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Blagojevich again attempts to rewrite history

Monday, May 28, 2018

* Rod Blagojevich writing in the Wall St. Journal

The rule of law is under assault in America. It is being perverted and abused by the people sworn to enforce and uphold it. Some in the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are abusing their power to criminalize the routine practices of politics and government.

I learned the hard way what happens when an investigation comes up empty after the government has invested time, resources and manpower. When they can’t prove a crime, they create one. Did you know that an elected official asking for a campaign contribution is the same as a dirty cop asking a motorist for a cash bribe to tear up a speeding ticket? I never did. Yet that’s what a federal prosecutor told the jury during my second trial on bribery and extortion charges in 2011.

Fundraising is a routine and necessary part of America’s political system. You can’t compete in politics, and you can’t govern from a position of strength, if you are perceived as weak. Building and maintaining a healthy war chest helps lead to success. For most people in the political arena, the fundraising part of the job is no fun. I liken it to exercise. It hurts but it makes you healthy and strong.

The problem, of course, was that Blagojevich’s fundraising practices were too often “unhealthy.”

* From Blagojevich’s 2010 trial

At several points, [John Wyma] said, Blagojevich appeared to link spending on certain state projects to campaign cash from donors likely to benefit from the state help.

“If they don’t perform, (expletive) ‘em,” Blagojevich allegedly told Wyma at one point.

At a meeting Oct. 8, Wyma said Children’s Memorial Hospital came up. The governor, Wyma said, mentioned how he had recently been called by former Cubs manager and ex-hospital board member Dusty Baker about raising Medicaid reimbursement rates to pediatric specialists at the hospital by at least $8 million.

The hospital had been seeking the boost for years. Wyma said Blagojevich told him he was going to give the go-ahead — but with a caveat. The governor wanted Children’s CEO Patrick Magoon to kick in a $50,000 donation to his campaign, Wyma said.

* Also from the 2010 trial

In a phone conversation in mid-October with Children’s CEO Patrick Magoon, the Governor said he would approve a $10 million increase in the Medicaid payments and that Magoon should keep this quiet until the end of the year when it would take effect.

Five days after that call, prosecutors say Magoon received a call from the governor’s brother Robert asking Magoon “to raise $25,000 for the governor.”

An uncomfortable Magoon didn’t respond and wouldn’t take later calls from the governor’s brother.

On November 12, in a meeting at Blagojevich campaign headquarters, the governor’s long time friend Lon Monk says the governor “got upset” that no fund raiser had been set up, and he said words to the effect, “screw them.”

Then Rod Blagojevich made a call to his deputy Governor Rob Greenlee - call 572 - secretly recorded by the FBI in which the governor asks if they could pull back the Medicaid increase for Children’s Memorial if we needed to - budgetary concerns, right? Greenlee put the brakes on the plan, and Children’s never got the money.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    Working the pardon angle hard… Makes sense for Rod tbh.

  2. - wordslinger - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    Truth isn’t a bigly thing for the Audience of One. But he likes stuff like this:

    –Some in the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are abusing their power to criminalize the routine practices of politics and government.==

  3. - Keyrock - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    How low can the WSJ go?

  4. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 8:25 pm:

    Pretty obvious to whom this is intended to appeal.

  5. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 8:40 pm:

    “Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?”

  6. - Nearly Normal - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 9:00 pm:

    Rod you need to tweet if you want to reach your intended audience. He doesn’t read the WSJ, the articles are too long. Get your message down to 240 characters.

  7. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Monday, May 28, 18 @ 10:43 pm:

    All the more reason he needs to stay in the slammer until the end of his sentence. D., Don’t even think about it.

  8. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 12:03 am:

    A case of “me doth think the man protest to much”. Perhaps he should have thought about all this before he went on the tv tour….and the part where he witheld state funds to entities so they would have an event for him

  9. - Angry Republican - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 8:19 am:

    I didn’t think the WSJ published click bait. The only thing Blagoof accomplished was to prove yet again he is shameless.

  10. - ZC - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 8:27 am:

    “Some of this stuff’s gotta start happening now … right now … and we gotta see it. You understand?…. You gotta be careful how you express that and assume everybody’s listening, the whole world is listening. You hear me?”

  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 8:42 am:

    –I didn’t think the WSJ published click bait.–

    Fits the edit board’s “deep state” conspiracy theory.

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    serve your time with dignity. And please disappear from the public arena.

  13. - wondering - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 9:33 am:

    Sure seems like he violated state law and should be prosecuted for it. His audience of one wouldn’t matter. NY is doing it.

  14. - MICHELANGELO Buonarroti - Tuesday, May 29, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    No one ever testified that Rod put a fundraising requirement on the money for pediatric specialists, not even Wyma who was a mole for the prosecutors working with them to avoid prosecution himself. You need to check your facts.

  15. - Bill Baar - Wednesday, May 30, 18 @ 8:14 am:

    History’s yet to be written because it’s locked up on tapes that somehow get selectively leaked and printed in the Trib. The Guv’s famous for his memory and his column was a notice that he’s memorized names. He can play the leak game too.

  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 30, 18 @ 8:43 am:

    –The Guv’s famous for his memory and his column was a notice that he’s memorized names. He can play the leak game too.–

    LOL, he’s been in prison more than six years, what’s he waiting for? If he had any cards to play, I suspect he would have by now.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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