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Corruption Eruptions, Obama, Blagojevich, and the Chicago Political Swamp

By Gary Starr For The Neville Awards
Posted December 10, 2008

The ink isn't dry on the 2008 election and we are already into the first political scandal involving, albeit peripherally, Barack Obama, our Fraudinator-in-Chief, aka Chauncey Gardener.

Remember Clinton's endless Bimbo Eruptions and his waggy little finger telling us he did not have sex with that woman?

Right after the 2008 election The Neville Awards predicted that the new administration would be one of the most corrupt in U.S. history.

Welcome to the world of OBAMA CORRUPTION ERUPTIONS.

Neville Update on Bloggy-Jan. 29, 2009:

The Ill. State Senate voted to remove Bloggy from office today.

Said the Guv:

“I love the people of Illinois today now more than I ever did before,” he said. “And the fight goes on.” “I’m going to keep fighting to clear my name,” he said. “I guess I’ll just have to wait for my day in court.” “Give me a chance so I can show you I haven’t let you down.”

And OJ's still searching for the real killer...from jail.

Next comes Patrick Fitzgerald's criminal tu Barack?

Neville Update on Bloggy-Dec. 23, 2008:

Today is the day that the Obama, internal investigation and report on the Bloggy scandal comes out...late in the day...just before Christmas Eve to avoid any real news cycle. We expect a complete exoneration of all parties involved!!

In the past two weeks the democrats and the media, instead of going after Bloggy, have tried to condone Bloggy's actions by reason of insanity. Check out these gems from these esteemed liberals:

RACHEL MADDOW: Hometown folks use words like sociopath, delusional and compulsive to describe their governor.

MIKE BARNICLE: There's a delusional aspect clearly to Blagojevich.

DAVID GERGEN: He is delusional.

JEFFEREY TOOBIN: The delusional nature of Blagojevich.

ALAN COLMES: The governor was delusional.

PAT CADDELL: I've been told by people for some years that he was a little on the touched side.

RON BROWNSTEIN: These quotes from him do not suggest mental balance.

KEITH OLBERMANN: A literally crazy governor.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: How off his rocker he was to be talking the way he was.

DAVID SHRUM: He ought to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Hey guys, isn't it just possible Bloggy is simply corrupt and knew what he was doing all along? (He ought to be jailed for that hair...)

And finally Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat.

When it comes to corrution and scandal the Dems are proving they have nothing on the Democrats; This from Kimberley Strassel at the Wall St. Journal:

Dec. 19, 2008

A note to all those visitors who will soon flood Washington for the inauguration: Be careful of the "swamp."

That would be the swamp Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain when she led her party to victory in 2006. The GOP had been rocked by scandal, and Mrs. Pelosi and Democrats won, in part, by promising to clean up the "culture of corruption" that pervaded Washington.

Instead, Democrats now have an image problem. The real issue isn't so much Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Senate-seat auction, as it is the focus that his scandal has directed toward a wider assortment of Democratic troubles. This isn't great timing for Barack Obama, who campaigned on cleaner government.

The Blagojevich drama is titillating enough, and local Democrats' dithering over how to fill Mr. Obama's seat guarantees it will remain a storyline longer than is comfortable. But the Illinois drama has also thrust new light on the ongoing ethical controversies of House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel. At the rate the House Ethics Committee is receiving complaints -- over Mr. Rangel's real-estate problems, tax problems, his privately sponsored trips to the Caribbean, and donations to his center in New York -- this too will make headlines for a while.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune published a new story about Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who racked up $420,000 through a series of suspicious real-estate deals. Texas Rep. Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, came under scrutiny this fall for questionable earmarking. West Virginia Rep. Alan Mollohan has been under investigation for a separate earmarking mess. And then there's Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who has yet to answer questions about the sweetheart mortgage deal he received from Countrywide.

One unfortunate side effect of Mr. Obama's long coattails was that they helped the party's more ethically challenged members get re-elected. Pennsylvania's Paul Kanjorski and John Murtha, who both struggled to keep their seats because of earmarking travails, will continue to answer questions about their actions. Mrs. Pelosi lost a problem when Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson -- with his $90,000 in freezer cash -- lost in November. Yet she has potentially gained a new headache with Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who may have wanted that Obama seat a little too much.

There are more. Shockingly, this has happened despite all those campaign-finance laws, and Congress's legislation to ban lobbyist lunches. The members took credit for those publicity stunts, and went right back to their "culture" of earmarking.

