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Yet another Blagojevich link to Cheryle Jackson

Friday, Oct 16, 2009

* The Sun-Times has a story today about people who asked Rod Blagojevich for jobs shortly after Blagojevich was first elected governor. Some of the jobs were civil service, which weren’t supposed to be patronage-based…

Many of the clout hires got low-level state jobs like toll collector and highway maintenance worker, despite a long-standing court order that bans political hiring for such jobs.

Mary Lee Leahy is the Springfield attorney who won the landmark 1990 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made political hiring for most Illinois state government jobs illegal. When he took office, Blagojevich hired her as a personnel consultant, but Leahy said the administration apparently ignored her advice and set up a patronage system she was unaware of.

Leahy said she’s “sickened” by what the records obtained by the Sun-Times under the state’s Freedom of Information Act reveal, and she points to a recent political scandal for perspective.

Blagojevich was using Leahy’s good name all along as a front for his patronage operation. She didn’t realize it until it was far too late. Some of us knew this would happen from the get-go, but that’s life, I suppose.

* Still, the fact that Democrats asked the first Democratic governor in 26 years for jobs is hardly surprising. A whole bunch of people who didn’t see the train wreck coming six years ahead of time are gonna get tarnished by this, including a US Senate candidate

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheryle Jackson, former communications director for Blagojevich. She is listed as having secured a deputy directorship for her husband, Charles Jackson, with the Department of Public Health in April 2003. Jackson’s press secretary did not respond when asked for comment.

You can see some other Democratic sponsors here, here and here.

The problem for Jackson, of course, is that this just brings her even closer to Blagojevich, if that was possible. I have a hard time seeing how she wins this thing.

* Meanwhile, The Hotline has more on their interview with Alexi Giannoulias

– IL SEN will be a classic surrogate race, one where the fates of Giannoulias and Rep. Mark Kirk are tied to bigger names of their respective parties. While Giannoulias hopes that “name” is Obama, GOPers prefer another one: Blagojevich. (For his part, Giannoulias seems unfazed. “Folks in Illinois know I was never close to him,” he said of the ex-gov).

– Meanwhile, watch for IL Dems to return to their ‘06/’08 playbook in ‘10. Asked if tying Kirk to George W. Bush will still be a workable strategy next year, Giannoulias smiled and said, “Yes.” GOPers say they aren’t worried. Said the NRSC: “If Giannoulias wants to use a failed 2008 playbook in 2010 with George Bush out office, Rod Blagojevich on trial … this will be an easier campaign for Mark Kirk to win than we thought.”

…Adding… Forgot to post this

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful David Hoffman late Thursday released copies of his federal income tax returns for the past five years and, with a sharp shot at competitor Alexi Giannoulias, challenged him to do the same.

The returns show Mr. Hoffman and his wife reported annual adjusted gross income of between $247,000 and as much as $630,000 between 2004 and 2007.

The fluctuation was largely due to activity in the Hoffmans’ brokerage account, with large capital gains and income from dividends reported in some years.

Mr. Hoffman has been a federal prosecutor most of his adult life, but an aide says the brokerage assets reflect money he and siblings received from their grandfather, a founder of Geico Insurance. The former Chicago inspector general is worth $2.8 to $6 million, according to his campaign, with a detailed disclosure to be released later this month.

I wonder how much more cash he’ll actually be able to put into that campaign.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - cassandra - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    I don’t know, Alexi….Americans tend to look at past presidents with less rancor as they years go by. W may not look so bad to a lot of folks if the economy continues in the tank, unemployment is
    unchanged or worse, and we are mired in a trillion dollar nation-building war in Afghanistan that rivals or exceeds the excesses of Bush’s Iraq War. But we’ll see.

  2. - Will County Woman - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:49 am:

    Let’s get real. If the republicans are honestly suggesting that in 2008 using George W. Bush against them failed, they are seriously delusional. Are they forgetting that many republicans were openly distancing themselves from Bush as they went stumping on the campaign trail?

