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.


* Reader comments closed until Monday
* TrackBill update
* Caption contest!
* It's worse than we thought
* Question of the day
* Long-term debt is not short-term debt
* Today's quotable
* 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

          
        * printWifi lets your device print wirelessly and securely
        * ScreenFlow 5 review: The Mac's best screencasting app gets better with iOS capture
        * Moto 360 leather, metal bands now available individually
        * You Should Play: TwoDots brings a much-needed twist to the match-three genre
        * Know your Lumia: mobile tech terms explained
        * Get a OnePlus One without invite right now, for Black Friday
        * ThanksGiveaway at the Pocketnow Deals Store: Enter to win some awesome prizes

        * Motorola Keylink Helps You Keep Track of Your Phone and Your Keys
        * Narrative Science Raises $10 Million More for Its Automated Writing Software
        * HTC Desire 620 Poses For The Camera
        * 2016 Nissan Titan Teased ahead of January Debut
        * What Women Want, According to the Designers of Women’s Wearables
        * Game of Thrones Video Game Series Launches Next Week (video)
        * Samsung Galaxy A7 Spotted At The FCC

        * White Sox can go short or long with free agent starter
        * Catching up with Tadahito Iguchi
        * White Sox ACE program helps send players to college
        * Additional 2005 fan-favorite players added to '15 SoxFest
        * White Sox introduce Adam LaRoche and their plans for him
        * White Sox plan for contention a work in progress
        * White Sox officially announce LaRoche deal

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Rauner Will Pay for Repairs..
        * Rauner Asking Departments To Cut 20% Ahead Of I.....
        * Rauners serve Thanksgiving meals at West Side s.....
        * Rauner says own money will go toward executive .....


        * Against odds, Chicago school aims for championship
        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * Against odds, Chicago school aims for championship
        * Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary
        * Woman's body found near Whiteside county jail
        * VSU chief financial officer to leave for new job
        * Collinsville man guilty of murder in fatal wreck
        * 3 arrested in Chicago during Ferguson protest
        * Clemency for man wrongfully jailed for 1991 murder
        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip

        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money

        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says
        * Illinois AG Madigan files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Jesse L. Miller, former alderman, community activist in North Lawndale, dies at 72
        * ||| Jack Higgins’ perspective
        * How Illinois can charge  ahead on education
        * Quinn grants pardons to 126, including one of Dixmoor Five
        * Educators up in arms over Rauner's question on budget cuts
        * Would-be marijuana farmers pledge half of earnings to schools
        * Gutierrez: Obama's immigration delay cost Pat Quinn votes
        * Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Obama’s immigration delay cost Pat Quinn votes
        * IDOT to change '5 minutes to Jane Byrne' sign to 'Jane Byrne Interchange'
        * Thanksgiving parade draws thousands to State Street


        * Police warn West Side businesses of robberies
        * Three wounded in Englewood stabbing
        * 4 injured in separate Thanksgiving Day shootings
        * Crash-and-grab burglary in Austin
        * Boat service provider negligent in fatal accident, lawsuit alleges
        * Cupich celebrates Thanksgiving Mass, prays with the poor
        * Archbishop Cupich emphasizes spiritual blessings at Lake Forest Thanksgiving mass
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * Pre-Thanksgiving revelers in Naperville unfazed by new alcohol rules
        * Woman shot dead in apparent domestic-related shooting in Gary


        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Notes From Ferguson: A QA With St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann


        * Michael Carrigan: Illinois can’t afford another year without a raise
        * Esther Cepeda: How to really enjoy the holidays
        * E.J. Dionne: Thank a politician today
        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization


        * Runners battle cold, ice at Thanksgiving 5K in Belleville
        * Woman burned in indoor turkey frying accident in Glen Carbon
        * Crash slowed traffic at 161 and Frank Scott
        * Parking violators a special target this weekend
        * State troopers gain numbers to reduce deaths during holidays
        * Feeding the hungry: Thanksgiving dinner at St. Luke's
        * Top Five things to do this weekend
        * Top of the Morning, Nov. 28, 2014
        * Jackson to speak on election results
        * Police Beat


        * Snowfall causes road troubles in northern Indiana
        * 1 man dies in house fire near Superior
        * Putnam County to meet on new state's attorney
        * Bloomington man may seek new sentence in slaying
        * Firewood supplies running low in Rockford area

        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...
        * Is it Too Late to Stop Iran? - Arutz Sheva
        * US Congreesman: We Must Redouble Out Commi...
        * Congressional, local reaction to immigrati...
        * PRESS RELEASE: Reps. Deutch and Roskam Int...
        * Congressman-Elect Mike Bost Attends Freshm...
        * Images: Tammy Duckworth's 2006 6th Congres...
        * Hennepin Steel Mill finally sold - SteelGuru
        * GOP rep: Immigration need 'doesn't justify...
        * Veteran guest speaker shares brain injury ...

        * 'Secret Science' bill headed to U.S. Senate...
        * Amazon : announce 1,000 full-time jobs in ......
        * Durbin Celebrates Obama’s Announcement at ......

        * Obama, Congress dig in on Iran sanctions...
        * Hot meals provided to homeless across Chic......
        * Iran's Supreme Leader supports extending t......
        * Rauner says own money will go toward execu......
        * Chicago Tribuen: Squeeze a stalling Iran t......

        * UIC Awarded $5.5 Contract To Continue Traffic Research
        * What do we think about Obama’s efforts to force-feed immigration reform to infant-minded in our nation?
        * "Nigerian Kitchen" Closes On Wilson
        * #HappyThanksgiving from The Sixth Ward blog!
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * Lisa Madigan files her appeal.
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * Happy Thanksgiving. “My idea,” says Rahm.
        * Chicago parents demand answers from Emanuel after sex ed lessons revealed
        * Happy Thanksgiving


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




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