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*** UPDATED x3 - Pritzker, Biss, Kennedy respond *** Rauner campaign echoes Blagojevich demand to release the FBI tapes

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018

* Press release…

Citizens for Rauner Launches Petition for Release of All Pritzker-Blagojevich Tapes

Since JB Pritzker says he was “never accused of wrongdoing,” he should have no problem with the rest of the FBI wiretap tapes being released. We have a petition just for him, and we invite him to sign it himself. Even Patti Blagojevich, the former governor’s wife, has called for the full tapes to be released.

Today, Citizens for Rauner is starting a petition to release ALL the recordings of conversations between Pritzker and disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich caught on FBI wiretap. This comes after the release of the full, unedited 11 minutes of conversations previously published by the Chicago Tribune.

The petition is here.

* Blagojevich attorney Len Goodman writing in the Sun-Times

As is widely known, the main evidence used to convict former governor Rod Blagojevich, and send him away to prison for 14 years was his private conversations with his aides, wife and brother. The conversations were secretly recorded by the government in late 2008, over eight separate phone lines, including the governor’s home phone and campaign office.

But only a tiny fraction of these tapes have ever been released despite the governor’s repeated demand that the government “release them all.”

There are literally hundreds of hours of Blagojevich tapes that the people of Illinois have never heard. When I first came onto the governor’s case in 2011, I put all of these recordings onto my ipod and spent weeks listening. I can assure you that these tapes tell a very different story about the governor than the story told by the federal prosecutors.

At trial, the government played for the jury cherry-picked excerpts of its tapes — the ones that fit its narrative that the governor tried to sell the senate seat for personal gain and betrayed the people of Illinois. In response, Blagojevich argued that the deal he tried to make for the senate seat was for the benefit of the people of Illinois, not for himself.

Blagojevich argued that he tried to negotiate a deal to appoint Lisa Madigan to the Senate in exchange for Speaker Mike Madigan’s cooperation in enacting the governor’s legislative priorities, including an infrastructure bill and healthcare reform.

Government lawyers, however, convinced Judge James Zagel to exclude the tapes in which Blagojevich discussed the Madigan deal. Then, in closing argument, the lead prosecutor deceptively told the jury to “go back and look at the calls and see how many times Lisa Madigan is actually mentioned … and you’re not going to find it.”

As the prosecutor well knew, the reason the jury couldn’t find these tapes is because the court had excluded them, at the government’s request. […]

Now a government lawyer or FBI agent apparently has leaked a sealed tape from the Blagojevich trial to assist the re-election campaign of Gov. Bruce Rauner. See https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/blagojevich-lawyers-wanted-to-play-j-b-pritzker-tape-at-trials/

Readers will note that this newly leaked tape illustrates exactly what Blagojevich tried to tell his jury – that the primary aim of his deal-making was to make a deal with Madigan to get a “capital bill” (to pay for new and repaired infrastructure) and “health care” reform through Madigan’s House. But the jury never heard this tape. Nor did it hear dozens of other similar taped conversations where Blagojevich worked towards a deal with Madigan.

I recently spoke with the former governor, and his response to this latest episode of selective leaking by the government of his private calls is both consistent and predictable: The government should “release them all.”

As I’ve said many times before, Blagojevich’s plan was pure fantasy. But this is a pretty clever little move by Rauner. He ain’t going down without first waging the fight of his life.

I’ve asked the Pritzker, Kennedy and Biss campaigns for comment.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Chris Kennedy campaign…

If there is nothing wrong or untoward in those FBI tapes, then this is something JB Pritzker should welcome too.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Daniel Biss campaign…

“It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.” -Tom Elliott

Zing!

*** UPDATE 3 *** Pritzker campaign…

Bruce Rauner is continuing to play politics in the Democratic primary so he can distract from his disastrous record as governor. Instead of falling for Rauner’s ploy, Democrats should focus on calling out his failures. This includes refusing to release documents and emails related to how 13 Veterans and spouses lost their lives due to his fatal mismanagement in Quincy, attempting to keep lawsuits against him sealed, and rejecting standard FOIA requests of his administration.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Bobama - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    They should release all the tapes. Blagojevich should if the government fails.


  2. - Ivory Tower - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:43 am:

    If they seriously want the tapes released, why not petition the court instead of doing a silly petition?


  3. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    team rauner is fightin for rod, or trying to cover their tracks


  4. - Real - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    If these are under seal how would Rauner know more conversations with Jb exist? Who is leaking this information to him?


  5. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    ==If they seriously want the tapes released, why not petition the court instead of doing a silly petition?==

    ‘Cause they don’t care if the tapes are released, they just want people to talk about them.


