SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Things that make you go “Hmmm….”

Monday, Nov 30, 2009

* 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.

* Related…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:30 am:

    Sorry, but the King of Mop thing is stupid.

  2. - Secret Square - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:32 am:

    “I work for the state of Illinois and you don’t know who you’re messing with!”

    Doesn’t have quite the same ring as “You ain’t woman enough to take my man,” or “You’d better be fast on your feet if you don’t wanna eat a meal that’s called Fist City,” but catchy nonetheless :-)

  3. - Irish Eyes - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:38 am:

    This Stu Levine problem is getting worse for Ryan. There is no way to spin yourself out of this one. Andy McKenna’s team now has additional fodder for a slew of negative ads that will be coming your way after the New Year.

  4. - Bring Back Boone's - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:45 am:

    At least she was more restrained than the diapered astronaut lady.

  5. - Take a Deep Breath - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:46 am:

    The Stu Levine thing is what it is for Jim Ryan. If he goes up againstQuinnn, it isn’t as bad as being Blago’s Lite Guv. If the feds thought Jim Ryan has ill gottten gains in his campaign fund, they would have gone affter it.

  6. - Clive Bock - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:52 am:

    McKenna is on record praising Jim Ryan’s integrity and repeatedly criticizing GOPers who launch cheap attack during primaries. Is he really going to throw that all away for an extreme longshot bid to win the nomination?

  7. - cassandra - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:30 am:

    What does “left her job” mean exactly. That she resigned? That she was fired? That our Pat couldn’t bring himself to fire her so he waited until her term was up and didn’t renew it (if she was on a term). Since our Pat can’t bring himself to fire anybody (state bureaucrats, no matter how inept or redundant, are safe under our Pat) a forced departure would be rather surprising, given the circumstances.

    Love is temporary insanity and lots of folks have done crazy things while under its spell. That’s not the problem here. But isn’t this the same Tamara Hoffman who was less than forthcoming when questioned by the House impeachment committee last winter about the Allkids expansion. If I recall correctly, she was in charge of it but couldn’t remember who told her to do it? Now, our Pat should have fired her for that early days. Her boss too.

  8. - Dnstateanon - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:34 am:

    Clive Bock–Trying to figure out if your serious?

  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:42 am:

    === What does “left her job” mean exactly. That she resigned? That she was fired? ===

    I believe there was a brief story two weeks ago that she was escorted from her office by State Police.

    At that time, I believe she was suspended without pay, pending an investigation, but I could be wrong.

    Why the S-T is running the story now, I don’t know.

  10. - Secret Square - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:48 am:

    IIRC, Hoffman was escorted from her office by the police two MONTHS ago (mid-September) and was placed on some sort of indefinite leave at that time. The story seems to indicate that she only formally resigned as of last week.

  11. - Burrito Bandit - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Whoever gave this to the press (my guess is McKenna’s people) has probably got more on this. That’s what you get when you have Stu Levine raising millions for you. Their people are just following the money trail. There is more out there.

  12. - Joe from Joliet - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    Jim Ryan spokesman Dan Curry said:
    “…Stuart Levine was a respectable citizen in the eyes of everyone…”

    No, Dan, he just hadn’ been caught yet.

  13. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:26 am:

    The Ryan/Levine review story was inevitable and is fair. Strange though, given his faith in the Unified Conspiracy Theory, Kass made no mention of Levine is his column the other day on Ryan.

    Judging by Tamara’s testimony at Blago’s impeachment hearings, I’m guessing she has no recollection at all of any of these allegations.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:34 am:

    ===Kass made no mention of Levine is his column the other day on Ryan.===

    He did, but he breezed right over it. Strange, indeed.

  15. - John Bambenek - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    Quinn was Blago’s LtGov but had no verifiable role in the corruption. Jim Ryan’s chief fundraiser and “close friend” is under indictment for corruption for Blago and looks like he fixed up some pay-to-play love for Jim Ryan’s campaign fund… aka the same stuff Blago is going down for.

    Yeah, Ryan’s going to come out on top on that one against Quinn…

    He needs to drop out, now.

  16. - Major Frank Burns - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:39 am:

    Anyone who’s seen Tammy out and about town isn’t surprised by this story.

  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:40 am:

    OK, take it easy, please. No need to go in that direction.

  18. - Clive Bock - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Trying to follow Bambenek’s “logic”
    Jim Ryan is bad because he knew someone who NOBODY knew was corrupt until he was caught.
    Quinn is OK because he called Blagojevich honest and ethical at the time EVERYBODY knew he was under heavy federal investigation.
    Does not compute.

  19. - VanillaMan - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:15 pm:

    Ryan is so 2000. I can’t imagine why any voter is interested in a throw-back to the last Millenium. It’s kind of strange, but the guy who ran against Blagojevich reminds voters of Blagojevich, which isn’t a good thing.

