Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Former first lady imperiled; More on Trib/RRB talks
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Former first lady imperiled; More on Trib/RRB talks

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009

* Unsurprising

A federal grand jury probing corruption under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the last two weeks has called witnesses to testify specifically about his wife, defense sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The recent questioning has centered in part on Patti Blagojevich’s real estate dealings and comes as the feds close in on an indictment involving the ex-governor and others.

You’d think she’d want to save herself, since her husband seems intent on going down in a brilliant, white-hot ball of flames.

The indictment has an April 7 deadline but could come Thursday — the day that grand jury meets.

What’s your over/under on the maximum number of prison years in the indictment? I figure since Chris Kelly is looking at something like 800 years, then RRB ought to at least be facing 10,000 years.

Do they even let you out of prison to be buried if you get that many years?

Defense lawyers said witnesses were questioned about Patti Blagojevich, her former firm, River Realty, and commissions she was paid on real estate deals involving political supporters, donors or state contractors. The former first lady took part in more than half a dozen real estate dealings with convicted businessman Tony Rezko, sources said.

Go read the whole thing.

* Meanwhile, Blagojevich had a “code name” for the Tribune/Wrigley Field deal: Project Elwood

Early on a Sunday evening in December, e-mails went out among state officials who had just learned that financially strapped Tribune Co. was about to file for bankruptcy protection.

“This could measurably complicate Project Elwood,” wrote William Brandt, chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority. […]

Two days later, the plan grew far more complicated when Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges. Among the charges were allegations that he was trying to extort Tribune Co.—the owner of Wrigley, the Cubs and the Chicago Tribune—over the state purchase.

The “plan grew far more complicated when Blagojevich was arrested” line is quite the understatement. But, hey, it’s the Trib reporting on Tribune Co.

So, was the governor calling in plays during games or something? Check this out…

Blagojevich’s telephone log shows several calls to members of the team, including manager Lou Piniella, coach Larry Rothschild and John McDonough, the team’s former president who is now with the Chicago Blackhawks

…Adding… Substitute “Mexico” or a country with no extradition treaty for “Chicago” and adjust the mileage accordingly, and perhaps this will be RRB and a friend come Thursday? The “real” Project Elwood perhaps? Just sayin…

* Related…

* Rod Blagojevich indictment could bring more defendants - Former governor’s brother, wife and campaign committee, as well as lobbyist Lon Monk, are possible targets

* Blagojevich takes unreality show to radio airwaves

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:03 am:

    Is nothing sacred to Blago? Messing with the Cubs was bad enough but taking the name of the only surviving Blues Brother in vain… that’s going too far :)

  2. - Excessively rabid - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    Burying him in prison is an insult to prisons….

  3. - Barry Zuckercorn - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    The story about Patty Blagojevich - are you sure about that? I thought they couldn’t arrest a husband and wife for the same crime.

  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    “We’re on a mission from Rod.”

  5. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:08 am:

    Normally going after spouses doesn’t play well.

    But releasing the tapes trashed Patti Blagojevich’s (nee Mell) reputation and made her less sympathetic.

    If releasing the tapes was planned to hurt PB’s reputation, did Fitz’s team do anything illegal or unethical?

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    ===I thought they couldn’t arrest a husband and wife for the same crime. ===

    Where did you ever get that idea? What if they robbed a bank together?

  7. - Shh - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:13 am:

    @ Barry — I think you’re confused. A husband can’t be forced to testify against his wife and vice versa. But they can both be charged with the same crime.

  8. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:14 am:

    Now I have this mental picture of RRB cackling like Dr. Evil did when he came up with names like “The Alan Parsons Project” and “Preparation H” for his world conquest schemes.

  9. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:17 am:

    An interesting story about the husband/wife Fastow duo:

    So, yeah, it’s possible.

  10. - Stu - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:20 am:

    “Project Elwood”…makes sense since Elwood Blue’s Illinois driver’s license listed 1060 W. Addison as his home address.

  11. - Scooby - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    Was “Project 100 Years of Loserdom” already taken?

  12. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:24 am:

    My fearless prediction:

    Number of counts against Blago in indictment: 15-20

    Number of other defendants: 4 (Patti, Robert, Monk and Harris)

    Total theoretical/potential prison time for Blago: at least 1,200 years

  13. - South Side Mike - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:27 am:

    47th Ward, that’s too funny. So who gets to be the Penguin?

  14. - You Go Boy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:30 am:

    I know it’s mean spirited, but remember as a kid how you would sit with siblings/friends and joyfully speculate what Santa might bring? Remember the fun that was? Let’s do that talking about how many years he/she spent in prison.
    A cynicism developed beyond the early years and nurtured by people exactly like Blago.

