Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Rod Blagojevich=Clay Davis. Anybody?…Anybody?

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on January 9, 2009

blagojevichWell, Blago got impeached.

I love how Rod Blagojevich read his resume at the press conference immediately following his impeachment. As if this is supposed to erase the fact that he tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a politician is a Megalomaniac, but holy crap — how can a person legitimize breaking the law because he did his JOB, once upon a time, and cared for his constituents. This is like saying I can rob Fort Knox because I once helped an old lady across the street.

Anyway, Rod’s bizarre performance reminded me of another Megalomaniac in a little show called The Wire.

Watch Blago’s resume-reading here, and then compare it with Clay Davis’s courtroom performance.

Did you know Blago cured breast cancer? I’m kidding, he didn’t, but I think HE thinks he did. I’m also 90% sure Blago is keeping those black people hostage until he gets his job back. I have nothing more to say…other than sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

(more…)

Blagojevich to Appoint Former Attorney General Roland Burris

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on December 30, 2008

Huffington Post

roland-burrisCHICAGO — Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has scheduled an afternoon news conference amid reports that he plans to name someone to Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich was arrested earlier this month on charges that he tried to sell or trade the seat to the highest bidder.

Citing unnamed sources, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Blagojevich plans to appoint 71-year-old former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. Senate leaders have said they will not seat anyone Blagojevich names.

Blagojevich has scheduled a 3 p.m. EST news conference. His spokesman Lucio Guerrero declined to say what the Democratic governor plans to discuss.

The governor has denied wrongdoing and has vowed to remain in office.

Caroline Kennedy: Paying to Play

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on December 16, 2008

kennedyThe media has been focusing on the Rod Blagojevich scandal with all the zeal of a torch-wielding mob, but they fail to acknowledge that the dirty pay to play model demonstrated in Chicago is a microcosm of the political world. Everyone pays for everything, and only the wealthy can buy access to power.

New York can offer two other example of paying to play with Senator Chuck Schumer, and the legacy candidate gunning to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated seat, Caroline Kennedy.

Blagojevich’s swear-laced scheming was crude, super illegal, and what ultimately led to his public demise, unsubtle. The governor never learned how to delicately press the boundaries of acceptability, and instead charged through them with all the nuanced skill of a rabid bull.

The fallen governor should have looked to Chuck Schumer, who demonstrates how to us pay to play the acceptable way. Schumer is the official beneficiary, advocate and overseer for Wall Street. A Democrat, he fully embraced the free market principles that have led to the current financial turmoil. Since Chuck’s largest contributors are from Wall Street, he votes to please his corporate masters, and in doing so, he continues to buy access to power. It doesn’t matter if deregulation is bad for his state, and the country, as long as those fat Wall Street checks continue to roll in.

Blago should take note: at no point did Chuck get on the phone and demand, “his fucking money.” Instead, he quietly and assertively raised Wall Street contributions by 50 percent. Then he used that money to hold onto his power, and vote in the interest of Wall Street, and not New Yorkers. The contributions keep rolling in, and Chuck does it all over again. That’s the acceptable way of paying to play.

Caroline Kennedy is also subtly pressing her bony elbow into the back of David Paterson, demanding what is rightfully hers. I write “rightfully” because…ya’ know…she’s a Kennedy, and we’re supposed to live under their rule until Jesus comes back, I think. That’s written in the Constitution, or something.

But seriously, no one can offer a compelling argument for why Caroline is particularly well-suited for the job other than her ability to raise a ton of money for the Democratic party. That Kennedy money is another tricky way of paying to play. If Caroline can cough up around $70 million, she gets to play, but if she was a poor gal named Smith or Gonzalez with an impressive resume, winning smile, and a noble spirit, she’d get her little ass booted to the curb.

To all the future, corrupt politicians out there, here are some parting words of advice: deceive wisely. Politics is a dirty, foul game for the rich and unscrupulous, so lie, but lie wisely. Steal, but steal subtly. Pay to play, but for God’s sake, do it in the most quiet, underhanded way possible to spare us all the embarrassment of having to acknowledge what a morally bankrupt system we vote to uphold.

Jesse Jackson Jr.: I Am Not A “Target” Of Blagojevich Investigation

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on December 10, 2008

 

Huffington Post

s-jjjj-largeRep. Jesse Jackson Jr. hosted a highly dramatic press conference Wednesday in which he leveled harsh criticisms at Rod Blagojevich and denied any involvement in the governor’s “pay-to-play” scheme to fill Barack Obama’s open Senate seat.

“I reject and denounce pay to play politics and have no involvement whatsoever in any wrongdoing,” said the congressman. “I did not initiate or authorize anyone, at any time, to promise anything to Governor Blagojevich on my behalf. I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer, or plea my case, or to propose a deal about a US Senate seat. Period.”

