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Impeachment resolution filed; House and Senate to convene***UPDATED X2***Impeachment inquiry committee resolution passed

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* The House resolution creating the special impeachment committee can be found at this link. The committee will be allowed to administer oaths and compel testimony and documents “by subpoena signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.” That’s standard.

The committee will also be able to punish those who don’t cooperate…

to punish any person for the neglect, refusal to appear, or failure to produce papers or documents or provide evidence commanded by subpoena or who, upon appearance, either with or without subpoena, refuses to be sworn or testify or produce papers, documents, or evidence demanded of him or her

* The House convenes at 3 o’clock. You can listen or watch by clicking here. There will likely be some speeches and such. Post breaking developments in comments, please.

The Senate convenes at 5. Listen or watch here.

*** UPDATE 1 *** [Posted by Kevin Fanning] 4:45 p.m. - Rich is reporting that the Speaker will make an announcement about the special election bill on the floor soon. Speaker Madigan has told reporters that the cost of the election is his caucus’ biggest concern.

* The special election bill will not be moved to the floor today.

* 5:00 p.m. - Leader Currie has moved for the adoption of the resolution to create an impeachment inquiry committee.

* 5:05 p.m - Rep. Bill Black has made a motion to debate the alternative Republican bill which would instead create a committee of 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats.

* 5:10 p.m. - Rep. Black withdraws his request.

* 5:18 p.m. - Leader Cross has inquired about a special election. Speaker Madigan said that “we want to take some additional time to attempt to reach a consensus on the issue. These are Democrats I’m working with… in terms of the timeline just keep me in your prayers.”

* Cross - “We can start the healing and rehabilitation of this state by having a special election. With all respect to the other side of the aisle, it leaves us hanging, and the people of Illinois hanging, on whether or not the current Governor is going to appoint our next Senator. … We’ve taken one good step tonight, but the other step is a special election.”

* 5:25 p.m. - Speaker Madigan nodded yes to the question on whether or not the House will leave town after the vote.

* 5:42 p.m - Rep. David Miller- “Now is the time more than ever for the people of Illinois to come together. Tomorrow there will still be a kid who needs to go to college, or someone who needs a state service.”

* 5:50 p.m. - House Dems on the impeachment inquiry committee: Reps. Currie, Hannig, Mautino, Hamos, Fritchey, Lang, Franks, Turner, Flowers, Acevedo, Monique Davis, Howard

* 5:57 p.m - No House GOP list yet

*** UPDATE 2 *** [Posted by Kevin Fanning] 6:09 p.m. The resolution to create an impeachment inquiry committee has passed 113 - 0.

- Posted by Rich Miller   130 Comments      

Obama/Blagojevich update

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* The latest

Federal investigators have said that nobody in the Obama transition team is the target of their probe.

Obama’s transition team announced Monday that his review of transition aides who had contacts with Blagojevich over the seat has been completed – but won’t be released until next week, at the request of federal prosecutors.

* The non-stop coverage has taken a toll. This is from a national Rasmussen poll…

How likely is it that President-elect Obama or one of his top campaign aides was involved in the Blagojevich scandal?

23% Very likely
22% Somewhat likely
35% Not very likely
11% Not at all likely
10% Not sure

* That compares to these Illinois results…

How likely is it that President-elect Obama was involved in the Blagojevich corruption case?

13% Very likely
13% Somewhat likely
37% Not very likely
32% Not at all likely
6% Not sure

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Genson promises a fight, says charges “significantly exaggerated” and “not what people think it is”***UPDATED X1*** Genson officially signs on

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* Ed Genson hasn’t formally signed on yet as the governor’s defense attorney, but he expects to do so very soon, and he’s gearing up for battle

Chicago defense attorney Ed Genson, who met with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich twice this weekend and who expects to be retained today, said that the case against the governor is “significantly exaggerated” and if he is retained, they will fight the charges.

