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*** UPDATED x1 - Another Pritzker response *** More to Pritzker’s Blagojevich wiretap conversations than first believed

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

* Back when then state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was in the running for a job in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration, none other than JB Pritzker told Gov. Rod Blagojevich that he was interested in being appointed to fill out the remainder of Giannoulias’ term.

“That’s the one I would want,” Pritzker said, according to federal surveillance recordings obtained by the Tribune.

Uh-oh.

* There’s lots of tantalizing sizzle in the first few paragraphs of this story entitled “J.B. Pritzker sought political office from Blagojevich, 2008 FBI wiretaps show,” but scroll way down

Pritzker already had raised the idea of being named state treasurer if an opening occurred, and he followed up during a Nov. 14, 2008, call with the governor.

“I’ve got a lot of reasons why it makes sense. The problem for you would be the same problem with the Senate really,” Pritzker said. “I’ve given you contributions.”

“Total nonissue,” Blagojevich replied. “First of all, you give money to everybody, like (Attorney General) Lisa Madigan, OK?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, no question,” Pritzker said.

“Which, incidentally, if you can do for me what you did for her, before the end of the year. Can you think about that?” Blagojevich asked, aware that Pritzker had donated $50,000 to Madigan during the previous year.

“I can’t, I mean, not while everything’s up in the air, but I hear ya,” Pritzker said. “I hear ya and, and and … But anyway …”

“If we go in that direction, though, if that does happen, I mean there’s some other people who can help us that you know,” Blagojevich said.

“Sure,” Pritzker said.

“If you feel skittish about that, which I believe you shouldn’t, but go ahead,” Blagojevich said.

“Yeah,” Pritzker replied, “I don’t think we should even talk about it but I understand what you’re saying.”

Blagojevich was a true sleazeball.

There’s lots more, so click here and read the whole thing.

* The Pritzker campaign sent me this response…

There was nothing untoward about JB Pritzker’s conversations and throughout his career he has considered different ways he could serve the people of Illinois. The record is clear that Rod Blagojevich was having dozens of conversations with both elected officials and private citizens, including members of President Obama’s transition team, which is why he is currently in prison. JB has been a proud supporter of hundreds of progressive and Democratic leaders and organizations in Illinois and across the country, especially those who have been supporters of early childhood education.

Also, as the campaign is pointing out, the last contribution Pritzker gave to Blagojevich was during the 2006 race, two years before those contributions.

*** UPDATE ***  A new Pritzker campaign statement…

“If one listens to the actual calls released in the story there was nothing untoward about JB’s conversations with the Governor,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen. “Throughout JB’s life he’s had an interest in serving the people of Illinois and that’s exactly what he expressed when discussing a potential opening in the Treasurer’s office. In fact, when the Governor brings up whether JB would be interested in being appointed to the Senate, on multiple occasions JB expresses he is not and moves away from the type of conversation that landed Rod Blagojevich in prison.

“This is just a continuation of attacks made by Bruce Rauner and Republicans and it’s no coincidence that it was published by the Chicago Tribune on the last day of another session where Governor Rauner has failed to pass a budget.”

The jab at the Trib is unusual, to say the least.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

118 Comments
  1. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    This is a non story

    I’d be more interested who pushed this story, Rauner or Kennedy’s camp.


  2. - so.... - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    I’m breathless with anticipation for how Oswego Willy justifies this one.


  3. - Terry Salad - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    “I can’t, I mean, not while everything’s up in the air, but I hear ya,”

    I don’t see anything wrong with this answer. He’s on the phone with a jerk who made a completely inappropriate request.


  4. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    One more reason why the Illinois AFL-CIO should spend more time to vet the candidates … here we are, learning about new FBI taped conversations with Blagojevich and some of them want to rush a Pritzker endorsement? What planet are these guys on?


  5. - so.... - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    ==I don’t see anything wrong with this answer. He’s on the phone with a jerk who made a completely inappropriate request.==

    He should have ended the conversation then and there.


  6. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Almost the Weekend - give me a break. If this story was about Biss or Kennedy you would be calling on them to drop out.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    ===I’m breathless with anticipation for how Oswego Willy justifies this one.===

    There’s really nothing for me to justify… or not.

    If you recall, I’ve said, multiple, multiple times…

    Pritzker and that Crew needs to get way better at their own oppo and answering their own oppo.

