Tag Archives: Chicago Tribune

Governor Rod Blagojevich, Obama, Chicago Tribune, January 2, 2009, John Kass, Continuing to unwrap the gift of the governor, Chicago politics, Daley machine, Obama’s senate seat, Roland Burris

The Chicago Tribune, in spite of endorsing Barack Obama, has allowed
fairly extensive coverage of Obama’s ties to corruption in Chicago
and Illinois. John Kass has written some frank articles about Obama’s
connections. Consider this article by Kass dated January 2, 2009.
“OK, Kass, what are you paying Gov. Rod Blagojevich to give you material
for your columns? Or is he the gift that keeps on giving? —Sue S.

Dear Sue: As our esteemed governor has famously said, this thing is
“bleeping golden.” But the Illinois political freak show is not a gift to
me. I offer it nobly and without charge, as a gift to America. Because,
finally, despite all the willful cheerleading of national media types who
prattled cherubically about the new Camelot, Americans are finally
realizing that Chicago politics is no fairy tale.
 
President-elect Barack Obama was not found as an infant, floating in a reed
basket along the banks of the Chicago River. He is not the gentle faun, the
Mr. Tumnus, of the Daley machine. Obama could have forcefully and publicly
demanded that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and fellow Illinois
Democrats support legislation for a special election to fill his vacated
Senate seat. Obama had a responsibility to the people of Illinois to do so.
But he kept his mouth shut. As always, he avoided conflict with machine
political bosses, a consistent character trait stubbornly ignored by his
media cheerleaders.

His top White House strategist and his chief of staff are creatures of the
Daley machine, and Democrats didn’t want to risk the Senate seat. What
happened to the promise of transcending the old politics?

So when the freak show comes to Washington next week and political hack
Roland “I’m a tool of the people” Burris is denied entry to the Senate, and
the national political class shrieks in fake outrage and Blagojevich
surrounds himself with African-American ministers and he sings “Let my
people go!” remember who could have stopped all this: Obama, Madigan, Daley
and the Illinois Democrats.”

Read more here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-02-jan02,0,3148099.column

Nayak seeks immunity, Blagojevich arrest, Patrick Fitzgerald investigation, December 22, 2008, Raghuveer P. Nayak, Oak Brook businessman, Medical businesses, Political fundraiser, Individual D,Wiretaps, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Obama’s senate seat, Obama ties, Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune has an article today, Monday,
December 22, 2008, that reveals that Raghuveer P. Nayak,
the unnamed “Individual D” referred to in the Rod
Blagojevich criminal complaint, is seeking immunity.

“Fundraiser seeks immunity in Blagojevich probe
Blagojevich allegedly pressured ‘Individual D’ for cash to pick Jackson
By David Kidwell and John Chase | Tribune reporters
December 22, 2008″

 
“A key figure in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s alleged scheme to sell a U.S. Senate seat has sought immunity from federal authorities in return for his cooperation in their ongoing probe, the Tribune has learned.
Raghuveer P. Nayak, an Oak Brook businessman and political fundraiser, is the unnamed “Individual D” who prosecutors say was being squeezed by the governor for campaign cash in return for appointing U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, sources said.
Investigators appeared at Nayak’s Oak Brook home the morning the FBI arrested Blagojevich, the sources said. Nayak was among a number of people connected to the case who were contacted by federal agents that day.
Nayak has not been accused of wrongdoing and declined to comment. It is unclear what information he can provide to authorities, who said they had more work to do after moving quickly to interrupt the governor’s alleged scheme.”
“Nayak’s businesses have faced multiple audits by state and federal authorities since he first opened his Chicago drug stores in the early 1980s, according to interviews and records. In addition, his name came up repeatedly in one of the largest health-care fraud investigations in Illinois history.
Nayak was never charged in that case, or any other.
The multi-year federal probe resulted in the shuttering of two South Side hospitals—Doctors Hospital and Edgewater Medical Center—and the convictions of seven doctors and administrators. Nayak, who then owned a lab testing company called NR Laboratories as well as an outpatient surgery center, was among numerous individuals who came under scrutiny.”

 

“In 1987, Nayak was suspended for 60 days from the state’s public aid program after auditors concluded nearly 22 percent of billings at one of his pharmacies were fraudulent. In 1989, state auditors reported concerns that Nayak was giving free airline tickets to doctors who sent business to NR labs, which he has since sold. And in 2001, Nayak returned $20,000 in a federal Medicaid fraud lawsuit in Indiana.”

