* Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Ryan can’t shake ties to corrupt player Stu Levine. The Sun-Times take a look at some contributions to Ryan’s last gubernatorial campaign while Levine was the finance director. The contributions seem curiously timed to some investment votes by the Teachers Retirement System, on which Levine served. The story relies heavily on Levine’s testimony at Tony Rezko’s trial…
When his testimony turned to the teachers’ pension fund, Levine told jurors he helped one firm — the John Buck Co. — win a deal to manage $100 million of real estate investment money for the fund.
Levine also testified he helped a second investment firm — Walton Street Capital — get a deal with the teachers’ pension fund to handle another $75 million.
The TRS approved the investments on Oct. 29, 2002 - just before the November election. And here’s the contribution timeline…
• On Oct. 1 — 28 days before the TRS board meeting — six employees of Bluhm’s Walton Street Capital and one from another Bluhm company gave a total of $33,500 to Citizens for Jim Ryan.
• On Oct. 11 — 18 days before the meeting — the John Buck Co. contributed $35,000 to Ryan and spent another $2,000 to host a Ryan fund-raiser at the Union League Club of Chicago.
Everybody denies a quid pro quo and Ryan’s campaign won’t give back the money.
* A challenge to state Rep. Deb Mell’s petitions was dismissed last week by Chicago Board of Elections hearing officer Barbara Goodman. From the transcript…
I find nothing in the Election Code that tells me that a candidate has to be a registered voter at all….I think we all agreed that the petition signers have to be registered voters at the addresses shown on their petitions, and I have a hard time understanding the logic used to require candidates to have a lesser connection to the voting process than petition signers. But there it is….However troubling I find this issue….I believe I’m compelled to grant the motion to dismiss.
Strange. Mell’s opponent is appealing, of course.
* And this is just plain bizarre…
The chief of staff for a state social service agency has left her job after allegedly using her state-issued phone to harass another woman because the two had a relationship with the same man.
Champaign County authorities also said Tamara T. Hoffman boasted of her position in state government in the threats to the Rantoul woman, threatened a police officer when he contacted her and posted photos of herself and the man holding guns on a social networking Web site belonging to the alleged victim’s daughter. […]
Rietz said Hoffman began repeatedly calling the Rantoul woman about Aug. 14. One threat, according to Rietz, began with an expletive and continued, “If you see him again, something bad is going to happen to you. I work for the State of Illinois, and you don’t know who you’re messing with.” […]
When a Rantoul police officer called Hoffman, Rietz said, Hoffman threatened him with unspecified retaliation from “investigators in the Illinois State Police.”
* But if you really want to get your weird on today, take a look at a short piece of fiction in New York Magazine’s latest issue, entitled: “The King of Mop - Blago in Vegas, looking to make a deal with Michael Jackson’s father”…
Threading through the Venetian, Rod cast an appreciative gaze at the painstakingly painted murals of Italian skyline, while gondoliers poled between linen-laid tables. Some folks pilloried Las Vegas for being fake, but they didn’t get it—the power and the glory of façade. It never rained in this dive, and its sun never set.
* Anti-corruption law: Supreme Court decision could derail ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s trial - Justices are asked to scale back or strike down prosecutors’ key tool for public corruption cases
* Still time to boot Blagojevich leftovers