    How they couldn’t know or remember this convo or have a response for it, that’s on Pritzker and that Crew.

    Your concern for me is… thoughtful, lol


  8. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    This is a non story? How can you believe that? Why would Pritzker be lobbying for the treasurers office? Not a very sexy office compared to the Senate. Could it be he wanted a stab at all that public money investing? Why would he be looking to his CME buddies to “out this” publicly? This wiretap should start the sizzle on JB’s eventual goose cooking.


  9. - Annyong - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    This just gives more ammunition to the “JB is only in it for himself” narrative. He’s a great public speaker and charismatic but besides that and the money factor what is there to like? Am I missing something?


  10. - Lance Mannion - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    It appears each Dem Gubernatorial candidate — except one — has a direct connection to Blago, Mike Madigan or both. That’s a problem.


  11. - Seats - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    Honestly he handled the situation good in my opinion. You don’t want to be an ass and cut all ties with the Gov. But at the same time he told him essentially that he didn’t feel comfortable buying his seat.

    Given it was an off the record phone call I’m more impressed than I am concerned with JB from it.


  12. - T Sowell - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rich guys and their toys…”That’s the one I would want”


  13. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    There are a lot of people caught on tape with Rod. A lot. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the Tribune to let us know which ones they think we should hear, and when.

    For the record, the feds listened to all of these tapes a long time ago. They didn’t call on Pritzker to testify, nor was he accused of anything wrong.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    ===One more reason why the Illinois AFL-CIO should spend more time to vet the candidates … here we are, learning about new FBI taped conversations with Blagojevich and some of them want to rush a Pritzker endorsement? What planet are these guys on?===

    So you bash a group you may be able to pick up if they peel off Pritzker?

    - Downstate Dem -

    ‘Tween us… you make it difficult to see Kennedy beyond these connects you make.

    You are not helping the cause.


  15. - Shytown - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    I think a lot of people regret ever hopping on the phone with Blago and remotely entertaining his kooky or shady ideas. But Pritzker didn’t give him $$$ and ultimately said thanks but no thanks. This sound salacious and it’s a lot of new deets, but there’s no “gotcha”. Otherwise Pritzker would have faced charges or even been called into court proceedings, which he wasn’t.


  16. - J - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    Where did the tape come from? Not a good look for people to be leaking the non public contents of an evidence locker to a campaign.


  17. - Been There - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===Also, as the campaign is pointing out, the last contribution Pritzker gave to Blagojevich was during the 2006 race, two years before those contributions. ====
    I believe conversations like this one were ultimately the demise of a couple of race tracks. And their contributions were all older and they didn’t follow up with Blago’s recorded request. But it was enough to sway a jury in a civil trial. And its an issue that will be used to sway voters.


  18. - Reality Check - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    I don’t know if this is ultimately a death knell, but this is really bad for the Pritzker campaign. When you read the entire article, there’s so much fodder for JB’s opponents to use that simply cannot be easily dismissed. And if the actual audio is ever made available…oy.


  19. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==Could it be he wanted a stab at all that public money investing?==

    Boy, that’s a leap.

    It’s a pretty bad headline for Pritzker (graded on the curve of Blago’s own LG actually got re-elected, so I’m not sure these things are as powerful as some hope), but the substance of what he said- and especially what he did- doesn’t amount to much. I mean, no doubt Team Pritzker wish it didn’t happen, but there’s not much more here than The Governor offered him a job, he said maybe, the Governor asked for money, and he said no.


  20. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    I don’t read anything illegal in the transcripts, in fact JB did say the right things with regards to the senate seat - backing off of a donation at this time.

    But, and a big but - he was lobbying for the state treasures office? Why? This should tell you what type of candidate he is and will be should he somehow win office.


  21. - Steve - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    Can JB handle this speed bump? Yep. He wasn’t indicted. He wasn’t called to the stand. Whether you like him or not those are the facts.


  22. - Montrose - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    While I see no real meat to what they put out there, as soon as you are explaining, you are losing. Blago is as tainted as ever and opponents can twist that conversation lots of ways to hurt JB. It is not an up day for him.


  23. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    Pritzker already had raised the idea of being named state treasurer if an opening occurred, and he followed up during a Nov. 14, 2008, call with the governor.

