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More reform and renewal

Thursday, Jun 29, 2006

This is very big, campers. Very big.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s top lawyer issued a sweeping order Wednesday directing state agencies to compile lists of everyone who worked in their personnel offices since 2003 and to inventory their computer records, signaling a broader federal investigation of hiring than the governor’s office has previously acknowledged.

The order, in a memo from the governor’s legal counsel obtained by the Tribune, covers 15 state agencies, far more than the three departments that the Blagojevich administration had previously confirmed as having received federal subpoenas.

Administration sources familiar with the federal investigation and the document-gathering order said Wednesday that additional state agencies had received federal subpoenas since October of last year, when the governor’s office acknowledged subpoenas had been received by the Departments of Children and Family Services, Corrections and Transportation. The sources would not say how many more agencies had received subpoenas. […]

The administration sources cautioned against interpreting the state order as a sign of an expanding federal probe, saying the investigation was broad from the start.


The initial investigation focused on just a few agencies and the governor’s personnel office. If they’d found no problems, it’s doubtful that they would have expanded their probe into so many other agencies.

Meanwhile, the governor was hit on another “Reform and Renewal” front today.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich awarded a lucrative special deal to a California company that employs his campaign manager’s sister as an executive.

The $100 million contract to oversee the state’s much-touted program providing poor seniors with prescription drugs went to Pacificare, where Nancy Monk works as a vice president. She’s the sister of Lon Monk, the governor’s longtime friend and chief of staff at the time the deal was announced last fall.

And the Tribune ran an editorial with the headline “Gov. Rod Ryan”

Blagojevich is making just like George Ryan, handing out free money to legislators’ friends, relatives and constituents for their pet projects.

And, finally, I had a little about this in Wednesday’s Capitol Fax, but Topinka claims that a Blagojevich staffer was videotaping her fundraiser guests and taking down their license plate numbers.

‘’If we wanted a list of her contributors, you can get it on the computer in 30 seconds. We wouldn’t go through a ridiculous process to send a staff person out to videotape license plates,” [Blagojevich spokesperson Sheila Nix] said.

You would if you were trying to intimidate people into not contributing or checking to see if any state employees were in attendance.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:28 am:

    All I can say is “my how the rat squeals when it’s caught in a trap.

  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:44 am:

    Governor Rod Ryan!!! I wonder how the Trib obtained a copy of that memo from Quinlan.

  3. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:49 am:

    There is one difference between George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich: at least Ryan was open to talking to everyone. Rod’s problems stem from one big issue: since his administration began, the people closest to him decided to control access.

    Two consequences of that: 1) it increases the appearance that only insiders get favorable treatment; and 2) it creates a bubble around the Governor that insulates him from reality.

  4. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:51 am:

    You would think by now the state would be watching for any obvious connections in the companies they do business with because they know someone is checking this stuff. Just say no to several and they can at least start a track record they can defend. Of course it is simply another coincidence that Monk’s sister is a VP at Pacificare.

    Like the line in the Tribune story about Blago blaming the federal investigation on his estranged father-in-law, Richard Mell. Must make for warm, fuzzy family get togethers.

  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:02 am:

    The best part is, since George got convicted first, he’ll get to pick top or bottom bunk, leaving Rod no choice. And does Rod know that they don’t allow hairspray, or dye, in the joint?

  6. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:22 am:

    I can see the TV ads now:

    George Ryan’s face morphs into Blagojevich’s as the voice over is heard -
    “Even the Chicago Tribune now calls this governor, “Governor Rod Ryan”. When will the scandals stop?”

    This ad paid for by Topinka for Governor.

  7. - Bubs - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:47 am:

    Another day, another set of unseemly actions by the Blagojevich Administration.

    Tick, tick, tick.

  8. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:54 am:

    Rod Ryan. Very funny. I like it.

    But I like Sell Illinois too. JBT needs to use it.

  9. - Brian - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:00 am:

    The $100 million contract to oversee the state’s much-touted program providing poor seniors with prescription drugs went to Pacificare, where Nancy Monk works as a vice president. She’s the sister of Lon Monk, the governor’s longtime friend and chief of staff at the time the deal was announced last fall.

