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Steal this book

Thursday, May 23, 2013

* Sneed

Former Gov. George Ryan, who has been on his best behavior since he was released from a six-year federal prison term in January, is doing it by the book — he’s penning his memoirs.

“It’s going to be a no holds barred book and he is planning to tell it like it is,” said his son, Homer.

“Dad’s hard at work writing it, has a co-author, and tells me it’s going to be a humdinger,” he said. “I think it’s safe to say a few former top state leaders might be a little worried.”

Sneed is told that Ryan, who fought for a new trial while serving prison time on corruption charges, spends his time “talking to old political friends and allies by phone” while sifting through old files and letters kept at his family home in Kankakee — and making his weekly trek to Chicago to check in with his halfway house resident adviser.

“He carries around a tape recorder and every time he remembers a story or a vignette he spits it out,” said a source. “He’s been in politics for 40 years so he has a lot of stories to tell and is in the market for a publisher.”

* Ted McClelland doesn’t think the book will sell well

Ryan was a colorless one-term governor who went to prison for crimes confined to the borders of Illinois. He won his last election 15 years ago. Now that he’s out of prison, and out of politics, he clearly has some scores to settle. I’m sure it will make him feel better to sit down and vent about the politicians, prosecutors and judges who done him wrong, but by now, their names are even less remembered than Ryan’s.

Colorless? Are you kidding? He was most definitely a colorful governor.

And while it’s true that the people he may be firing back at aren’t remembered much any more, he’ll likely get some national press if he writes about his death penalty moratorium, his memories of meeting Fidel Castro, etc.

Unlike Blagojevich’s goofy tome, I’m looking forward to Ryan’s book. Despite his many flaws, he was a governor who got things done. We haven’t had a governor like him since then.

Ryan was a convicted felon, but was a solid governor.

Blagojevich was a convicted felon, and was a horrible governor.

Pat Quinn will never go to prison, but he’s no leader.

What we most desperately need in this state is somebody who won’t be going to prison, but who still knows how to operate the levers of government and politics. Is that really too much to ask?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments
  1. - kerfuffle - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    …..Ryan was a convicted felon, but was a solid governor.Blagojevich was a convicted felon, and was a horrible governor. Pat Quinn will never go to prison, but he’s no leader.

    Rich that is the best and most concise summation of the last 3 governors I have ever seen in print.


  2. - Ruby - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:00 am:

    == …somebody who won’t be going to prison, but who still knows how to operate the levers of government and politics. ==

    That somebody would be Lisa Madigan.


  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    I’ll definitely pick it up. I hope it’s a “humdinger,” like Homer says, and really pulls back the curtain.


  4. - Jack - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    I hope John Goodman plays Governor Ryan in the movie version. He has the ability to capture that sour, kind-of-angry Ryan look.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    This will be the book “no one has read”, but everyone is reading!

    Heck yeah, I will want to get this book, GHR was a good governor, poor personnel “chooser”, but if anyone here in the “Capitol Fax” universe this isn’t going to be “good”

    Well, maybe “some” here might not be “too excited” to have some laundy hanging out, but that was nearly 10 years ago…

    Unlike Blago, this Book has the possibility of being a “must read”.


  6. - "Edge" - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:06 am:

    I remember the first time I met Ryan after being introduced to him by Judy Baar; I felt like I had to wash my hands after the handshake. Yet, I somehow admired him for who he was; a man who got things done.


  7. - Nickypiii - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Paul Vallas was undermined by the Daleyites back in 2002. I wonder where the State would be today if this man had become Governor. Government finances were his specialty and boy did we need someone back then to help stave off all the issues that face us now.


  8. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:18 am:

    - kerfuffle - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    …..Ryan was a convicted felon, but was a solid governor.Blagojevich was a convicted felon, and was a horrible governor. Pat Quinn will never go to prison, but he’s no leader.

    Rich that is the best and most concise summation of the last 3 governors I have ever seen in print.