    “I’ve got a lot of reasons why it makes sense. The problem for you would be the same problem with the Senate really,” Pritzker said. “I’ve given you contributions.

    So how does one not read this as Pritzker saying appoint me State Treasurer, I have given you money…

    I get you like a Rich guy running against Rauner and everything, but come on, if this was Rauner would you be saying this was a non-story?


  24. - Liberal Elite - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Any fair minded prosecutor would tell you that the conversation about appointment to public office in the same breath as asking for $50k in campaign donations would be sufficient to establish probable cause.


  25. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Arsenal - I know it is just speculation - but why o why would a guy like Pritzker lobby for the state treasurers job? It was not offered, he was asking for it instead of the senate seat - which was offered.


  26. - Real - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    Funny how these Rauner shills working at newspapers keep trying to put dirt on Pritzker.


  27. - don the legend - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    I wonder if $70,000,000 in a campaign account is enough to make this an issue????


  28. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    Downstate Dem,

    I admit I have given flap for Kennedy having a rough start to the campaign and absolutely no fundraising prowess. But looking at this from a broader perspective, Blago has hours of audio talking with people all over the state about this seat. I’m sure every conversation was very similar. Are you interested and then the ask from Blago.

    The Tribune would have never done this work unless it was pushed by a rival campaign. And this isn’t a Sunday cover piece. It’s coming out on a Wednesday, when the biggest news of the day will be 700 complete days without a budget.

    Time will tell if the Trib runs in depth columns on other candidates as well too. Not holding my breath for Rauner lol


  29. - Come on Man! - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    The thing that strikes me the most outside of the brazen lack of ethical fortitude was the cavalier exchange over his sister’s bank failing. PEOPLE LOST THEIR HOMES! Real man of the people.

    This is a political Rorschach test. If you see anything but corruption and insider dealing you are either on the payroll of JB or blinded by the idea of a self-funder for Governor to take on Rauner.


  30. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    OW - I tell it like it is and if you don’t like it, oh well, sorry. Real simple politics here: candidates aren’t vetted so why rush an AFL-CIO endorsement. New FBI tapes exhibit A. I want the AFL-CIO to read this - you bet I do. They need to focus.


  31. - cdog - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    Seems if Pritzker is talking about contributions and appointments in the same conversation, there’s a problem.


  32. - Mike Cirrincione - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    “D’oh!”


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===I tell it like it is and if you don’t like it===

    Yeah, I’m gonna stop you right there.

    Your disingenuous way of claiming downstate “support” when it turns out half the counties were t recorded and Pritzker picked up the biggest population county in that region.

    To say you’re less than truthful is being… polite.


  34. - Reality Check - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    Whoever is stealing my handle at 3:31, that’s not me. Get your own name.


  35. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===So how does one not read this as Pritzker saying appoint me State Treasurer, I have given you money…===

    Well, it helps to know there was no vacancy in the Treasurer’s office at the time.


  36. - IRLJ - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Given that defeating Rauner is the bottom line, I am sorry, but I think this inflicts serious injury to Pritzker. Sure, the details aren’t as bad as the headline, but swing voters aren’t going to care about the details and the superior Rauner public-relations team will have a ball with this.


  37. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==When you read the entire article, there’s so much fodder for JB’s opponents to use that simply cannot be easily dismissed.==

    Actually, reading the article minimize the story (as is often the case). When I saw the headline, I said, “Welp, that’s it, it’s gonna be someone else.” But once I read the whole article, it was clear that not so much happened here.

    But maybe there’s more to come, who knows?

    ==but why o why would a guy like Pritzker lobby for the state treasurers job?==

    I don’t know, except to say that “he wanted to do shady things with public investments” isn’t the only possible reason, or even the most likely.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    (Sigh), now to this…

    ===Real simple politics here: candidates aren’t vetted so why rush an AFL-CIO endorsement===

    That’s different than “this”

    ===One more reason why the Illinois AFL-CIO should spend more time to vet the candidates … here we are, learning about new FBI taped conversations with Blagojevich and some of them want to rush a Pritzker endorsement? What planet are these guys on?===

    You wonder aloud in one, hope for a reassessment.

    The other you attack them for a decision.

    You seriously don’t help yourself.


  39. - Shytown - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    OneMan -

    ==Pritzker already had raised the idea of being named state treasurer if an opening occurred, and he followed up during a Nov. 14, 2008, call with the governor.