“It’s like a snowball running down the hill and it’s gotten really really large. It’s an avalanche now,” Genson told reporters as he arrived at work Monday morning. “And… I think the case, the case that I’ve seen so far is significantly exaggerated. It’s just, it’s not what people think it is.” […]

Warned the attorney today, “If I’m trying the case, it’s going to be a fight.”

“Impeachment and criminal proceedings?” asked a reporter.

“Impeachment and criminal proceedings,” Genson replied. […]

One reporter said he had heard from a source that the wire-tapped recordings of Blagojevich’s conversations reveal “a guy there talking shop, but they don’t see any overt acts.”

Responded Genson with a smile, “I have a lot of respect for whoever said that to you, but I don’t want to comment.”

* Meanwhile, the governor is still trying to portray a sense of normalcy. He just signed another bill that renews and broadens the state’s film tax credit…

“The Film Tax Credit put Illinois back on the film industry’s map and helped Illinois achieve record revenues of $155 million for 2007. By strengthening this tax credit, we’re holding on to our competitive position and will be able to continue create thousands of job opportunities for Illinois workers during these tough economic times,” said Governor Blagojevich.

*** UPDATE *** [Posted by Kevin Fanning] Defense Attorney Edward Genson confirmed today that he will represent Gov. Blagojevich in his criminal case:

Asked whether he had been hired to represent the governor, Genson said, “I have.” He declined to comment further.


Genson has been a fixture in Chicago courtrooms for decades. His most recent high-profile cases were the R. Kelly child pornography trial that ended last summer and the trial in federal court of disgraced media baron Conrad Black.

- Posted by Rich Miller   79 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Impeachment “Extra” with full MJM press release

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

This just in…Madigan creates impeachment committee

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

*** 1:53 PM *** Quinn thinks impeachment can be wrapped up in a month

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn says that if Gov. Rod Blagojevich does not step down he thinks the impeachment process could be completed by Jan. 14 - the day the new General Assembly takes office

* 11:48 AM - House Speaker Michael Madigan has scheduled a press conference for noon today.

* 12:04 PM - Madigan announced the creation of a select committee on inquiry. House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie will chair. Justice Alan Grieman will serve as special counsel to the Speaker.

* Madigan says he wants the committee to meet every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Even and New Years Day.

The committee will establish the standards for impeachment, Madigan said.

MJM: The Governor will be afforded full rights under the state and federal constitutions.

MJM: We will attach the affidavit (to the record that’s sent to the Senate). We plan to ask the US Attorney to cooperate.

“We plan to proceed without delay.”

MJM: Abuse of power is one avenue they will pursue.

MJM: We’ve been reviewing grounds for impeachment for about a year. We never came to a judgment that impeachment was appropriate until the events of six days ago.

Madigan said that since he’s watched the governor operate for the past six years, he was not surprised at anything in the criminal complaint.

MJM said that the House Dem caucus would discuss a special election to fill the vacant Senate seat during a meeting this afternoon.

The impeachment committee will hold hearings in Statehouse Room 114 and the hearings will be open to the public.

MJM: We can’t give you a specific answer on the time line.

Madigan said they will ask for an “offer of proof” from people who testify to the impeachment committee.

An impeachment resolution will be voted on today. The resolution will create the committee of inquiry.

The committee will have 21 members. 12 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

Asked several times about his co-chairing of Blagojevich’s 2006 campaign, Madigan finally said: I can’t say I knew he was under intense scrutiny at the time.

We’re not going to trample anyone’s constitutional rights in the process.

Impeachment inquiry will be paid for out of the existing House budget.

Quite possible that impeachment could overshadow everything during the upcoming session, which is why he wants things started right away.

- Posted by Rich Miller   62 Comments      


Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* My Sun-Times column

If Gov. Rod Blagojevich winds up in prison, he’ll be the fourth out of the last eight governors to wear the orange jumpsuit.

As Jon Stewart noted on “The Daily Show” last week, just 48 percent of the people who commit murder end up in jail for their crime.

“You are more likely to end up in jail if you become the governor of Illinois than if you become a murderer,” said an astonished Stewart.