Read more here:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-blagojevich-nayakdec22,0,7892226.story
Nayak has longtime ties to Obama and Obama associates.
The Citizen Wells blog will provide “the rest of the “story’
soon in a continuing series on Obama’s ties to crime and
corruption in Chicago and IL.

Another tie to Obama to talk?
 

Obama indictment, Obama must be arrested, Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich arrest, December 20, 2008, Obama Rezko Levine Weinstein Blagojevich, Pay to play, Chicago corruption, US Dept of Justice, IL corruption, Chicago Tribune, Charlotte Observer

Why Barack Obama should be indicted

Part 11

One or more of the following events should happen:

  • Obama steps down.
  • Obama is forced to prove eligibility.
  • Obama is indicted and/or arrested.

If one of the above does not occur within a few months,
perhaps we should look to the Declaration of Independence
or Thomas Jefferson, for our next strategy.

The truth about the Rod Blagojevich arrest and criminal
complaint and what it means for Barack Obama.

If you are getting your news from your local newspaper or
MSM media on TV, you probably believe that Blagojevich’s
arrest was mainly about his trying to make money off of
selling Obama’s senate seat and that Obama is innocent of
any wrongdoing. That is what the MSM and the Obama camp
want you to believe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, Obama was caught lying when he stated that he
had no contact with Blagojevich. That part is clear. Now for
the important part of this article. Patrick Fitzgerald was
not ready to indict Blagojevich, but when he discovered that
Blagojevich  was trying to sell the senate seat and the Chicago
Tribune prematurely leaked the story, he hurriedly created a
criminal complaint. The investigation of Blagojevich had been
going on for many months and the sentencing of Tony Rezko
was delayed several times to allow him to talk more.

According to FBI special agent Rob Grant:

“But we do know that something big is going on. “There is a lot
of investigation that still needs to be done,”

“There are critical interviews that we have to do and
cooperation we need to get from different people.”

Obama camp coverup of Obama lies

Exerpts from the Rod Blagojevich criminal complaint

“Count One
From in or about 2002 to the present, in Cook County, in the Northern District of Illinois, defendants did,
conspire with each other and with others to devise and participate in a scheme to defraud the State of Illinois and
the people of the State of Illinois of the honest services of ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH and JOHN HARRIS, in
furtherance of which the mails and interstate wire communications would be used, in violation of Title 18, United
States Code, Sections 1341,1343, and 1346; all in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1349.”
“12. Because this affidavit is submitted for the limited purpose of securing a
criminal complaint and corresponding arrest warrants, I have not included each and every
fact known to me concerning this investigation.”
“a. Defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH and at times defendant JOHN
HARRIS, together with others, obtained and attempted to obtain financial benefits for ROD
BLAGOJEVICH, members of the Blagojevich family, and third parties including Friends of
Blagojevich, in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions, state
employment, state contracts, and access to state funds;”
“15. The remainder of this affidavit first sets out certain information obtained prior
to the initiation of the court-authorized interceptions, relating to allegations that ROD
BLAGOJEVICH solicited and obtained campaign contributions in exchange for official
actions as Governor.”

 

III. FACTS ESTABLISHING PROBABLE CAUSE
A. Evidence Concerning the Solicitation and Receipt of Campaign
Contributions in Return for Official Acts by ROD BLAGOJEVICH Prior
to October 2008
1. Information Provided by Ali Ata
Connections to Ali Ata
“16. As described in more detail in the following paragraphs, Ali Ata testified under
oath in the spring of 2008 that Ata discussed with ROD BLAGOJEVICH a potential
appointment to a high-level position with the State of Illinois while a $25,000 donation check
to Friends of Blagojevich from Ata was sitting on a table in front of ROD BLAGOJEVICH.
Ata further testified that later, after Ata made another substantial contribution to Friends of
Blagojevich, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Ata that he was aware of the donation, that he
understood that Ata would be joining his administration, and that Ata better get a job “where
[Ata] can make some money.””

