Skip to comments.Jesse Jr. re-emerges in Blagojevich case
Posted on 04/16/2010 10:05:11 AM PDT by STARWISE
Blagojevich reportedly told Jackson early on that he didn't hire his wife, Sandi, as lottery director because her application wasn't accompanied by a $25,000 campaign donation. Jackson said he turned to federal prosecutors for help when private developers willing to build a south suburban airport experienced Blagojevich's extortion.
"I have worked with four governors," Jackson said back then. "It wasn't until I came into contact with the Blagojevich administration that they sought to shake down the developers.
(Blagojevich's) behavior was so unacceptable to me that I took that information to the U.S. attorney because how can we build our state if every time someone wants to invest and create jobs, they have to go through a political gauntlet of 'gimme, gimme, gimme?' "
Jackson's interpretation was ironic, considering that he emerges, again, in the government documents released Wednesday.
(Excerpt) Read more at southtownstar.com ...
~~Chicago Way .......... PING!
Interesting that the article says Blago preferred to work from home. You have to wonder just exactly what he did there, since he demonstrated clearly on “Apprentice” that he is totally inept at any computer usage, even typing.
I suppose he just used the tapped phone lines.
"Congressman Jackson, Budweiser is on line two for you. Something about a distributorship that your dad arranged for you."
Jesse Jr wasnt the Bud man, I think it is the other crooked son Youseff
I stand corrected. But I think my point is made.
The Chicago Tribune Walks
Newly unsealed evidence says the paper was never extorted
By Clint Hendler
High above the summit of Chicagos Tribune Tower, the clouds are clearing and the light is shining through.
A just-revealed document, laying out the federal governments evidence against former Governor Rod Blagojevich, has given the Tribune Company a clean bill of health on their response to an alleged extortion attempt from the governors staff.
How so? According to the proffer, prepared by the office of United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, no one from Tribune Company was ever even offered the deal.
Back on December 9, 2008, Blagojevich was arrested by federal agents at his North Side home. Shortly afterwards, Fitzgerald released a criminal complaint which quoted liberally from wiretaps made just the month before, involving the governor, his wife, and John Harris, his chief of staff.
Among other shady doings, most notably efforts to trade something of value for an appointment to President-elect Obamas Senate seat, the tapes caught the governors inner circle conspiring to make a deal that would have greased the skids for about $100 million in state financial assistance to the then-Tribune-owned Chicago Cubs in exchange for personnel changes to the Chicago Tribunes Blago-skeptic editorial board.
[O]ur recommendation is fire all those f***ing people, get em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support, Blagojevich told Harris.
The wiretaps also recorded Harris, whom the governor had dispatched to lay on the knuckle, reporting back that hed had a discussion with a financial advisor to the Tribune Company about toning down the editorials, and that the advisor had agreed to sound out Tribunes ownerSam Zellabout the possibility.
After a later meeting between Harris and his Tribune contact, Harris reported back that Zell had got the message and is very sensitive to the issue. After another conversation, Harris said that in response to his queries on the matter hed been told that the paper would be downsizing that division or changing personnel and implied that John McCormick, a deputy editor of the page who drew particular ire from the governor, would be among them.
At his press conference the afternoon of the arrests, Fitzgerald said that Blagojevich and Harris had been arrested in the middle of what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree. We acted to stop that crime spree.
Later in the conference, he said he was not going to opine on how the Tribune Company had responded to Harriss entreaties.
The profferrevealed upon the request of the Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Associated Presswas prepared after a good deal more investigation. In it, Fitzgerald flatly concludes that Harris never had any intention of approaching the Tribune Company about the deal. All those phone calls? Harris was just stringing his boss along, relaying discussions that hed never had.
According to the proffer, Harriss double cross got fairly sophisticated.
When Harris learned that the Tribune wouldlike so many other cash-strapped newspapersbe making layoffs, he led his boss to believe that some of those cuts would be the ones he wanted. Heres how Fitzgeralds proffer tells the tale:
In fact, despite Blagojevichs directive to him, Harris did not convey to [the Tribune financial advisor] Blagojevichs request to remove editorial board members, nor did Harris give the impression that this was a do it or else situation. [The Tribune financial advisor] did tell Harris that certain layoffs were imminent.
As such, Harris told Blagojevich to expect results on the editorial board adjustments before the end of the month. Harris implied to Blagojevich that the Tribune people understood his time line, which made Blagojevich feel that the Tribune was being sensitive to his issues.
In reality, the Tribune already had a time line in place for staff reduction that was unrelated to Blagojevichs request to make changes on the editorial board. Because Blagojevich believed that Harris had followed through on his directive to threaten [Zell], Blagojevich was happy with Harris because he thought action would follow.
Blagojevich expressed disappointment when the editorial board was later unaffected by the cutbacks.
What was Harris thinking?
The indictments wiretap excerpts show Harris cautioning his boss that the whole idea was delicate, very delicate, which is, of course, true. Its easy to see how the extortion attempt could have backfired, and in the end, Harris was wise not to make it, despite his bosss orders.
Zell and the Tribune Company unloaded the Cubs after seventeen years of ownership shortly before the 2009 season.
John McCormick and Marie Dillon, a colleague on the Tribune editorial board, were revealed this week as finalists for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing for unyielding editorials urging reform of a culture of corruption in Illinois state government, repeatedly sounding the alarm when lawmakers faltered.
Rod Blagojevich was fired from The Celebrity Apprentice earlier this month. His trial is set to begin on June 3.
Gotta LOVE Sam Zell, former Tribune owner. I hope and pray he has the chutzpah, wealth and huge resources to withstand the pressure and intimidation he’s sure to get from this Chicago thug administration, who feeds on retribution of any criticism. Gird your loins, Sam!!
* * *
UPDATE 1-Zell sees political risk to investing in U.S.
Obama critic says US investment climate destabilized
BOSTON, April 14 (Reuters) - The policies of the current U.S. administration have created “political risk” to investing in the United States, billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell said on Wednesday.
Appearing on a panel at the Urban Land Institute’s real estate summit in Boston, Zell said “what’s going on now is frightening” and working to undermine confidence, although he allowed that an economic recovery is under way.
“Up until this administration, you knew the rules and had a very stable environment,” Zell said.
LOLOL >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> perfect!
Only wish this case would blow wide open and expose all guilty; including Obama. Too much to ask, no doubt, for some light - and transparency. . .and authentic Justice, for ALL.
Am wondering if Blago has ANY financial resources. . .who is paying their mortgage, et al. With all his legal bills; and fines. . .just wonder, how they do in fact, survive.
Thanks for the ping. Can’t wait to take a little time later today to go through it all!