Why is Illinois so corrupt?

Lots of national reporters asked me that question last week during the intense media frenzy following Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest. I don’t have a lot of patience for national reporters, and since I was extremely busy I eventually just started talking in shorthand.


It’s an explanation derived from the 2006 movie “Blood Diamond,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

DiCaprio’s character was attempting to explain why a particularly awful thing happened in an African nation.

“T.I.A.” he said. “This is Africa.”

Well, “This is Illinois.”

Our politicians have always been corrupt.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said last week that Gov. Blagojevich’s behavior would make the sainted Abraham Lincoln “roll over in his grave.”

But Honest Abe saw a whole bunch of corruption when he was a member of the Illinois House. He even dipped his toes into the muddy waters ever so slightly.

Back then, when business owners wanted to incorporate, they had to first pass a law. The easiest and fastest way to pass their legislation was to offer corporate board memberships to state legislators. A lot of politicians made a ton of money off those deals.

Illinois was also opening up the wilderness to private development. Since state lawmakers were at the center of that push they had the inside track to buy up the land. Rep. Lincoln tried his hand at this state-enabled scam once, but he lost money.

See? Even our greatest state heroes aren’t totally clean.

But as I’ve tried to explain lately, Rod Blagojevich is different.

He’s not former Gov. Len Small, an Al Capone henchman who pardoned a Capone bootlegger after he killed a state policeman. He’s not former Gov. George Ryan, whose staff shook down trucking companies for campaign contributions. He’s not former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, who got busted stealing postage stamps.

The difference between Blagojevich and all of those politicians is that those guys actually got a lot of things done. They were all successful at the the jobs they were elected to do.

And that, basically, is what has made Illinois so different from most other states.

Illinois has almost always valued “getting things done” over partisanship, or ideology, or regionalism or whatever. Corruption was part of that “whatever.”

So, we’ve tolerated corruption because our corrupt political leaders have mostly been competent, able people. You go with what works, I suppose.

Blagojevich has been so incompetent, divisive and goofy, particularly since his reelection two years ago, that he would’ve been universally reviled even if he hadn’t been an alleged crook.

The same pretty much goes for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. His sheer incompetence enrages people far more than putting half his genealogical chain on the public payroll.

Maybe Blagojevich’s arrest will finally make the scales fall from our eyes, in much the same way as people all over the nation have reacted to “too big to fail” corporations since the international financial meltdown.

But voters may not like what they see. The real problem hasn’t been with our politicians. The problem has been us.

* Related…

* With latest scandal, is Illinois the most corrupt state in the nation

* Blagojevich Calls to Mind Clarence Darrow and Chicago Corruption

* How Blagojevich fits into Illinois history

* What would Lincoln say?

* We’re No. 18

* Pining for the days of Al Capone

* Not just Chicago-style

* Not exactly a contest for bragging rights

* Chicago’s karma

* Studs was right: ‘The big boys are not that bright’

- Posted by Rich Miller   64 Comments      

Guv tries to appear normal

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* Reporters are following him everywhere

Embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich is headed to work again as he continues to ignore calls for his resignation.

Blagojevich told reporters Monday that he was going to the office to sign a bill to give tax credits to film makers if they come to Illinois. […]

The governor also was asked if he saw “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, where there was a parody about him. Blagojevich said he hadn’t seen the show.

You can use this as a breaking news open thread, as well as comments on this story.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* The setup

In 1996, John Fritchey, a Democrat who shared a campaign office with Mr. Blagojevich, was told that his stepfather had suffered a serious stroke. He walked over to Mr. Blagojevich, who was making fund-raising calls, and shared the news.

“He proceeded to tell me that he was sorry, and then, in the next breath, he asked me if I could talk to my family about contributing money to his campaign,” recalled Mr. Fritchey, now a state representative and a critic of the governor. “To do that, and in such a nonchalant manner, didn’t strike me as something a normal person would do.”