 

“17. Ata is a businessman who, in May 2008, as part of a cooperation agreement
with the government, pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI and to tax fraud.2
Pursuant to his cooperation agreement, the government has interviewed Ata extensively
regarding a number of topics, including his knowledge of and involvement in fundraising for
ROD BLAGOJEVICH. In addition, Ata testified under oath at the criminal trial of Antoin
Rezko (the “Rezko Trial”) in May 2008.3 Portions of Ata’s testimony are directly relevant
to the current investigation. In summary, and in relevant part, Ata testified as follows during
the Rezko Trial:”

 

“21. Later that year, Rezko approached Ata for additional monetary support for
ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Ata agreed to contribute $25,000 in additional monies to the
campaign of ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Ata, subsequently and by prior arrangement with
Rezko, brought a check in this amount to Rezko’s offices on Elston Avenue in Chicago.
After he arrived at Rezko’s offices, Ata was greeted by Rezko to whom he handed the check
in an envelope. Rezko, carrying the check, ushered Ata into a conference room where he met
with Rezko and ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Rezko placed the envelope containing Ata’s
$25,000 check to ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s campaign on the conference room table between
himself and ROD BLAGOJEVICH and stated to ROD BLAGOJEVICH that Ata had been
a good supporter and a team player and that Ata would be willing to join ROD
BLAGOJEVICH’s administration. ROD BLAGOJEVICH expressed his pleasure and
acknowledged that Ata had been a good supporter and good friend. ROD BLAGOJEVICH,
in Ata’s presence, asked Rezko if he (Rezko) had talked to Ata about positions in the
administration, and Rezko responded that he had.”

Connections to Joseph Cari
“26. Cari was a significant fundraiser for Democratic causes and was previously the
national finance chair for Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. During his
testimony, Cari described meetings that he had with ROD BLAGOJEVICH, Chris Kelly,
Rezko, and Stuart Levine7. In particular, on approximately October 29, 2003, Cari, ROD
BLAGOJEVICH, Kelly, Levine and others rode on an airplane arranged by Levine to a
fundraiser in New York being hosted by Cari on behalf of ROD BLAGOJEVICH. During
the plane ride, Cari had a conversation with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. During the
conversation, Cari and ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed Cari’s fundraising background and
work as a national fundraiser. ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed his interest in running for
President of the United States. During the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed
Cari that it was easier for governors to solicit campaign contributions because governors had
the ability to “award contracts” and give legal work, consulting work, and investment
banking work to campaign contributors. ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed Cari that Rezko
and Kelly were his point people in raising campaign contributions. Later in the conversation,
ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Cari that there were State of Illinois contracts and other State of
Illinois work that could be given to contributors who helped ROD BLAGOJEVICH, Rezko,
and Kelly. Cari testified that ROD BLAGOJEVICH ended the conversation with Cari by
informing Cari that Rezko and Kelly would follow up with Cari in relation to the discussion
that had just occurred.”

 

“28. Cari also testified about a conversation he had with Rezko at Rezko’s office.
Levine was also present for the conversation. According to Cari, Rezko informed Cari that
Rezko had a close relationship with the Blagojevich administration and Rezko had a role in
picking consultants and law firms and other entities to get State of Illinois business. Rezko
informed Cari that Rezko called ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s chief of staff, Lon Monk, and
Monk would help implement Rezko’s choices for certain State of Illinois work. Rezko
informed Cari that, in exchange for raising money for ROD BLAGOJEVICH, the
Blagojevich administration would be financially helpful to Cari’s business interests.”

Connections to Stuart Levine

 

“31. In approximately December 2003, the FBI began an investigation of allegations
that at least one member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (the “Planning
Board”), Stuart Levine, was soliciting bribes in exchange for board action. At the time,
Levine was a businessman who served on two state boards: the board of trustees of TRS, and
the Planning Board. As part of the investigation, the government sought and obtained court
authorization to record phone calls on multiple phones used by Levine.”
“32. On May 4, 2005, Levine was indicted in United States v. Levine, et al. 05 CR
408 (Grady, J.) on 28 counts of mail and wire fraud, extortion, bribery, and money
laundering. On August 3, 2005, Levine was indicted in United States v. Levine, et al., 05 CR
691 (St. Eve., J.) on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud, bribery, and attempted extortion. On
October 27, 2006, Levine pleaded guilty to Counts One and Twenty-Three of a superseding
indictment in Case No. 05 CR 691. As part of Levine’s plea agreement, the government
moved, on November 15, 2006, to dismiss the pending superseding indictment and
indictment against Levine in Case No. 05 CR 408.”
“33. Pursuant to his cooperation agreement, the government has interviewed Levine
extensively regarding a number of topics, including his knowledge of and involvement in the
corruption of Illinois state government and fundraising for ROD BLAGOJEVICH. In
addition, Levine testified under oath at the Rezko Trial.8 Portions of Levine’s testimony at
the Rezko trial are directly relevant to the current investigation. The remainder of this
section sets forth, in summary, and in relevant part, Levine’s testimony at the Rezko Trial,
except as noted where information is specifically identified as having been obtained from
other sources:”

