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Question of the day

Friday, Jul 11, 2014

* From a rather disjointed Tribune editorial entitled “The mystery of the feds’ investigation”

Even for those as angelic as newborns, few messages are as intimidating as, The U.S. Department of Justice would like information from you. Imagine the widespread angst, then, as federal prosecutors intensify their look at, and around, Gov. Pat Quinn’s defunct Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. That’s the botched anti-violence program on which Quinn, just before the 2010 general election, committed $54.5 million in public money.

Last Friday the Tribune reported that a federal grand jury has subpoenaed emails of key players in NRI, as it was known, including its former head and two former ranking members of Quinn’s administration. And on Wednesday we learned that the Department of Justice has requested a 90-day delay before Illinois lawmakers question seven former Quinn aides who have been subpoenaed to testify next week.

But Republican lawmakers said Thursday that they expect next week’s two-day hearing of the bipartisan and bicameral Legislative Audit Commission to proceed — and they expect the seven witnesses to obey the subpoenas.

What’s odd about the Justice request for state lawmakers to stand down is that it didn’t come from prosecutors, as has been customary in other investigations. Instead it came by phone to Illinois House and Senate lawyers from Justice’s Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. That’s a liaison and lobbying office, not an office that typically has interjected itself into criminal cases here. What’s more, Justice is merely requesting a 90-day delay in legislative questioning, not pursuing legal action to demand that.

On Thursday a Justice official in Washington did get around to sending a letter to leaders of the Legislative Audit Commission. The letter requests that the lawmakers “refrain from conducting interviews or receiving testimony from any individuals” in connection with the anti-violence program: “… As we explained during the call, there is an ongoing related federal criminal investigation, and we believe such interviews and testimony during this (90-day) time period would pose substantial risks to our investigation.”

Various federal prosecutors, past and present, cautioned us Thursday not to draw conclusions about where the feds are focused: maybe on recipients of money, maybe on how the program functioned, maybe on something else. For a variety of reasons, including the absence of any crime, federal investigations sometimes lead to … nothing at all.

It looks like they were leading up to something - that maybe the Justice Department request was somehow tainted - then got talked down by “federal prosecutors, past and present.” I only mention that because of this tweet from an editorial board member yesterday…


The paper didn’t take a stand on whether the hearings should actually proceed.

Anyway, I had four posts on this issue yesterday and I didn’t really see anything in today’s coverage to warrant another one today, so let’s do this instead…

* The Question: Should the Legislative Audit Commission defer to the US Department of Justice and postpone any questioning of those under subpoena for 90 days?

Bonus Question: Should the Commission postpone all such testimony until after the election?

Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


panel management

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Defer for 90 days. No harm in that. There is harm in not deferring by potentially blowing a federal investigation. And there is harm by sweeping this under the rug until after the election. I’m a Quinn supporter, but we need to know everything we can learn about this bone-headed NRI program before the election. Hopefully he’ll come out of it OK, but I’d hate to re-elect him only to find out later he was involved in a crime or a cover up.

    For the record, I don’t think he’s involved directly in anything illegal. But I’d like to know for sure. If the Feds don’t come back with something substantive, the LAC can tee it up right before the election and make all the hay they can. A clean bill of health from the Feds should be enough for Quinn to neutralize a partisan hearing (assuming he gets a clean bill of health).


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Take off your tin foil hat @statehousechick. What are you saying? You had characters left over. Maybe being “simple” with a tin foil hat is your schtick. Yikes.

    Voted “Yes” to defer 90 days and then get “clearance from the tower” and proceed.

    I don’t think they need to wait any longer than the 90 days requested, so if it’s weeks before the election, have at it!

    The political of this is beyond helpful if Leader Durkin and Rep. Sandack just hold their powder. The ambiguous is so much more hurtful at times then the specific.

    I stand by my comments of yesterday, thus my “yes” after 90 days vote.


  3. - Toure's Latte - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Voted to defer for 90 days. Let the Feds do their job investigating unencumbered by IL GOP media gadflys.