* The Question: Have you ever had a direct conversation(s) with Gov. Blagojevich? Describe the conversation and your impressions of him in person. This QOTD is only for people who have talked to the guv. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      

Did the Trib deprive Fitz of biggest prize?

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* Hmmm

Conventional wisdom holds that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald ordered the FBI to arrest Rod Blagojevich before sunrise Tuesday in order to stop a crime from being committed. That would have been the sale of the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

But the opposite is true: Members of Fitzgerald’s team are livid the scheme didn’t advance, at least for a little longer, according to some people close to Fitzgerald’s office. Why? Because had the plot unfolded, they might have had an opportunity most feds can only dream of: A chance to catch the sale of a Senate seat on tape, including the sellers and the buyers.

The precise timing of Tuesday’s dramatic, pre-dawn arrest was not dictated by Fitzgerald, nor was it dictated by the pace of Blagojevich’s alleged “crime spree.” It was dictated by the Chicago Tribune, according to people close to the investigation and a careful reading of the FBI’s affidavit in the case.

At Fitzgerald’s request, the paper had been holding back a story since October detailing how a confidante of Blagojevich was cooperating with his office. […]

There appear to have been fears in Fitzgerald’s office that those caught on tape might now seek to “undo” other “things.” Hours were logged over the weekend. Paperwork was pounded out. And before sunrise Tuesday, Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested simultaneously. At that same moment, FBI agents also knocked on the doors of witnesses. These were just a few of the people agents wanted to interview before cellphones started ringing across the city and others who had been caught on tape had a chance to get their stories straight.

Had it not been for the Tribune’s Dec. 5 story, the meeting Blagojevich’s brother was arranging might have proceeded. Mr. Blagojevich is quoted as citing the story, in the affidavit, then calling off the meeting. At a minimum, the FBI’s recorders would have been rolling when he reported back. The feds also probably would have tried to bug the session live, or at least to tail the participants and secretly film or photograph them. That’s what feds do. Jurors love video.

Go read the whole thing.


* Semi-related…

* Catch-22 in Trib-Blago Reporting?

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Guv may sign special election bill

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* I told subscribers that this was possible late last week. The governor is leaning in favor of a special election

Should he stay in office, Gov. Blagojevich is warming to the idea of holding a special election for President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

The governor — facing criminal charges that he put the seat and other state-government decisions up for sale — was optimistic at the start of the weekend that he would sign a bill that would strip him of his power to name Obama’s successor, a Blagojevich source said Sunday.

* Meanwhile, Dick Durbin has flip-flopped

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, for instance, was an early supporter but is now calling for Blagojevich to resign so that the lieutenant governor could appoint a senator.

* Cullerton leans against

“The most immediate solution to the short-term problem is if the governor could step aside, which the constitution allows, and Pat Quinn would become the acting governor and he (Quinn) could appoint the U.S. senator and that would be acceptable to the U.S. Senate,” said Cullerton (D-Chicago), who assumes the leadership of the chamber next month. […]

In his radio interview, Cullerton didn’t directly address what plan he favors, noting only that “with a special election, it’s very complicated because it’s very costly.”

“We need a senator immediately. We need a senator to be there to be voting in the first week of January to support…our incoming president, one of our former colleagues,” Cullerton said.

* House GOP Leader Tom Cross appears to be leaning towards the “hybrid” plan discussed yesterday by LG Pat Quinn. A temporary appointment followed by a special election…

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), who expects to meet with Madigan possibly today, endorsed the package that was making the rounds.

“We feel the best way to restore any confidence the citizens of Illinois have in their government overall and in particular who the United States senator will be is to have a special election. The very preliminary language we’ve seen seems to accomplish that task,” Cross spokesman David Dring said.

* Jim Edgar is against the special election…

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says the last thing the state needs right now is another partisan political battle.

EDGAR: I would much rather see that some, I don’t…blue ribbon committee or something come together and try to come up with a name of someone maybe who just would serve two years even and try to take this out of the political realm quickly.