Levine’s Plane Ride with Blagojevich

“34. According to Levine, in approximately late October 2003, after Levine was
reappointed to the Planning Board, he shared a private plane ride from New York to Chicago
with ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Kelly. Levine, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, and Kelly were the
only passengers on the flight. According to Levine, at the beginning of the flight, Levine
thanked ROD BLAGOJEVICH for reappointing him to the Planning Board. ROD
BLAGOJEVICH responded that Levine should only talk with “Tony” [Rezko] or [Kelly]
about the Planning Board, “but you stick with us and you will do very well for yourself.”
ROD BLAGOJEVICH said this in front of Kelly. According to Levine, Levine understood
from ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s manner of speaking and words that ROD BLAGOJEVICH
did not want Levine to talk to ROD BLAGOJEVICH directly about anything to do with the
boards, but that Levine should talk to Rezko or Kelly. Levine also understood that ROD
BLAGOJEVICH meant that Levine could make a lot of money working with ROD
BLAGOJEVICH’s administration. According to Levine, ROD BLAGOJEVICH did not
seem to expect a response from Levine, and Kelly then shifted the conversation to something
else.”

Corruption of the Planning Board

(This is the subject of the Citizen Wells plea to Fitzgerald
to indict Obama)

“35. As described more fully in the following paragraphs, Mercy Hospital, which
sought permission from the Planning Board to build a hospital in Illinois, received that
permission through Rezko’s exercise of his influence at the Planning Board after Rezko was
promised that Mercy Hospital would make a substantial campaign contribution to ROD
BLAGOJEVICH. Rezko later told a member of the Planning Board that Mercy Hospital
received the permit because ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted the organization to receive the
permit.”

“36. Levine’s criminal activities included his abuse of his position on the Planning
Board to enrich both himself and Friends of Blagojevich. The Planning Board was a
commission of the State of Illinois, established by statute, whose members were appointed
by the Governor of the State of Illinois. At the relevant time period, the Planning Board
consisted of nine individuals. State law required an entity seeking to build a hospital,
medical office building, or other medical facility in Illinois to obtain a permit, known as a
“Certificate of Need” (“CON”), from the Planning Board prior to beginning construction.”

“37. Levine, as well as Planning Board members Thomas Beck and Imad
Almanaseer, testified under oath at the Rezko Trial.9 Beck testified that he asked Rezko to
reappoint him to the Planning Board and that Beck thereafter followed Rezko’s directions
regarding which CON applications Rezko wanted approved. Beck testified that it was his
job to communicate Rezko’s interest in particular CONs to other members of the Planning
Board, including Almanaseer, who were loyal to Rezko. Beck testified that he understood
that Rezko spoke for the Blagojevich administration when Rezko spoke to Beck about
particular CONs. Almanaseer testified that Beck instructed him that Rezko wanted
Almanaseer to vote a particular way and that Almanaseer should follow Levine’s lead in
voting on CONs. Almanaseer testified that before certain Planning Board meetings, he
received notecards from Beck indicating how to vote on certain CON applications. Beck
testified he provided these notecards to Almanaseer and certain other members of the
Planning Board to communicate Rezko’s directions about certain CON applications.”

