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First lady of Illinois linked to developer
The Chicago Tribune ^ | 5/20/05 | John Chase

Posted on 05/20/2005 2:19:35 PM PDT by LdSentinal

A controversial fundraiser and adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich has had a business relationship with First Lady Patti Blagojevich for eight years, the governor's office acknowledged Thursday.

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a Chicago developer who has been influential in shaping Blagojevich's administration and policies, has "worked on various projects" with Patti Blagojevich since 1997, said Cheryle Jackson, the governor's spokeswoman.

The disclosure marks the first time that the governor's administration has acknowledged the governor's family has a personal financial link with a key adviser who helped shape the administration and is now tied to a variety of controversies involving allegations of cronyism.

The revelation underscores the depths of the relationship between Rezko and the governor, as well as the level of access Rezko has been given to the administration.

Rezko was one of several Blagojevich associates served with grand jury subpoenas last week in an investigation into allegations that plum government appointments were traded for campaign cash, according to several sources close to the investigation.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: blagojevich; corruption; democrat; firstlady; governor; govwatch; illinois; patti

1 posted on 05/20/2005 2:19:36 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: LdSentinal
Ah the smell of Illinois politics nothing like it in the world.

2007 I am out of here.

2 posted on 05/20/2005 2:22:14 PM PDT by dts32041
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To: dts32041

Have Illinois politics always been this bad?

Or does it only seem worse because some of the corruption is starting to surface in recent years?


3 posted on 05/20/2005 2:23:48 PM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: dts32041
2007 I am out of here.

And if the parole board turns you down? :)

4 posted on 05/20/2005 2:24:29 PM PDT by theDentist (The Dems are putting all their eggs in one basket-case: Howard "Belltower" Dean.)
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To: MplsSteve

And just wait until the internet sinks it's teeth into this one as it did that nastiness in Canada.


5 posted on 05/20/2005 2:26:06 PM PDT by RobRoy (Child support and maintenence (alimony) are what we used to call indentured slavery)
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To: dts32041

Hey now Chicago is a world class city.


6 posted on 05/20/2005 2:27:00 PM PDT by Borges
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To: dts32041
2007 I am out of here.

Come on down to Texas. Even the liberals that move here turn conservative within weeks, unless they move to Austin.

7 posted on 05/20/2005 2:28:47 PM PDT by Night Hides Not
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To: Borges
Hey now Chicago is a world class city.

Above Roosevelt and east of Harpo Studios, at least.

8 posted on 05/20/2005 2:30:07 PM PDT by Clemenza (A candy-colored clown they call the sandman...)
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To: LdSentinal

A developer in the city of Chicago is tied to the Democratic machine? I am shocked. Oh, this just in. The Pope is also Catholic.


9 posted on 05/20/2005 2:32:28 PM PDT by econ_grad
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To: Clemenza

I lived south of Roosevelt for years.


10 posted on 05/20/2005 2:33:14 PM PDT by econ_grad
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To: Clemenza

Well south of Roosovelt is the South Side. The North Side of Chicago is an architectural wonder. It's the cleanest big city in the country. Physically not politically.


11 posted on 05/20/2005 2:33:38 PM PDT by Borges
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To: MplsSteve

It has always been this bad, but it seems to surface int 30 year cycles.


12 posted on 05/20/2005 2:36:31 PM PDT by dts32041
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To: econ_grad; Borges
I lived south of Roosevelt for years.

Spent a year at 60th and Drexel on the the Midway for a year. Then moved to the Northside (Wicker Park, then Broadway between Argyle and Lawrence) for another year while I finished my Masters.

13 posted on 05/20/2005 2:37:34 PM PDT by Clemenza (A candy-colored clown they call the sandman...)
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To: LdSentinal

"Blagojevich kills contract he defended" which includes this buried line about Orlando Jones (John Stroger's godson and former chief of staff and an IPAM subcontractor), CMS Director Michael Rumman (whose agency hired IPAM) and Tony Rezko (a friend of Jones, Stroger, Blagojevich and, apparently, Rumman):

Recently released state records show that Rumman was a business partner with Jones in a separate real estate venture. Rumman said he was brought into the investment by Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a developer who is a top Blagojevich adviser.

Rezko, a wealthy developer who also heads a food service empire, is under fire from Chicago's City Hall, where procurement officials alleged his company was running two Panda Express Asian restaurants at O'Hare International Airport that were supposed to be operated by a minority-run firm. [...]

Rezko, a member of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's closest group of advisers, also has become embroiled in a controversy at the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority after it was disclosed that two of his business partners secured lucrative rights to operate at the tollway's newly revamped oases. [...]

Crucial Inc. is owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the ailing son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.

Cook County commissioners asked what Crucial -- whose only customer is Cook County -- does for $3 million a year, or 30 percent of the contract. Rezko used to have his main offices one floor above.