* But the IL GOP is full steam ahead

Illinois Republican Party leaders are launching a television campaign to push their position that a special election should be called to fill the vacancy caused by President-elect Barack Obama’s depature, a move to prevent a Senate appointment by scandal-scarred Gov. Rod Blagojevich or Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn if he takes over the top job.

With Blagojevich hanging onto office despite last week’s arrest in a corruption case, Republicans are seek to seiz the political advantage of a reeling state government headed by Democrats at every level.

“Blagojevich Democrats like Pat Quinn did nothing to stand up to Governor Blagojevich and his ethical lapses,” said Joe Birkett, the DuPage County state’s attorney.

Birkett questioned why “Pat Quinn stood silent” when they ran together in 2006, when it was known that Blagojevich was the “eye of the storm”

* Related…

* Black leaders see Senate seat being hijacked

* GOP sees hope for revival amid scandal

* Quinn a good man, but voters should pick senator

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Rod won’t go; Possible staff mutiny; Impeachment on the agenda

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* The Sun-times had an excellent piece this morning

Late Sunday night, [Gov. Blagojevich] said he would not resign, according to another person close to Blagojevich.

“He’s decided not to,” the source said. “He has no intention of resigning at this time.” The source cautioned, however, that the governor could change his mind as he continues to contemplate his situation.

* But there may be a mutiny afoot if he doesn’t leave soon…

A source says some of top deputies in the governor’s office have already written letters of resignation, but have not yet turned them in, fearing their departure would further paralyze a state in crisis.

I’m hearing pretty much the same thing.

ABC7 News has learned some of the governor’s dozen or so top staff members are considering resigning. Others in the group fear a mass exodus at the top would leave the state further adrift.

One top aide says staff members are encouraging Blagojevich to step-aside, at least temporarily. In that scenario, the governor would still collect a paycheck, but the legislature would be able to block him from returning to office.

* From the latest Rasmussen Reports poll

* Should Rod Blagojevich resign as governor?

84% Yes
9% No
7% Not sure


* How likely is it that Rod Blagojevich will resign as Governor?

18% Very likely
22% Somewhat likely
34% Not very likely
19% Not at all likely
7% Not sure

* More

There is a growing push by rank-and-file lawmakers to impeach Blagojevich. House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego is expected to meet with Michael Madigan to discuss it on Monday. Jones has not taken a position on impeachment, which could culminate in a trial in the Senate. He has cautioned against a rush to judgment against the governor.

* More

Madigan, a Democrat representing Chicago, hasn’t taken any public position beyond saying Sunday that he will talk to the House Republican leader about the issue Monday.

David Dring, spokesman for House Minority Leader Tom Cross, said Republicans will step up the pressure on Democrats to remove Blagojevich, perhaps raising the issue on the House floor.

“If they won’t work with us, you’ll probably see some good theater,” Dring said.

* Related: Impeachment raises questions for lawmakers

* Earlier: Legislative survey on impeachment, resignation; Plus: Which state is the most corrupt?

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      

Poll: Blagojevich less ethical than most, Obama not involved, 79 percent say toss RRB in jail

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* A strong majority of Illinoisans appears to understand that, while we may be a corrupt state, Blagojevich is a special case. From a Rasmussen Reports poll taken last week…

Is Rod Blagojevich more ethical, less ethical, or about as ethical as most politicians?

4% More ethical
59% Less ethical
31% About as ethical
7% Not sure

* And 69 percent believe that Obama kept his distance…

How likely is it that President-elect Obama was involved in the Blagojevich corruption case?

13% Very likely
13% Somewhat likely
37% Not very likely
32% Not at all likely
6% Not sure

From the narrative

Among Republicans, 20% say it is Very Likely Obama was involved in the corruption case, and another 26% say it is Somewhat Likely. Only seven percent (7%) of Democratic voters think it is Very Likely, with four percent (4%) saying it is Somewhat Likely.

Fifteen percent (15%) of unaffiliated voters rate Obama’s involvement as Very Likely, while 14% say Somewhat Likely.