 

“38. During his testimony, Levine described a plan to manipulate the Planning
Board to enrich himself and Friends of Blagojevich. The plan centered on an entity
commonly known as Mercy Hospital (“Mercy”) that was attempting to obtain a CON to build
a new hospital in Illinois. Levine knew the contractor hired to help build the hospital. In
approximately November 2003, on behalf of the contractor, Levine checked with Rezko to
determine whether Rezko wanted Mercy to obtain its CON. Rezko informed Levine that
Mercy was not going to receive its CON. According to Levine, he asked Rezko whether it
would matter to Rezko if Mercy’s construction contractor paid a bribe to Rezko and Levine
and, in addition, made a contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Levine testified that Rezko
indicated that such an arrangement would change his view on the Mercy CON.”
“39. Levine’s testimony regarding Rezko’s actions to change the Planning Board
decision concerning Mercy’s application for a CON based on contributions for ROD
BLAGOJEVICH is confirmed by attorney Steven Loren. Loren testified at Rezko’s criminal
trial and, before that, in the grand jury.11 According to Loren, in approximately December
2003, Levine informed Loren that Rezko was against the Mercy CON. According to Loren,
Levine relayed to Loren a conversation between Rezko and Levine during which Levine
asked Rezko whether a political contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH would make a
difference for Mercy’s CON, and Rezko responded to Levine that such a contribution might
make a difference.”
“40. Thereafter, and confirmed by the testimony of Levine, Beck, and Almanaseer,
as well as recorded conversations, Rezko switched his directions to Beck and informed Beck
that Mercy was to receive its CON. According to Almanaseer, although he previously had
been told by Beck that Rezko did not want Mercy to receive its CON, he was later told that
there had been a change and that Rezko now wanted Mercy to receive its CON.”
“41. Mercy received its CON as a result of a controversial and irregular vote at a
public Planning Board meeting.12 The vote brought significant publicity to the Planning
Board and ultimately led to the disbanding of the Planning Board. Almanaseer testified
under oath in the grand jury that not long after the Planning Board vote on Mercy’s CON he
saw Rezko at a fundraiser. According to Almanaseer, he was still embarrassed about what
had occurred at the Planning Board vote on Mercy’s CON and Rezko’s role in the vote.
Almanaseer testified that he asked Rezko why Rezko had switched the vote on the Mercy
CON. According to Almanaseer, Rezko stated: “The Governor wanted it to pass.”
Almanaseer understood the reference to “Governor” to be a reference to ROD
BLAGOJEVICH.”

Dr. Robert Weinstein connections

“54. Numerous conversations related to the extortion were captured on the courtauthorized
wiretaps on Levine’s phones. In particular, on a recorded May 1, 2004
conversation, Levine spoke with Dr. Robert Weinstein, a co-schemer in Levine’s criminal
activities. During the call, Levine told Weinstein about his more recent meeting with Rezko
and Kelly.”

Conclusion

There is much more evidence of corruption in the complaint and
ties to Obama. The exerpts provided above reveal clear ties to
Obama and in particular his involvement in rigging the IL
Health Board.

Request to Fitzgerald to indict Obama for rigging Health Board

Citizen Wells article in April 2008 ties Obama to Rezko, Blagojevich

Citizen Wells series on why Obama should be indicted

The Chicago Tribune, in an article dated December 18, 2008
states that the following ties to Blagojevich could help to
impeach him:

“Longtime Blagojevich friend Ali Ata, in a plea bargain on charges of lying to the FBI, said that he handed $25,000 to a Blagojevich fundraiser and that the governor immediately brought up the subject of getting Ata a state job.

In another guilty plea, Joseph Cari said Blagojevich tried to enlist him as a fundraiser with the possibility of getting state contracts and legal work.”

Reasons given for Blagojevich impeachment also apply to Obama

The investigation of Rod Blagojevich has been going on for
many months. Neither Blagojevich or Obama was charged with
wrongdoing during the Rezko Trial. I have watched the methodical
well orchestrated efforts of Patrick Fitzgerald all year and it
is now obvious that Obama is next.
Remember, the Obama Camp wants you to believe that the
Blagojevich arrest was just about selling the senate seat. Obama
et al are about lies, deception and diversions. This would give
him a chance to throw another associate under the bus

Obama must be indicted

Patrick Fitzgerald rushed the criminal complaint to prevent
Blagojevich from appointing a replacement for Obama’s Senate
seat. This was prompted by the Chicago Tribune breaking the
story.

