Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NoMoreHacks in Illinois

The Illinois Republican Party has done a great job applying public pressure on Illinois Democrats in the wake of the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They have started a website,, and are running the TV ad below. Here's what liberal Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown said about the party.

Showing themselves more nimble than I can remember in many years, state Republicans are milking this for all it's worth.

Since Monday, the Illinois Republican Party has been airing a stinging ad on cable television across the state, criticizing the prospect of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, making the appointment if he ascends to the governor's office.

"The people of Illinois deserve better than another political power grab. You deserve to be heard. You deserve a special election," the Republicans say.

In order to sustain the effort, the party needs grassroots help from across America. Over at RedState, diarist Mark W. Johnson at IL GOP Network has started a drive titled NoMoreHacks urging a special election now in Illinois for Barack Obama's senate seat. He is pointing people and donors to the state party so it can continue its TV and web barrage.

Let's jump on board and stop Illinois' corrupt Democrats in their tracks.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In 2006, Dems ignored Blago "5-alarm fire"

Illinois Democrats are laughingly trying to say they didn't know Governor Rod Blagojevich was under intense federal scrutiny in 2006 when they lined up behind him during his re-election bid. At the time, the Chicago Tribune called the corruption probe "a five-alarm fire."

Speaker of the House Mike Madigan said this yesterday: "I can't say I knew he was under intense scrutiny at the time." Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has ducked the question as best he could and suggested there was not a problem in 2006. Madigan was Blago's campaign co-chairman and Quinn ran on his ticket and called him honest and someone who always does the right thing. Both are not telling the truth. Here are what newspaper editorials said during that campaign:

CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS – "Now a trail of indictments is working its way toward the governor's office, forcing him into the last refuge of the political scoundrel: claiming ignorance of what goes on in his own administration.

In sum, Gov. Blagojevich has disgraced himself and the state. Nothing he may have accomplished in office can erase that taint or entitle him to another term. Voters must send a strong message that Illinois will no longer tolerate the corruption his regime has fostered."

CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- "The scent of scandal constitutes more than smoke. It's a five-alarm fire."

CHAMPAIGN NEWS GAZETTE – "On top of that mismanagement, the Blagojevich administration is the target of at least two federal investigations, one of which has already resulted in the indictment of a top Blagojevich fundraiser. And the head of the FBI in Chicago says that investigation remains hot."

DAILY HERALD – "His 2002 pledge to end "business as usual" in state government has gone up in flames: The U.S. Justice Department has issued subpoenas to no fewer than six state departments; his top fundraiser faces federal charges of cooking up a shakedown-and-kickback scheme of massive proportions; his administration is under federal investigation for hiring practices; and reporters have extensively documented the governor's record of handing contracts and appointments to campaign donors."

BELLEVILLE NEWS DEMOCRAT – "The guy has let down the people of Illinois in every way imaginable. Instead of the ethical government he promised, his administration is the subject of a sweeping federal corruption investigation."

QUAD CITY TIMES – "Illinois voters should run, not walk, away from a candidate that close to corruption."

The campaign ads also tell the story. Illinois Democrats can't escape their past. They had a choice in 2006 to dump Blagojevich and they chose corruption.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

RNC blasts Obama for non-answers

Barack Obama's transition: A (not-so-well-oiled) machine.

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Captain Disaster

Has anyone asked David Wilhelm about this quote?

Blagojevich's campaign chair, David Wilhelm thinks the new administration will be up to the task of fulfilling the needs of state citizens fed up with tainted state politicians. "Rod realizes that he is being elected as a reformer. People in this state are fed up with corruption and broken promises. The Blagojevich administration will be one of honesty," he said. Wilhelm engineered Mayor Daley's first two mayoral victories and later ran Bill Clinton's 1992 national presidential campaign. Some observers believe that he has brought credibility and stability to the Blagojevich campaign.

Thanks for the scandals, David.

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Obama negotiates with known crook

A nuance being lost in the national coverage of the Rod Blagojevich arrest is the state of knowledge in Illinois. Prior to Tuesday's hand-cuffing of the Illinois governor, it was known with virtual certainty that he was soon to be indicted. Considering this, it is gob-smacking stupid that Obama's transition team was having any contact with the Blago administration beyond something in writing.