  4. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Defer for 90 days. Let the Feds do your dirty work for you. Most voters won’t be thinking about the election until the time before election day.


  5. - Big Muddy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Defer 90 days. You can still get political milage out of this during that time and even if the Fed’s have nothing after 90 days it’s still a big hammer to swing days before the election. If they hand out indictments then it’s lights out for Quinn. A win-win that I’m surprised that Durkin and Sandack didn’t figure out.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Defer for 90 days. If they then come back and ask for it to continue until after the election, then it becomes an even bigger political issue and a tougher call.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    What 47 said. Defer for 90 to not risk blowing the federal investigation, but no reason to wait until after the election.

    The Tribbie edit was a like a dorm-room bong session monologue. What was the point?

    And the “Statehouse Chick” with the weird “DOJ intervention?” Does she understand that the Department of Justice has “intervened” already with a grand jury and a criminal investigation?


  8. - Bunson8r - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    I think the 90 day deferral would be standard here. As far as I know, most local and state investigations usually defer to federal inquiries when asked.

    I think the real story here is the slow descent into crazytown by the Trib Editorial Board. They are becoming increasingly paranoid and keep trying to expose ghosts when none are there. We saw their continued efforts to try and find some sort of skullduggery with the independent maps amendment when really there just weren’t enough signatures. Their rhetoric is becoming borderline embarrassing.


  9. - walker - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    The Trib writer’s version of reality get weirder by the minute.

    Voted for delay. It’s the right thing to do to follow the Feds’ request for a 90-day delay — if you really want to get to the facts and legally punish any wrongdoing.

    Politically it can work either way.

    You can make it a real circus and keep this issue in the news with ongoing committee hearings thru election day. Who cares if that damages the Feds’ investigation and dealings? You win a lot of votes by attacking Quinn’s former perceived strength, and get Rauner over the line. What’s more important to you?

    But OW might be right about ambiguity and continuing references to an ongoing Fed investigation being just as effective as continuing hearings.


  10. - elder lobbyist - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    Why is the legislative Liaison Office involved? It makes the whole thing look political rather than a legitimate AG request tied to an investigation. What is to prevent this same office from making a request for an extension beyond the election when the 90 day period ends? The public deserves to know all the facts before they are asked to vote on public officials who may be involved.


  11. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Wonder if Paul Vallas is thinking of LG’s in the very back of his mind? Hmmm.


  12. - Belle - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    Defer….if it was Daley, they wouldn’t even be discussing it.


  13. - Skirmisher - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    Absolutely defer for 90 days. If the Republicans do not go along with this, then they take on the political witch hunt hat and really hand the Quinn administration a diversion that might blunt the worst of the political discomfort. Let the feds investigate, then remind the public every day that there is a criminal probe in progress and Quinn just might make it “three governors in a row”. In any case, we really don’t know just what the feds are after, but I think we all want to find out!


  14. - CirularFiringSquad - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    we voted to defer for 90 days. Hey Jumpin’ Jason has been dragging this out for 5 months…no harm in a little longer. Maybe the 2010 Brady Campaign will have an action plan for the last month to get Mitt over the top.
    That assumes they want Mitt to win
    BTW could someone tell#StateHouseChick.argh that show really needs to find someone not as clueless to preview the blather before unleashed.


  15. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    It won’t be a 90 day deferral. There is nothing happening now that will be resolved by that time. If so, it would be the speediest federal investigation in about four decades.

    The feds like to hold all the strings. They look at some of these witnesses, and no doubt think that the less they have to be publicly embarassed with a 5th plea, the more likely they are to flip on someone up the food chain.

    But this issue is criminal and political. There are two ethical points here. Will someone pay a criminal price and will someone pay a political price. The LAC ought to make sure there is a political price.

    If done responsibly, there’s no reason the LAC’s investigation should impair justice by DOJ.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    ===If done responsibly, there’s no reason the LAC’s investigation should impair justice by DOJ.===

    Except that the Feds said it would.

