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*** UPDATED x1 - DPI responds *** Corruption roundup

Monday, Nov 18, 2019

* Here’s one I missed the other day. From Jon Seidel at the Sun-Times

Federal prosecutors want a judge to send a longtime Dorothy Brown worker to prison for more than two years after they said she lied to a grand jury, “threw a wrench in the wheels of justice and ground them to a halt.”

They also said the lies Beena Patel told the grand jury investigating job-selling allegations in the office of Brown, the clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, “directly impacted the government’s ability to charge those most culpable in the illegal activity.” […]

The feds’ investigation centered in part around a $15,000 payment by Sivasubramani Rajaram allegedly to land a job at the clerk’s office. The feds say Rajaram made a $5,000 cash payment at a meeting at the Corner Bakery across from the Daley Center. But when prosecutors asked Patel about that meeting in front of the grand jury, they said Patel gave misleading answers.

“She attempted to minimize her own involvement by stating that Rajaram slid the envelope containing $5,000 in cash directly to the Clerk,” McShain wrote in Tuesday’s memo.

Prosecutors said it was Patel who accepted the cash.

I just don’t know enough about this to say one way or another, but this piece does bring up questions about whether the feds might have possibly chased the wrong person because of Patel’s testimony.

* Tony Arnold and Dave McKinney at WBEZ

The federal criminal probe into Commonwealth Edison is one of the most aggressive anti-corruption efforts to permeate Illinois politics in a generation.

Exhibit No. 1 is the middle-of-the-day FBI and IRS raid of Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office in the Illinois Capitol in late September. Investigators sought information about four unidentified officials at Exelon, ComEd’s parent company, and documents pertaining to utility rate hikes.

The federal scrutiny even has extended all the way up to the state’s most powerful politician, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, though the veteran lawmaker has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

No one has been charged with a crime. But the investigation is broad, complex — and moving fast. Here’s what you need to know to catch up.

I know I’ve been saying this a lot today, but go read the rest.


Today, the Illinois Republican Party is launching, a website to expose the Illinois Democrat Crime Ring as a wide-ranging network of lawmakers, lobbyists, and party bosses whose sole purpose is the personal financial benefit of those within the ring. Whether the public benefits from their government service is of no concern to them.

The individuals atop this network of criminals and cronies are in the most powerful positions within state government and our state’s largest city:

INDICTED on federal charges

    Tom Cullerton, State Senator

    Ed Burke, Chicago Alderman

    Luis Arroyo, State Representative (former)

Under federal investigation

    Mike Madigan, Speaker of the House & Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois

    JB Pritzker, Governor

    Martin Sandoval, State Senator

    Carrie Austin, Chicago alderman

    Daniel Solis, Chicago alderman

    Jeff Tobolski, Cook County Board

Only in Illinois would so many elected officials be indicted or under federal investigation. Some are tied up in the same scheme; others are being investigated for their own personal insider dealings. The thing that binds them together is that they serve in high-ranking leadership roles in the Democratic Party of Illinois.

The ILGOP has created to expose the misdealings of each politician and to help keep all the ongoing scandals straight. We even created helpful nicknames to make it easier to remember all the corruption, grift, and greed. Some of the infamous members of the Illinois Democrat Crime Ring include The Velvet Hammer, Junior Blagojevich, and the Red-light Baron. Information about the rest of the crime ring can be found at the website.

“ will serve as a central clearinghouse for information on Democrat corruption in Illinois,” explained ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider. “Voters can stay up to date, learn how to fight back, and get involved in exposing the Illinois Democrat power structure for what it is: a criminal enterprise.”

…Adding… Missed this one…

* Diminished and preoccupied, indicted Ald. Edward Burke no longer a dominating presence at City Council meetings

*** UPDATE *** From Eileen F. Boyce at the Democratic Party of Illinois…

As we watch the parade of Trump administration officials who are convicted of a variety of crimes, Illinois Democrats are continuing our work to protect workers’ rights, access to affordable health care, and a woman’s right to choose from attacks by dangerous politicians in Illinois and Washington. Democrats are working to strengthen ethics laws while Illinois Republicans are simply trying to distract from their own poor record and a failed President

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ok - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    Surprise… one of those names on the ILGOP list is not like the others.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    Pritzker beat Rauner, with a whole movie dedicated to Madigan and the HDems are at the strongest levels of seats… ever… with Madigan as Speaker… oh, and Rauner lost by the largest margin by a sitting “Republican” Governor in… 100 years.

    POTUS will be on the ballot, possibly an impeached POTUS, whose racist rhetoric has been denounced time and again… with Allen Skillicorn and his folks too, the Hateful Eight will embrace things like… a 51st state.

    Outside of Tom Cullerton, whose footprint is outside “She-Caw-Go”?

    This is a tired, losing, Raunerite tact that embraces regionalism and “they don’t look like us”… with that “Democrat” label saying more than party affiliations.