The remarks came hours after news reports fingered Jackson Jr. as Candidate #5 in the Justice Department’s complaint on the Blagojevich affair. Said candidate stands accused of seeking to send $500,000 or $1 million to the governor in an effort to win appointment to that seat. Jackson, who said he had met the governor for the first time in four years this past Monday, denied that he was “a target of this investigation.” I am not, he added, “accused of any misconduct.”

The language was at times emphatic, with Jackson Jr. getting emotional when talking about a text message he had received from his younger sister, telling him to continue his good work. But looking with a legal eye at the words, there is some noticeable wiggle room. Not being a “target” of an investigation is different than not being a “subject in” an investigation.

Also of note: Jackson Jr. did not do anything to tamp down his public hopes of being appointed Senator. At one point he touted his resume for the post, saying he was one of the most senior officials rumored to take Obama’s seat and had only missed two votes in 13 years in Congress. There is, he added, “no Democrat or Republican who can say that.”

The majority of the press conference (there was no question or answer session) focused on disappointment with Blagojevich — who the entire Democratic Party is running from in sprint-mode speed.

“I thought, mistakenly, that the process was fair, above board and on the merits. I thought, mistakenly, that the governor was evaluating me and other Senate hopefuls based upon on our credentials and qualifications,” Jackson Jr. said. “I thought, mistakenly, that I had a chance and I was being considered because I had earned it. Clearly I was badly mistaken. I did not know the process had been corrupted. I did not know that credentials, qualifications, or a record of service meant nothing to the governor. I did not know that the governor and his cronies were attempting to use the process to extort money in a brazen pay-to-play scheme.”

Sources Say Jesse Jackson Jr. Is “Senate Candidate No. 5”

Posted in Barack Obama, politics by allisonkilkenny on December 10, 2008

jesse-jackson-jrABC News

 

ABC News’ Brian Ross is reporting that Jesse Jackson, Jr. is “Senate Candidate #5” in the Blagojevich indictment:

Chicago Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is the anonymous “Senate Candidate #5” whose emissaries Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reportedly claimed offered up to a million dollars to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News. […]Jackson Jr. said this morning he was contacted yesterday by federal prosecutors in Chicago who he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.”

Jackson Jr. said “I don’t know” when asked if he was Candidate #5, but said he was told “I am not a target of this investigation.”

Jackson Jr. said he agreed to talk with federal investigators “as quickly as possible” after he consults with a lawyer.

The Congressman, a son of the famed civil rights leader, denied that anyone had been authorized to make payments or promises to the Governor on his behalf.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Arrested

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on December 9, 2008

Chicago Tribune

Tribune photo by Nancy Stone / December 8, 2008

Tribune photo by Nancy Stone / December 8, 2008

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.

Updated at 9:17 a.m.: Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year’s end.

Even Blagojevich’s recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and “green lanes” on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged.

The complaint repeatedly references conversations secretly recorded by federal authorities.

The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. “If they don’t perform, (expletive) ’em,” Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.

Updated at 9:08 a.m.: Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes at about 6:15 a.m., according to the FBI. They were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago, where they remained at 9 a.m.

Updated at 9 a.m.: Blagojevich is slated to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan today at a time that has not yet been scheduled, according to Randall Samborn of the U.S. attorney’s office.

Updated at 8:57 a.m.: On the issue of the U.S. Senate selection, federal prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the new Obama administration, or a lucrative job with a union in exchange for appointing a union-preferred candidate.

Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

Blagojevich and Harris, along with others, obtained and sought to gain financial benefits for the governor, members of his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state jobs and state contracts.

“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. “They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

Updated at 8:48 a.m.: Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.

Blagojevich and Harris were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.

Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning.

A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. “Haven’t heard anything — you are first to call,” Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.

The stunning, early morning visit by authorities to the governor’s North Side home came amid revelations that federal investigators had recorded the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant and had begun to focus on the possibility that the process of choosing a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama could be tainted by pay-to-play politics.

Blagojevich was taken into custody hours after the Tribune reported that the investigation into allegations of pay-to-play politics within his administration had been expanded to include his pending choice of a Senate replacement for Obama. The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state’s next senator in weeks.

Sources told the Tribune that investigators intensified their investigation into Blagojevich amid concerns that the process of choosing a new senator could be tainted. The actions by federal authorities came a day before Blagojevich’s 52nd birthday.

The Tribune previously disclosed that federal investigators had recordings of Blagojevich. Those recordings were aided by the cooperation of longtime Blagojevich confidant and former congressional chief of staff John Wyma.

On Monday, Blagojevich said he has done nothing wrong in his stewardship of the state and challenged critics to record him because his discussions were “always lawful.”

Illinois Governor Suspends Business With Bank Of America

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on December 8, 2008

 Huffington Post

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced Monday that he is asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America. Blagojevich contended that Bank Of America received a multi-billion dollar bailout from the government and should accordingly restore credit to the Republic Windows & Doors company in Chicago.

WATCH VIDEO HERE