Stroger's godson and former chief of staff Orlando Jones, a longtime friend and former business partner of Rezko, had a company called the Crucial Group in this same fleet of offices. But he has said that company is defunct and he never had anything to do with Crucial Communications Inc.'s contract with the county.

In a letter to County President John Stroger and other officials, County Commissioner Larry Suffredin said he wants to make sure that contractor Jabir Herbert Mohammad is a legitimate minority-business operator and is not acting as a front for associate Antoin Rezko.

Mr. Rezko has been a top fund-raiser for Mr. Stroger and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and franchises Panda Express fast-food outlets in the Chicago area. He and Mr. Mohammad have a long-standing business relationship.

In his letter, Mr. Suffredin asks whether the county made an independent determination of Crucial Communications status as a minority contractor before qualifying it for the jail pact. Crucial Communications is owned by Mr. Mohammed and operates the county jail's pay phones in partnership with SBC Communications, Inc.

The woman Cook County officials believed was in charge of the day-to-day operations of a politically connected minority firm has been dead for more than a year, prompting a county review of whether the company qualifies as a minority
firm.

Her death has raised questions with the county as to whether day-to-day management is in the hands of a minority.

The revelation raises a new question about a company owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, who the City of Chicago claimed last week used a separate firm as a minority front for businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a key adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

******

Michael Rumman, director of the troubled Department of Central Management Services, and Brenda Russell, Department of Employment Security director, both said Antoin "Tony'' Rezko urged Blagojevich to hire them.

Under intense legislative grilling, Rumman made his admission before a House panel investigating waste and mismanagement identified in a recent state audit.

"I was recommended to the governor by Mr. Tony Rezko,'' Rumman told the State Government Administration Committee.

The $120,900-a-year appointee also told the panel that he partnered with Rezko and others in a Chicago land development deal that to date has paid no dividends.

******


ANTOIN S. REZKO – CHAIRMAN
Antoin Rezko co-founded Rezmar with Dan Mahru in 1989. Today, as chairman of Rezmar Corporation and Chicago Construction Services, Rezko oversees the organization's planning, design and construction divisions, leading a seasoned team of engineers, attorneys, architects and construction managers. Their combined experience and expertise ensures that all Rezmar developments are completed on time, on budget and up to the highest development standards.
Rezko's civic involvement includes service on the National Board of Governors for St. Jude Hospital. Previously, he served as executive director of the Mohammed Ali Foundation. In addition to his role at Rezmar, he acts as chief executive officer of Rezko Enterprises, owner of more than 150 restaurants employing 3,000 workers in five Midwestern states. Rezko received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in construction from the Illinois Institute of Technology.


http://tinyurl.com/cjogy


14 posted on 05/20/2005 2:40:23 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Clemenza

U of C I am guessing. I lived in 54th and the lake, and then on 55th and Ellis, and 57th and Maryland, and finally at 56th and Blackstone. Too bad my whole experience in Chicago was in Hyde Park. I wish I had a chance to live in the fun part of the town. Wicker Park has changed dramatically from years ago. I visited a friend there last year, and didn't recognize anything except for some old store fronts on North Ave which are disappearing fast. It is all trendy Lincoln Park-ish liberal hell-hole.


15 posted on 05/20/2005 2:43:54 PM PDT by econ_grad
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To: econ_grad

Yes, I am a U of C alumnus and I actually preferred Hyde Park AND Uptown to Wicker Park (I spent three months in the latter living in a rectory). Uptown was an odd amalgam of Russians, Vietnamese, Nigerians, Gays, with elderly Swedes and Appalachian whites to round out the mix. Close to the Red Line and I only paid $360(!) a month for my tiny studio. I actually worked as a Republican poll watcher for the '98 election.


16 posted on 05/20/2005 2:49:54 PM PDT by Clemenza (A candy-colored clown they call the sandman...)
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To: LdSentinal

The governor of IL reminds me of Howdy Doody?


17 posted on 05/20/2005 3:05:39 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (Steelers in '06)
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To: Clemenza

I left Hyde Park in early nineties. I went back there a couple of times and seems like Hyde Park hasn't changed that much. Property value has gone up, but not much in new construction. Still has the eye sore project on 55th St, kids still go to Jimmy's, but there appears to be a new bowling alley and a new gym.


18 posted on 05/20/2005 3:39:20 PM PDT by econ_grad
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To: Night Hides Not

take the advise - that's what we did - and lovin' it !


19 posted on 05/20/2005 3:59:20 PM PDT by Vindicator1
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To: dts32041
Ah the smell of Illinois politics nothing like it in the world.

2007 I am out of here.

My son has lived there for about ten years and is making his plans to get the hell out within the next six months.

He's Florida bound. Two more Republican votes in Florida, where their vote counts.

20 posted on 05/20/2005 4:08:15 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: LdSentinal

do I REALLY have to say it???