  6. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    From Rauner’s petition:

    –On January 11, we published every tape we had, but we want to hear their full conversation.–

    “Every tape,” like plural? They have tapes? That’s not what they said before.

    –That audio was first published last spring by the Chicago Tribune and that’s where Rauner’s people say they pulled it from.–

    Where did Rauner get the tapes?

    http://wgntv.com/2018/01/12/patti-blagojevich-speaks-out/


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    ===…why not petition the court instead of doing a silly petition?===

    It’s better politics to keep the discussion going thru things like a petition then getting involved in a court case.

    Plus, Rauner can care less about Rod, it’s about keeping Pritzker and the connection they have on a tape front and center, and nothing else.


  8. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Was Rauner the guy who just last week had his attorneys fight to keep his lawsuit under seal?


  9. - PJ - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    Blago’s sentence was too long. But he absolutely deserved token jail time, because the message needed to be sent.

    Of course the prosecutors “cherry-picked”. That’s their job. Were they supposed to play dozens of hours of unfiltered conversations about weekend plans for a jury?

    Political favors are a reality. But blatantly shopping a senate seat is such a massive breach of public trust.


  10. - Annnonin' - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    Hey CaptFax while you are askin’ stuff check with GovJunk and see how he feels about releasin’ tapes with his consultant Stu and Fast Eddie? Those are priceless.
    Meanwhile GovJunk takes another turn toward Blagoofian. First he borrows Blagoof’s PTAB scheme. Now this.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    ===…why not petition the court instead of doing a silly petition?===

    Rauner is seeking to duplicate the success of his term limits and redistricting petition efforts.

    In other words, gather voter info and keep an issue alive for political purposes.


  12. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    == a pretty clever little move by Rauner ==

    Yep. The Chicago media loves all things Blago. They’d much rather cover him than anything happening now in Illinois government.

    An ongoing, slow rolling release of Blago tapes, (particularly if JB’s on the line or if Rod is talking with others about JB,) would be heaven for the Rauner campaign. Kinda like Hillary’s emails leaking throughout the summer and fall of ‘16.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===If there is nothing wrong or untoward in those FBI tapes, then this is something JB Pritzker should welcome too.===

    If you don’t fully grasp that Chris Kennedy is “Bruce Rauner’s Candidate” in the Dem Primary, you aren’t paying attention.

    Ken Dunkin at least pretended he wasn’t “Rauner’s” better…


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    “Chris Kennedy Applauds Rauner’s Petition”

    Whew.


  15. - ILDemVoter - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    I think the tapes should be released- if there’s nothing incriminating and its just Rod being Rod…then who has anything to lose?


  16. - Northside Southerner - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    On the cherry picking - there’s a federal rule of evidence that prohibits evidence from coming into that court room that is overly prejudicial. In response to objections under that rule of evidence, a famous Illinois Assistant AG always responds “of course it’s prejudicial to your client that’s why I want it in.” Throw away rhetoric by this attorney, if his client could have used them, and he was a good advocate for his clients needs, tapes would have come into the courtroom.


  17. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    From June 01, 2017, ABC 7

    “Republican Governor Bruce Rauner was questioned if his campaign had anything to do with the release of the call.

    ‘Good grief. You know, our political system in Illinois is so broken. It’s so full of self-interest and self-dealing and corruption,’ he said.”

    https://tinyurl.com/ya873pqo

    ****
    Be a real pity if the Rauner Campaign lives up to Rauner’s own assessment of Illinois.


  18. - Telly - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    == Was Rauner the guy who just last week had his attorneys fight to keep his lawsuit under seal? ==

    Good point. and why no media follow up on that case? Didn’t the judge order the file unsealed?


  19. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    Self Interest Self dealing,
    My daughter applied for the CPS charter school, what she doesn’t qualify?
    Here’s $250k to sweeten the deal does she qualify now?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===“It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.” -Tom Elliott===

    Dear Tom….

    This is restaurant-quality.

    Wow, is that good.


  21. - Real - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:23 pm:

    Good point. and why no media follow up on that case? Didn’t the judge order the file unsealed?

    -Apparently a judge did, but I have not heard anything else since from the Rauner paid media.


  22. - anon - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Eerily similar to the Clive Bundy case where the DA and the FBI played games with the evidence. Bundy was lucky and the judge caught on and dismissed all charges with prejudice, so they can never be charged again. Poor Rod he wasn’t that lucky.


  23. - Paul S - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    These tapes are the same as the Clinton Emails. The train is rolling down the track and the Pritzker campaign doesn’t seem to know how to stop it. This will engulf the whole JB Campaign after the primary and dwarf the short comings of BVR. Kennedy and Biss are setting up for a BVR win by jumping on the train. This is JB to lose if he can’t get this under control.