    Other than that…


  17. - SamHall - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Defer for 90 days, it causes no harm. It is troubling that the request came from the lobbying/liaisoning part of DoJ.


  18. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===Except that the Feds said it would.===

    But exactly how?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===But exactly how?===

    http://capitolfax.com/2014/07/10/justice-deparment-substantial-risks-to-investigation/

    From the letter, specifically.

    ===As we explained during the call, there is an ongoing related federal criminal investigation and we believe such interviews and testimony during this time period would pose substantial risks to our investigation. ===

    Pretty clear the Feds want the LAC to back off. Pretty good reason to back off.


  20. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    90 days. Ditto 47, Word, Willy et al.

    Regarding coverup claims, I would always have an intern work on my coverups. Plus, I’d want the coverup to end prior to the election. That way the guy I’m trying to protect will have to deal with the issue when he’s trying to deal with last minute surprises.


  21. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===we believe such interviews…would pose substantial risks to our investigation===

    I read this but it still leaves me asking, exactly how does it risk their investigation? As a layperson who has never been involved in an investigation, it seems benign to ask people questions. I mean, the average private citizen or reporter could do the same thing. I don’t dispute that it *could* cause an issue, I just would like more of an explanation about exactly how.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===I read this but it still leaves me asking, exactly how does it risk their investigation? ===

    You can ask the feds themselves and they’ll give you the same answer as they give everybody: Nunya.

    They never talk about details. They barely talk at all.


  23. - CirularFiringSquad - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Mr/Ms Champaignlife:
    The risk comes when targets/witnesses get an opportunity to create new evidence to defend their scam. DoJ and most real prosecutors prefer the work with actual evidence.
    It is a little like DoJ moving on Blagoof after the Tribbies got caught on the wiretap and raced to tell the world. Blagoof got wind and started laying down a whole new rap.
    Got it?


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    - thechampaignlife -,

    The fact it is ambiguous should tell you that the Feds want their investigation without interference. As - wordslinger - points out, the Feds are over 90% in conviction rate. They ain’t looking to clear people, they look to convict people at that high rate.

    The Feds don’t need a Dopey circus to deter their investigation as some may be working on pleas and rolling over on others, or uncovering a fact that the Feds were holding as a chit to hold over a witness to roll.

    Rule of thumb; the “G” asks for deferral, you do it, because their bite usually hurts the most.


  25. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    OW, the feds don’t say how it would impair the investigation.

    It won’t. Simple enough. They hate people getting on their turf. It’s well known. It’s all about control.

    In 90 days they’ll ask for another delay. And the precedence will be set to do that.

    A delay would be a huge gift to the Dems. Which probably means Republicans will do it.


  26. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Who is to say the Feds won’t ask for an extension when the 90 days are up?

    I’m really torn on this. There seems to be a belief that anybody testifying will just plead the 5th Amendment. Hard to blame the GOP for not wanting to get that done now, and people pleading the 5th will not impede the Feds.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    - Nothing Will Be Learned -,

    They aren’t going to. It’s not how they go about their business.

    Further, explaining how it would, might also be a risk.

    If you can’t understand the dynamics and just want the political theatre, and go against the Feds asking for 90 days, that’s on you, I can’t help.

    If you think it’s a conspiracy of the highest order, I know again I can’t help you.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===A delay would be a huge gift to the Dems. Which probably means Republicans will do it.===

    An ongoing Federal investigation…so intense…that any hearing on it…will hamper it… Yep, a huge lift to Quinn. Yikes.


  29. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    ===They barely talk at all.===

    Are we okay with that? It certainly seems to be a lot of deference and trust given to the feds who have not always earned it (IRS scandal).

    Granted, in this case a 90 day stay isn’t the end of the world but there seems to be a palpable fear of the feds and I wonder how healthy that is.


  30. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===new evidence to defend their scam===

    ===holding as a chit to hold over a witness to roll===

    Thanks, these are some valid reasons. That’s all I was hoping for!


  31. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Ryan
    Blagojevich

    Now Quinn.