* Not quite sure what to make of the split on this one, but it appears that people are still trying to wrap their heads around the events…

Were Blagojevich’s attempts to get large campaign contributions in exchange for political favors pretty typical of how most politicians operate?

39% Yes
35% No
26% Not sure

* And this is my favorite result from the poll…

Should Blagojevich go to jail for his actions?

79% Yes
8% No
13% Not sure

No need to clarify that result. Oof.

* From last week: New poll says 84 percent want guv to resign *** 73 percent want him impeached ***

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Blagojevich’s sycophants

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

*My weekly syndicated newspaper column

I spent a few hours re-reading the federal criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich and chief of staff John Harris late last week. As I did, one image kept coming to mind again and again: Howard Hughes.

Hughes, of course, was the kabillionaire whose aides allowed him to die an emaciated, bedsore-ridden mess. Instead of really taking care of him, they indulged his insanity, mainly for fear of losing their jobs.
The federal complaint is far from a complete document, but it paints a picture of a bunch of enabling hangers - too timid to tell the man “no.” I always knew they were sycophants, I just never realized that they went to such extremes.

For instance, one of the governor’s Washington, D.C., consultants whom Blagojevich has paid millions throughout the years, is caught on tape actively indulging the governor’s mad fantasy of a deal that involved appointing President-elect Barack Obama’s preferred Senate replacement in exchange for a job heading up the Change to Win organization, a splinter group of the AFL-CIO. The consultant apparently didn’t discourage Blagojevich’s bizarre plan to have Obama-connected billionaires fund a 501(c)(4) organization that Blagojevich eventually could run.

Blagojevich and Harris are on tape discussing the idea of appointing the estimable Deputy Gov. Louanner Peters to the Senate seat. Blagojevich said that if it looked like he was going to be impeached, he could count on Peters to give up the seat “and let me parachute over there.” Replied Harris: “You can count on (Peters) to do that.”

Almost the entire complaint reads like that. It was “Yes, governor. Yessir. Okeedokee,” to the goofiest schemes imaginable. “Deputy Governor A stated that it is hard not to give the Secretary of Energy position to a Texan, but with Rod Blagojevich’s coal background it might be a possibility.” Like Barack Obama ever would make Rod Blagojevich his energy secretary.

Instead of telling the governor his plots were not just silly, but flat-out crazy and maybe even illegal, they humored him right until the end.

There are a couple of mild push-backs. “Adviser A,” a former deputy governor who now is a lobbyist (and I’m pretty sure I know who he is), suggested that appointing a certain controversial wealthy person to the Senate in order to help Blagojevich raise money might not be a fantastic idea. “Adviser A responded that it would be hard to put Senate Candidate 6 in the Senate seat.”

But by the end of their discussion, Adviser A and the governor allegedly were talking about finding somebody close to this possible appointee. “Adviser A agreed to find out who is close to Senate Candidate 6.” (Just to be clear here, there is no indication whatsoever that “Senate Candidate 6″ was ever informed of this conversation.)

Their guy, the man who made them what they are today, was falling off the deep end and endangering them all, yet they allowed him to carry on. Blagojevich is to blame, of course, but his so-called friends ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

There are some other interesting little tidbits in the complaint that haven’t come to light. For instance, the governor and his D.C. consultant discussed appointing Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the U.S. Senate as a way of “getting more done as governor.”

Independent sources say the governor was convinced he could cut a deal with House Speaker Michael Madigan, Lisa’s father, on the appointment that would allow him to pass a capital bill, enact grand new health-care programs and do all sorts of other wonderful, pie-in-the-sky things. One very well-placed source claims the governor even settled on the Lisa Madigan appointment idea the day before he was arrested.

Mike Madigan hasn’t returned the governor’s phone calls in years, and Lisa Madigan did not enjoy life as a legislator. How the governor even could imagine such a scheme could succeed is beyond all reason.