    Ryan didn’t make news for eight years - now this? Where was he? The guy he lost to, screwed us to a sinking ship, but he didn’t pipe up - until now?

    Nah. If Jim Ryan wants to be seen as a GOP alternative to the nightmare we have been experiencing since 2003, he needed to have been leading opposition since 2003. He can’t just have sat there all these years, but now wants us to think he has something to offer.

    As a political candidate, he is as dated as Loleta Didrickson, but not nearly as interesting or cute.

  20. - Cindy Lou - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    Ms Hoffman does not appear to have been any more or less forgetful during the impeachment committee than she was during her appearances in front of JCAR. Consistantly forgetful and the reason behind, harder to prove than misuse of state issued equipment aka computers/phones. Sometimes it’s the little things that just can’t be explained away or denied and can’t be fought.

  21. - John Bambenek - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 1:04 pm:


    Quinn didn’t benefit from Blago’s corruption. Ryan got campaign cash.

    I’m not saying anyone is bad per se (except the fact that JRyan tried through negligence or malice to execute people he knew were innocent of the crimes they were convicted of), but politics is perception. Only a fanboy could not see that JRyan’s chief fundraiser, currently under indictment, receiving campaign cash for his charge and then “coincidently” those donors getting state contracts doesn’t look bad. Real bad.

    Jim Ryan may or may not have known what Levine was up to. Does it really matter in this environment? His fundraiser is going up the creek and will be within months of election day.

  22. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    1. Everyone out there who believe Stooie Levine did not become corrupt and kinky until Blagoof arrived plese raise your hands.
    2. Everyone out there who wonders why Kass cannot type the name ERV get those hands up

  23. - downstate hick - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    I think the Levine connection doesn’t eliminate him from the promary, he’s the clear favorite in a crowded field. But in the general it will hurt badly and negate the GOP’s advantage of the Blago sandal. I can’t seem him as electable.

  24. - John Bambenek - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    It doesn’t negate the advantage, it turns the entire tables. I can see the commercials now… “Rod Blagojevich and the Republicans who enabled him”

  25. - Emily Booth - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 5:40 pm:

    Ms Hofmann used a state-issued cell phone on state time to harrass and threaten someone? Meanwhile, we can’t get pens at DHS.

  26. - bobtheskeptic - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 8:16 pm:

    Regarding the HFS boss who was arrrested,I have worked for the state a long time and I dont trust any state agency management types. You give a small minded person a job with a nice paycheck and they think its all about them.

  27. - Clive Bock - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 8:36 pm:

    Bambenek is setting records for wild and inaccurate statements.

    Quinn didn’t benefit by shutting. Ugh, it got him elected. Whose commercials were responsible. Who funded the commercials?

    Compared to JR who essentially was betrayed by a guy who was leading an Eliot Spitzer double life. Should everyone who supported Spitzer be blamed for not knowing?

    Let’s stick to reality.

    The Feds fully debriefed Stu. If JR did anything wrong we’d know about it by now.

  28. - John Bambenek - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 9:08 pm:

    So let me get this straight… no one raised a dime for Quinn, but he goes down for corrupt fundraising.

    Jim Ryan gets cash from a political fixer under indictment for corruption, and he’s pure as the wind-driven snow?

    With that kind of preposterous druid logic, no wonder my party can’t win elections.

  29. - steve schnorf - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:10 pm:

    I don’t care what any of the rest of you think or say, on issues of ethics and integrity I’ll stand with Jim Ryan any time. Mistakes, sure, he’s made some (we’ll just skip looking at those who are throwing stones), but I consider his personal integrity beyond reproach.

  30. - Anon3 - Monday, Nov 30, 09 @ 10:11 pm:

    The allegations against Tammy give new meaning to “What was she thinking?”

  31. - Clive Bock - Tuesday, Dec 1, 09 @ 12:48 am:

    Bam, try again.

    Quinn was direct beneficiary of Blago dirty money in 2006 and he knew it was dirty.

    Levine was not under indictment or any cloud when JR took his money in 2002.

    Every time , online, your logic’s not worth a dime.

  32. - Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows - Tuesday, Dec 1, 09 @ 2:45 am:

    The whole Hoffman thing is very strange indeed.

    1. According to another article, she also posted a picture of herself and Rod Blagojevich. In August. 2009. When he had been out of office for 7 months…how exactly is that supposed to be intimidating? Guns, yeah, I get that..Blago? Then? What was he going to do, send an autgraphed copy of his book?