21 posted on 05/20/2005 4:10:01 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: hsmomx3

This week the gov. was bragging about his testiculer virilty.
What a loser. And he has big political asperations. (meaning the White House).


22 posted on 05/20/2005 4:25:31 PM PDT by JRochelle
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To: hsmomx3

I think he looks like 1970's Indiana Football coach Lee Corso
23 posted on 05/20/2005 8:20:59 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: LdSentinal

Does she have the ovarian femininity to fight these charges?


24 posted on 05/20/2005 8:28:04 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.....)
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To: LdSentinal
Wow! She's an amateur photographer?


25 posted on 05/20/2005 8:30:34 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Our father, who art in city hall, please save us from ourselves.)
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To: LdSentinal

Yah know if we'd just turn the governors residence into a jail this state would run a lot smoother. Everyone who moves in winds up in jail. They could just run the whole state from jail at the outset and frankly I don't think anything would be any different.


26 posted on 05/20/2005 8:31:22 PM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: JRochelle
Blow-dry-o-vich hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell to get on the ticket, much less win a primary for the Presidency. He has PO'd labor, his own cronies, and almost everyone else he touches. He is known not to keep his word, even to those who backed him. If background checks are done, and the skeleton-inspectors go into certain closets, he doesn't have the Clintonesque charm to get out of it.
27 posted on 05/20/2005 8:31:55 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.....)
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To: MplsSteve
Have Illinois politics always been this bad?

"This town ain't ready for reform." Paddy Driscoll - 1920's

Paul Powell - Secretary of State - died in 1970 - when they cleaned out his apartment, there was a closet full of shoe boxes, and each shoe box was full of $100 bills.

Mike Royko, from the book Boss, "The official slogan of the Chicago City Council should be, "Ubi Mea", which translates to "Where's Mine?"

And the beat goes on. This is a relatively minor scandal, as Illinois politics goes, but you have to keep up tradition.

28 posted on 05/20/2005 8:34:04 PM PDT by Bernard (Newsweek lied - Afghans died. At least they regret their error.)
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To: Bernard

That's Paddy Bauler


29 posted on 05/20/2005 8:45:16 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: jimboster

Never could tell them apart. When people found out I was from Chicago, they used to ask if we told Irish jokes. The automatic response was, "No, we elect them."


30 posted on 05/20/2005 8:48:26 PM PDT by Bernard (Newsweek lied - Afghans died. At least they regret their error.)
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To: MplsSteve

You wanna know how JFK was elected? It goes back that far.


31 posted on 05/20/2005 8:48:51 PM PDT by endthematrix (Newsweek lied, people died)
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To: endthematrix

Even if Kennedy lost Illinois, he still would have won the election.


32 posted on 05/20/2005 8:55:09 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: MplsSteve

Going back to 1960, the following governors have been indicted, Kerner, Ogilvie, Walker, and Ryan. Since 1960 only TWO governors have not been indicted. That is a record which is without precedent. This present governor looks to be headed to join company with the preceding majority.


33 posted on 05/20/2005 8:58:55 PM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: Biblebelter

I don't believe Ogilvie was ever indicted.


34 posted on 05/20/2005 9:01:56 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: jimboster
My point was the mafia was Kennedy's booster for POTUS, the HQ of was in Chicago. I'm sure there was fraud in other states like Nevada, CA and NY too.
35 posted on 05/20/2005 9:08:28 PM PDT by endthematrix (Newsweek lied, people died)
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To: jimboster

He was indicted although the case might not have went to trial. It had to do with some kind of race track deal that he was involved with. The indictment dealt with actions that occurred after he left office. Since in Illinois, politics is a criminal brotherhood which encompasses both so called parties, any time any political hack gets indicted, you can be sure, that he is not innocent. The most amazing thing about Georgie Boy Ryan was that no elected pol in either party ever called for him to resign, mainly because they exploited his political weakeness stemming from the corruption in his Secretary of State's office to get favors and deals from him.


36 posted on 05/20/2005 10:29:28 PM PDT by Biblebelter
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To: Biblebelter

Ogilvie was known as an honorable and honest man. There was corruption by others during his admin, but I can find no record he was ever indicted- during or after he held office. The race track stuff was Kerner.


37 posted on 05/20/2005 10:44:57 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: MplsSteve

Only for a century plus. Hell at one time the Outfit had there own Congressman. Sam Giancana's son-in-law was his chief of staff.

Remember the Chicago City Council was once known by the endearingly warm name "The Grey Wolves."


38 posted on 05/20/2005 10:52:39 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (Public Enemy #1, the RATmedia.)
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To: Biblebelter

It is even worse since of the two who weren't convicted one served forever and a day, Big Jim Thompson the Republican who got there by sending crooks to jail.


39 posted on 05/20/2005 10:59:31 PM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (Public Enemy #1, the RATmedia.)
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