    “I’ve got a lot of reasons why it makes sense. The problem for you would be the same problem with the Senate really,” Pritzker said. “I’ve given you contributions.

    So how does one not read this as Pritzker saying appoint me State Treasurer, I have given you money…==

    I think you may have missed the point in that convo - Pritzker said it would be a problem appointing him Treasurer because he’d already donated to his campaign; it wasn’t a “hey I gave you money, now appoint me treasurer” convo. Quite the opposite actually.


  40. - Responsa - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==Funny how these Rauner shills working at newspapers keep trying to put dirt on Pritzker.==

    For the folks trying to pooh-pooh this Blago wiretap conversation as a non-story, are you really suggesting that the public should not be made aware of this sort of thing in order to make up their minds on how big a “non-story” it is?. Would not this be an interesting part of the campaign back story regardless of whether it were JB or another candidate for governor in the tap?


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===So how does one not read this as Pritzker saying appoint me State Treasurer, I have given you money===

    Read the whole thing. He’s saying it’s gonna be a problem because he gave Rod money.


  42. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    ==So how does one not read this as Pritzker saying appoint me State Treasurer, I have given you money==

    Err, because he was citing his contributions as a reason NOT to do it.


  43. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    Skytown,

    I see how it can be read that way…


  44. - Seats - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    Responsa- readers should have all the information available to them. I just read it and was more impressed by his not buying his seat when it was the easy option.

    What did you want him to say? It seems like a way to attack a candidate because the average voter is too lazy to read the full article and the headline sounds bad.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    To. The. Post.

    The politics at play are simple.

    The politics are these;

    The Pritzker Comm Crew, and Pritzker himself, must get ahead of this story. They are dreadfully awful, painfully awful at oppo quick response. If they don’t have a response now, they better come up with one “quite quick” that slams the door and also makes clear they are ready for how ugly this (campaigning) IS, and get on some sort of offensive posturing to get off this.

    The flip side?

    Attacking the endorsers of Pritzker? Geez Louise, that the path?

    No.

    The minutes, hours, days that this is sitting out here, be it Biss, Kennedy, even Rauner, the narratives are out there to exploit and take down what in all honesty could/could not be anything, but it’s out there and Pritzker and that Comm Crew lacks in the quick response lane.

    That’s it.

    It’s up to Pritzker and his Comm Crew…

    It’s up to everyone else…

    It’s up to who can make the argument best, the cleanest, the sharpest, and how Pritzker can move on from this learning they need to be 1,000 times better at oppo.


  46. - William j Kelly - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    Mark your calendars, Democrats will be begging Quinn to get in the race August 12th.


  47. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    So the thought process here appears to be that this was pushed by a campaign.

    So they got access to the tapes and decided to share with the Trib so that the story would run during the middle of the week 9 months before the primary?

    That’s a different approach.


  48. - Real - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    Rich-Read the whole thing. He’s saying it’s gonna be a problem because he gave Rod money.
    ….

    So basically this is grasping at straws and Rauner shills twisting stories.


  49. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:55 pm:

    –”The only reason to do it {appoint Jarret to the seat} is if he’ll appoint you to something,” Pritzker advised the governor.–

    So, Pritzker is on audio telling Blago that he should use the senate seat as a bargaining chip with Obama to receive a presidential appointment.


  50. - Turn Around For What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    Downstate Dem, as a union member I don’t see any reason why this should change or slow down the AFL-CIO endorsement of Pritzker if they are in fact ready to endorse him.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    If I were the Pritzker Crew, I’d start here like 15 min. ago…

    ===Read the whole thing. He’s saying it’s gonna be a problem because he gave Rod money.===

    There’s enough there to make their argument.

    Will they?


  52. - A guy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    ==There are a lot of people caught on tape with Rod. A lot.===

    But only ONE of the guys in this race. Not good.


  53. - Montrose - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:57 pm:

    “So the thought process here appears to be that this was pushed by a campaign.

    So they got access to the tapes and decided to share with the Trib so that the story would run during the middle of the week 9 months before the primary?

    That’s a different approach.”

    If I am Rauner, I like folks talking about the JB story a lot more than it being day 700 without a budget.