  32. - accountability - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    given a choice between a third level Staffer going to jail or pat Quinn losing I’ll take Quinn losing. The feds will definitely ask for another delay. And there will be little given to the public.

    you can bet Quinn wants a delay


  33. - Sunshine - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Go with the investigation. Should be able to work together and share info.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===Should be able to work together and share info.===

    Feds only share what they want (and with that statement, if the LAC went out on this, they would get zero help ) and they don’t need the LAC to help, the LAC is only going to hamper.

    ===you can bet Quinn wants a delay===

    Try this on for size for the next 90 days;

    Every turn, every question about Quinn, the response needs to include…

    “..,you know we really are disappointed, and frankly upset that our investigation is not going forward. We’re upset, but the Justice Department, the US Attorney feel their very important and critical ongoing investigation needs to proceed to find the criminality within the Quinn administration. It’s very serious, bad the US Justice Department is well equipped to find criminality.”

    Yeah, Quinn wants that for the next 90 days…


  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    I have to say, I do find highly entertaining the rumblings of a sinister conspiracy at the highest levels of government to keep the super-sleuths on the Legislative Audit Commission from doing….. something.

    Makes for a great summer thriller. I can just hear Harrison Ford: “Give me back my audit!”

    Or Liam Neeson: “I have certain auditing skills, and I will find your vouchers….”

    Coming to a political theater near you: “Saving Gov. Quinn.” Or maybe “Plump Fiction.”

    Of course, you’d have to take some liberties with facts. Like, the fact that the audit came out in February. And the LAC didn’t seem in a hurry to get involved until they already knew that there were county and federal grand juries having a go at it.

    Back in the real world, that was some real laziness on the part of the LAC. The audit is a scorcher and they should have dove into it right away. That’s the job description.


  36. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    I’m not sure who’s talking conspiracy.

    OW, when you say that’s not how they do their business, what makes you say that? They’re asking for one delay, what makes you so sure they don’t ask for another.

    It’s shocking when something like this ends quickly, and the feds don’t like people in these investigations until they’re over.

    The investigation may be intense, but that doesn’t mean that any of us will know about it.

    As I said, I’m guessing the GOP grants the delay and we’ll be able to count the column inches of space on this issue for the next four months.


  37. - Sunshine - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    Go with the investigation. Should be able to work together and share info. There, that should be better?


  38. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    I voted no for the political theater, but obviously they should defer. With the Barickman flip flop, it’s so vividly clear that the GOP just went full political stunt. Then next week, the majority Dems will side with the gov and put this thing off thus elevating the heat on the October 15th fifth amendment parade.


  39. - Downstate Illinois - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Frack the feds. The legislature has voted to proceed. Let the investigation begin.

    There’s too much likelihood that they’ll ask for another extension. We’ve seen this time and time again. Whatever it takes to get past the election.

    Too many people say defer to the feds like that’s the thing to do. The FBI no longer even sees criminal investigations as their reason to exist. (It’s counter-terrorism.)

    I have personally seen white collar/government corruption cases being passed on by the folks down here in the Southern District. Heaven forbid state police get off their speed traps and investigate.

    We need more sunlight in state government. We surely aren’t getting it from our pared down statehouse reporters. We’re not getting it out of Washington. If it takes Legislative Audit Commissions to spotlight corruption, then get out of their way.

    There’s not a commentator on this site who believes no laws were broken in the NRI program. What we don’t know is if it was limited to the grant recipients, involved lower-hanging fruit in the governor’s office or DCEO, or actually involved top people up to and including Pat Quinn.

    Since Quinn was involved, or at least (that we know at this point), personally appointment some of the people being investigated, then voters need to know that prior to the beginning of early voting, not afterwards.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===Should be able to work together and share info.===

    From the letter…

    ===We are not at this time asking the Commission to refrain from disclosure of records gathered in the course of its work.===

    “Give us yours, we’ll keep ours.”

    They want this done by them right now. They asked.

    - Nothing Will Be Learned -,

    Read, Rich or - wordslinger - and my comments above. Again, if you can’t understand, typing the same responses at this point is tedious. Read.

