pm:

    James Montgomery???? Put a fork in him. He’s done.

    He better hope that the “emissary” hasn’t talked to them already.


  52. - Luis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:42 pm:

    Look for the Illinois Democrats to maybe look for non Chicago Candidates for the ticket in the future.

    This scandal has all the makings of a domino effect where many Chicago area pols will fall.


  53. - Luis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 1:58 pm:

    Rich, by the way nice piece at the Sun Times this morning.

    I think we all must feel sympathy for Rod’s two Young children. Rod is a young man and hopefully will be able to someday get his life together.

    That is why I see him cutting a deal with the
    FEDS.


  54. - Monty Hall - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    (In a recorded conversation on October 31, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH described an earlier approach by an associate of Senate Candidate Five as follows: “We were approached ‘pay to play.’ That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator.”)}

    You can rest assured that before they sit down with Congressman JJJ he will they will have talked to both the “emissary”; and the “associate” who’s identitities are most certainly known to them. Given the opportunity, these should be questions for Fitzgerald or Grant.

    The first question to be posed to JJJ or Montgomery in the post interview phase should be whether JJJ was read the Miranda Warning, and been advised of his rights prior to consenting to the interview with his attorney present.

    The second question should be whether his responses were given under sworn oath to tell the truth.

    The answers to the questions by all of the above will better help to determine the legal risk to JJJ. The political hazard risk is already out of the barn.


  55. - Bubs - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:26 pm:

    The damage to Jackson is political, not criminal, and merely limiting, not destructive.

    The “offer” was a vague one of proposed future fundraising goals, not a present sum, as Blago’s own desire for “something up front” shows. While the federal bribery statute is far broader than the state statue, which requires actual tender of the bribe, this just does not look like enough even to generate a grand jury investigation.

    It is very doubtful that this will substantially harm Jackson’s political power in his District, or the other parts of the Chicago area where he is strong, but he can forget about statewide office after this fiasco.


  56. - Luis - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:32 pm:

    Bubs correct. The Jackson family political fortunes are now finished. Jr. will remain a Congressman, his wife will stay a alderman. They have no hope of moving up.


  57. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 2:32 pm:

    The federal bribery statute? Quick, when was the last time that was charged? Too many concrete elements.

    JJJ is at risk for a breach of the duty of “honest services” charge — but he is at far greater risk of a “lying” charge.


  58. - Beowulf - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 3:39 pm:

    The guy that I want to hear from regarding all of this Blagojevich hoopla is Chicago alderman Dick Mell. Remember, Dick Mell was the first one to publicly state that Blagojevich was trading political favors in return for large campaign donations to his campaign fund. This was all prompted by Blagojevich getting the Illinois EPA to shut down alderman Mell’s wife’s nephew’s open landfill on the south edge of Joliet, Illinois.

    The Federal authorities “allegedly” questioned Dick Mell about his previous inflamatory statements about “Pay To Play” politics by his son-in-law. Allegedly, Alderman Mell suddenly developed amnesia about knowing anything about what he had previously accused his son-in-law about when questioned by the Feds.

    My question is: Since Chicago alderman Dick Mell appears to have been telling the truth with his original statement about the Governor, does that mean that Chicago Alderman Dick Mell may now be found guilty of perjury for lying to federal authorities? Does the deliberate withholding of key information still qualify as “fraud”? Could Dick Mell now be subjected to a federal sentence for lying to the FBI? If so, what penalty/sentence could be delivered to him? Or, is it okay (not illegal) to lie to the FBI? I am not saying alderman Mell is guilty of anything. I am just curious as to whether his son-in-law Rod Blagojevich may have inadvertantly put him at risk for refusing to testify against his own daughter’s husband?


  59. - "low level paper pusher" - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 5:15 pm:

    James Montgomery: the Mayor Washington’s former Corp Counsel? Its a shame.


  60. - Will - Wednesday, Dec 10, 08 @ 5:47 pm:

    The FBI has 2+ months of recordings from these wiretaps. The transcripts on the complaint are a fraction of what they recorded and only served to provide enough info for two charges againt the governor. It seems obvious that JJJ is aware of the offer that he or his staff made for the senate seat and recognized himself as candidate 5 in the complaint. He is also aware that the possibility exists that further conversations were recorded that further implicate him and others. These recordings would not need to be included in the complaint againt the governor because enough evidence was gathered from the calls made public in the complaint to reach the level of probable cause necessary to arrest him. My guess is JJJ knows he’s had and is already looking to lay the groundwork for a deal to avoid any other info from coming to light.


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        * Illinois' Medical Marijuana Program At Odds With Federal Policy
        * UIS Poverty Series Continues With "American Winter" Screening
        * Third & Final Governor Debate Tonight
        * Are Computer Keyboards Killing Cursive?
        * Earlier Than Ever
        * Listen to State Week - October 17, 2014


        * Our Opinion: White, Madigan for another term
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Our Opinion: Say yes to Magro’s project
        * John Schick: Letter confirmed aggression toward bicyclists
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears
        * Our Opinion: Re-elect Durbin for another term in U.S. Senate
        * Bill Press: Do you trust your government on Ebola?
        * Quote of the Day: Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Rodney Davis has earned another term


        * Southern Illinois towns could enter competition for millions
        * Mary Chester
        * Nettie Lemmon
        * Frances Dyhrkopp
        * Dorothy Bean
        * Eva Enchus
        * Mathel Delaval
        * William Davis
        * June Ebelhar
        * Ivan Smith


        * Narrative missteps mar beautifully sung ‘Amazing Grace'
        * Images: Oscar de la Renta's fashions
        * Hinsdale district OKs new two-year contract
        * Fashion guru Oscar de la Renta dies at 82
        * Steelers rally past stunned Texans

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Democrats in tight races are delighted to ......
        * Democrats in tight races are delighted to ......
        * Democrats love seeing minimum wage on the ......
        * Democrats love seeing minimum wage on the ......
        * Democrats love seeing minimum wage on the ......

        * Dear Editor,...

        * Will anyone care Sun-Times may have dumped all over its statehouse reporter to appease a political candidate?
        * Take note of first complaint received through Ethics Citation Program
        * Morning Minute: Don’t make these credit score mistakes
        * Morning Minute: Mortgage rates fall below 4 percent, hit yearly low
        * Illinois fracking vote postponed until Nov. 6
        * Morning Minute: New Census report offers snapshot of U.S. housing landscape
        * October magazine article outlines IAR ideas to boost professionalism
        * Local vigilance helps IAR reps protect your interests
        * Today is first day for early voting in Illinois
        * Know the facts before you vote for Home Rule on Nov. 4


        * Rauner Campaign Statement on Final Debate
        * What They’re Saying About Pat Quinn
        * What They’re Saying About Bruce Rauner
        * Illinois EPA Registration of Smaller Sources Program Hits Program Landmark - 3,000 Illinois Small Businesses Benefit from Permit Streamlining
        * Rauner Sweeping Endorsements Across Illinois




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