  54. - phocion - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    This will hurt JB Pritzker’s chances of ever being elected Governor. He was clearly partaking in the Blago pay to play scheme on the recorded line. Then JB says he isn’t comfortable talking about it on the phone, which means he wanted to discuss the scheme in person where chances of electronic surveillance were reduced. The fact that JB Pritzker didn’t get indicted over this means nothing. The tape proves he was up to no good and looking to cash in his contributions for public office.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    ===The fact that JB Pritzker didn’t get indicted over this means nothing.===

    US Attorneys make care to differ, lol


  56. - Where's the story? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    I don’t see a story here unless the story is Pritzker didn’t want to do anything wrong or even take a chance on doing anything wrong.


  57. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    If I am Rauner, I like folks talking about the JB story a lot more than it being day 700 without a budget.

    You really think the average person really cares about day 700 without a budget? Even if they do, it seems you would hold this for closer to the primary.


  58. - walker - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    Deep dumpster dive to come up with what exactly?


  59. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    ==So the thought process here appears to be that this was pushed by a campaign.==

    OF COURSE it was pushed by a campaign, these things always are. But that doesn’t matter.

    ==Then JB says he isn’t comfortable talking about it on the phone==

    He said he didn’t want to talk about it, full stop.


  60. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===The tape proves he was up to no good and looking to cash in his contributions for public office.===

    I guess we could believe you, phocion, or we could listen to the tapes, or even read the transcripts and hear/see it for ourselves.

    Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s true.


  61. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===If I am Rauner, I like folks talking about the JB story a lot more than it being day 700 without a budget.===

    Lol. We’re talking about this today, but what do you think we’ll be talking about when Rauner gets to Day 1000 without a budget?


  62. - Responsa - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==What did you want him to say?==

    I have no opinion on what he should or should not say and I have no opinion whatsoever whether this is going to hurt him with voters. However, I do have the opinion that “outsiders” to the political process do not have access to and/or get recorded in phone conversations with a governor known to be dirty.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    Just so I’m clear…

    I’m not ignoring the Pritzker response.

    I’m acknowledging it isn’t close to be enough against Rauner.

    They need “better”

    OW


  64. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    JB is starting to feel like a candidate with too much baggage.


  65. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==Lol. We’re talking about this today, but what do you think we’ll be talking about when Rauner gets to Day 1000 without a budget?==

    And I mean, even today, with session ending and no budget…it coulda been a lot worse for Pritzker. If this had come out next Monday, it would be the Illinois politics story for a week.


  66. - TKMH - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===”‘My interest in holding public office is, you know, always large,’ Pritzker told Blagojevich in a call on Nov. 6, 2008, two days after Obama was elected president.”

    JB’s been thinking big since ‘08!


  67. - Clark - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    It could be a non issue if the Pritzker campaign plays it perfectly. It could be an issue if they address it incompetently.

    “So basically this is grasping at straws and Rauner shills twisting stories.”

    I don’t know, looks like normal reporting to me.


  68. - WizzardOfOzzie - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    To the first question of who leaked this… there is zero reason for Kennedy to step on his good day. While Rauner has all the reason in the world to deflect from his failure to accomplish anything on the last day of session.


  69. - BuckinIrish - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===He and Blagojevich discussed various horse-trading scenarios that would benefit the governor. During the same Nov. 6, 2008, conversation, the two discussed one possibility: perhaps Blagojevich should follow Obama’s wishes and pick the president-elect’s friend, Valerie Jarrett, for the Senate seat.
    “The only reason to do it is if he’ll appoint you to something,” Pritzker advised the governor.===

    I know this is politics, but its a bad look for anyone to talk about using the new president’s US Senate seat for campaign or career purposes. We always heard Rod talk about the seat like a toy, and now they have JB talking the same way.

    ===Earlier in that same call, Blagojevich talked about Pritzker’s qualifications for treasurer that included “banking and financial experience and know-how.”
    “Yeah, I don’t know about banking, right?” Pritzker said. “You throw my sister (Penny) and Superior Bank in.”
    Both laughed.
    “What happened to her bank?” Blagojevich asked. “Did it collapse or something?”
    “Yeah, she was chairman of the bank,” Pritzker said. “It had subprime loans. I mean bad stuff.”
    “Superior Bank turned out to be an inferior bank,” the governor remarked.===

    Yeah it never looks good to be chuckling about a bank failure, especially when your family had a stake. Just wait till a former Superior victim gets splashed across the TV.

