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.


* Anti-union legislator thinking about leaving Illinois: "Strangled by incompetence"
* Dunkin speaks
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Mazel tov!
* Everybody wants to get into the act
* Another Day. Another Auction. Another $275 Million For Exelon
* First time for everything
* Question of the day
* 'Tis the season
* The question nobody's asking
* Today's number: $10.65 billion
* The cat herder
* The new normal: Lack of pressure, lack of talks
* Illinois Credit Unions – Actively engaged in the communities they serve
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Be the meanest robot pilot, rule the battlefield in Walking War Robots
        * Marshall Headphones Stockwell: “biggest little speaker” in its class
        * LG G4 Note sighted, might be unveiled October 10
        * Philips unveils new wireless products at IFA 2015
        * Philips launches new speakers at IFA 2015
        * So many great Android phones, but all bring low profits
        * Qualcomm president won’t be splitting the company to improve share values

        * 2015 AZL White Sox season review
        * Danks in complete control in win over Royals
        * Alexei, White Sox celebrate all-around effort
        * Flowers power: Homer, defense provide spark
        * White Sox 12, Royals 1: Bats come alive in Kansas City
        * White Sox bats back Danks in win over Royals
        * Quintana aims to get in win column against Royals

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


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

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Fire forces Second City to move or cancel shows
        * Illinois adding collections to national digital library
        * Ousted Madison County judge quickly gets job back
        * Chicago mayor to introduce late fine amnesty program
        * Illinois gets CDC grant to combat drug overdoses
        * Chicago cop won't be fired for Ferguson shooting comment
        * State of Illinois continues to hire despite lack of budget
        * Chicago's Northerly Island, formerly an airport, now a park
        * Judge tosses lawsuit against sperm bank over biracial child
        * EXCHANGE: State police officer of year living dream

        * IDOT testing concrete paving technique on I-72 east of Springfield
        * Jacksonville drug detox unit set to close Oct. 1 due to state budget impasse
        * Future of Papers of Abraham Lincoln project in limbo amid state budget impasse
        * Papers of Abraham Lincoln project not shut down, state says
        * State continues to hire despite lack of budget
        * Lincoln papers project not shut down, state says
        * State of Illinois continues to hire despite lack of budget
        * Springfield officer named Air National Guard commander
        * Schaumburg teen's dental visit changes state law
        * State Rep. Lang seeks deal with Rauner on medical marijuana extension

        * Why no-show Dunkin is a blow to Dems
        * State of Illinois continues to hire despite lack of budget
        * Lurie Children's acquires first private pediatric doctors group
        * Is Emanuel building a loophole into his gigantic tax hike?
        * With cop killers at large, Chain O' Lakes sees a much more somber Labor Day


          * Man charged with running dogfighting ring in Fuller Park neighborhood
          * Willowbrook attack victim: 'God has a purpose for me'
          * At least 3 dead, 16 wounded in shootings across city
          * Uncle of slain 11-year-old boy charged in his death
          * Violence touching unlikely communities in Chicago
          * Durbin in familiar role as he approaches record tenure in Senate
          * Former Concordia University baseball coach charged with sexually assaulting teenager
          * Blackhawks mum on whether Kane will be at preseason camp
          * More videos, DNA analyzed in Fox Lake manhunt
          * Great America's new 'dark ride' marks next evolution in thrills


          * Charles Krauthammer: Why Clinton remains, yes, inevitable
          * IDOT testing concrete paving technique on I-72 east of Springfield
          * Jacksonville drug detox unit set to close Oct. 1 due to state budget impasse
          * Future of Papers of Abraham Lincoln project in limbo amid state budget impasse
          * State continues to hire despite lack of budget
          * Springfield officer named Air National Guard commander
          * Schaumburg teen's dental visit changes state law
          * State Rep. Lang seeks deal with Rauner on medical marijuana extension
          * Our Opinion: Panhandling deserves a community response
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Ex-Schock aide says he saw red flags


          * High school football scoreboard, Sept. 4-5, 2015
          * Townships relics from distant past
          * No girls this year on Heritage JH baseball team
          * Food pantry issues appeal for donors
          * Upcoming auction loaded with great items
          * 'We have to be prepared'
          * Sandra Mason: Bumps and lumps
          * Carle urges men to get screening for prostate cancer
          * Homer resident touts vets monument
          * No looting, rioting after officer's death


          * Fox Lake feels 'a little less safe, but mostly sad' after cop killed
          * Officer's shooting shatters sense of safety in Fox Lake
          * The Latest: Special train brings some 250 migrants to Munich
          * Snowden accepts Norwegian prize via video link from Russia
          * Congress returns to a fall full of deadlines

          * 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

          * Durbin in familiar role as he approaches r......

          * Durbin, Kirk polar opposites on Iran deal ......

          * Lawrence House Scaffolding Comes Down - Dare We Hope Permanently?
          * The Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival 2015!
          * CTA Transports Students Free On First Day Of School
          * Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles Through The Lens Of Art Shay
          * Inman service officially kicks off Thursday
          * REALTORS® keep line of communication open with Markham mayor
          * Morning Minute: Latest Beige Book shows economic growth in many regions of the U.S. this summer
          * Sign up today for Sept. 9 & 10 IAR broker pre-license webinar
          * Quality content behind IAR partnership with Xplode Conference
          * REALTORS® voice concerns to U.S. Rep. Kelly


          * Illinois awarded CDC funding to combat prescription drug overdose
          * Honoring Illinois' Fallen - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Saturday, September 5, 2015 until Sunset, Monday, September 7, 2015.
          * Governor Announces Appointment
          * Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti Joins Acting Assistant Director Anna Hui in Celebration of Labor Day
          * Governor Rauner takes clemency action




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