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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obama's Exposure to the Blagojevich Scandal

An outsider can't understand just how ingrained and despicable the corruption in Illinois is. To put it into perspective, three of our last seven governors have been, or currently are, in jail. That doesn't even include Blagojevich who should make it an even 50%. On top of this, one former Governor, Jim Thompson who didn't spend anytime in prison, is now defending pro bono another former Governor, George Ryan who is in jail. Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield has a long history of patronage politics. It creates a shadow government in which influence peddlers control the government apparatus and make that apparatus work for their own benefit rather than the benefit of the people. In Chicago, Cook County, dirty deals in which conflicts of interest aren't disclosed are standard operating procedure. Also standard is the practice of offering friends cushy jobs. Bribery, scandal, and back room deals are the standard operating procedure.

What the Rod Blagojevich scandal will do is put each and every piece of Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield corruption under a microscope for months and probably years. It's likely that at some point Blagojevich will flip. He is facing a very long time in jail and Fitzgerald will need quite a lot from him in order to offer him any sort of a deal. Blagojevich knows where all the so called bodies are buried, and he will likely have to uncover them all.

The real problem for Barack Obama is that in Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield just about every politician is crooked. We already know about the corrupt land deal. (between Obama and Tony Rezko) Far fewer folks know about this report from the Boston Globe.

In this report, it details how Barack Obama lead the Illinois Senate in doling out $300 million to local influential real estate developers like Tony Rezko to build low income housing. That low income housing is now unlivable.

We will now be in for months of revelations of these sorts of deals from every corner of the Illinois political world. Now, how much will affect Obama depends on how close it gets to him. Now, many of his defenders have claimed that he himself hasn't been implicated in any corruption. Of course, he has and I have detailed just two pieces. I don't know if he is implicated in anything near Blagojevich. The real problem is that Obama has spent his entire political life in Illinois and he's done nothing to confront its deep rooted corruption. It's why I found it beyond chutzpah for him to run as a so called reformer (something that Blagojevich himself once ran as). If he was really a reformer, he would have had plenty of opportunities in eight years in the Illinois Senate. He did none of it.

The other problem is that the tentacles of this corruption can go all sorts of ways. Obama may have run as a so called outsider in D.C. but here in Chicago, Cook County, and Springfield he is the ultimate insiders. His so called political Godfather, Emil Jones, recently teamed up with Blagojevich to block passage of an ethics bill that would have outlawed the practice of pay to play. Given what Blagojevich is now accused of their political power play is now in a new context. Jones himself should be concerned if Blagojevich is indicted. Obama will have little credibility if Jones is indicted and he didn't know that Jones was dirty. If you don't know your own political godfather is a crook you really aren't fit to be President. Obama also has very close ties to Richard Daley, his brother Bill, and other corrupt political insiders like Todd Stroger. All of these names are very familiar to those that follow Illinois politics closely. but they aren't familiar to those outside the system.

Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is the political protege of Bill Daley, the brother of Richard Daley, the mayor of Chicago. He was mainly financed to his Congressional seat by one Donald Tomczak, a political insider in Springfield. Tomczak is currently the resident of the Federal Prison system in Indiana. This is Obama's Chief of Staff.

Yet, in the next few months the country and the world will be introduced to every last vermin that infects Chicago, Cook County and Springfield. The folks that make up this system aren't merely an eye sore but rather something more akin to a plate full of maggots. At the very most, Obama will be implicated himself in some of this corruption. At the very least, many of Obama's political colleagues, friends, and allies will be indicted. The country will soon wake up to the horror that is Chicago, Cook County and Springfield politics and it will NOT make Obama look good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We can only hope that national exposure will expose these "maggots" as you say. Mainstream media will only go so far in that they will work to insulate Obama. After all, he is their candidate.

Obama is as bad as you describe. I live in this cesspool that is Cook County. If I'm not being shaken down, then I'm constantly invited to join the ol' boys club.

There is one party rule in Illinois. The top Republicans in Illinois are Daley-approved Democrats running as Republicans in Republican districts or terminally impotent Republicans (i.e. former Gov. Jim Edgar). They are rewarded with favored contracts in the same way Blago is accused. In return, they look the other way, derail upcoming "reformer" Republican candidates (i.e. Obama senatorial challenger, Jack Ryan), and work to set up "bi-partisan" shill reform committees and agencies (i.e. ARDC Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission) to keep the public in the dark and protect Daley's chosen aids.