  24. - Just Visiting - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    Going after JB now is smart, for two reasons. One, If he can help get anyone else as the Dem nominee he wins. Two, at the very least he damages JB before he even gets out of the gate. Instead of JB talking all summer long about his plans he’ll be responding to Blago and corruption questions as well as property tax dodges. If your responding you’re losing.


  25. - SaulGoodman - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    This. Is. Perfect.

    “It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.” -Tom Elliott


  26. - Rabid - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    unseal rauners “I hope you don’t have a family” case then


  27. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    There is no petition at the link, only a sign up form.
    So you dont know what it says, or who exactly you are petitioning.

    Will rauner be hiring petition passers?/s

    Term limits and redistricting were understandable to the average voter. What voters will be swayed by this?


  28. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    Biss wins the day.


  29. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===“It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.” -Tom Elliott===

    Translation: {sigh} I can’t believe I’m in third place.


  30. - Pritzker Plumbers Inc. - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===Biss wins the day.===

    That takes a little more than sending a one-off statement.


  31. - Randy Jackson - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    Kennedy, Rauner and JB are doing a phenomenal impression of an offensive line opening up a massive whole for Biss to run through.


  32. - What's in a name? - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    Not exactly on point but anyone thinks the Blago Capital Plan was about helping Illinois they are overlooking the Blago shakedown of virtually every consultant in the State.


  33. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    “It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.”

    Poor Dan…always picked last.


  34. - Soothsayer - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    Is it possible that Kennedy is pandering to conservative voters with the hope they will pull a Dem primary ballot?


  35. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==Going after JB now is smart==

    It’s high-risk, high-reward. Maybe you can swing the primary, or define JB early (although since he had the airwaves to himself for months, that second one seems unlikely). But if you don’t, if he still wins the primary comfortably and never really stops to talk about the tapes- as he’s been doing so far- you risk burning the issue early, so that nobody cares about it by October.


  36. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Soothsayer -

    If there were no Republican primary, that might be a sensible strategy.


  37. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==Is it possible that Kennedy is pandering to conservative voters with the hope they will pull a Dem primary ballot?==

    I wouldn’t assume there’s any deep strategy going on here. He’s undisciplined, he has no money, he’s desperate, and a 25-year-old is riding herd on the campaign.


  38. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==“It’s another day of team Kennedy-Rauner squaring off against team Pritzker-Blago. We can do so much better than this.” -Tom Elliott==

    Ouch. Makes me wonder - where is prairiestatedem with the unofficial Kennedy campaign response? I haven’t seen him/her here at Capfax since Kennedy officially endorsed Rauner for governor.


  39. - People Over Parties - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===Democrats should focus on calling out his failures.===

    He doesn’t wanna talk about it. A weakness is continuing to be exposed.


  40. - Roman - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    @Telly and @Real

    Think I read that the seal on the Rauner/Kirkpatrick case gets removed today. My prediction is that Kirkpatrick’s complaint will show Rauner has remained active in his investments since taking office, despite his promises not to do so.

    We should know soon enough.


  41. - Anon0091 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    “It’s high-risk, high-reward. Maybe you can swing the primary, or define JB early (although since he had the airwaves to himself for months, that second one seems unlikely). But if you don’t, if he still wins the primary comfortably and never really stops to talk about the tapes- as he’s been doing so far- you risk burning the issue early, so that nobody cares about it by October.”

    Absolutely, positively, 100% spot on.


  42. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    “Rauner is seeking to duplicate the success of his term limits and redistricting petition efforts.” So Lincolnshire is the first one to sign, right?


  43. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    I’m sick of Daniel. I hope JB turns the fire towards him soon. He deserves it.


  44. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    So Blago was mostly trying to help Madigan get capital and healthcare bills?

    Yea Team Rauner! Way to get Madigan into the discussion!

    Now I’ve heard it all.


  45. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    Best response is from Biss


  46. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    ==He doesn’t wanna talk about it.==

    Of course not. No one ever wants to play their opponents’ game. The question is if Rauner can make him. Hasn’t been able to so far.


  47. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==Kirkpatrick’s complaint will show==

    Well, it will *allege*.


  48. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    Release the tapes. I don’t want to vote for any of the candidates on either side. I do know Daniel Biss tried to cut my pension. I won’t vote for him. It’s personal…


  49. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    –Now I’ve heard it all.–

    With this guy, I doubt that very much.


  50. - Montrose - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    “That takes a little more than sending a one-off statement.”

    I didn’t say he won the primary. Just January 23, 2018.


  51. - SSL - Tuesday, Jan 23, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    I doubt there would be much more on the unreleased tapes that would negatively impact JB. He would be better off saying release them all. Otherwise it will continue to hound him. Unless of course there’s something on there he really doesn’t want the voters to hear.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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