    Lon Monk says
    “I wasn’t aware of it until after the contract was awarded,” said Monk, who met Blagojevich while both attended law school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. “I never had any conversations about this with my sister or her business.”
    “They’re big corporations that are in this line of business,” spokeswoman Sheila Nix said. “Lon had nothing to do with this.”

    I think we should start calling the new spokesman for Rod NIXON, because she sounds like him. Cheryl Jackson is still in the bunker after the Sister Muhommad fiasco, and they think we are stupid. This State/City/County is a joke.

  10. - Bubs - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:04 am:


    Does this investigation have a name yet?

  11. - anon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:11 am:

    The use of Blago henchmen to videotape and record the license plate numbers of people attending GOP events has been going on for three years now at least.

    I’ve driven past them myself on the way to Lincoln Day dinners and other fundraisers down in Southern Illinois.

  12. - Leroy - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    I look forward to reading the Tribune’s editorial entitled

    Chicago Tribune endorses Governor Rod Ryan for Governor in ‘06

    Because you know….he’s got his faults, but he’s the right person for the job right now.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    Investigation name: Operation Testicular Virility

  14. - Jake from Elwood - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:02 am:

    Operation Hidden Hairspray is now in effect.

  15. - Common Sense in Illinois - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:12 am:

    With respect to video taping license plates, everyone should rest easy as it would be a criminal offense for the Blagojevich campaign to even ask the state police or another law enforcement entity to actually run the plates and compile a list;by and this administration is certainly not that stupid to believe that it can do whatever it wants engaging in an illegal activity…particularly ones that constitutes Official Misconduct and violates individual first amendment rights…Right?

  16. Pingback » Blog Archive » Getting Closer - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:25 am:

    […] UPDATE:  Capitol Fax beat me to it. […]

  17. - Plainfield - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:30 am:

    Hope the Illinois Tollway and the Illinois Department of Transportation is on the investigation list !

  18. - statehouse quad cities - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:38 am:

    Give it a rest on back and forth videotaping of campaigns. I’ve been involved in campaigns for two decades and find that practice by both campaigns offensive, obnoxious, unnecessary & another example of heavily caffeinated campaign operations that aren’t focusing on what matters to voters.

  19. - Jechislo - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 11:53 am:

    I can just hear Rod’s last statement now. I was in the car yesterday heading to prison and I saw this little girl and she said “Oh look there’s Rod …oh, what’s his last name? Ryan, yeah that’s it, there’s Governor Rod Ryan”.

    Like I said in a previous post over a month ago, Rod will be wearing stripes someday - and I don’t mean pinstripes.

    This guy is a catastrophe deluxe. You have to be a “Democrat or nothing” type of voter to vote again for this loser……….

  20. - Tiny - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:00 pm:

    You screwed the story up, Jechislo…it supposed to be a little *BLACK* girl.

  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:32 pm:

    Again ! Where is our State’s Attorney General Lisa Madigan in all this ? Does she forget that she respresents all of the people of Illinois.
    Lisa it’s time for you to distance yourself from this loser - Rod Blagojevich and his administration.

  22. - Mister Hand - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:49 pm:

    Lon says he doesn’t know where his sister works, and it never came up. She would NEVER write or call him to say, “oh, yeah, BTW, our company just scored a 100 million dollar contract with that guy you work for, what a co-inky-dink. Well, tell mom I said hi, seeya!”

    ” Rii-iiiiight.

    “What are you kids, on dope???”

  23. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 12:52 pm:


    One of the 2 agencies you mention was on the original list, before this expanded probe got legs.

  24. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:07 pm:

    Does Governor Rod Ryan (I like it) leave a slime trail behind him wherever he walks. Everyday it seems as if bigger and bigger “issues” pop up concerning Blagozo and gang. This guy is dumb, slimy and greazy. What a piece of work.