    ===”But I throw that out at ya. And finally, look, even if none of those things makes sense for ya. I’d love to help you in any way I can, you know, with any decision-making you decide, you know, that you’re going to get involved in.===

    Can the argument please die that he only dealt with Rod in the lightest fashion possible. He was wheeling and dealing with this guy, and was ready to use his money and Rod’s support to get him as high as he could go in public life. He wasn’t a man with a progressive agenda bringing that message to the public.


  70. - Soccermom - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    It’s clearly a Rauner drop. This isn’t just day 700 without a budget. It’s the last day of session. And the last thing Rauner wants people talking about is the likelihood that his horrific self-induced standoff lasts and lasts and lasts, torpedoing what’s left of our bond rating.


  71. - Milo - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    Speaking for myself, I look forward to a replay of Blagojevich cronyism and chicanery. The state doesn’t have enough problems.


  72. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    I’m working in the gov primary for another candidate and am disgusted by this entire story. Nonpublic incidental collection should never be used for anything other than its intended purpose; that’s the entire reason the FBI is allowed to wiretap suspects.

    Setting aside that this is a non-story, its publication was inappropriate and the Trib’s lede is misleading bordering on false and whatever campaign pushed this is revolting.

    This is the second time incidental collection from the Blagojevich trial has been used to embarrass a political target outside the investigation. People should be fired over this, and it’s disgusting nothing will happen. This is a total abuse of law enforcement and journalistic sourcing.


  73. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==One more reason why the Illinois AFL-CIO should spend more time to vet the candidates==

    Yet another Illinois AFL-CIO mystery.


  74. - Canon - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    Uh JB, if you think Todd Lighty is a tanker for the GOP might I suggest trying google first before spouting.


  75. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==I don’t know, looks like normal reporting to me.==

    It can be two things!

    And I mean, if Team Superstar seeded the story to the Trib doesn’t really matter, does it?


  76. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    ==The jab at the Trib is unusual, to say the least.==

    He says what we’re all thinking!


  77. - T Sowell - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”


  78. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    To the “second” response,

    Better. That’s better.

    OW


  79. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Turnaround for What - Today’s news doesn’t make you pause for a second about endorsing Pritzker for Governor? What’s coming out next month? What don’t you know? Doesn’t that matter? Doesn’t it make sense to give the process more time so union members can learn more about each candidate?


  80. - DuPage - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:31 pm:

    How did the Tribune get a hold of the Blago tapes which were ordered sealed by the judge? A serious crime may have been committed here.


  81. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    ===Turnaround for What - Today’s news doesn’t make you pause for a second about endorsing Pritzker for Governor? What’s coming out next month? What don’t you know? Doesn’t that matter? Doesn’t it make sense to give the process more time so union members can learn more about each candidate==

    When you find out…

    …what planet they are on…

    …you should ask them to reconsider.

    But if I were you, I’d ask them nicely.


  82. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    ==What don’t you know?==

    The problem is, you can ask that all the way up to Election Day, and you can ask it about every candidate. But at some point, you gotta make a decision.


  83. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    If you actually listen to the tapes, it’s clear that he not only did nothing wrong, he told Rod it didn’t make sense because he had given contributions back in his races. So the substance is one thing. The politics are something else.


  84. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:13 pm:

    Anybody back then could call Governor Blagojevich and have an extended conversation with him over appointments.

    No biggie. Nothing “untoward.”

    Anybody can file for and receive property tax reductions, even whopping ones involving purchasing of a mansion and then claiming it is “uninhabitable.”

    No biggie. Nothing “untoward.”

    He’s just an average, everyday type of fella, just like the rest of us!

    And a pattern begins to emerge . . .


  85. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:15 pm:

    How much did Rauner give Blagojevich?
    Bruce did as Pritzer did, didn’t he?


  86. - Turn Around For What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:16 pm:

    Downstate Dem, what Arsenal said at 4:37. This is what we know now and this will not make an iota of difference when folks go to the polls to vote and it should have no bearing on any endorsement from any person or group in my opinion.


  87. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:17 pm:

    - Louis G Atsaves -

    I wouldn’t get to smug…

    Rauner had at least a 58% disapproval, no budget, no accomplishments, and “Bruce Rauner failed” is still true… lol


  88. - Revolver - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:19 pm:

    The attack adds for this write themselves, he’s sunk.