    George W. Bush was the 900 lbs gorilla in the room in 2008 and it hurt republicans.

  3. - Obamarama - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:51 am:

    Could Alexi take Cheryle out of the running completely with one big ad-buy on her ties to Blago? This is starting to look like the nail in the coffin for her.

  4. - Will County Woman - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:56 am:

    but, connecting Mark Kirk to George W. Bush in 2010 probably won’t be all that effective. the nation has turned the page. and, with Kirk representing a disrict that was more democratic than republican, which shows in his voting record, and which is why so many neocons don’t like him, how much George W. Bush can be connected to him to really have an adverse impact?

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    The Sun-Times headline and lede implied steak, but it was mostly sizzle. Maybe there are follow ups coming.

  6. - grand old partisan - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Will County Woman - I’m pretty sure Kirk won in 2008, despite the millions spent linking him to Bush. I think that’s the NRSC’s point here.

  7. - Speaking at Will - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    I get the feeling that Alexi has a deeper strategy to win this election that tying Mark Kirk to George Bush. Seems like a sound bite quote to me.

  8. - OdysseusVL - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    Will County Woman has it right: “use a failed 2008 playbook?” That playbook put a Democrat in the Oval Office, gave the Democrats 60 seats in the Senate, and expanded the Democrats majority in the House. That sure is an odd definition of “failure.”

  9. - Brennan - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    =Asked if tying Kirk to George W. Bush will still be a workable strategy next year, Giannoulias smiled and said, “Yes.”=

    Wow. The Hotline really worked for that quote.

  10. - walter sobchak - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:13 am:

    Just as an aside…this older format is far more user friendly than the new one.

  11. - Abe Froman - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:32 am:

    Alexi, please, please, please run a campaign based on the message Kirk is a clone of Bush. It’s genius. It can’t fail.

    But, of course, the Alexi is a clone of Blago message will be a flop? Keep smoking what you are smoking.

    The only hope Alexi has is that Obama pulls a rabbit out of his hat and gets his approval numbers up substantially. Also, no matter what Obama does, the bloom is off the rose. He is just another politician now, not King Midas. He’ll help Alexi, but he can’t turn Alexi into something he’s not…

  12. - jake - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:37 am:

    This all plays into Hoffman’s argument that of all the Democratic candidates, he is the one that will be hardest for the Republicans to hang the corruption/influence argument on.

  13. - OdysseusVL - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:45 am:

    Abe raises a good point. If only the GOP had a candidate who was not blowing with the wind [”He Never Took A Position He Could Not Change” could be his campaign slogan], they might have a decent chance at picking up the seat.

  14. - George - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:50 am:

    I read the Sun-Times documents. Some interesting stuff, but then some odd names - i.e. Randall Sherman?

  15. - shore - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:53 am:

    Democrats in the 10th spent 10 years trying to tie Kirk to Bush, it failed every single time. And that was while he was in office or on the ballot. As I said yesterday Kirk is the 3rd most liberal republican as stated by the national journal and I hope the Illinois MSM will pay attention to records more than rhetoric next year.

    It’s really unfair for the media to defend Jackson who was blago’s flack for 3 years from these attacks while publishing these hits against Kirk. Kirk never served in the 2nd bush administration. This woman chose to work for Blago, not as a career civil servant but as a poltiical appointee.

  16. - George - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    “It’s really unfair for the media to defend Jackson”

    Are you loopy?

    Former Blagojevich aide raises $354,000 in Senate bid

    Inside Rod Blagojevich’s jobs machine

    Ill. candidate Jackson touts Senate fundraising, downplays Blago ties

    Former Blagojevich aide Jackson to seek Democratic nod for Senate

  17. - Brennan - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    10th Dems were tying Bush to Kirk when he was the Texas Governor?

  18. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

    So many questions raised by the Sun-Times article. Let’s start with these.