    +++++++

    I heard Roland Burris has that chiseled on his tomb…


  9. - RetiredStateEmployee - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    == Is that really too much to ask? ==

    Probably so…


  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    –Paul Vallas was undermined by the Daleyites back in 2002.–

    Maybe so, but if I recall correctly, Vallas got a plurality in the city and Cook County, even with Burris in the primary as a stalking horse.

    Wasn’t he afraid to fly, and wouldn’t get in a plane to campaign? Kind of hard to run a modern campaign in a state this size from a Mini-Winnie.

    Blago pounded lumps on him downstate.


  11. - Empty Chair - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:23 am:

    I think Ted has a point, but it prob won’t resonate with the writer/readers of this blog. Ryan’s legacy/crimes/term as Gov are all things only remembered by political insiders in IL. The reason that Blago’s book sold was because (a) he was an absurd character of a human being and (b) his crimes involved (albeit tangentially) the President of the United States, and an historic president at that. If George Ryan writes about a few state legislators (many of whom are retired), statehouse lobbyists, and maybe a Congressman or two, it won’t get any attention outside of Springfield/Chicago, and that’s likely why publishers won’t touch it.

    That said, is “Ahead of Our Time Publishing” looking to go into the book business?


  12. - Bigtwich - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    “Steal this book”

    So Abbie Hoffman will be a co author?


  13. - funny guy - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    What were Ryan’s accomplishments? Wasn’t he just as complicit in the culture of ignoring the pension mess as the other notable governors? I’m just asking.


  14. - OneMan - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    The appeal of the Ryan book is going to fall in part on what he says….

    If he goes into some depth about the death penalty thing he could become a bit of a darling for a while and that might help. Also depending on the names he drops (don’t forget there are a lot of Illinois folks in DC now) that could have some play as well.


  15. - AlphaBettor - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    I’m sure Illinois political junkies will be more interested in the Ryan book — but that’s a small audience. I was just relating how I know an agent or publisher would react when faced with a choice between a book by a statewide figure such as Ryan and a book by a nationally-known figure such as Blago.


  16. - LisleMike - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:31 am:

    I am an optomist. I love our state and wouldn’t live elsewhere. I beleive better times are ahead. Once pension and budget issues are addressed we are off to the races.
    As far as GHR book, I would read it. He did indeed lead although his methods may have been “old school” and now illegal. I know a number of people who worked with him and they were loyal to the end. (I am not talking about Fawell) The person on trial, they tell me, was not the person they knew.
    I trust the future, although at my age, it may not include me diretly as a politician/leader, as I once hoped!


  17. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    === I think it’s safe to say a few former top state leaders might be a little worried ===

    I guess the US Attorney better read it - who knows, maybe we’ll get another round of cases, huh?

    word, the fact that Blago pounded lumps on Vallas downstate may have as much to do with how little some folks pay attention to substance as opposed to syle (hair?) than it does to the flying habits of the candidate. How else do we explain folks voting for RB again, when we ALL knew he was in big trouble. What gives?


  18. - Amalia - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:34 am:

    just reading about Ryan makes me want to wash my eyes out. slime.


  19. - Pepe Silvio - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    If only Scott Lee Cohen would have won in 2010….sigh…

    Given this state’s choices in who has the primaries and general statewide office elections of the last few years, I’m not convinced that this constituency is capable of electing such a governor.

    Assuming Lisa runs, she has the ability to be that person, plus she will have the DPI machine behind her.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    ===…Vallas downstate may have as much to do with how little some folks pay attention to substance as opposed to syle (hair?) than it does to the flying habits of the candidate.===

    Have to agree with - wordslinger -.

    I remember the idea of Vallas having to travel downstate, and the method to get there played a huge factor in Vallas’ lack of campaigning in areas that required “fly-around” schedules.


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    If Gov. Ryan is looking for topics, I’d love to hear a candid take on the relationship between the Outfit and government in Illinois.

    His political career didn’t coincide with the zenith of the Outfit’s power in Illinois and the country, but they still had plenty of pull.

    Did he ever have dealings with Dick Cain — former top aide to Ogilvie in Cook County government, made guy and Giancana’s right hand, FBI informant, CIA contractor — who lost his head, so to speak, to a shotgun blast at Rosa’s Sandwich Shop on Grand?