    It doesn’t matter if what he said was legal, it reads as slimy and corrupt as all of Blago’s tapes.

    I’m sorry Democrats, you just lost your piggy bank.


  89. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:21 pm:

    A better question would be “How did the Rauner campaign, who leaked this to the Tribune, get a hold of the Blago tapes which were ordered sealed by the judge? A serious crime may have been committed here.”


  90. - I Play for Keeps. - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:22 pm:

    Memorial Day is the new Labor Day and the new kick-off of campaign season; Rauner drew first blood. Dems need to quit whining and lace up your gloves for heavy political combat.

    How do these wire taps get out anyway?


  91. - Walter Concrete - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:24 pm:

    Anyone interested in checking the Illinois State Board of Elections can see that Pritzker donated large sums of money to Blagojevich and other Democrats. Pritzker’s ties to Blagojevich cannot be dismissed in a casual manner. It is an issue and it will not go away.


  92. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:25 pm:

    ===attack adds for this write themselves, he’s sunk.

    It doesn’t matter if what he said was legal, it reads as slimy and corrupt as all of Blago’s tapes.

    I’m sorry Democrats, you just lost your piggy bank.===

    You might be too weak for Illinois politics.

    If I learned anything from Rauner, money seems to cleanse a great deal.


  93. - Voice of Champaign - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    Maybe Pritzker should take up Ammons offer and run as her LG and fund the whole campaign…


  94. - Turn Around For What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:29 pm:

    =The attack adds for this write themselves=

    Revolver, adds don’t write themselves. You have pay someone to write ads and then you have to pay someone to air the ads.


  95. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:30 pm:

    FILE THIS UNDER RUSS STEWART WAS RIGHT!!!

    How many times do you get to say that?

    Between was come out and what will come out there is no way JB wins the General.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if ILGOP lays off him now because he’s such a flawed candidate that they hope he gets the nomination even if it forces Rauner to pony up an extra $100 Million.

    I am very curious how the Trib got these tapes.


  96. - Fax Machine - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:32 pm:

    I don’t think Rauner leaked this. They leaked the property tax story and they had a whole media blitz ready to go around it. They’re not doing that with this. This is a Trib reporter with a source.


  97. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:34 pm:

    ===FILE THIS UNDER RUSS STEWART WAS RIGHT===

    We will see.

    This isn’t an imploding. An imploding would be something comes out and you have a Friday Fiasco press conference.

    So far, that hasn’t happened.

    How often was Rauner dismissed…

    … donating to Daley… Donating to Rahm… bullying a woman executive… Clouting a daughter in a Chicago school…

    Rutherford knows about imploding.


  98. - IRLJ - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:38 pm:

    Not sure I understand the Trumpian fixation on how it was leaked, and by whom.
    Anti-leaking rules have never kept American journalists from gathering the news, and they’re not about to now.
    Like it or not from an anti-Rauner standpoint, the source of the leak is relevant only to those who wanted the information to remain hidden.


  99. - Say What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    The dig at the Tribune for partisan bias from the Pritzker campaign seems hopelessly dated. Colonel McCormick is no longer the publisher and the editors are not dyed in the wool Republicans any longer.


  100. - WSJ Paywall - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    Go after the Trib Ed Board all you want, but going after reporters isn’t cool.


  101. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:42 pm:

    ===Go after the Trib Ed Board all you want, but going after reporters isn’t cool.===

    Agreed. That’s why I thought the response was better, but not great…


  102. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:46 pm:

    ===editors are not dyed in the wool Republicans===

    No, the Editorial Board aren’t Republicans, they’re Raunerites.

    Keep up, please.

    ===I don’t think Rauner leaked this===

    Schock and Rutherford may disagree with your naïveté


  103. - Say What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:50 pm:

    @Oswego Willy:

    Any journalist at any paper would have used the Blagojevich tapes to publish a story, including Carl Kolchak and Louie Vincenzo.

    The bigger question is how did Pritzker and his camp think that none of this would resurface?

    Politics ain’t bean bag.


  104. - Say What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:52 pm:

    And for those who are uninformed, Colonel McCormick (an isolationist Republican) oftentimes did insist upon publishing slanted stories that promoted his favorites and battered his foes.