Since Fitzgerald was obligated to arrest Blagojevich early
to avoid a travesty of justice, by the same token,
a greater sense of urgency involves allowing a non eligible
candidate, Obama, with ties to corruption that equal and in
some cases exceed those of Rod Blagojevich take office.
Because of this sense of urgency and potential constitutional
crisis, Citizen Wells is urging you to contact the Dept. of
Justice and voice your concerns. Also, share this article
with as many people and websites as possible. The election
officials and courts are ignoring this crisis. Perhaps
Patrick Fitzgerald or the Dept. of Jusctice (part of the
checks and balances syetem) will save this country from
a disaster.

Hold MSM accountable
 
This article will also serve as a starting point to hold the
MSM accountable and I have decided to start with two
prominent newspapers, The Chicago Tribune and Charlotte Observer.

I am asking that the Chicago Tribune and Charlotte Observer
apologize for unprofessional, irresponsible and biased reporting.

The Charlotte Observer, in a disservice to it’s readers
and what could be considered part of a conspiracy to perpetrate
fraud, presented only articles that were favorable to
Obama and did not present articles regarding Obama’s
eligibility issues and corruption ties. Not only did the
Observer not cover Obama, they endorsed him.

The chicago Tribune presented transcripts of the Rezko trial
and even some articles critical of Obama and his ties to
corruption. However, the Tribune, despite exposing some of
Obama’s corruption ties, still endorsed him. Also, the
Tribune broke the story on Blagojevich which led to his
premature arrest. What were the reasons for the Tribune
doing this? To protect the paper or citizens from
Blagojecvich or to prevent the Obama camp from being
implicated in more corruption ties?

Readership is down for most newspapers across the country.
Younger people are not embracing outdated news delivery
and older people are fed up with biased reporting.

Attention Tribune, Observer and newspapers throughout
the country.

Apologize to your readers, the American public and
change your methodology fast or you are history.

Coming soon.

We plan to hold congressmen accountable.

Obama indictment, Obama should be arrested, Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich, December 18, 2008, Obama corrupt, Obama ties to Rezko, Ali Ata, Joseph Cari, Chicago corruption, Evelyn Pringle, Operation Board Games, Chicago Tribune, Obama must be indicted

Why Barack Obama should be indicted

Part 9

One or more of the following events should happen:

  • Obama steps down.
  • Obama is forced to prove eligibility.
  • Obama is indicted and/or arrested.

If one of the above does not occur within a few months, perhaps we
should look to the Declaration of Independence or Thomas Jefferson,
for our next strategy.

The last article in this series, part 8, presented an article written by a Democrat
attorney who had formerly been a prosecutor. That article was written on February 6,
2008. Much of the information for this article comes from articles written by
Journalist Evelyn Pringle and Tony Rezko trial transcripts in March and April of
2008.

The Chicago Tribune has an article dated December 18, 2008 that reveals the difficulty
in impeachment proceedings against Governor Rod Blagojevich due to the ongoing
investigation by Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
“Ill. impeachment drive is slowed
By CHRISTOPHER WILLS | Associated Press Writer
5:44 PM CST, December 18, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois lawmakers could be forced to build their impeachment case against Gov. Rod Blagojevich on a raft of relatively small grievances, rather than the blockbuster Senate-seat-for-sale allegations, for fear of  undermining federal prosecutors’ criminal investigation.

Members of the state House impeachment committee said Thursday they will do nothing that would interfere with the investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. If Fitzgerald asks lawmakers not to interview certain witnesses, they will abide by that, they said.”

“The impeachment committee sent Fitzgerald a letter Thursday formally asking for information about people mentioned by pseudonyms in the criminal complaint, and requesting his guidance on who can be called to testify. Fitzgerald refused to comment.”

“Committee members said the criminal charges against Blagojevich will still play a part in the impeachment proceedings. If nothing else, lawmakers will be able to use the 76-page federal criminal complaint, which includes sworn statements from the FBI and damning excerpts from the governor’s wiretapped conversations.

“I think everything’s fair game,” said Rep. Chapin Rose, a Republican.”

“”We’ve got plenty of evidence out there of questionable activity on the part of the governor,” she said. The governor was arrested on charges that he schemed to see President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for campaign cash or a plum job for himself. He was also accused of trying to strong-arm the Chicago Tribune into firing editorial writers who criticized him, and pressuring a hospital executive for campaign donations.”

“Aside from the federal charges, lawmakers have mentioned several issues that could be part of an impeachment case:

–Longtime Blagojevich friend Ali Ata, in a plea bargain on charges of lying to the FBI, said that he handed $25,000 to a Blagojevich fundraiser and that the governor immediately brought up the subject of getting Ata a state job.