    How about Frank Zito — Springfield businessman who didn’t really have a good explanation for his presence at the Apalachin Meeting?

    Gus Alex, Murray Humphreys, the big-time political fixers?

    Many more.


  22. - Esquire - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Ryan’s conversion on the death penalty seemed a trifle too convenient. It coincided neatly with his mounting legal problems. A commission was charged with reviewing the case files of prisoners sentenced to death row and the members put long hours into their work. Ryan granted a blanket amnesty without even reading the commission’s report.


  23. - steve schnorf - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Willy, the “personnel chooser” line hits close to home:-)


  24. - Colossus - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    ==Wasn’t he afraid to fly, and wouldn’t get in a plane to campaign? Kind of hard to run a modern campaign in a state this size from a Mini-Winnie.==

    FWIW, I’ve heard Edgar once had a near crash that resulted in several staff (at the time) giving up airplanes to this day.


  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    ===…Vallas downstate may have as much to do with how little some folks pay attention to substance as opposed to syle (hair?) than it does to the flying habits of the candidate.===

    Style’s in the eyes of beholder.

    Vallas not getting around didn’t help. Mell lining up all those downstate chairmen and political operatives helped a good deal.

    As far as Blago the second time around, he creamed JBT with paid advertising. It’s not like the GOP money-crew backed her strongly. A lot of them were just fine with Blago as governor.


  26. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    “What we most desperately need in this state is somebody who won’t be going to prison, but who still knows how to operate the levers of government and politics. Is that really too much to ask?”
    This is the question of the decade Rich. Illinois desperately needs such a leader. Lisa? maybe but a mystery. Quinn? silly question. Bill Daley? credentialed but weak willed. Rutherford? lacks stature and cred. Dillard? got potential with positive/neg aspects of R’s old guard. Rauner? delusional rich dude. Brady? go away old news. Matt Murphy? is not running?!


  27. - Rick - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    I think the book will be a good read, too. I also have to say that the best money the Ryan political fund ever spent was putting Mike Sneed’s BFF, Mary Laney, on the payroll. They way Sneed gushes all over George is beyond embarrassing.


  28. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    I doubt the book will be little more than a bitter rebuttal against perceived enemies and justice officials, with a recital of what he believes were his positive accomplishments in office.


  29. - foster brooks - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    Too bad he screwed up @ the secretary of state.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    - steve schnorf -,

    Your credentials, and personal integrity and skill, is beyond reproach.

    I try to stay away from any and ALL discussions about fiscal matters you comment on solely on your undeniable expertise, integrity, and professionalism.

    How about, “…in many cases” be added to my “blanket statement”?


  31. - fan of cap fax - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    Wordslinger, the heck with Ryan. I’d like to read your book! Write it, please. You’re the Wordslinger, so appropriate.


  32. - Shore - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    there’s no such thing as a good felon.


  33. - Anon. - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    He was a solid Gov. and Hitler built the Autobahn. For years, whenever we went up to my sister’s in Wis. we’d pass the burnt spot on the divider where the Willis van burned.

    He’ an old, unrepentant thief and killer, whose greed burnt those kids to death.


  34. - Ed Hammer - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    “crimes confined to the borders of Illinois” HUH? Six children died in a horrendous traffic accident in Wisconsin that directly links back to the license for bribe scheme a scheme he organized and conspired to cover up. In total there were somewhere near 20 national highway deaths linked to said scheme. Ryan appealed his FEDERAL conviction based on the “honest services clause” decision of SCOTUS and SCOTUS later denied his appeal. Ryan’s story is not only national , he was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize for his stance on the death penalty ,. That makes it international. Ol’ George can trade me a copy of my book for his. I will be glad to read it. An analysis will follow. http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Percent-Guilty-Convicted/dp/1439260672


  35. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    I agree that Vallas’ campaign was not run as well as it could have been. However, that doesn’t help explain why folks voted for RB again - what was up with that.

    I will stop now - not related to the stream. I would not likely read Ryan’s book - self serving whining and taking pot shots at others by vanquished criminals is not my idea of interesting. I know about his accomplishments, and I know what his crimes are. The rest is just his justifications.