  105. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:53 pm:

    ===Any journalist at any paper would have used the Blagojevich tapes to publish a story, including Carl Kolchak and Louie Vincenzo===

    You said…

    ===editors are not dyed in the wool Republicans===

    The Editorial Board itself made up of editors, are collectively Raunerite leaning.

    I didn’t question the reporters.

    Reading is fundamental.


  106. - Rocky Rosi - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 5:57 pm:

    Hillary 2.0


  107. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    ===Hillary 2.0===

    Hillary wanted to be Illinois’ Treasurer too?

    That’s a new one on me.


  108. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 6:05 pm:

    Walter,

    As the Trib itself wrote, Pritzker gave $9 million to Democrats. Blago was the first Dem to win the mansion in 26 years. This is not news.


  109. - Say What? - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 6:26 pm:

    How many angels can fit on a pinhead, OW?

    I am asking because you are a pinhead.

    Distinctions do make a difference, but unlike you some of us do not troll 24 hours a day.


  110. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 6:32 pm:

    ===Distinctions do make a difference===

    The reporters on the beat, especially the Illinois political beat.

    The Raunerites on the Editorial Board, welp, you can’t explain that away.

    Oh, and making it about me, that’s not making an argument.

    Pinhead? Even with a filter I could do much better. Are you an angel in all that pinhead butchering of a quote, or…

    I can’t help you couldn’t read something.


  111. - 2018 - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 7:11 pm:

    The real issue is JB laughing about a Pritzker family run bank hat went under due to defaults on sub prime loans in which minority families lost their homes.


  112. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 7:43 pm:

    “Inferior Bank” was a funny line by Blago to be honest.


  113. - Juvenal - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 10:51 pm:

    If Bruce Rauner was running against Rod Blagojevich, this would be really damaging stuff.

    I hear Blago trying to trade a public office for campaign contributions. I don’t hear Pritzker offering campaign contributions for a public office, and neither did the Feds.

    nothing in those tapes changes the fact that Rauner is a failure as governor, the worst governor in the nation, arguable the biggest failure this state has ever had as governor.


  114. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 10:51 pm:

    So Blago was a national model leader for children before JB re JB. um, ok. (who called JB a national model leader on children? besides his cash?)

    this article is filled with damage for JB! he funnels money to Blago project, he gets money from Blago for his project. he wants to be Treasurer, that’s what he really, really wants ….move over Frerichs!

    honestly, someone should straight up ask him why he is not running for Treasurer.


  115. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 11:17 pm:

    Free Blago…


  116. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    ” . . . I wouldn’t get to smug… . . .”

    Who forced JB to seek huge property tax reductions on a “uninhabitable” mansion? Who forced him to call RB (Rod Blagojevich) to seek an appointment?

    If Rauner did this, Oswego Willy would be in hysterics repeating constantly his indignation over such activities. But OW is not.

    Yet another pattern begins to emerge . . .


  117. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ===Who forced JB to seek huge property tax reductions on a “uninhabitable” mansion? Who forced him to call RB (Rod Blagojevich) to seek an appointment?===

    Are you the new Ron Sandack?

    “Who?”… “Who?”

    Welp, “Pat Quinn failed” - Louis G Atsaves -

    But…

    Rauner is on the brink of closing state universities, making our state credit rating junk, forcing social services to close, hurting people, purposely, as Diana Rauner thanks Pritzker, praising Pritzker for saving The Ounce.

    “Bruce Rauner failed”… where o where has Rauner not failed?

    ===If Rauner did this, Oswego Willy would be in hysterics repeating constantly his indignation over such activities. But OW===

    But I did, Counselor.

    ‘Nember the comments about donating to Rahm, Daley, Claypool?

    ‘Nember the comments about clouting Rauner’s denied Winnetka-living daughter… thru Democrats?

    Counselor, do I need to remind you about the times, time after time, the hypocrisy that I commented on Rauner’s own hypocrisy.

    Read up, I know you can read.

    It’s up to Pritzker and his Crew, who have shown the worst in handling their own oppo.

    “Implosion?” - let’s see if a Rutherford moment occurs, and further, Counselor, read above about my take on the politics I see at play, and where Pritzker and Crew, as I see it, ate failing.

    ===Yet another pattern begins to emerge…===

    That I call it as I see it and you’re a shill in the face of hypocrisy? I thought we already agreed to all that… Counselor… lol


  118. - Refugia Viernes - Wednesday, Jun 7, 17 @ 2:47 am:

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