    Also, to the political, why the heck do you want this find quickly? Why? That makes no sense. Drag it out, that is the play.

    ===The investigation may be intense, but that doesn’t mean that any of us will know about it.

    As I said, I’m guessing the GOP grants the delay and we’ll be able to count the column inches of space on this issue for the next four months.===

    The ambiguity is a gift, not a curse! Now all of a sudden a Federal probe… isn’t …intense? lol.

    They all are. They wound, and politically can be fatal to campaigns.

    It’s up to Rauner, Durkin, and the SGOP to keep a statement similar to what I commented in the press, at every turn, with every answer.

    It’s up to them, it’s not a conspiracy.


  41. - Sunshine - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    …..Should…..not will, not must….”Should.” There, isn’t that much better?


  42. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Of course the probe is intense. Reading is basic.

    Hell, the probe on Blagojevich was intense and none of us knew about it until the very end. Is that really so complicated to understand?

    Sorry you consider my points tedious. Coming from someone who can barely go a day on this blog without using the terms Raunerbot and Dopey that’s a remarkable criticism.


  43. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Read, Rich or - wordslinger - and my comments above. Again, if you can’t understand, typing the same responses at this point is tedious.===

    And yet you’ve turned it into an absolute art form.


  44. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==I’m not sure who’s talking conspiracy.==

    Check out yesterday’s posts.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    - A Guy … -,

    Making it about me? Pathetic.

    “With kindest personal regards, I remain…”

    ===There’s too much likelihood that they’ll ask for another extension. We’ve seen this time and time again. Whatever it takes to get past the election.===

    Ambiguity is a gift. It will eat away at Quinn.

    ===I have personally seen white collar/government corruption cases being passed on by the folks down here in the Southern District. Heaven forbid state police get off their speed traps and investigate.===

    “Slip and Sue”, is that you? Conspiracies running amok.

    ===There’s not a commentator on this site who believes no laws were broken in the NRI program.

    “It doesn’t matter what I believe, it only matters what I can prove.” - Danny Kaffee.

    You want to hang Quinn first, then have the trial?

    ===What we don’t know is if it was limited to the grant recipients, involved lower-hanging fruit in the governor’s office or DCEO, or actually involved top people up to and including Pat Quinn.===

    Which is what the Feds may be doing with the Illinois Auditor General’s report, no one knows.


  46. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    OW, you’re rich. A guy points out your tediousness, you claim he’s being personal. You do it to others, you’re….what?

    You’ve pontificated about the beauty of ambiguity four times now here. Yet, I’m somehow being “tedious”.

    I understand. We have a difference of opinion. Sorry if stating, and perhaps responding with a restatement bothers you.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    - Nothing Will Be Learned -…

    I guess your name is appropriate to your comprehension?

    Yeah, I went there, lol

    Ok, so what is confusing you?


  48. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    Imagine how poor Brooke Anderson (Quinn’s re-elect campaign) is going to feel with this situation when she get’s about 10 questions a day on the letter.

    This is the political version of Chinese water torture.

    And the Quinn campaign has what, 4 more months to go of every single day being “Please, no news or leaks from the feds”.

    Brutal.


  49. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    I’m not confused. Like most here, I think I have a pretty clear understanding of your opinions and how you engage in debate.


  50. - Glass half full - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Wait the 90….. Who in their right mind takes on the Feds when they’re investigating someone else?????


  51. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    So you think there is a conspiracy of dragging this out, the GOP learned nothing from Geo. Ryan and Rod, and won’t harp on this every day, dragging this out is bad,…

    Ok, what else am I missing?


  52. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    harping on it within a political setting is different than in a governmental setting.

    and no I don’t think there is a “conspiracy”. No today has suggested it except you and word. You’re knocking down a straw man.

    I believe the most important victory here is political and I think the hearing advances that.

    You believe I’m wrong, which I understand, but so wrong that it requires juvenile attacks on me, which I don’t understand.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    ===In 90 days they’ll ask for another delay. And the precedence will be set to do that.

