Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Blagojevich Trial
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
President, chief of staff were both unaware of important Blagojevich facts

Thursday, Aug 15, 2019

* Chris Kaergard at the Journal Star

“To me, Blagojevich is the definition of the swamp.”

That was part of the message U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood conveyed to President Donald Trump last Thursday in a phone call, hours after the president had suggested he was “strongly” considering commuting the 14-year prison sentence of disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich. […]

LaHood’s call was made to emphasize objections Illinois Republican lawmakers had to releasing Blagojevich roughly halfway through his time behind bars. LaHood detailed the case he made to Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney during an interview Wednesday morning in his Downtown Peoria office.

“If you look at the conduct Blagojevich engaged in, it was pervasive, it was extensive,” he said, noting that it wasn’t just political favor-trading over a Senate seat, but rather a litany of malfeasance: “shaking down the children’s hospital, racetrack owner, film producer, the direct pay-for-play politics.”

* The level of ignorance about the Blagojevich case is simply astounding

Reps. Darin LaHood and Mike Bost, made their case directly to the President on Thursday night, urging him not to go forward. They laid out the litany of crimes Blagojevich committed while in office and argued it would send the wrong message to voters about corruption by public officials.

Trump’s response: “I wish I had the perspective before,” according to Bost, who served on the Illinois House’s impeachment committee to remove Blagojevich from office in 2009. […]

Multiple sources familiar with the calls said Trump and [White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney] both did not seem aware of the details of Blagojevich’s case, even though the President had decried the former governor as being treated “unbelievably unfairly.”

Bost said that while Trump “saw a sentence that didn’t meet the crime … he did express he wished he had the perspective earlier” after speaking with Bost.

* Fox 32

“Listen, I don’t think the President understood the extensive nature of the public corruption that Rod Blagojevich had engaged in. And when I laid that out for him, I think he was surprised by those facts. But I think he listened,” said Rep. LaHood.

* More

Since Trump is fixated on former FBI director James Comey, LaHood also emphasized that he had nothing to do with prosecuting Blagojevich.

LaHood also noted that Democrats Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are against clemency.

“They were surprised to know that and that Democrats removed him from office,” he said.

Wow.

* Related…

* State seeks to disbar ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich from practicing law more than 8 years after conviction: Grogan said the delay in moving to disbar Blagojevich came because, by Illinois law, regulators have to wait until all appellate options are over before moving to permanently revoke a lawyer’s license.

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


It’s way too early for this, but let’s talk about it anyway since Greg brought it up

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018

* WGN TV’s Tahman Bradley interviewed JB Pritzker yesterday

TB: Gov. Rauner is a wealthy man with no government experience. President Trump, wealthy man, no government experience. You’re a wealthy man, no government experience. How are you different?

Pritzker: Well, that’s not true. I do have government experience. In fact, I think people should take note that if I was some sort of political person that was running for everything, I might not have chosen this year to run just for the point you made. There’s a failed president in Washington, DC who’s a wealthy businessman. There’s a failed governor here in Illinois, who’s a wealthy businessman. But here’s the thing: I bring real experience to the job getting things done for working families.

The only state government experience he has is chairing the Human Rights Commission and occasionally yakking on the phone with Rod Blagojevich. That ain’t much. I get that he’s in campaign mode and has to say those things, but I do hope he doesn’t actually believe that his limited experience means he understands state government. He doesn’t. If elected, he will need people who do understand.

* Brian Mackey

“I had probably as good a resume as anybody going into the governor’s office,” says Jim Edgar, who was governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999 — after being secretary of state, Gov. Jim Thompson’s top lobbyist, and a state legislator.

“But jiminy, I’ve got to say a lot of things surprised me,” Edgar says. “I can’t imagine people that hadn’t had any experience.”

Edgar says there are ways an amateur politician could help himself in the job: Bring in good people. People who know the history and process of Illinois government. And listen to their advice.

* With that in mind, Greg Hinz takes a look at possible Pritzker administration honchos

Possibly more likely to move to government is former Clinton labor outreach director Nikki Budzinski. A former president of Illini Democrats, she is a senior campaign adviser and would be a solid choice for a policy slot. Ditto scheduler Mary Urbani, political director Sean Rapelyea and Mike Alexander, a former staffer to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who’s been around the campaign a lot. Campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen also may have a continuing role.

Some outside names also come up, including state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, a veteran House member who ran for Congress several years back and lost to Mike Quigley.

Manar’s name came up a lot in my calls, and for good reason: He has excellent legislative ties as former chief of staff to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, comes from downstate and was chief sponsor of the new education aid package. In other words, he has the inside knowledge of how state government works that Pritzker lacks. He might work as state school superintendent, budget director or even chief of staff. But Manar is having to fight very hard for re-election—so hard that Pritzker might really, really have to lean on him to take the job.

Also mentioned for chief of staff is Steven Collens, who was J.B. Pritzker’s chief of staff at the Pritzker Group and played a key role in putting together the 1871 tech incubator. He now runs health care incubator Matter.

IMHO, under no circumstances should a governor - whoever it is - hire a chief of staff with no state government experience in Illinois. We do not need a Rauner repeat.

Also, while Manar is still campaigning hard all day every day, he’s practically coasting to reelection right now. The GOP has done almost nothing to take him out. But that’s an Andy Manar district. An appointed replacement would have a tougher time. If he ever wants to run statewide, though, he needs to get out of the Senate and move away from his position on guns or he’ll have a rough Democratic primary (unless the field can be cleared). He could be a good chief of staff, though. He could also be a good budget director (so would Sen. Elgie Sims, by the way, or Rep. Greg Harris, or Sen. Heather Steans, or Jessica Basham, or Kristin Richards or a ton of other good people).

Anyway, I’m gonna avoid talking about everyone else because the campaign is still chugging along and I have to deal with some of these folks. Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* If you're Dick Lockhart's friend, please get in touch with him ASAP
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* *** UPDATED x2 - "Agreed to step down" *** Pritzker withdraws nomination of Cesar Santoy to Tollway board
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Afternoon update
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Sanguinetti bows out of congressional race
* Open Letter: The University Of Illinois Must Protect First Amendment Rights
* *** UPDATED x2 - Sandoval submitted chairmanship resignation letter *** Sandoval's chairmanship appears to have been yanked
* *** UPDATED x19 *** Senate Democrats release unredacted Sandoval search warrant
* Take it easy
* Forbes: Gov. Pritzker is 6th wealthiest Illinoisan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller