SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Just so you know…

Friday, Oct 5, 2012

* Kass

The judge said he’d never received so many letters. Then Zagel really shocked me, and a few other reporters in the courtroom, when he talked about a few of the pro-Cellini letters. Among these, Zagel said, were “letters from three prominent journalists.”

Prominent journalists? Is that why he was able to fly under the radar for so long?

Those names are sealed in the court file per Zagel’s orders, I’m told, but whoever they are, the three prominent journalists and the others and Mrs. Cellini got what they asked for. They wanted mercy from Zagel. And that’s what he gave them.

I wasn’t asked to write a letter, and I wouldn’t have written one if I had been asked.

* I do happen to think that Bill Cellini was given the Al Capone income tax treatment

“I think there is something to be said for incarceration for a person in Bill Cellini’s position,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro after the sentencing. “… In certain communities, sentences of incarceration do send messages, and this is a small community we are talking about — the sort of bipartisan cabal of Illinois, the people that are the behind-the-scenes folks that fuel the corruption and raise the money. Those people pay attention to things like this, and they pay attention when someone who is almost 78 goes to prison.”

Prosecutors were so convinced he was a criminal that they sent him away over a fantastical scheme. Stu Levine and Cellini were supposedly shaking down a Hollywood guy for a $1.5 million contribution to Rod Blagojevich’s campaign fund. In 2004, that sort of contribution from an individual was absolutely unheard of in Illinois. I don’t believe the scheme actually existed beyond Levine’s drug-addled head. Cellini never asked the target for the cash, and Tony Rezko - who was alleged to have been in on the scheme - was acquitted on that particular count.

But a letter of support? Nope. No way.

* Roundup…

* Mark Brown: Cellini sentence another step forward for honest government

* Powerbroker gets 1 year in prison in movie producer shakedown

* Ex-Illinois powerbroker William Cellini sentenced to 1 year in prison

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - MrJM - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    Rich,

    There’s a library fine for an over-due book that I gotta deal with and a nice note from a prominent journalist couldn’t hurt…

    – MrJM


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    MrJM, for you, anything.

    lol


  3. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:08 am:

    But will you pay my bar tab???


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    Uh, no.


  5. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    It would be great to break the seal of the identity of the ‘journalists’ who wanted to lend their names to the cry for leniency.


  6. - Spliff - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    Journalists and politicians alike should be disclosed for writing letters of support. No reason for them to be sealed in the file.


  7. - Prominent Poster - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    ===letters from three prominent journalists===
    Note the word “prominent”. Just saying.


  8. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    Prominent is in the eye of the beholder. But if they’re still reporting, they should disclose to their readers/listeners/viewers that they wrote letters and why.


  9. - Wensicia - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    Why haven’t any of these three ‘prominent’ journalists gone public with columns of support for Cellini, or did I miss them?


  10. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    ===Prosecutors were so convinced he was a criminal that they sent him away over a fantastical scheme.===

    So like Capone, the feds couldn’t convict Cellini for what they thought he had done, but instead convicted him on a ticky-tack offense? OK, but like Capone, so what?

    Cellini’s chumminess on the tapes, laughing with Levine, was evidence that these two men spoke the same language. It was clear what they were talking about regardless of whether it was real or not. The jury bought it. Case closed.

    Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. Cellini of all people should have known better than to pal around with a guy like Levine. To conspire with him to curry favor with another knucklehead like Rod is beyond anything a reputable businessman would have done. Especially someone like Bill Cellini who really ought to have known better.

    Was he prosecuted based on rumor and his reputation? Maybe. Is that fair? Maybe not. But the jury saw enough to convict and that’s that.


  11. - Dick - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    This would be a good thread to talk about journalist’s who have crossed over the line, many times while they trying to say they are objective. Avis Lavalle and Caroline Grisco come to mind, Lavalle at WGN radio and Grisco on WBEZ, they had a PR thing going at the same time as they were reporting, both have made millions during the time they worked for Mayor Daley. Any others ?


  12. - x ace - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    Ain’t newspapers always against Sealing ?

    Sealing seems a unique form of “immunity” .

    Special treatment for “prominent” journalists ?

    Maybe they got pictures of somebody who’s somebody with Judith Campbell or Marilyn Monroe.


  13. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    is this just a day for irony, or am I really seeing lots of anonymous comments calling for full disclosure of other people’s names?


  14. - Wensicia - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    Those prominent journalists didn’t send their letters to Zagel anonymously. They used the influence of their occupations behind their names.


  15. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    “calling for full disclosure of other people’s names? ”

    The difference is that in this forum, no one is trying to use their so called celebrity to influence the taxpayer funded legal system.

    If you use public resources, you should not remain anonymous.


  16. - Knome Sane - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:13 am:

    How ironic would it be if the “combine” darkened the doors of the Chicago Tribune should it be disclosed that one or more of the “prominent journalists” were employed there. I’m not saying that is the case, but how would John Kass spin that one? It’s not as if a reporter from the Tribune hasn’t been caught in the switches of Illinois politics in the past.


  17. - Knome Sane - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    @ Steve Schnorg: “is this just a day for irony, or am I really seeing lots of anonymous comments calling for full disclosure of other people’s names?”

    There is an enormous difference between posting anonymously on a political blog and calling for transparency and writing the judge seeking leniency for a convicted power broker while serving as a member of the “Fourth Estate”.


  18. - Loop Lady - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:20 am:

    Is this why it’s called a free press? I can understand journalists protecting their sources, but the judiciary excepting that type of info from the public? I guess it really does pay to have friends in all types of influential positions when the crap hits the fan.


  19. - Knome Sane - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:21 am:

    Apologies to Steve Schnorf. I did not intentionally mispell your name @11:17.


  20. - langhorne - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    i think a great deal of the public animus directed toward cellini has less to do w the charges, and the meager convictions, than disapproval and disdain for the huge fortune he has amassed from insider deals at the public trough. we dont like his river boat deal, all the leasing contracts, investment of pension funds, etc etc., so send him to jail for something. cellini succeeded for decades bec he didnt connect contributions w actions (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and had the misfortune of having an idiot like stu levine, et al, try to play. a year and a day, coming down to a likely 10 months, is appropriate.


  21. - Dana Heupel - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    I have some difficulty believing that any working journalist, prominent or otherwise, would write a letter of support in a court case. That would be cause for immediate dismissal from any of the news organizations I’ve worked for.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===I have some difficulty believing that any working journalist, prominent or otherwise===

    Yeah, could be retired folks. No clue, really. Romensko just asked me if I knew who did it. I told him I have no idea.


  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    Dick Ciccone is Cellini’s spokesman, and he’s a former Tribster, so that’s a start. Maybe the judge was talking about him? I dunno.


  24. - 47th Ward - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    I think it’s best not to speculate. Maybe the Tribune’s recent front-page crusade against sealed court records needs another installment.

    Then again, maybe not.


  25. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    journalists use “public resources”? I buy it more Dana’s way, and he signed his name


  26. - amalia - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    Zagel and the three journalists. shameful.


  27. - Sir Reel - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:57 pm:

    As someone who had to kiss Julie Cellini’s ring when she was Edgar’s patronage chief (I was a 4-year term appointment position), I remember Bill Cellini’s control in Springfield. So many of these insiders get away with so much. Think of the talk of “endemic hiring fraud” under Blago and all the insiders connected to it who got away with it. While this particular case was weak, Bill Cellini has much to pay for.


  28. - steve schnorf - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    another brave soul heard from, Sir Reel. Unfortunately for your credibility Julie Cellini never worked for Jim Edgar in any capacity. She probably wondered why you were kissing her ring: perhaps it was just another in a string of aberrant behaviors by you?


  29. - sue - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    It wasn’t Julie but Janice(the sister) who was the patronage “boss” for Edgar-the bad guy and common denominator in this entire sorry story is levine but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Cellini was found to have engaged in criminal coduct- Levine ruined the lives of lots of people tangentially involved in this mess- his sentence was certainly too lenient- if cellini got a year- Levine deserved a life sentence


  30. - Sir Reel - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    Sorry it was Janice Cellini, not Julie. I guess I repressed.


  31. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea that judges would consider letters as part of sentencing and keep the letters confidential.

    Either the letters should be ignored or they should be part of the public record.


  32. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    Blagojevich is demanding all the letters be read, saying they’ll prove he’s innocent and it’s all Madigan’s fault.


  33. - Rocky 7 - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    Isn’t a little self-serving for Kass to refer to letters from prominent jounalists and then offer that he didn’t write one?


  34. - Knome Sane - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    @Rocky =Kass to refer to letters from prominent jounalists and then offer that he didn’t write one?=

    I think you mistook Rich’s comment for Kass: “I wasn’t asked to write a letter, and I wouldn’t have written one if I had been asked.” Rick Miller wrote that, if I am not mistaken.


  35. - Knome Sane - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 3:32 pm:

    @ 3:31 Darn it! In my previous post I know it’s Rich Miller, not Rick!


  36. - Frank - Tuesday, Oct 9, 12 @ 1:54 pm:

    It’s not just letters from journalists you must consider because over 200 people wrote letters they did so in confidence to the judge. They are not public letters. Some letters may contain private details about personal events, and home addresses might be on them, too. I do not believe a person who took the time scribe their thoughts to a judge and did that in total confidence deserves their letter to be in the hands of the press. Think of the letter-writers as a whole before you quickly pounce on these three journalists have ‘upset’ their fellow members of the press. The press should not trump a person’s right to privacy, ever.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Yet another stumble
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * TWRP descends on LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live
        * T-Mobile announces new limited-time family plans: 4 people get 10GB LTE for $100, from July 30
        * Microsoft Is Back To Bashing Apple In Latest Advertisment
        * How to automatically add movies to your Mac media server
        * Sony Xperia Z3 might not be compatible with T-Mo’s 700MHz band after all
        * Samsung officially launches 7-inch Galaxy Tab Q in China
        * Photoshop CC 2014 review: Image editor gets new time-saving features

        * World’s Largest British Classic Car Collection Bought By Jaguar
        * Three Quick Ways to Declutter in 10 Minutes
        * Android 4.4.3 Update Lands On European HTC One M8
        * Real estate convergence? Zillow to buy Trulia for $3.5B
        * Build a Wearable UV Alarm that Reminds You to Apply More Sunscreen
        * Samsung indefinitely delays the release of its first Tizen smartphone
        * Tabs Board Switches Google Chrome Tabs by Voice

        * White Sox Minor League Update: July 27-Aug. 2
        * New draftee Rodon tops White Sox updated Top 20
        * White Sox focused on long-term at Trade Deadline
        * Carroll strong but bullpen falters in finale
        * Parental love common thread among Hall inductees
        * Carroll strong but bullpen falters in finale
        * Class of 2014 takes its place among game's legends


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * New law expands state Holocaust Commission - Th.....
        * Election 2014: Dissecting Pat Quinn's, Bruce Ra.....
        * Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs legislation expan.....
        * Fashion Fair head to keynote Howard U fundraise.....
        * Quinn, Rauner plans both leave questions - Sauk.....
        * Frank Thomas inducted in Baseball Hall of Fame;.....
        * More from Brian Ethridge..
        * New law expands Illinois Holocaust Commission..


        * Developmental center closure could take time
        * Police: Chicago men arrested for shooting boy
        * Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians' new advice
        * Police: Indiana mom, girls shot in robbery attempt
        * AAR says air carrier deal means up to 175 jobs
        * Gov. Quinn to live off equivalent of minimum wage
        * Cahokia Mounds excavators make interesting find
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery
        * More Illinois counties could join camera program
        * Police: 1 man charged in Chicago train robbery

        * Quinn: Landfill's PCB approval may be withdrawn
        * New law expands state Holocaust Commission
        * To fight crime, Chicago tries wiping away arrests
        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government's '$100,000 club' to 7,800
        * Quinn signs $1B plan for road repair in Illinois
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner meets with Sangamon County GOP
        * Howlett Building closed Tuesday after small fire

        * Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar in $8.5 billion deal
        * Another local tax inversion? Hospira in talks for Danone unit
        * Democratic candidate for Illinois Treasurer needs on the job training
        * Tribune Publishing CEO: We're buying newspapers
        * Poor families use 'supervouchers' to rent in city's priciest buildings


        * Man dead, police officer wounded after shooting in Bucktown
        * Man accused of stealing kid’s bike charged with hitting dad
        * 2 teens killed, 2 hurt in crash
        * Horses on parade: Statues to honor fallen police officers, raise money
        * Man charged in Orange Line robbery
        * Los Angeles man arrested in 1992 murder of Skokie teen
        * ‘I have faith and hope,’ Lisa Stebic’s sister says
        * Prosecutor: Shooter knew rival wasn’t in crowd but fired anyway
        * Women at work: Balancing life’s load as electricians
        * Charges pending in CTA robbery


