On the 6 year anniversary of Blago’s removal from office, a question worth asking: Why Did the Chicago Tribune Tip Him Off That Feds Were Taping His Calls?
Given all the earth-shattering stories occupying everyone’s attention over the last couple of weeks, including the mystery of deflated footballs and Bruce Jenner’s gender-bending drama, I think I can be forgiven for not noting an importance confluence of news stories that happened last week. First, last Friday, on January 30, those crusading seekers of truth at the Chicago Tribune ran an interesting story about Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s awesome fundraising machine.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is building the most potent political cash machine in Chicago history by focusing on an elite circle of donors who frequently receive City Hall benefits, ranging from contracts and permits to appointments and personal endorsements from the mayor, a Tribune investigation has found.
Emanuel has tapped these roughly 100 most loyal contributors for more than $14 million — nearly half of all the money he’s raised since he left the White House to run for mayor. All those key donors — consisting of individuals, couples, business partners and firms — are repeat givers. …
Emanuel regularly meets with his political supporters, a level of access provided to few in the city. His public calendar listed 376 business meetings, public appearances and private fundraisers involving the mayor and political donors in 2013 and 2014. About 1 in 5 of all of Emanuel’s business meetings with non-staff members involved a campaign donor.
The story by John Chase (keep that name in mind), Jeff Coen, and Bill Ruthhart, goes on to describe the way that the Tiny Dancer has managed to amass a $40m war chest in 4 years, a feat that took Richie Daley nearly 3 decades to accomplish. More from the Tribune story:
Emanuel places no restriction on donations from real estate developers, even though city approval of their projects can be worth far more money than a city contract would be to another business.
On a stretch of North Clark Street in River North, three companies — all among Emanuel’s top donors — have a piece of a development that needed several OKs from City Hall.
The main developer, Friedman Properties, built a major hotel complex that opened in 2013 and features more than 600 rooms under three different hotel names, including the Aloft Chicago City Center. Emanuel collected more than $75,000 in donations tied to the firm, including more than $30,000 from CEO Albert Friedman.
The project was built in partnership with another top donor, White Lodging, which gave Emanuel $66,000.
Friedman and White Lodging did not return calls for comment.
Housed inside the hotel complex is the restaurant Beatrix, a new concept from Chicago’s famed Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.
That firm, run by well-known Chicago restaurateur Richard Melman, is another top donor linked to more than $236,000 in contributions to Emanuel. The Tribune last year detailed how Emanuel’s administration welcomed Lettuce Entertain You to O’Hare International Airport just a month after the company held a major fundraiser at the request of Emanuel’s campaign.
There isn’t enough Febreeze on the planet to cover up the reeking stench of hypocrisy and corruption that continues to waft from the 5th floor of City Hall, and Cook County in general. I know: stop the presses. What else is new?
More interesting is the attempt by this passel of democrat bootlickers over at the Chicago Tribune to try to masquerade as journalists by writing this article. At the risk of sounding incredibly cynical, let me suggest that, despite the statement that “Emanuel declined to be interviewed for this story,” the mayor’s office was kept fully apprised of the content of this hard-hitting investigative report. The sycophants at the Libune realize that it makes no difference. The article itself explains the reason why; specifically, the boatloads of cash that have poured into, and continue to pour into, Emanuel’s campaign coffers from ambulance chasers and real estate moguls insure that he’ll be able to run an effective propaganda campaign, featuring minority single mothers and all the other downtrodden Chicagoans who benefit from Rahm’s caring administration.
In an interesting coincidence, just about six years ago, on January 29, 2009, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Helmet Head), was removed from office after being impeached. As you well know, he was eventually convicted, in his second trial, of 17 out of 20 corruption charges, arising out of his alleged attempt to “sell” the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-Elect Barack Obama.
I’m sure that most readers of this blog remember how this whole Blago thing went down. On Tuesday, December 9, 2008, Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a “political corruption crime spree.” A crime spree? Did he mean business as usual since time immemorial in the Land of Lincoln, something a precocious 12 year-old had to have known is standard operating procedure, or something else?
The charges that sent Illinois’ 40th governor to the slammer, were all about soliciting bribes in exchange for political appointments. Maybe I’m a tad feeble minded, but I’m having a tough time understanding the actual difference between what he was convicted of doing, and what Rahm Emanuel continues to not only do, but does to the astonished admiration of the Tribune to this day.
A lot of people noticed something else that was funny about Rod’s alleged “crime spree.” OK, maybe not a lot of people noticed, but I did, and I’ll bet many of you did as well. How can Blago be convicted and sent to the Steel Hotel for supposedly selling a Senate seat when no purchaser was also convicted or even arrested? When the authorities are attempting to bust perps participating in an illegal transaction and set up a sting, don’t they usually wait for the buyer to show up so they can slap the handcuffs on him? Of course they do! Unless, of course, there is another agenda.
I asked you to remember the name of one of the authors of that article about Rahm’s Dialing for Dollars prowess, John Chase. This same John Chase is a character in the Blago soap opera, and not just as a reporter. As Illinois Pay to Play has reported, in a phone call to Blago’s press secretary Lucio Guerrero on December 4, 2008, four days before his arrest, Mr. Chase alerted the governor that the feds were recording his phone conversations. From 1P2P:
Question: Why did John Chase make that phone call?
Answer: Because U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wanted him to!
That’s right. Fitzgerald used Chase to warn Blagojevich that the federal government was listening to his every word.
Question: Why would Fitzgerald derail his own investigation by revealing the wiretap?
Answer: To save him from having to arrest the co-chair of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Wait-why would the sainted Patrick Fitzgerald want to protect Jesse J Jr? I submit that he wasn’t protecting Jesse the Younger. He was protecting somebody else, someone who might end up in hot water if Jesse started singing to prosecutors. Someone that Mr. Chase’s reporting demonstrates is a skilled practitioner of the Chicago Way, none other than Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. As for any messy complications that might result from having Jesse Jr out there as a potential loose cannon, Obama’s Department of Justice took care of that by charging him and his wife with tax evasion and illegal use of campaign funds, and sending him up the river, with her soon to follow. Problem solved.
Once Obama is safely out of office, Blago can do another interview with the Oprah to plug his tell-all book in which he reveals the details of the negotiations over the Senate seat and the lies the voters were told about it in late 2008. By that time, deflated footballs from last Sunday’s Super Bowl will still be more interesting to “journalists” that the truth about that.
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