  36. - dupage dan - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Hitler?


  37. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    DD, I don’t think that was Trotter posting. lol

    Anon, chill out or go away.


  38. - Norseman - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    Willy, I think your amendment is appropriate. Yes, there were some notable bad choices. But on the whole, Ryan was a good governor because he had the help of a lot of hardworking people.


  39. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    –FWIW, I’ve heard Edgar once had a near crash that resulted in several staff (at the time) giving up airplanes to this day.–

    I remember he had a pretty good fire on his plane once. He talked about it on-air right after it happened on Bob Collins show (Collins was a flying enthusiast to the very end, if you recall).


  40. - kerfuffle - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    - Cincinnatus - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 10:18 am:
    …I heard Roland Burris has that chiseled on his tomb. . .

    Too funny, but wait, that would mean that Rich was plagiarizing!


  41. - Barney - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 2:51 pm:

    I hope he includes the story about arguing with the stickman over a bet he placed for a hard 8 at the Peoria Riverboat. He was with Sam Panayotovich at the time. That might help him remember.


  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 3:57 pm:

    ED HAMMER let me quarantee you his book will zell more than that crap you wrote. He had nothing to do with the death of those children. As a matter of fact the accident was due to a defective part on the truck. Nothing in the accident was from an illegal license or how he was driving. People may have covered up an investigation in reference to the license but he new nothing of it. Why have hou not looked into the woman that sold those tickets and what she had in her checking account. When the feds came calling she would lie to save her on rear end. Your book was a joke


  43. - walkinfool - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 4:35 pm:

    It will sell well to CapFax readers, and their ilk, but not to very many others. The political books that really sell now are ideological rants, and Ryan’s anything but a ranter.


  44. - John 0:14 - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 5:44 pm:

    === What we most desperately need in this state is somebody who won’t be going to prison, but who still knows how to operate the levers of government and politics. Is that really too much to ask? ===

    Is Cullerton running?


  45. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 5:48 pm:

    I’ll buy one, if for no other reason but to give George a little help.


  46. - Ed Hammer - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 6:41 pm:

    More news linked to George Ryan Corruption buster Zach Fardon nominated for US Attorney, Northern Illinois.The former prosecutor in Gov. George Ryan’s corruption trial will likely be the next U.S. Attorney in Illinois. Sources say Zachary Fardon, now in private practice, is the top candidate to replace former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.Read more about Fardon in One Hundred Percent Guilty, Chapter 15, the Walls Came Tumblin’ Down, page 300. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1439260672/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=22576699547&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=977016244975734048&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_5jsaygss4p_b

    One Hu


  47. - Ed Hammer - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 6:53 pm:

    By the way Anonymous and other naysayers, Ryan was CONVICTED of OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE for covering up the investigations Russ Sonneveld and I conducted of licenses for bribes including the Ricardo Guzman’s CDL, the man whose truck was involved in the Willis family fatal accident. The lady who took the the bribe from Guzman admitted to the FBI that she gave $80,000 in bribe money to the Citizens for Ryan fund. There are at least 16 to 20 other fatal accidents nationwide linked to this bribe scheme concocted by Ryan. Read it in my book and fact check the official public record. Ryan did not cause the Willis children’s death, but he certainly had criminal culpability for their’ and many others. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1439260672/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=22576699547&hvpos=1t1&hvexid&hvnetw=g&hvrand=977016244975734048&hvpone&hvptwo&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_5jsaygss4p_b


  48. - Thomas McGill - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 7:25 pm:

    George Ryan knew about the cdl scandal in 1992. I told him about it in 1992. He told me to quit bothering him about it.

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4128030.html


  49. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, May 23, 13 @ 9:54 pm:

    Don’t bother George. Sounds like a guy–and having already been IN Prison for YEARS!!–still on some kind of an Ego trip to me and needs to STILL have his ego fed by the public…NOT INterested Mr. Felon. Me and mine sure won’t be buyin’ any copies, let alone leafing through it at the local bookstore…save it for your crony pals George.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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