  25. - bored now - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:09 pm:

    you gotta laugh at people getting upset about being shadowed. not only is this tactic NOTHING NEW, but you even have to go out and find a BIG video camera these days to serve one of its main purposes (intimidation). minaturization isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

    that judy reacted in such a whiny fashion (she has run for office before, right? is she *that* unaware of gop campaign tactics? here i thought she was supposed to be “one tough broad”) pretty much shows she just isn’t prepared for the level of scrutiny in AAA ball. game over. her only hope now is to pray for an indictment…

  26. - chinman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:17 pm:

    Earth to Lisa Madigan.
    Do you remember blagos ads against Jim Ryan? All the Rs will have to do is change the names and you will be screwed just like Jim. Now is the time Lisa. Cut bait right now from all of it. Have obama stand with you and let the chips fall. Lon Monk is one of the wussie boys and he won’t take a bullet. Put his pin head in a vice. Don’t forget the old piece of crap in patronage. He doesn’t have many years left but will squeal like a little girl. in the end almost all do.

  27. - Too Funny - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:35 pm:

    What will G-Rod do in prison ?
    a. Weightlifting
    b. Work in Barbershop
    c. Work in Laundry Room
    d. Write his memoirs
    e. Escape

  28. - chinman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:47 pm:

    He sure is pretty. They will treat him extra special.

  29. - WP - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:12 pm:

    Lon not knowing that his sister’s company got a huge IL contract is like Ozzie being an English teacher.

  30. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:25 pm:

    If the people of this state get lucky when Rod Ryan goes down he will take a bunch with him like Lisa and her daddy.Hell lets throw Emil and ‘I want to be gov.Meeks’ in there to.

  31. - One Man Can Make A Difference Foundation - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:28 pm:

    Governor Rod Ryan, now that’s not funny but in essence it makes a clear and underlined point.

    A see the similiarities been seeing them for quite some time now.

    Rod has allowed his administration to do the same as George Ryan’s administration.

    What does U.S Senator Barack Obama have to say about these latest developments as he preach religion and ethics?

  32. - mateo - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:45 pm:

    GOD, Please let the State Board of Education be on this list. Please! It is so corrupt with Roddy’s people you need a scorecard. Plus they have Elliott Reginstein on their payroll, yet he is housed in the Capitol Building and does what?? Now some Nazi-schmo hold-over was allowed to start prior to the end of payroll (which is just not done). Has anyone seen Randy Dunn lately? No. Because he is in Kentucky running Murray State University. Please let Christmas coming early and deliver Rod’s large melon head on a plate served by the FBI.

  33. - One Man Can Make A Difference - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 2:59 pm:

    - chinman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 1:17 pm:

    Earth to Lisa Madigan.

    China Man good try, but you’ll have to say


  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 3:05 pm:

    I sure hope the FBI and any other investigators read Capitol Fax Blog.

  35. - Plainfield - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 3:13 pm:

    To: mateo

    Wonder which state agency’s going to take the top award for hiring the most Blago nazis ?

  36. - scoot - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:11 pm:

    Funny.. how things can change so fast in 4 years.

  37. - Common Sense in Illinois - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:14 pm:

    To Bored Now:

    Shadowing a candidate is old hat…video taping the general public and their cars is not. Why on earth would Blago’s staff do it…they can’t use the information for or against anyone, it’s illegal to do so.

  38. - chinman - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 4:50 pm:

    Let’s see if Lon taught the kids anything. Up to now most of the people from the blago camp have been demonized by the guvs office as soon as their transgressions were made public. Now we have the man who threw all those people under the bus in a bit of a spot. If I were an enterprising youngster in the blago world I would stick a knife in Lon’s back post haste. Maybe move on up because nobody from the outside wants in. Get myself some more power and make some lucky reporter a friend for life. (start cuban accent now)”how you say- paranoid”

  39. - Anon. - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 5:01 pm:

    Plainfield - IDOT has to be on the top of the list for hiring the Goobernur’s hacks. You would be amazed at how IDOT circumvented Rutan.