    A delay would be a huge gift to the Dems. Which probably means Republicans will do it.===

    So, we are already at another delay, already there. They will ask for it. Who? We already know someone is going to ask for it?

    And the delay is a huge gift? Why? Who is giving this gift and why would they, and further, debunking this gift as an actual gift to the GOP if used correctly, explain all the gift-giving in the realm of the already agreed to extension that will be coming after the 90 days?


  54. - walker - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    === I think the most important victory here is political and I think the hearing advances that. ===

    Exactly. That explains your position.

    I think the most important victory here would be fully investigating, punishing, and fixing corruption — to the extent possible.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===I think the most important victory here would be fully investigating, punishing, and fixing corruption — to the extent possible.===

    Yes. And the political takes care if itself, without interfering with the Feds, and the investigation can do what it is designed to do; look into the Auditor General report for possible criminal actions.

    Making this all look like political grandstanding takes away the impact and seriousness of what may sink Quinn.


  56. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Said wait until after the election for the following reason. When the House voted to impeach Blago, that General Assembly expired before the Senate could act so the next General Assembly’s House voted, again, to impeach Blago. Would the rules be any different with a bi-cameral bi-partisan Legislative Audit Committee? Will the LAC have the same members in the next General Assembly? I’m not certain. Does it matter?


  57. - Nothing Will Be Learned - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Walker, I agree with your goals. I think the court system has been ineffective in fixing the problem, hence my hope that the hearings will improve the chances that we get something done politically.

    Of course, I’m not particularly confident that we won’t see this repeated under Rauner.


  58. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    I marked “Yes” for the QotD and for the Bonus Question. The Feds mean Business–they will NOT be Happy Campers if the leaders of the Commission ignore or reject their request. And in fairness to the Electoral Process playing out before and on Election Day in November, and so as not to make the matter seem blatantly partisan/political in nature, it very well would make great sense, in addition, for the Commission to hold off on its’ Inquiry to a date afterwards as well…!


  59. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===But this issue is criminal and political. There are two ethical points here. Will someone pay a criminal price and will someone pay a political price. The LAC ought to make sure there is a political price.===

    So, is the political price worth paying if it effects the criminal investigation and in turn hamper the criminal result?


  60. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    Oswego Willy
    =So, is the political price worth paying if it effects the criminal investigation and in turn hamper the criminal result?=

    We’ve already seen that in the case of Oliver North. Briefly (the acutal decision needs pages to adequately explain), Oliver North’s felony conviction was overturned as the Congressional Iran Contra hearings, where he was forced to waive his 5th Amendment rights and testify under a Congressional grant of immunity “violated his right to an impartial jury” … .


  61. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    If I’m in the Rauner crew, I can’t believe my good fortune.

    For the next 90 days, at the very least, they can pound Quinn with “federal criminal investigation involving tens of millions of your dollars,” link him with disgraced governors past, and the Quinn camp can have no response except weak sauce like “there were problems, we shut it down, we did nothing illegal.”

    Then, in October, when the race is hot and people are paying attention, the LAC will make a passel of Quinn aides do the perp walk for the cameras and they all undoubtedly will take the fifth.

    That’s a media strategy from heaven.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    I don’t think the LAC can give immunity, even sweeping immunity, to cover federal cases. If they could, I would suspect that the GOP members would love to grant any of the 7 immunity to reach a political goal(?)

    Would be an interesting turn of events…


  63. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    Oswego Willy

    My point was that anyone in front of LAC can use the Oliver North decision to prevent a federal criminal prosecution / overturn a conviction. (Taking the 5th poisoned the jury pool, for example.)


  64. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    - Anyone Remember -,

    Got it…Point taken.


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* Guest Column: Where is the bailout for human services?
* Charles Krauthammer: After a mere 25 years, the triumph of the West is over
* Lawmakers sue comptroller for not paying them
* Electronic road signs are dark near Effingham due to budget
* State lawmakers vote to spare 2 nuclear plants
* Legislature OKs Exelon subsidy plan, goes to Rauner
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