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Too late, guv

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

* Governor Blagojevich had this to say yesterday about the Tony Rezko trial

“I am not involved in this court case. I don’t know much about it. I have a job to do as governor. It’s a full-time job. I don’t think it’s fair to comment on a pending court case.”

That’s the response the governor should have given all along to this thing. Instead, he has injected himself into the debate from the very beginning. Here’s a comment from 2005 about Joe Cari’s plea agreement

“This is hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay from someone who just pled guilty to extortion,” the governor said, “What I find aggravating, because of this triple hearsay from someone who just pled guilty to extortion, I’m in a position to have to answer questions like this. I’m happy to do this, but it’s frustrating.”

So, now he he’s caught in a box. The “I can’t comment” line won’t work because he has commented several times before. Dumb.

* Meanwhile, it looks like Patrick Fitzgerald sandbagged Rezko’s team

The defense filing also criticized the government for apparently flip-flopping on whether to air at trial a “clout list” of nearly 40 individuals purportedly recommended for state jobs by Rezko. Prosecutors initially described the list as a trial exhibit but on Tuesday said they did not plan to introduce it after all.

Thinking the clout list would be fodder at trial, Rezko’s lawyers made the document public in a filing last week, prompting numerous headlines, the defense noted Wednesday.

Rezko’s lawyers have a point, but it’s also true that they got outmaneuvered here. Oops.

* The prosecution is trying to claim that Rezko broke the law because he needed money

Indicted campaign fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko was deeply in debt, and jurors should understand that as a motive for his alleged political corruption, prosecutors told a federal judge Wednesday.

“Without the evidence, the defendant will almost certainly argue that he was financially healthy and therefore had no motive to commit the charged criminal activity,” federal prosecutors told Judge Amy J. St. Eve in a filing.

* And the Sun-Times looks at Tony Rezko’s billionaire buddy

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Greg - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    Bobby Jindal for guv.

  2. - Honest Abe - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:02 am:

    “I am not Public Official ‘A’,” said the man.

    “No, you are Prisoner #912873456,” said the warden.

  3. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:03 am:

    Capt. Fax:
    The real news here is…
    “Gov. declares job to be ‘full time’ work”
    DEKALB — In a startling revelation, Gov. Rod R. Blaggoaf announced his job is a full time position. He refused to expalin how or why he arrived at the discovery some five years after taking the position.
    The governor, who is nationally known as a light worker, made the disclosure during a campaign appearence at NIU.
    While he would not take questions on his annoucement, aides said he was thinking of asking the General Assembly to declare the poisition “part time” to conform to his lifestyle, allow his continued work at the real estate office and maintain his position as chief fundraiser for the Winston-Strawn Endowement Fund.
    The governor might be expected to elaborate on the “full time” discovery during a campaign appearence in Missouri. He is expected to announce that the volume of people trying to leave IL during his reign now requires the erection of a new bridge to ease back-ups.

  4. - Levois - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:17 am:

    Meh, who was the first to call the Governor goofy?

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:25 am:

    Do they need to show motivation? Most people who are broke or in debt don’t commit crimes. Conversely, plenty of rich people who you wouldn’t think needed it kept on stealing til they went to jail.

  6. - Ghost - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 10:42 am:

    Wordlsinger motivation is a question they want to answer, because otherwise Rezko would defend by pointing out the lack of any idtneified motive for him to expose himself by violating the law.

  7. - dc - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    It’s disingenous at best to say “I don’t know much about this case” when his top campaign staffer is being called to testify. Rich is absolutely correct that he should have distanced himself immediately, but his ego and arrogance wouldn’t let him do that. Thus, he has effectively put his press team in a precarious situation to simultaneously recognize and refute the role of the Office of the Governor (note the distinction). They refute that the Governor himself ever had conversations, but clearly have to recognize that the Office of the Governor has been impugned in these court proceedings. It’s almost Clintonesque to say in one hand that he’s too busy governing to follow what’s happening to his top confidants, yet the legal bills of the campaign fund would paint an entirely different picture. If he’s not involved, then there should be minimal legal expenses to defend something that allegedly didn’t happen. Unfortunately, his campaign disclosures and the damning evidence suggested by the prosecution would lead a reasonable person to believe quite the opposite.

  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:35 pm:

    Ghost, my point is that there have been plenty of crooks who could argue they had no motivation because they didn’t need the money. Dan Rostenkowski probably could have kept the heat on without turning in those stamps. Conrad Black probably wouldn’t have had to take a second job at the Kwickee Mart unless he looted Hollinger. It seems to me one’s own greed is motivation enough.

  9. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    “I am a Full TIme Worker” said Blaggoaf as he fled back to the bunker…Could a new tee shirt be near

  10. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:57 pm:

    Did anyone notice the Kjellander pulled the same stunt in yesterday’s article in the State Journal-Register?

    The loan was made for valid reasons . . . everything above-board . . . blah-blah-blah . . .


    “Asked if he had any communication with Rezko about the loan to Aramanda, Kjellander said, ‘With the trial coming up, I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to get into any details.’”

    That always sets off alarms.

  11. - Budget Watcher - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 12:58 pm:

    With a legal tab of $2 million plus, you’d think his attorneys would keep him better informed.

  12. - Cornflake Girl - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 1:12 pm:

    Considering Rod Blagojevich’s Beechcraft King Air 350 cruising range with an average payload and topped off with fuel is 1,606 miles. I would consider Governor Blagojevich to eventually become a flight risk. Ole Rod could easily get out of the country when the heat goes down.

  13. - A Citizen - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 3:03 pm:

    - Cornflake Girl -
    Maybe the Fed Judge will limit the King Hair to 100 gallons or so. That should get him a few hundred miles.

  14. - ex state employee - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 3:40 pm:

    DTYT - Don’t you mean fool-time job? LOL

  15. - The Mad Hatter - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 4:44 pm:

    Unindicted Official A-Rod reminds me of Richard M. Nixon, who went on national television to announce “I am not a crook” just before he resigned in disgrace for being exactly that.

    Also, Dumber than you think has it right about A-Rod’s work schedule. I don’t know how he figures he’s working full-time when he spends his days at home with his kids watching Hannah Montana reruns.

  16. - A Citizen - Thursday, Feb 28, 08 @ 6:19 pm:

    The “Lemon Law” covers problematic cars that cause continuous problems. Wonder if the scope of the law encompasses elected officials?

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