    I dunno why they think this works, but… lol

  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    The ILGOP and Rauner attacked so hard on corruption last year, and look what it got them. It’s an easy cop out for the ILGOP, to not have to run on policies Illinois voters don’t want. Maybe someday it will work, but the results so far have been abysmal. It must surely stoke up the shrinking GOP base.

  4. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    “This is a tired, losing, Raunerite tact … I dunno why they think this works”

    A generational wide ranging federal corruption investigation focused only on Dem pols is a new wrinkle. That is why it may work.

  5. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    ILGOP needs to sit back, I am sure the Feds can find something on them as well. Best to lay low, reorganize and quietly do some self review before the Feds do.

  6. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    In addition to the stated family reasons and the reported campaign finance issues, is it possible that Cullerton retiring is also related to Tom’s indictment, perhaps to help the family or case?

  7. - Chicagonk - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    ILGOP needs to strike Pritzker from the list as it kind of muddies up what they are trying to accomplish.

  8. - Retired 126 - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Get ready for the biggest RICO case you ever saw.

  9. - Anon E Moose - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    forgot to include Dorothy Brown

  10. - City Zen - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    First step in linking the trust factor to the Fair Tax. Smart move.

  11. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    John Coli ?

  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===focused only on Dem pols===

    Right now they’re betting that’s the case.

    We have no idea who, if anyone, is getting indicted, on what specific charges, and how this RICO case, if it’s made that way, will top to bottom look.

    Forgetting about the red light camera angle is a big mistake too.

    Lastly, what money will the GOP have to run this counter-programming? The POTUS free-media alone is going to eat lots of brain space.

    I say a second “Madigan” movie, but I’m always game for movie sequels, lol

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    === First step in linking the trust factor to the Fair Tax. Smart move.===

    How the GOP is willing to match dollar to dollar Pritzker will spend telling folks the “1%, like Trump” are against a progressive tax.

    The unlimited money for Raunerites seems missing.

    The GOP needs to pounce smartly and pointedly, and frugally.

  14. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    This is a drum that the GOP should be beating right now, with the obvious caveats that Willy mentioned. The trick however is to increase awareness of these serious issues in the other party without being juvenile about it. They apparently haven’t mastered that trick.

  15. - WestTown TB - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    Classic, ongoing disconnect by the ILGOP. Their continued strategy will get them nowhere in statewide elections, but they are afraid to lose the base, so they will be stuck in this rut. If you are going to run against corruption, you still need to have a platform that people will actually vote for.

  16. - Bruce (no not him) - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===focused only on Dem pols===

    “Right now they’re betting that’s the case.”

    Betting or praying??

  17. - Shemp - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    So because it wasn’t an election winner, it’s not good to shine more light on corruption in our dysfunctional State? Got it.

  18. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    “We even created helpful nicknames”

    Doesn’t ‘kiddy diddling Denny’ get a spot on their list?

    That lady from Dixon, IL who stole tens of millions out of city budgets for her horse hobby?

    If you care about corruption, then care about corruption.

  19. - Do Not Forget - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Failed to mention Karen Yarborough.

  20. - City Zen - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    ==Their continued strategy will get them nowhere in statewide elections==

    Ballot initiatives cross traditional party lines.

  21. - DIstant watcher - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    Not that partisans care, but there’s a big difference between being the target of an investigation and being interviewed as part of one. The former may well be “under investigation” but the latter?

  22. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===Ballot initiatives cross traditional party lines.===

    Yeah, like when half of Republicans approve of the Democrat Fair Tax ballot initiative….

  23. - anon - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Never ever ever speak to law enforcement without an attorney present they are not your friend

  24. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    “As we watch the parade of Trump administration officials who are convicted of a variety of crimes”


  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    === Whataboutism===

    Living in a vacuum on this issue with POTUS, and ignoring it, that could very well backfire worse than the results for Raunerites in 2018.

    Thinking voters will focus on Dem issues here with the national narrative and focus on Trump and his re-election isn’t a winning thought.

  26. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Illinois…where it’s hard to tell the law makers from the law breakers.

  27. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Illinois Democrats bragging about ethics reform?

    How did that work out in the veto session or the entire Rauner term?

    Let’s work on closing the barn door 6 months after the horses walked off.

  28. - Sue - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    What BS - day to day Donald Trump has little impact on the lives of the vast majority of Illinois residents. Can’t say the same for the Dems running our state into the ditch and our real estate taxes thru the roof and promising more taxes down the line.

  29. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    That DPI comment made me chuckle. Redirecting attention to Trump works every time.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    === the entire Rauner term?===

    The quitter, the failed quitter, sorry, was about 3 (Franks, Drury, and Dunkin) and not about 60 or 71.

    Sen. Bush also had a package early in the session not one Raunerite left jumped on to sponsor.

    Here we are all the same.

  31. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    You know just because the President has problems doesn’t mean you don’t.

    Then again we are so focused on criminal justice reform we even let State Senators who are charged with federal crimes stick around isn’t as catchy.