This is not Monday morning quarterbacking. I was stunned when I first heard about the contacts.

If Obama had a preference for his replacement, he simply could have written a letter to Blagojevich and released it to the public. Period. Any contacts beyond that amount to a negotiation. And Obama should have known better to negotiate with a man about to be indicted. It also should have dawned on Obama's camp that he was about to take control of the Justice Department and that a key witness in the Blagojevich Operation Board Games investigation (Tony Rezko) was also a close friend of the President-Elect's. A further entanglement is an Operation Board Games subpoena on the joint house-land sale Obama and Rezko undertook.

If Obama can't sniff trouble in the above circumstances, we are in big trouble when he sizes up foreign adversaries.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A video history of Blagojevich corruption

These campaign commercials from 2002 and 2006 attacking Il. Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption pinpoint what was known in Illinois at crucial junctures.

The 2006 ads are first and show the mature nature of the federal investigations against Blagojevich. Despite this, many Illinois Democrats endorsed him, including President-Elect Barack Obama. They will have to answer for putting their party before the citizens of Illinois.

All the ads were produced by one of the top Republican ad makers in the country, Rick Reed. The 2006 ads were for Republican Judy Baar Topinka, and the last two ads, from 2002, were made for Republican Jim Ryan.

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On Rod Blagojevich's birthday, Illinois regroups

As readers of this blog know, I have written often over the past several years about Rod Blagojevich. I was convinced he would be indicted someday and said so. From my days as a spokesman for former Il. Attorney General Jim Ryan—who Blago defeated in the Il. governor's race in 2002—it was apparent that Rod was an oddly constituted politician who would say absolutely anything, at any time, to advance his political career. It was also apparent he had no moral compass or interest in governing.

Many other reasons to doubt Blagojevich's fitness as a public servant were outlined in these posts, and, rather unceremoniously on this blog.


There's no excuse for being "stunned". I got over that five years ago when the brazen criminality of Rod Blagojevich became so painfully obvious simply from reading the paper. Since this blog started, I've written about four hundred posts on Blago's corruption and incompetence, pretty much shouting into the darkness, even while partisan Democrats still tried to assert that Blagojevich was merely a "victim" of the "right-wing smear machine".

Some observations going forward:

1. Most of the federal case against Blagojevich has yet to be revealed. What emerged yesterday were schemes hatched in the last several months. The core of the case against the governor, including other shakedown allegations and income tax avoidance, has yet to be made public.

2. Many Il. Democrats have much to worry about, legally. Subjects and targets of the investigation will be cashing in what's left of their leverage by talking to the feds. To get consideration, they will need to produce new allegations of value. Expect other names to become ensnared in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's net.

3. Barack Obama, despite the MSM coverage, is not out of the woods. It is already known that Fitzgerald subpoenaed records related to the joint Tony Rezko-Obama house/lot sale. We also know that Rezko is not done talking. There are a number of other common donors and consultants between Blagojevich and Obama. The splatter could be considerable when full recordings and other court filings are made public.

4. Il. Democrats have considerable political exposure enabling Blagojevich's re-election in 2006. Obama and much of the Democratic establishment in Illinois endorsed his re-election two years ago knowing about the federal investigations, which had already reached high into the governor's office. To those same Dems who criticized Republicans for supporting George Ryan in 1998 while he was under federal investigation I have a news flash: The Blago investigation was much more apparent and advanced in 2006. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn vouched for Blagojevich's honesty and got re-elected because of the governor's dirty fundraising.

5. Blagojevich is unlikely to step down soon. He probably is nearly broke and stepping down would cut off his only source of income, his salary. A sane person would plead quickly and keep his wife from exposure. That's the deal allegedly on the table from the feds. Rod, however, is far from sane so predictions are difficult.

6. Happy birthday, governor! Today, he is 52. Some people must have been confused on the date because I heard from many of them as they celebrated yesterday.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Ordinary speeches, great voice

An Abraham Lincoln author and Barack Obama admirer says as a writer, Obama is no Lincoln.

Kaplan said Lincoln had to make language work harder than Obama, "who has a mellifluent voice and makes a terrific visual impression but has yet to write a speech that is, word by word, both memorable and powerful.

Somebody tell MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has already swooned over many of Obama's speeches with over-the-top praise.

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