And John Wyma, who made millions lobbying the governor, is seeking immunity, according to the complaint, “in exchange for (Wyma’s) truthful information.” The footnote claims that Wyma (identified as “Individual A”) is a “subject, but not a target, of the criminal investigation concerning activities at the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.” That gives you some idea of what might possibly have brought Wyma into the fold.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Morning Shorts *** UPDATED ***

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

* Republic: It’s all Bank of America’s fault

* Colleges give new aid to keep students afloat

“Each student comes here with the goal of achieving their dream of a college education,” said Evelyn Burdick, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “We would love not to ever lose a student because of financial reasons.”

* School Tries to Beat Drop Out Odds

* Students nominated to U.S. Service Academies

* CTA also rehabs Web site

* Winter of our discontent

When Mayor Richard Daley released his 2009 budget on a mid-October day with the temperature in the high 50s, he said that one way he intended to close a $420 million shortfall was to cut back on snow removal. Main arterials might not be plowed as quickly as in years past, and some side streets might not be plowed at all.

* City Responds To Weather With Snow Fighting Trucks

* Chickens earning their keep in Chicago backyards

* Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Switching to Republican Party

* Northwestern Hospital in probe

* U.S. investigating Northwestern Memorial

In the Northwestern probe, the government has focused on the relationship between the hospital and its primary affiliated doctor practice, the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. The doctor group has 600 physicians and generates more than $400 million in annual revenue, according to its web site.

* Illinois Bar Foundation honors SIUC law dean

* Anonymous donor’s funds keep historic site in Vandalia open

“We have a one-time donation of $35,477 from one person that would keep the doors open through June 30, 2009,” said Gottman.

Gottman said he can’t imagine the state turning down the proposal, which was made to Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director Jan Grimes.

“I don’t know how they could turn down free money,” Gottman said.

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   1 Comment      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax

Monday, Dec 15, 2008

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* "Men" dropped from Democratic group's name
* Union membership rises here, declines in neighboring states
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Assessor: Kennedy screwed up his example *** Assessor claims Kennedy's plan has been prohibited by state courts for 70 years
* Republican with primary opponent wants to kick undocumented kids out of health care program
* Martwick talks possible money-saving ideas for pensions
* Madigan on Kennedy: "He speaks for himself"
* *** UPDATED x2 - Biss, Pritzker respond *** Kennedy asked about Rauner praise
* Andy Shaw to step down from BGA top job
* Donne Trotter's legacy
* Ives calls Rauner property tax EO "pandering, ineffective"
* Illinois is one of the least affected states during federal shutdown
* *** UPDATED x3 - Ruiz responds to Raoul - Raoul responds without addressing the charge - Ruiz claims Raoul bragged about delaying a bill to elect Chicago school board *** CTU backs Raoul, NNU backs Biss
* Mendoza releases first "debt transparency report"
* RGA rips Pritzker over Blagojevich coverage
* Madigan tells audience he rejected a 2015 deal proposed by Rauner
* Today's number: 11 Illinois women in 200 years
* Mark Brown and Eric Zorn on Chris Kennedy
* Citizen Action backs Pritzker, Evanston backs Biss, Kennedy to unveil property tax reform plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign updates
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* Yesterday's stories

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* Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wasteful spending' to curb deficit
* Early morning fire in suburban Chicago kills 2
* The Latest: Rauner will 'step-down' tax hike to close gap
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Agency: East Chicago's inaction may have endangered families
* Chicago's south and west sides lack access to pharmacies
* Some Illinois hospitals brace for Medicaid funding cuts
* Helicopter crash near St. Louis; 2 suffer minor injuries

* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Illinois hunters harvest 2 percent more deer than last year
* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* New report shows state agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill

* State insurance chief gets new national slot
* Raoul, Biss, Garcia land significant endorsements
* Senate moves to end shutdown, setting up another immigration fight
* Here's some expert advice for Chicago job-seekers
* Lunchmeat maker to add jobs in suburbs