    Nor is

    We like government so much we are elected to serve in one entity and willing to take cash to lobby different ones


    The Illinois Democratic Party our elected officials set tax and zoning policy and are willing to work with you for a fee to deal with your doing and reduce your property taxes

  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:15 pm:


    As you devalue the DPI response, how well do you think Trump will do statewide, or specifically in the suburbs/collar counties…

    You don’t think Trump will effect races?


  33. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    We care so much about eliminating corruption one of our State Senators is wired for it

  34. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Voters will re elect corrupt Illinois Democrats because they hate Trump?

    Take that ad campaign to Leo Burnett and see what magic they can work with that premise.

    I can see a loveable animated rat like in Ratatouille making the case

  35. - Sue - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    OW - as if it matters how Trump does in Illinois. I wouldn’t presume he isn’t re-elected. Only one of the Leading Dems can beat Trump and at the moment he isn’t faring all that well

  36. - west wing - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    As a Democrat, I am deeply disappointed in members of our party dragging us all into the gutter. The DPI needs to hammer Democrats and Republicans - just focusing on Trump is incredibly weak and inauthentic. Come on, let’s get a message that challenges all public officials to do better - not just one party;

  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    === as if it matters how Trump does in Illinois.===

    Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana seem to think a link to Trump matters.

    === I wouldn’t presume he isn’t re-elected.===

    We’re talking Illinois, also, in that discussion. Winning Alabama or Mississippi isn’t like saying the numbers will match DuPage County.

    It’s like folks are ignoring presidential coattails or problems, lol

    === Only one of the Leading Dems can beat Trump and at the moment he isn’t faring all that well===

    Will Trump carry Illinois, and to be pointed to this and the post, do you think Trump helps Republicans in Illinois, in Cook and the Collars?

    Thus vacuum of “Democrat corruption” ignores in 2018 Rauner ran a whole re-election on “before it’s too late”

    Madigan, the focus, got to 74 seats too.

  38. - Steve - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    Everyone should listen to Eileen F. Boyce. The Democrat party in Illinois is working towards real ethics reform. Chief Justice Anne Burke is a role model for us all.

  39. - City Zen - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    ==Democrats are working to strengthen ethics laws==

    Nothing like fastening your seat belt after the crash.

  40. - Phenomynous - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    Someone should write a guide for when it’s ok to use the term “democrats”.

  41. - Downstate - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==Democrats are working to strengthen ethics laws==

    I’m sorry, what?

  42. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    To the update: OK, then what’s the message for those of us who do not suffer from cognitive dissonance and want unethical and criminal officials tossed out and serious reforms regardless of party or level of government?

  43. - low level - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    They forgot about the guy from Peoria who went from state Rep to Congressman only to have issues with decorating his office. He was thought to be the GOP statewide future, no?

  44. - OurMagician - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 5:16 pm:

    Eileen J. Boyce should have just said that “Their side is worse.” leave it at that.

  45. - Cadillac - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 5:33 pm:

    But, but, but….. Trump.

  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 5:56 pm:

    === But, but, but….. Trump.===

    Between Rauner and the loses of 2018, tying any leftover Raunerites to Trump, his racism, the 51st state phony, and the Hateful Eight crew of Skillicorn and Trump… tough to see much good thinking Trump is helpful

    I’d like the Raunerites, Ives, Skillicorn, the 51st staters, all of them to embrace Trump.

    The quickest way to regain a party is its own forced implosion.

    Now, again, if they all would like to denounce Raunerism, Trump, and be an inclusive party again, I’ll probably change my thoughts.

  47. - Rogermortimer - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 6:11 pm:

    The problem with corruption in Illinois no matter which political party is culpable is that it makes it that much harder to limit out-migration. It isn’t just taxes. Those in
    The productive class just isn’t facing higher taxes, but higher taxes in exchange for diminishing present value, with 25 percent of the take going for services already performed, with the pension gap growing even in this unreal stock market, property taxes that crush home equity, and well, corruption on top of it all. It doesn’t take many of those 3 percenters to leave, and indeed they have been leaving (the out migration is occurring with almost every demographic). Rather than naming names, I am surprised the GOP did not adopt this angle.

  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 6:15 pm:

    === It doesn’t take many of those 3 percenters to leave, and indeed they have been leaving===

    “Vote ‘No’ on the Progressive Income Tax, think of the rich people it will hurt”

    Gosh I hope that’s the message, lol

    It will lead to the implosion of the Raunerites fast, then a rebuilding can begin.

  49. - Pundent - Monday, Nov 18, 19 @ 9:09 pm:

    =Voters will re elect corrupt illinois Democrats because they hate Trump?=

    Voters are smarter than that and can separate the corrupt actions of one Democrat from another. Now if those Democrats start demonizing the accusers and argue that these investigations are nothing more than a smear campaign perpetuated by the media you might have a point.

    The problem with supporting the President is that it’s an all or nothing proposition.

  50. - Rabid - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:24 am:

    Governor junk worked his tail off corrupting dunkin. Penthouse for no vote

  51. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 7:08 am:

    Good thing you’re - Anonymous -

    Wouldn’t want to say you support a racist president.

    That might reflect on you.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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