  15. - Ghost - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:35 am:

    === Do they even let you out of prison to be buried if you get that many years? ===

    Depends on whether the prison serves soylent green….

  16. - Justice - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    This all could have played out much differently had they all lived in the Mansion. I predict 18 counts for bouffant daddy and 180 years in prison. I predict 4 counts for Patti and 10 years in prison.

  17. - HoBoSkillet - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 10:50 am:

    @Southside Mike - The Penguin’s gotta be Quinn! “And don’t come back - Until you’ve redeemed yourselves….”

  18. - Jake from Elwood - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    First a disclaimer. Mr. Fitzgerald, I swear that I had nothing to do with this Blago-Tribune fiasco.

    When I read this story the first thing I thought is now I have to come up with a new handle. Perhaps “Cinnamon Man” or “Secret Circle”. I obviously have to give it some thought, but my current penname has soured on me. Rats. Thanks alot Blago, you’ve screwed me over once again.

  19. - Bobs yer - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    Let’s wait and see if Zell realizes his $980MM tax free gain from the sale of the Cubs. All this stadium stuff was tied to that.

    Bet he does. That’ll be the real crime.

  20. - Cranky Old Man - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    Rich and Shh, it’s an Arrested Develpoment reference. Just watched that episode over again a couple days ago.

  21. - Dan S, a Voter, Taxpayer and Cubs Fan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:33 am:

    Jake, it just proves that anything with Milorads print on it can and will explode.

  22. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    The over/under on years for Rod 1100 or perhaps a googol.

  23. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    The Patti problem is the story of Chicago politics. If Rod got 6 figures, she should get 8 for a book deal. Consider who she is, and her family ties combined with the implications of flipping. Rod is gone, what else does she have to offer Fitz. He does not need her for a conviction. Convicting Patti, may make the go along spouses of crooked politicians have a moment of pause. She was operating a legitimate business as a front to launder proceeds from a criminal enterprise. This sounds like a RICO case to me. (life) This all goes back to who else is involved. Again, Rod is going to face 800 years(I’ll take the over) who who else can she give up. Will Patti take down the Machine? Will she go to prison for the rest of her life to protect Madigan, Daley, and Daddy?

  24. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Why do I see Rod as Maury Sline in project Elwood…
    “I don’t think you are going to see dime one, but if you I want a taste”

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    ===Will she go to prison for the rest of her life to protect Madigan, Daley, and Daddy?===

    As if she knows anything about MJM or RMD. And she won’t turn on daddy. The feds want her husband. That’s where the deal is.

  26. - soccermom - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    Thank you, Todd Lighty and Robert Becker, for demonstrating to RRB what “testicular virility” really means. It takes real, honest-to-god courage to put your job on the line with a story like this. I can imagine that some editors at the Trib got some angry phone calls this morning. Well God love you guys for doing the right thing, and putting the people’s right to know ahead of your own careers.

  27. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    All this Patti stuff could have been avoided if Blago didn’t try his best to make a mockery out of the feds. Right after Rod was arrested, Patrick Collins stated in an interview on Chicago Tonight the feds really don’t want to go after her, saying she had no elected authority and probably wasn’t a target.

    Blago brought this on his family, including his brother, by refusing to be cooperative. He is as unchivalrous a conman as has ever come down the Illinois political pipe.

    In his insatiable self aggrandizing need for publicity and attention he has jeopardized the freedom of his wife and brother and brought about the possibility that his children will be missing both parents.

    What type of person could do that to his family?

  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===What type of person could do that to his family? ===

    An insane one.

  29. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:07 pm:

    I like Dick, but if Patti has info on her dad, why shouldn’t Team Fitz squeeze her?

    Team Fitz needs some witnesses to flip on Blagojevich, but with the tapes they don’t need everybody to flip on Blagojevich.

    If Patti can expand the scope of the investigation to expose illegal quid pro quo in hiring in the Mell organization, Fitz would be doing less than his job to use her this way.

  30. - PPHS - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    The thing for Patty to do is tell the truth. The feds gets really mad when you lie.

    How do these people (Patty and Rod) find each other?

  31. - Wacker Drive - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    Rod’s so clever…..

  32. - Hair today, gone.... - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:40 pm:

    =How do these people (Patty and Rod) find each other?=

    Patti had just broken up with a boyfriend when she met Rod. Prior to that, Rod was sniffing around a bunch of elected officials who had single daughters. If fast Eddy had a daughter, he’d be the father-in-law. A few pols told Rod to scram and stay away from thier daughters. He caught Patti on the rebound and Mell bought this guy hook line and sinker.