* Police: Man fatally shot in South Chicago
* Person critically injured in Lake Shore Drive crash on South Side
* Man shot in shoulder in Little Village
* Dear Abby: One of my two men definitely loves me back
* Illinois falls to No. 6 Michigan State 87-74, stays winless in Big Ten
* Gronkowski on mend as Patriots begin Super Bowl preparations
* Horoscope for Jan. 23, 2018
* 2 wounded in East Garfield Park shooting
* Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic says he’s better prepared for the ‘storm’ coming his way
* Blackhawks fall seven points out of playoff picture with third straight loss

* At least 16 injured in volcano eruption near Japan ski resort, officials say
* 20 years after committing Kane County murder, man found guilty of armed robbery in ambush beating
* Bulls let 18-point lead slip, fall to Pelicans in double overtime
* Lineup shakeup no help as Blackhawks get shut out for 3rd straight loss
* Illinois coach Brad Underwood 'fighting for culture' after 87-74 loss to Michigan State
* Jury finds ex-Milwaukee Co. Sheriff David Clarke did not violate man's free speech with taunting Facebook posts
* Limited strikes on North Korea would be an unlimited disaster
* Man killed, 3 wounded in city shootings, including attack on Lake Shore Drive
* Shutdown deal paves way for Senate to take up immigration, but will House and Trump follow?
* FBI Director Wray resists pressure from Sessions to replace senior personnel as tensions swell

» State Pays $1 Billion In Late-Payment Charges
» CHA To Add More Mixed-Income Housing In Bronzeville
» National Study Hammers Illinois Budget Practices
» Hundreds Of Thousands Gathered For Women's March In Chicago
» Women's March Chicago Stays on Message - Get to the Polls
» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke
» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois

* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* IBHE: There is a need for bold changes for Illinois' higher education system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization
* Illinois hunters harvest 2 percent more deer than last year
* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* New report shows state agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Their View: Is civics still taught in our schools?

* Underwood: 'Felt like we could pressure them'
* Notes: Illini defense gives Spartans trouble
* Nichols working on being 'every day guy'
* EICC offers scholarship app help
* Bennett Williams
* Evelyn R. Brockmeyer
* Gary D. “Mick” Jones
* Clarence Royce White
* Edwina Carter
* Maye A. Stout

* Mavs slow recent slide with season sweep of Wizards, 98-75
* As shutdown eases federal workers fear prospect of another
* Cabusao, Schwartz lead Jacobs to win
* Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he 'used to be' comedian
* Waukegan man dies after being shot early Sunday

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* Join Uptown Arts Center At Opening Reception On Sunday
* Django at 108; or That Toddlin' Town
* The Commuter is the first great movie of 2018
* Illinois's late payment charges on its bills add up to $1 billion, and other Chicago news
* Michael Pfeiffer, Former Crew Server, Missing
* EXTRA: Shutdown ends, GOP at fault
* From the archive: When a Reader staffer dreamed of blue-faced superstardom
* Majority of south- and west-siders feel Chicago media ‘too negative’ about their neighborhoods
* Ives dismisses Rauner's do-nothing Executive Order as political ploy
* Chicago law firm offers pro-bono legal aid for pro-life health workers

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* LG G6 has Android 8.0 Oreo update coming in Europe ‘within the first half’ of 2018
* Buy a Moto Z2 Force, get Alexa Moto Mod and Amazon Music Unlimited free
* Connection speed now posted with Wi-Fi network listings on Android 8.1
* Verizon BOGO deal on Galaxy S8, LG V30, Moto Z2 Force, Pixel 2 starts tomorrow
* ZTE to skip Axon 8, go for Axon 9 this year
* Tim Cook Discusses Apple's Partnership With Malala Fund to Support Girls' Education While in Canada
* Latest Netflix earnings exceed forecasts, send market cap above $100 billion

* Burger third among top third-base prospects
* Kopech, Jimenez among White Sox NRIs
* Baseball America top 100, Sox-Brewers rumors, and other reading
* Advocating for retired non-numbers
* Getting ready for Soxfest 2018
* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2

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