Then there are those infamous elections.

Reform candidates must win by at least 10-15% more than their Democrat rival just to break even. This is Daley's electorial tax. It represents the net amount of votes that the Daley Machine can make appear or disappear in an election.

I've witnessed it myself.

I have:

a.) watched votes suddenly appear that were "stashed" (never counted) inside of the precinct vault only to be revealed through a lengthy and costly court process.

b.) seen election outcomes wherein the vote totals exceeded the amount of eligible voters,

c.) witnessed a vote count canvas wherein canvas officials just ignored votes from select precincts to bias the outcome,

d.) reported erroneous voter addresses for ficticious persons to the Cook County Clerk, David Orr, only to be told that I had to be a relative of the ficticious person to have them removed from the voter rolls,

e.) during a public hearing for a candidate petition challenge, was not permitted to record the proceedings via video or audio tape because, although the "chosen" candidate did not identify the sought after office, did not have the requisite minimum number of signatures to get on the ballot, and identified that wrong election on his petitions, etc., the Election Board moved to keep his name on the ballot, and

f.) was present in the courtroom during an election challenge wherein the Illinois State's Attorney's Office offered false testimony at the hearing by saying that, "even if all the Complainant's ballot challenges were found in his favor, the new vote totals would not change the outcome of the election." This went beyond credulity; why would a Complainant spend $20-30K in a court process if, even if he won, it wouldn't change the election outcome? In fact, the State's Attorney lied to the Court by misstating for the court record the amount of challenged ballots. Nonetheless, outcome goes in favor of Daley Machine candidate.

Now the bigger problem in Illinois is that when you file a complaint with the State's Attorney's Office, not only is it going into a black hole, it is like giving the other side a list of evidence/persons that they need to dispose/silence.

Despite recent proclamations from our State's Attorney, Lisa Madigan, that Blago is a bad apple, Lisa and Blago are full-fledged members of the Daley Machine. Both she and Blago were on the same ticket six years ago. During that election, Daley sent union goons and City of Chicago employees in my suburban area with the express intent "to suppress the vote." This, by the way was illegal on two counts: 1.) it was electioneering and 2.) payrolling politcal workers with taxpayer money.

I know this because one of the "employees" was Madigan's former assistant who, unhappy that she was forced to do this to keep her job, spilled the beans on the whole Daley/Madigan/Blago operation. I also know this because I observed the electioneering in at least 10 precints. Union thugs blocked the entrances, tried to close the precincts 15-20 minutes early, and forced some voters to vote in public, while union thugs turned the pages of the butterfly ballots all before the eyes of the intimidated senior citizen election judges.

Now do I protest. Yes, but there are limtis when you are not politically aligned with Machine.

At another election, I observe an election judge, who also happens to be the spouse of a candidate on the ballot, accompanying voters behind the voting booth curtain on at least 50% of occasions. My observation, note not objection, of this causes the opposing side to attempt to have me removed from the polling station. This prompts Cook County Sheriffs to arrive, which, unresolved, causes a roving Cook County Election Judge to arrive.

County Judge adjudicates on site, ruling in my favor. County Judge then inquires as to my politcal status. County Judge, after a candid response by yours truly, then forcefully encourages me to not "make him report" any of the preceeding. Not wanting to have him alter his previous onsite ruling and prefering to stay out of the Cook County Jail for the next 24 hours, I acquiesce.

This is life in Illinois. On the Democrat side, there is no possibility that you can aspire beyond precinct captain if you don't play ball with Daley. It doesn't happen. It has never happened.

The only hope is that outside influence in the likes of Patrick Fitzgerald, will bring this system down. I suspect Fitzgerald's early disclosure of the Blago event was two-fold: 1.) he can use Blago to unravel Daley's operation (which would include Obama/Rezko by the way), and 2.) he needs to be in the media spotlight to preempt Obama from relieving him of his Prosecutorial duties once January 20th rolls around.

Nail Daley, and they all come tumbling down. And via Obama, Daley will have the nations spoils, the U.S. Treasury, Federal Judiciary, and U.S. Attorney's Office at his disposal. Yikes!

As a Christmas fantasy, imagine Chicago without the Daley Machine tax. Fifty cents of every tax dollar goes to support a non-productive patronage system. What a Christmas it would be.