    Didn’t you chuckle heads learn anything by watching the previous adminstation unravel? Scott Fawell kept a similar list that was published in the media and proved just as embarssing.

    Governor Q - need any more names to add to your fumigation list? Start with this low hanging fruit - “Many of the clout hires got low-level state jobs like toll collector and highway maintenance worker, despite a long-standing court order that bans political hiring for such jobs.” It doesn’t make any difference if they are doing a good job today Gov. They are illegal hires. If you are really feeling ambitious add the names of those hired in violation of veterans preference laws. (Can’t help but notice that Bev Ascaridis’[sp?]hire in Whiteside Co. and transfer a month later to Dupage Co. is listed. Remember her? The $1,500 check lady for a birthday, er I mean Christmas, er whatever gift for Blago’s daughter.)

    Mr. Federal prosecutor where are the indictments for this activity?

  19. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 12:38 pm:

    It unemployment is still high come November 2010, you are going to have to do a lot more than tie Kirk to Bush. You may have to tie him to a rock for Alexi to win…

    Also remember kids, the Rod trial starts June `10 and it’s going to last a while and if the book is any indication he is going to toss everyone under the bus. That will do the Democrats and Alexi no favors no matter how hard they all try and pretend they have no idea who Rod is.

  20. - Ghost - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 12:42 pm:

    The GOP runs Jack Ryan, married to 7 of 9 (for a time) and then later puts up Kirk…. Obviously the GOP is susceptiable to a Star Trek attack based ad campaign….

    ow we just ened a shot of Kirk sending a campaign worker in a red shirt into Humboldt Park….

  21. - Gregor - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    There is plenty of free file footage of Cheryle Jackson standing next to Rod, speaking for Rod, etc. to make a year’s worth of campaign commercials. I still don’t get how she thought she could escape his taint when she was so close and so committed to that job.

    You’ll say (as she does) that she quit in the first term. I reply that she sure didn’t quit the first week, she was in there a good long while, long enough at least to get her husband a job and to know what was going on was wrong and likely illegal. But nowhere do I see that she’s gong to testify against Rod in the upcoming trial.

    So my take is that she’s either naive or a mercenary, and I wouldn’t vote for either of those, and I think its very cynical to believe she can somehow wash it all away by her Urban League tenure and the connections that brought. Did the folks at Emily’s List do any due diligence, or did they just rubber stamp her?

  22. - What planet is he from again? - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 1:25 pm:

    Considering what Blago did to Judy Baar Topinka tying her to G. Ryan, IMHO anyone would get a lot of mileage out of tying anyone to Blago, perhaps with the allusional (not delusional btw) catch phrase, “What were they thinking?”

  23. - shore - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 1:37 pm:

    Bush was running for President in 2000 and Democrats spent a lot of energy trying to tell jewish voters Kirk would be on board with his agenda.

    The problem for dems with the bush-kirk ties is that kirk’s career has depended on him finding way s to inoculate himself against that. I don’t think he would have gone to the white house in 2007 and told Karl Rove he was against the surge if he didn’t feel as if it would kill his career with his constituents if he called for an escalation.

    Another bad omen for Democrats is the fact that he’s won in the most democrat district held by a gop that wasn’t otherwise a local legend (castle) or aquired through scandal (cao).

    And for the record, Alexi has never been tested in a general like Kirk has, it’s a lot different ball game. Let’s see how he does when the media isn’t slobbering all over his East Bank Club basketball games and actually has to answer questions about real issues.

  24. - Bill - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 2:14 pm:

    ==W may not look so bad to a lot of folks if the economy continues in the tank, unemployment is
    unchanged or worse, and we are mired in a trillion dollar nation-building war in Afghanistan that rivals or exceeds the excesses of Bush’s Iraq War.==

    Why Not? It is all his fault.

  25. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Oct 16, 09 @ 3:22 pm:

    Folks, if you think those lists in the S/T are complete, come on over to the AA Real Estate Co. and let’s talk bridges.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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