    The bigger question in my mind is why didn’t she leave this goofball years agao?

  33. - Anon - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

    Blago’s hair color is looking more and more unnatural. And not a hint of gray.

  34. - cover - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 4:43 pm:

    When did Blago call Piniella and Rothschild? During the Cubs’ ill-fated playoff series? If so, that might explain their collapse.

  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 6:19 pm:

    I bet she makes a deal. Certainly her father will insist on and foot the bill for her own lawyer. Maybe an indictment will be the cold slap in the face that revives the self-preservation instinct.

  36. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 6:28 pm:

    I’m sorry about Mrs. B and the potential impact on her kids already and should she be indicted. By all accounts she is an excellent mom. This is truly sad.

    On the other hand, what WAS she thinking. She is, after all, a skilled pol’s daughter and also bright by most accounts. Could she have been so imbued with Chicago Machine culture that she was incapable of seeing the huge risks she was taking in her real estate ventures. Or maybe she didn’t notice that the world is changing just a teensy bit in the area of government corruption We are all subject to distorted thinking and mistakes based on that thinking so maybe what we are seeing with both Mrs. B. and her husband is, sigh, greed and stupidity that seems, well, normal for those who live in and have been formed by Chicago Machine politics.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until April 2
* Quick hits before vacation
* Heads up!
* First-day whiplash in mayor's race
* Pritzker hit on taxes
* Even Trib tires of "Because... Madigan!"
* What goes around eventually comes around
* Londrigan turns to face Davis
* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA follows suit *** Pritzker uses Ives in new video
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 is Unconstitutional
* Rauner on the hustings
* Quote of the week
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* The natives are getting restless
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








* Democrat Sexual Harrassment Suit Continues - Al.....
* Illinois governor compares foes' tactics to 'ma.....
* "2018 DUI Illinois Fact Book" by Jesse White Ma.....
* Former campaign worker suing Illinois Democrati.....
* Former campaign worker suing Illinois Democrati.....

* EXCHANGE: Group brings students around to life at Millikin
* EXCHANGE: Illinois author creates fantasy world for children
* Former UI aviation institute now a Parkland College program
* Report: Illinois high school referee shortage getting worse
* Storm forecast to bring up to 9 inches of snow to Illinois
* Man dies, officers wounded in shootout in suburban Chicago
* Report: Number of referees in Illinois continues to drop
* Workers find, return wallet 20 years after nurse lost it
* Chicago-area woman charged with murder in mother's death
* Police looking for 3 vehicles after wrestler killed in crash

* $18 million gift to benefit LLCC agriculture program
* Illinois Supreme Court won't take up Rauner's appeal of step pay case
* Former campaign worker sues Madigan fund in sexual harassment case
* Rauner says he has yet to speak to Ives after primary win
* LLCC gets $18 million donation to benefit agriculture program
* Fact check: Rauner cites own remarks as proof of outside support for Election Night claim
* Under the Dome Podcast: It's Pritzker vs. Rauner
* Marijuana referendum could strengthen movement to legalize in Illinois, but naysayers say ballot question unfair
* Illinois Democrats giddy about odds of retaking governor's office
* New exhibit at Lincoln museum honors four U.S. presidents with ties to Illinois

* Corrections
* In withdrawal: The babies of Illinois' opioid epidemic
* Cook County wants to give back $94 million in excess property taxes
* Higher Chicago heating bills fuel bonus bump for Milwaukee utility execs
* Higher Chicago heating bills fuel bonus bump for Milwaukee execs

* Correctional officer charged in scheme to smuggle contraband into MCC
* AL Central outlook: Indians have unfinished business
* Girl, 17, charged after making threat against Elmhurst high school on Snapchat
* NL Central outlook: Foe-cus is on Brewers, Cardinals
* Man, 78, reported missing from Near North Side
* Dear Abby: My lazy bridesmaid needs to step down
* Boy critically hurt by sticking head out of moving Red Line train, hitting pole
* Happy 90th birthday, James Lovell, Chicago’s space pioneer
* Next thing you know, cemeteries will be voting in DuPage
* Lombard woman charged with murder in mother’s strangulation

