Cellini indictment and trial coverage, Republican Bill Cellini not being scrutinized, Chicago Tribune article disappears, Protecting Obama
“Why was Obama in constant contact with Tony Rezko in 2004 when Rezko was conspiring with William Cellini to use TRS, Teacher Retirement Fund, assets for political gain and personal enrichment?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
“Connections could touch every somebody”
“Illinois is Six Degrees of Bill Cellini.”…John Kass, Chicago Tribune
When was the last time that a Republican, with a history of shady deals, corruption figure connections, tied to Rezko, Blagojevich, et al, indicted for corruption involving a teacher retirement fund and scheduled for trial soon, was not being scrutinized, examined under a microscope and found guilty in the press?
Can you imagine such a scenario?
We have one now in the indictment and upcoming trial of William Cellini.
This is being very much underreported.
Here is a pretty good summary of Cellini’s background from The Beachwood Reporter October 31, 2008.
“”William Cellini has spent four decades as Illinois’ ultimate insider, cozying up to Republicans and Democrats alike as he wielded power and influence while trying to stay out of the spotlight,” the Tribune reports.
“But the spotlight found Cellini on Thursday when a federal grand jury indicted the millionaire Springfield businessman and pulled him into the center of the ongoing probe of corruption in the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.”
Cellini, in fact, is the most classic embodiment of the concept of the Combine – the notion that a group of insiders both Democrat and Republican control the spoils of running state government, regardless of which party is actually, nominally, in power.
“A onetime high school teacher, Cellini latched on to politics early, was elected Springfield’s commissioner of streets and public improvements and, by age 35, became transportation czar in Gov. Richard Ogilvie’s Cabinet. After officially leaving state government, he became an influential fundraiser and powerful lobbyist who headed up the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association,” the Tribune notes.
“His power grew even more during Gov. James Thompson’s 14-year reign when he won state contracts, landed a riverboat casino license in Alton and put together a sweetheart hotel deal that turned into a lemon for taxpayers.
“Under Gov. Jim Edgar, Cellini’s sister, Janis, served as patronage chief, a coveted position overseeing personnel issues in a sprawling government that runs on friends and political favors.
“When George Ryan became governor, Cellini kept a grip on state government through longtime loyalists he spent years placing in sensitive positions.”
When the Democrats finally took the governorship, it didn’t matter, as we now see.
“When we’re in, we’re in,” he once said, as recalled by the Sun-Times today. “And when you’re in, we’re in. We’re always in.”
And who is “we’?
“His business partners are equally powerful men, including Victor Cacciatore, president of Lakeside Bank; Earl Deutsch, a longtime Democratic attorney who, with Cellini, created Commonwealth Realty Advisors, which invests about $1 billion in state pension funds; Michael Marchese, president of Harlem Irving Companies, and Richard Stein, senior managing director of Mesirow Financial’s real estate division.”
And that gang has close ties to Michael Madigan, Ed Burke, and, of course, Richard M. Daley.”
“”Cellini has always been the guy behind the guy,” John Kass writes today.
“The suits making speeches on TV aren’t real politics. They’re just the suits making speeches. It is the men on the inside who matter, flying below the radar to swoop down to the public trough and feed without much notice.”"
I mentioned that the William Cellini trial has been underreported. Well, it is worse than that. When Cellini’s trial date was set on December 2, 2010, it was reported at Citizen Wells on December 10, 2010.
From the Chicago Tribune December 2, 2010.
“A date has finally been set for the long-delayed trial of a
Springfield businessman charged with illegally plotting to raise
campaign funds for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
At a status hearing Thursday, a federal judge in Chicago scheduled
William Cellini‘s trial for Aug. 22.
Cellini is a longtime fundraiser and behind-the-scenes power broker in
Citizen Wells link:
I noticed some time later that the Chicago Tribune article was no longer there. I then searched within the Tribune site and the internet. The article was gone. However, another Chicago site still has the story up.
From Chicago Breaking News December 2, 2010.
“A federal judge today set trial for next summer for William Cellini, a
largely forgotten co-defendant of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The Springfield powerbroker is charged with extorting a Hollywood
producer with Chicago connections to make a campaign donation to
Blagojevich in return for business with a state pension investment
At a routine status hearing for Blagojevich today, U.S. District Judge
James Zagel set Aug. 22 for Cellini’s trial.
Zagel previously allowed Cellini to be tried separately from
Blagojevich, who himself is scheduled to be retried on April 20 after
a jury deadlocked last summer on most of the charges against the
Perhaps this means nothing.
But where is the press? Why are the attack dogs not all over Cellini?
Cellini’s scheming with Rezko in 2003, 2004 and 2005 hits a little too close to Obama.
Who will be called as a witness at the Cellini trial?