The speaker's reluctance to tackle these problems is odd considering she is a seasoned pol who surely knows nothing sucks the life out of a party more quickly than a good round of tittle-tattle. The Republican crew of Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney sank the GOP easily enough, quite aside from its other problems.

Mrs. Pelosi must also know Republicans are belatedly getting their own house in order, at least in terms of optics. The GOP is lucky that most of its worst offenders, such as Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, have now been dealt with by federal prosecutors or voters. To further inoculate his side, House Minority Leader John Boehner also recently moved to strip Alaska Rep. Don Young -- allegedly under federal investigation -- of his top slot at the resources committee. He intends to turn Democratic infractions into a political story. He knows how easy it is to do.

Pelosi's problem is politics. Her refusal to temporarily remove Mr. Rangel from Ways and Means is in part a reticence to further anger the Congressional Black Caucus, which remains steamed that she worked for Mr. Jefferson's ouster from his seat on Ways and Means. Worse, next in line for Mr. Rangel's slot is Rep. Pete Stark, an off-the-charts liberal who Mrs. Pelosi would struggle to leash.

Is Mr. Obama taking notes? The president-elect is discovering the limits of his campaign strategy of ignoring inconvenient questions. One of his great achievements this year was to convince voters that his meteoric rise was unconnected to the Chicago political machine. His silence in the Blagojevich scandal has mainly served to make people wonder if that was true.

His Clinton-era appointments threaten to unleash their own round of stories, from a rehash of Eric Holder's role in the Marc Rich pardon, to Bill Clinton's foundation donors. And Mrs. Pelosi's congressional problems threaten to become his own. Mr. Rangel, Mr. Reyes and Mr. Murtha -- to name but a few -- all head bodies that will be central to Mr. Obama's agenda.

One of President Bush's mistakes was his refusal to police the spending and earmarks that led his party to temptation, or to push his party to quarantine its liabilities. If the president-elect wants to avoid the same error, he might consider what his promises of good government mean in practice, especially as regards his own party.

On Dec. 9th, 2008, and describing this as a "a truly new low" in Illinois politics (could things get any lower in Chicago?), Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (late of l'affair Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby) arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (aka Bloggy) at his home on charges of political corruption after a lengthy investigation. "The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," Fitzgerald said.

Included mong the charges Bloggy has been arrested for are:
  • conspiring to sell Obama's now vacant U.S. Senate seat
  • trading government favors for campaign cash
  • conspiring to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of him in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.
The complaint against Bloggy includes long quotations from phone conversations that the U.S. attorney wiretapped as part of a long-running investigation of political corruption in Illinois.

Fitzgerald's Indictment Sample (from pp. 60-61):

On November 7, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed the open Senate seat in a three-way call with JOHN HARRIS and Advisor B, a Washington D.C.-based consultant. ROD BLAGOJEVICH indicated in the call that if he was appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services by the President-elect, then ROD BLAGOJEVICH would appoint Senate Candidate 1 to the open Senate seat. HARRIS stated "we wanted our ask to be reasonable and rather than . . . make it look like some sort of selfish grab for a quid pro quo." ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he needs to consider his family and that he is "financially" hurting. HARRIS said that they are considering what will help the "financial security" of the Blagojevich family and what will keep ROD BLAGOJEVICH "politically viable." ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, "I want to make money."

During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, HARRIS, and Advisor B discussed the prospect of working a three-way deal for the open Senate seat. HARRIS noted that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is interested in taking a high-paying position with an organization called "Change to Win," which is connected to Service Employees International Union ("SEIU"). HARRIS suggested that SEIU Official make ROD BLAGOJEVICH the head of Change to Win and, in exchange, the President-elect could help Change to Win with its legislative agenda on a national level. Advisor B asked why SEIU Official cannot just give the job to ROD BLAGOJEVICH. HARRIS responded that it would be just a big "give away" for SEIU Official and Change to Win since there are already individuals on the Change to Win payroll doing the functions of the position that would be created for ROD BLAGOJEVICH. HARRIS said that Change to Win will want to trade the job for ROD BLAGOJEVICH for something from the President-elect. HARRIS suggested a "three-way deal," and explained that a three-way deal like the one discussed would give the President-elect a "buffer so there is no obvious quid pro quo for [Senate Candidate 1]."

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that for him to give up the governorship for the Change to Win position, the Change to Win position must pay a lot more than he is getting paid right now. Advisor B said that he liked the idea of the three-way deal. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is interested in making $250,000 to $300,000 and being on some organization boards. Advisor B said they should leverage the President-elect's desire to have Senate Candidate 1 appointed to the Senate seat in order to get a head position with Change to Win and a salary. Advisor B agreed that the three-way deal would be a better plan than ROD BLAGOJEVICH appointing Senate Candidate 2 to the Senate seat and getting more done as Governor.