* Stop feeling sorry for the Austin bomber
* Artifacts from 1893 World’s Fair found beneath Obama center site, but report signals construction can proceed
* More people are seeking out mental health care, but psychiatrists are in short supply: 'It's getting worse'
* Facebook was never free: What Mark Zuckerberg's shocking admissions reveal
* Boy critically injured after sticking head out of moving Red Line train
* Stephen Curry returns, then injures left knee as Warriors win
* Chris Beard, Texas Tech oust Purdue 78-65, will now face No. 1 seed Villanova
* Duke bounces Syracuse to set up Kansas showdown for Final Four
* Former Bears TE Martellus Bennett retires after 10 seasons
* Trump issues order supporting ban on many transgender troops, defers to Pentagon on new restrictions

» March 23, 2018: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
» Final School Funding Bill Signed Into Law
» State Week: Lessons Of The 2018 Primary
» Mural Highlights Acclaimed Artist Keith Haring's Effect On Aspiring Artists
» Future of Artificial Intelligence; Mindfulness In Schools; Teaching The Trail Of Tears
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: March 23, 2018
» The Week in Review: General Election Already Underway
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Arthur Jones’ Primary Win
» #643 SXSW 2018
» March 22, 2018 - Full Show

* Guest View: A renewed focus on railroad crossing safety
* Hugh Hewitt: John Bolton is a great addition to the White House
* Thumbs down to apathy on Election Day
* $18 million gift to benefit LLCC agriculture program
* Counterpoint: Kudlow's fossilized beliefs could lead Trump further astray
* Point: Kudlow's skills will keep US economy rolling in fast lane
* Eugene Robinson: We should not reward the authors of torture
* Illinois Supreme Court won't take up Rauner's appeal of step pay case
* Former campaign worker sues Madigan fund in sexual harassment case
* Rauner says he has yet to speak to Ives after primary win

* Deere & Co. in Illinois top businesses
* Gloria Dei holds community cross walk on Good Friday
* Cheryl Lynn Smillie
* William 'Bill' H. White
* James Raymond Graves
* Raymond 'Scott' Miller
* LuElla Louise Lehr
* Bonnie June Brouillette
* Synthetic pot may be causing severe bleeding, health officials say
* Agreement reached in lawsuit filed by Saline County Clerk

* Willow Creek's Hybels: 'I respect women. I have never been unfaithful'
* Koreas to hold high-level talks next week to set up summit
* French hero officer who swapped himself for hostage dies
* Aurora police say man killed in shootout was out on bail
* Curry returns, then injures left knee as Warriors beat Hawks

* Primary candidates vie for Democratic nomi...
* River Town Chronicles: Randy Hultgren is T...
* Republican congressman fires 56-year-old a...
* Congressional aide fired after teen says t...
* Underwood coasts in Democratic primary for...
* 'I used bad judgment': 14th Congressional ...
* 14th Democratic hopefuls talk guns at Bata...
* After primary win, Naperville nurse Underw...
* ELECTIONS 14th Congressional Dist. candida...
* 'Cannabis candidate' accused of abusing wo...

* Trump: I'll never sign a bill like this again...
* The real reasons Congress can't act on gun......
* Border wall, DACA could stall federal fund......
* Federal funding measure approved to avoid ......
* Portman, Durbin introduce resolution marki......

* Deportation imminent for Miguel Perez Jr.,......
* Former Obama Spokesman Denounces Deportati......
* Congressional Democrats plan to join 'Marc......
* Dem senator introduces bill to publicize T......
* Deportation proceedings begin for Afghan W......

* What’s Loyola legacy for ’18 basketball team in Chicago sports history?
* Progressive?
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode 59. Summing up the Illinois primary elections.
* Universities Deploy Chatbots to Aid Students in the Admissions Process and Beyond
* 10 Resources for finding edtech jobs
* Global Boom in Private Enrollments
* Professor on online activities: They get ‘students talking more and me talking less’
* Race and Gender Bias in Online Courses
* Education needs innovation to keep it fresh. Can social learning environments provide the boost?
* Let’s make Pritzker and Rauner pay more—a lot more—in state income taxes

* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Google Home arrives in Italy, Ireland gets Google Wifi
* Shareholders vote current Qualcomm board back in, but with skepticism
* Folding iPhone progress, Galaxy S9 responsiveness issues & more – Pocketnow Daily
* KGI: Next week’s iPad refresh will work with Apple Pencil
* HTC U12+ will be the company’s only flagship of 2018
* Formula 1: How sensor technology is changing the race
* Gun deaths could become easier to study thanks to the new spending bill

* Renteria to use 'abundance of caution' for Abreu
* Giolito, Moncada are White Sox to watch in '18
* Giolito, Moncada are White Sox to watch in '18
* White Sox have roster battles in bullpen
* Spring Stats Glance
* Skole among 3 reassigned to Minors camp
* White Sox Top 10 Prospects for 2018: Part Two

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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