  40. - angry and outraged - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 6:27 pm:

    Sorry, Anon, the Tollway has be at the top of the list. They have created so many jobs that we are running out of room and I truly believe that the integrity of the Downers Grove Facility is being compromised. We stopped calling it Central Authority and started calling it “City Hall” a long time ago! Does Rutan even exist any longer and if it does Blago’s goon squad have changed the rules. Also I guess you can never have enough chiefs-I know that we can’t (at $115.00 plus a year)! We have one chief who must be going through an identity crisis; Chief of Violations; Chief of Open Road Toll; Deputy Chief of Staff?-who are you this week? Let us not forget the Inspector General’s Office we never had and we still aren’t sure of what they do. Can this please be the straw that breaks Blago’s pompous rear end? The downside for the Authority is while some of the garbage that was dumped on us will go, since we went AFSCME much of the garbage, unless they leave on their own accord, we will be stuck with. And Cassandra even though you are being a good girl today, the garbage we will be stuck with will be your overpaid lazy state workers!

  41. - Cat - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 6:28 pm:

    To: Common Sense in Illinois @ 4:14 pm:

    Why on earth would Blago’s staff do it…they can’t use the information for or against anyone, it’s illegal to do so.

    I will tell you why - they are checking on state employees! At DOT, there is a game of musical chairs being played - with employees who are or might be JBT supporters being moved to completely different jobs - but not being moved on the payrolls. No clear job descriptions, either….. Intimidation!

  42. - SilverBackDemocrat - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 6:44 pm:

    So, when the personel lists are provided and show “clearly” that all of the people hired or promoted had an “A” grade for the job they received, there will be “no-problem” because it is “legal.” I can only speak about the Dept. of Corrections, but I can tell you that many, many Republicans have been retained and/or promoted to Warden under the Blagojevich Administration. If a person has an “A” grade for a position and gets lucky enough to get hired by the state, so what. If the person is a Democrat, so what….. If the person is a Republican, so what….. There will not be any type of conviction whatsoever for hiring because: 1. all hires are legal (they have “A” grades) that is what is required to get the job. 2. If there was a person who got a job that is making or in charge of implimenting policy, that person will be in management and work at the will of the Governor. This all “boils” down to the fact that Republicans are steaming mad because they are not in power and “it is just not right” because they feel they deserve to be in power as a “birth right.” It is absolutely pathetic for the “pot to call the kettle black.” This is nothing more than grand standing. I am pleased that the Governor and his attorney are requesting the information from all of the various agencies. It will show that Republicans and Democrats have been hired and promoted. Imagine that. In addition, I hope that these investigations look at “all the hiring and promoting” that occured prior to the Blagojevich Administration, ie. under Edgar and Ryan, so the hiring and promotions can be put into perspective. I guarantee you that the Blagojevich Administration is cleaner and more legitimate than any other prior administration.

  43. - Budget Watcher - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 7:18 pm:

    That’s a bold guarantee Silver! Especially since, by your own admission, you can only speak to Dept of Corrections. There’s been an impressive number of media stories and on-going investigations across a broad cross-section of state government that would indicate otherwise. Your faith is impressive.

  44. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 7:20 pm:

    “With respect to video taping license plates, everyone should rest easy as it would be a criminal offense for the Blagojevich campaign to even ask the state police or another law enforcement entity to actually run the plates and compile a list;by and this administration is certainly not that stupid to believe that it can do whatever it wants engaging in an illegal activity…particularly ones that constitutes Official Misconduct and violates individual first amendment rights…Right?”

    It is very simple to run license plate numbers. Any SOS employee can get onto their computer and type in a license#… and then guess what?… they have all of their information. Some low level jerk-libdem could be doing whatever they please. Some insane murderer could be looking up adresses of targets…. Oh, but it is illegal, so I am certain no SOS employee would ever run a plate….

  45. - angry and outraged - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 7:41 pm:

    Sorry, SilverBackDemocrat, this is not about Republicans steaming, this about what is actually going on! Since Blago took office it is not about what you know, but who you know! This Administration is so arrogant they don’t even attempt to hide what they are doing. I applied for a job that was very specific to the Toll Authority, you had to work at the Authority to even answer their questions in the interview correctly. I have been with Authority for some time so I didn’t have a problem with the questions and I would’ve been good with their choice for that position if it had been someone who would’ve answered those questions correctly, but when someone from the outside,particularly Alderman Levar’s nephew, who was not familiar with the Authority, was able to pass the interview and get the job, I guess I don’t have say anymore! Oh by the way he was not happy with his salary,so they created another position at a higher rate of pay and of course he interviewed and got the job-what a shock! But there is nothing going on! Truth be told the Republicans didn’t do much different, they just didn’t do it to this degree! They didn’t reach into the bowels of the Authority! We were an easy target for their hacks to get a job, even tho they complain on a daily basis as to their drive into the job, as if we were ever going to be relocated to a more convenient location, oh I am sorry they listened to fearless leader who told them we were going to be sold and moved downtown! So much for what Blago has to say can we rid ourselves of him? Just for the record I voted for him can I have my vote back?

  46. - Papa Legba - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:23 pm:

    - SilverBackDemocrat - You are suffering a severe case of Blind Faith, with a large dose of naivety tossed in.

    But I guess you are correct that there is no monkey business in this administration. It must of just been a communication breakdown when the qualified vetern pilot was passed over for a pol’s relative.

    $100,000 contract to Monk’s sister’s company. Gee, just another bit of oversight. A minor detail that was just missed.

    I believe in these coincidences as much as I believe that Rebecca Rausch said she could not confirm the existence of the memo from the attorney. Good thing the Tribune printed a copy of it in the story. Now she can catch up on the ongoing events in her bosses office.

    And weren’t these boo-boos exposed in just the last week?

  47. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 8:48 pm:

    Silverback, you have no clue.

  48. - MagicDragon - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:07 pm:

    Silver Back Democrat…trust me, any Republicans that have been promoted in IDOC has been done purely by accident. The hiring at IDOC is bogus and you have to be completely incompetent to get a Warden’s or Deputy Director’s job. It is ridiculous and sickening to think of some of the individuals that are directly responsible for protecting the state’s citizens from dangerous felons.

  49. - dumb ol' country boy - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 9:26 pm:

    Nice try silver back, I can only speak about corrections, and what I have SEEN first hand. Some of this administration’s hires are legal others are not. PSA’s and SPSA’s falsifying applications, and still getting hired, choosing canididates based on Democratic Reps or Senators reference letters is WRONG. Have interviews re-scored after they were already completed to change the scores…is WRONG. Nothing under the previous administration was this “in your face” and illegal. Time will tell all, and I do believe the Feds are on the right track. Just click on the DOC website and see who is got what position, and tell me the administration head count is not way up, it is. Hiring individuals straight off the street to be A/W Wardens and or Wardens puts alot of staff in danger, but this administration seems not to care, they are there to drawing a pay check. Law suit money will cost IDOC and the state, from both staff and inmates, but the more important question… Where is AFSCME? Under the previous admin. they were all over them for good reasons,but where are they now????????? No silver,new faces but same ol’ bull sh&$t game. More money being wasted…

  50. - cynically anonymous - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:27 pm:

    I find it interesting that so many companies in California are contributing big bucks to our beloved governor and getting lucrative contracts because they are the “most qualified” or “only bidder”. (Has anyone checked to see if he has a second home there? Maybe that’s the state he really wants to be governor of.) And yet there seem to be no available records to show the veracity of those claims. Please, please, please Mr. Fitzgerald - put this man and his cronies where they belong!

  51. - Goober - Thursday, Jun 29, 06 @ 10:52 pm:

    Don’t we have some kind of regulation to favor in-state companies on bids? You’re telling me there is not one qualified company here that could have run this? Or is it just that most of the administration’s decision makers are unfamiliar with Illinois, being out-of-state carpetbagers?

    Fitzgerald should change his name to Moses; so many of us, dem and repub alike, are praying for a deliverer!

  52. - Criminal Enterprise Called Illinois - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 2:37 am:

    I hope EPA is on there. What a joke they have made of that agency. I work close enough to people like personnel specialist Laura Casper (in the news these days because of her history of working Joe Cini’s patronage magic - the Jerry Costello state pilot-in-training fiasco) to see what they are up to. We have had lots of new hires in the last three years, most if not all were politically-connected. This administration is gonna burn.

  53. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 30, 06 @ 9:51 am:

    Let’s try not to attack each other so much here. Thanks.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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