"Senate Candidate 1" apparently is an Obama adviser who was interested in the Senate seat. Politico, meanwhile, reports that Change to Win denies it had any contact with ROD BLAGOJEVICH on the matter.

President-elect Obama's reaction on Dec. 9th:

"Obviously like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office today. But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time.

I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."

Sounds familiar doesn't it. Of course it does. Obama had similar statements concerning Terrorist/"Professor" William Ayres ("just a guy in my neighborhood...he's not a member of my campaign") and Rev. Wright ("I could no more disown him..."). For such a brilliant guy Obama seems to be out of the loop all the time.

On November 23, 2008 senior Obama adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different regarding conversations between Obama and Bloggy. While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

And what is Obama's connection at this time to Bloggy? The list is fairly extensive.

Bloggy's bagman was convicted felon Tony Rezko, the same guy who facilitated Obama's sweetheart deal on his Hyde Park house. And it doesn't end there.

Obama enthusiastically endorsed Bloggy in 2002 and 2006, having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house.

On the Chicago TV show "Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz" on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor"

"You working hard for Rod?" interrupted Berkowitz.

"You betcha," said Obama.

"Hot Rod?" asked Berkowitz.

"That's exactly right," Obama said.

In 2004, then-Gov. Bloggy endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination, and Obama endorsed Bloggy for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.

In the summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Bloggy despite serious questions at the time about Bloggy's hiring practices.

Bloggy's statement the day before he was arrested:

"I should say if anybody wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly and notoriously, and those who feel like they want to sneakily and wear taping devices, I would remind them that it kind of smells like Nixon and Watergate," Blagojevich said.

"But I don't care whether you tape me privately or publicly, I can tell you that whatever I say is always lawful and the things I'm interested in are always lawful and if there are any things out there like that, what you'll hear is a governor who tirelessly and endlessly figures out ways to help average, ordinary working people," Blagojevich said.

"You might hear a couple of words that you might not hear publicly, but those are only adjectives to describe maybe some of you," he told reporters. . . .

When asked if he felt there was a cloud over his efforts to pick a Senate replacement for President-elect Barack Obama he said

"I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me, I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."

As for the claim that he was using "only adjectives," in the wiretapped phone calls check out these quotes from Fitzgerald's complaint:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH's wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A "to hold up that f---ing Cubs s--- . . . f--- them." . . .

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that he thinks that they should put this all together and then have HARRIS or somebody go talk to the Tribune owners and say, "Look, we've got decisions to make now. . . moving this stuff forward (believed to be a reference to the IFA helping with the Cubs sale) . . . someone's gotta go to [Tribune Owner], we want to see him . . . it's a political f---in' operation in there." . . .

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said Tribune Owner should be told "maybe we can't do this now. Fire those f---ers." . . .

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that "our recommendation is fire all those f---ing people, get 'em the f--- out of there and get us some editorial support." . . .

ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will appoint "[Senate Candidate 1] . . . but if they feel like they can do this and not f---ing give me anything . . . then I'll f---ing go [Senate Candidate 5]."

ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that "I've got this thing [the power to appoint Barack Obama's Senate replacement] and it's f---ing golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for f---ing nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there."

Classy guy...

From Michelle Malkin:

Democrats and the media can no longer rest on the old rationalization that Blago is an exception to the "we're cleaner than thou" rule. 2008 was the year of Democratic Reps. William "Cold Cash" Jefferson, Charlie "Sweetheart Deals" Rangel, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame "Text Me" Kilpatrick. It was the year Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson got caught stuffing bribes from an FBI informant down her shirt. It was the year 12 Democratic leaders and staffers in Pennsylvania's state Capitol were stung in a massive corruption scandal involving cash, sex and abuse of public office. And it was the year of multimillion-dollar embezzlement scandals at Democratic satellite offices of ACORN and the SEIU.

The Democrats have met the culture of corruption, and it looks like it ain't just elephants among the jackasses soiling public office.

In the meantime the Obama media swoon and cover-up is in full swing. AP and Reuters have gotten their stories straight calling the scandal an "unwelcome distraction" The Washington Post described it as a "distraction occurring at an inopportune time".

All of this after both Time Magazine's Mark Halperin and the Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell admitted the media was in the tank for Obama during the election.

This shameless Obama negative news blackout continues.
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