        * Man killed, off-duty officer wounded during struggle in Bucktown
        * Addison mother and daughters shot during Hammond robbery attempt
        * Illinois-based firm overhauls China business in meat safety scandal
        * Hearing today for 2 men charged in shooting of boy, 3
        * 5 injured, including 4 teens, in Loop crash
        * Police: 2 charged in shooting of 3-year-old
        * 5 shot in separate Sunday attacks
        * Public art display of horse statues to honor fallen officers
        * Pedestrian hit by car in Avondale


        * So, when is it Jane Byrne's turn?
        * Seven Months And Two Storms Later, Executive Mansion Gets Mini-Fix
        * State Police Cancels New Trooper Training, Citing Budget
        * Feds' Immigrant Numbers For Illinois May Not Tell Whole Story
        * Listen to State Week - July 25, 2014
        * Inspector General Discloses Political Hiring Investigation
        * Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55
        * Illinois Sees Growth In Tax Revenue, But It Won't Last Long
        * Business, Labor Leaders Urge Quinn Administration To Finish Fracking Rules
        * Pullman to get an indoor sports facility


        * New law expands state Holocaust Commission
        * Quinn, Rauner budget plans debatable
        * Angie Muhs: Who will be the next First Citizen?
        * Tony Leone: Put the ALPLM under federal control
        * Back pay, OT pushes state government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schneider stresses fiscal issues in seeking GOP wins
        * Our Opinion: No harm in Houston changing his mind
        * Statehouse Insider: That’s not a tax hike, is it?
        * Rauner meets with county GOP
        * Rauner event on Saturday moved to Boondock's


        * Daily business briefing: Dollar Tree buying Family Dollar
        * Jim Bohannon 7/28/2014
        * GOP chairs pick Bennett for House run
        * Dill leaves role with FREDCO; Group searches for a new executive director
        * Decatur woman dies in car wreck
        * Cool temperatures in forecast for this week
        * Much cooler Monday, and it stays that way this week
        * UI Ice Arena closure forces teams to prepare elsewhere
        * Cobden woman hurt in wreck
        * Tax law trumps tutorial


        * Inland Real Estate recognized for environmental efforts
        * Meat scare banishes most burgers in Shanghai
        * Dollar Tree buying Family Dollar for $8.5 billion
        * Don't be fooled by the Fed's placid facade
        * China gets Xbox as Microsoft beats rivals to $10 billion market

        * Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Presid...
        * Atanus disputes email announcing withdrawa...
        * Malkin's news for Dems: It's 'not an inter...
        * Labor Dept., Dems renewing push to hike mi...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Imwit) Dares To #Li...
        * Illinois Congresswoman Takes on Minimum-Wa...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky's minimum-wage menu is...
        * 'It's an adventure'! Michelle Malkin and f...
        * What Does Representative Schakowsky Usuall...
        * Jan Schakowsky tries minimum wage - Politico

        * YouGov finds rosy picture for GOP in Senat......
        * Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike, critic......
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * ATF Efforts Raised in Chicago...
        * Rand Paul Talks to Black and Democrats Fli......

        * Sen. Rose: Quinn too little, too late to C......
        * Councils bid to electrify Doncaster-Cleeth......
        * Kirk again calls for removal of VA hospita......
        * On ADA anniversary, retiring Harkin promis......
        * Content about Alaska...

        * Chicago’s AUSL alum, “Dr.” Terrence P. Carter isn’t done with New London, Connecticut quite yet.
        * John Dillon. A Bitter Pill: Illinois Supreme Court’s decision and Chicago corporate media.
        * What's red and blue and on a mezzanine? CTA's new Division and LaSalle entrance debuts
        * Former Redflex Employee Testifies At Federal Grand Jury Hearing
        * Did 'Tomahawk Chop' overwhelm White Sox, Chicago moments of glory?
        * Illinois home sales and prices increase in June #IARMarketStats
        * Infographic: Illinois Home Sales and Prices Up This June #IARMarketStats
        * You could win big in the Game On Giveaway!
        * Study reveals the hidden cost of foreclosures in Chicago neighborhoods
        * Morning Minute: Illinois and U.S. housing markets pick up in June


        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Frank Thomas Day” in Illinois - Honors “The Big Hurt” and the Class of 2014 Hall of Famers
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Expand the Holocaust and Genocide Commission - Commission Works to Increase Public Awareness Through Educational Programs, Events and Outreach
        * Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on New Pullman Community Center in Chicago - Center will Increase Year-Round Recreational Opportunities for Chicago’s South Side and Create Jobs
        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment for Broadview Park Project - New Development Will Create Jobs and Improve Recreational Facilities
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Unaccompanied Children Crossing the US Border




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