    2. The SJ-R print article said that after 18 harassing text messages, and threatening the cop with an ISP investigation, the police there were going to drop the whole thing, let it blow over. It only escalated when she posted the photos on facebook..? Yeah, they were going to ‘let it go’…

    3. The Google basic web search brings you the story of Tamara Hoffman, teacher, caught in her own love triangle with a student. This is like the Lincoln Kennedy coincidences - what is the cosmic nexus between the name ‘Tamara Hoffman’ and ‘Love Triangle’?

    I hope she lands on her feet.

  33. - Bookworm - Tuesday, Dec 1, 09 @ 6:38 am:

    “She also posted a picture of herself and Rod Blagojevich… how exactliy is that supposed to be intimidating?”

    Well, maybe she was threatening to send him to the other woman’s house to talk her to death about the Cubs, healthcare, Elvis, or the girl who mistook him for Mayor Daley :-)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* LG V10 not going to Canada
* Heed these warnings if you get a VR headset this holiday season
* Google sheds some light on EU’s requirement to keep some info out of the light
* OnePlus Type-C USB cables not compatible with some 3rd party chargers
* Google and Samsung to fix TouchWiz, OnePlus X updates & more – Pocketnow Daily
* CyanogenMod 13 support for Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X now available
* The Accessibility Of The iPhone 6s

* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian.....
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refuge.....
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian.....
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian.....

* Hunters find body of missing southern Illinois woman
* EXCHANGE: Augustana digitizing Hauberg glass plate images
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian refugees
* Illinois high court takes Moline company's tax break appeal
* Boone County jail inmate charged with attacking guard
* Chicago schools prepare lesson plan on teen's shooting
* Chicago Public Schools reverses special education cuts
* Former Chicago Transit workers sentenced in fraud scheme
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield police chief bemoans body-cam 'burden'

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage

* Review: Sociale in the South Loop
* Her Barbie was a lawyer. Now she defends victims' rights
* Meet the guy making money off your food scraps
* Anger, pain and calls for change in response to police video
* United, Delta bet on long oil slump

* In wake of dashcam video, Emanuel must navigate political minefield
* White House under holiday lockdown after man jumps fence
* Trevor Daley turning the corner at both ends of the ice
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian refugees
* Brown: Simeon basketball players bring their A-game to court
* 16 reasons every Blackhawks fan should be thankful on Thanksgiving
* Blackhawks cool off Sharks; Kane extends point streak to 17
* Four more Laquan McDonald police dashcam videos released
* President Obama: ‘Disturbed’ by Laquan video, grateful for ‘peaceful’ protests
* Black leaders call for Supt. McCarthy to resign

* 1 dead, 2 wounded in North, South Side shootings
* 4 arrested in 2nd night of Laquan McDonald shooting protests
* University of Illinois marching band performs in Macy's parade
* Laquan McDonald shooting protest groups plan Friday march
* Cops: Man tried to lure, kidnap 9-year-old girl in South Chicago
* Teen dead, 4 others wounded in city shootings
* Woman dies in Chesterton fire
* Naval recruits get taste of home at Chicago Ridge Thanksgiving dinner
* Cops: Will County explosions just legal shooting practice
* Charges: Former Illinois man abducted, assaulted teen; kept him shackled

* Eugene Robinson: The GOP's political correctness dodge
* Douglas Holt: Woman's protest of Trump was misguided, inappropriate
* George Will: Muzzling pet advice another case of free speech erosion
* Bernard Schoenburg: Josh Langfelder took father's advice on election petition signatures
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money

* 48th Annual Turkey Trot
* Podcast: Champaign County States Attorney Julia Rietz 11-26-15
* Wednesday's highlights: Nottingham, Chargers get first win
* Clubs listings, Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2015
* Area update: Soup kitchen needs help with backpack giveaway
* Frank's Faves: Giving thanks
* Golf links swap hits roadblock
* Chuck Koplinski: Beautiful 'Brooklyn' a love story for the ages
* Update on candidate filings in Vermilion County for 2016
* 80th N-G All-State Football: POY Josh King

* Informal hat and scarf giveaway makes Batavia warmer
* Arlington Heights hosts homestyle Thanksgiving for Navy recruits
* Lake Zurich Culver's feeds hundreds for Thanksgiving
* Old and new friends break bread at annual Lazarus House dinner
* 2,820 run through Batavia

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Nebraska ethanol producers name former Dur......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Chicago Teachers Union. “If we strike, we do so to protect our children,” says Karen Jennings Lewis.
* Resign.
* Don't Let The Turkeys Get You Down
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* IDOT Debuts Winter Weather Driving Tips Video
* Pot Dangerous? Mother's Testimony Says Yes [video]
* Happy Thanksgiving
* It seems like it’s everywhere, that video of the final moments of Laquan’s life
* Laquan McDonald.
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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