–In another guilty plea, Joseph Cari said Blagojevich tried to enlist him as a fundraiser with the possibility of getting state contracts and legal work.

–A legislative panel turned down Blagojevich’s request to expand government health programs, but Blagojevich ignored the decision and went forward with the expansion.

–Blagojevich promised $1 million to a historic church destroyed by fire, but the money somehow ended up at a school run by a former felon. Blagojevich pardoned the felon to make her eligible to collect the grant.”

Read more here: 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-illinoisgovernor,0,7727696.story

What is significant about this story?

  • The Chicago Tribune provided transcripts and additional information
    on the Rezko trial.
  • Despite coverage of the Rezko trial and Obama’s ties to corruption,
    the Tribune endorsed Obama.
  • In the article above, Ali Ata and Joseph Cari connections to Blagojevich
    were listed as issues that could be used to impeach Blagojevich.
  • After you read the information below, ask why the Tribune and Fitzgerald
    should not ask for Obama’s indictment.

Pringle: Curtain Time for Obama — Part 1

By Evelyn Pringle, an investigative journalist

Obama’s ties to Ali Ata

“The morning after the prosecution announced that Loren would testify, Hamilton dropped another bombshell by informing the judge that Jordanian-native and co-schemer, Ali Ata, the former head of the Illinois Finance Authority, had pled guilty and entered into a plea agreement and he would testify that he received the same information in 2004.”

“Maloof is one of the donors used to funnel two $10,000 contributions to Obama through bank accounts from Rezko‘s pizza businesses from the pension fund kickback. An exhibit produced for the jury shows Maloof also made a $10,000 contribution to Blagojevich.”

“As predicted, on May 1, 2008, Ata testified that he was assured there was a plan in place to remove Fitzgerald after Bush was reelected in 2004. “Mr. Rezko informed me that they had just finished meeting with Mr. Kjellander and that there will be a change in U.S. attorney’s office come the new administration,” he said.”

“Ata told the jury he delivered one $25,000 contribution to Blagojevich at Rezko’s office in the latter part of 2002, and the three men discussed the prospects of Ata getting an appointment in the administration. He said people at the office that day included Blagojevich’s campaign chief and later chief of staff, Lon Monk, Christopher Kelly, and state Representative Jay Hoffman.”

““The way Ali Ata described it, the waiting room in the North Side office of Antoin “Tony” Rezko seemed as busy as an airport terminal,” the Tribune noted on May 1, 2008.

Ata brought another $25,000 check to a fundraiser on July 25, 2003, and he was appointed to lead the Finance Authority.

Ata made a $5,000 donation to Obama less than a month earlier on June 30, 2003. Ata is also an investor in Riverside Park. Almost without fail, the people identified in the Board Games cases as investors in Riverside Park contributed to Obama’s US senate campaign.”

Pringle: Curtain Time for Obama — Part 2 (Planning Board Scheme)

By Evelyn Pringle, an investigative journalist

Obama’s ties to Joseph Cari, Michelle Obama’s salary nearly triples

“At the time, Fitzgerald would not say whether anyone in Blagojevich’s office had been questioned or who else was tied to the scheme. But the Times quoted FBI Agent, Robert Grant, as saying: “Stay tuned; there will be more charges in the future.””

“This article noted that Kiferbaum was already cooperating. Five days later, the Times reported Rezko “had a hand in staffing decisions at the scandal-tainted Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.”

On May 20, 2005, the Times said, “Two Rezko associates gave Blagojevich $25,000 each just days after the governor named them to a state panel.”

However, the reporters either failed to notice, or failed to mention, that panel member Malek gave $10,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003.

Less than 3 months before Obama bought 10-feet of the lot, on October 31, 2005, the Times reported: “Investigations of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and state Teachers’ Retirement System have yielded federal charges against six people.”

The article also noted that, “in a guilty plea … Joseph Cari alleged he had been told by a now-indicted former pension board member that Blagojevich and two top fund-raisers, Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Christopher G. Kelly, schemed to award pension business to consultants, lawyers and investment firms who donated to Blagojevich.”

Cari donated $1,335 to Obama’s campaign and gave $10,000 to Blagojevich. During the trial, Cari testified that Blagojevich, Rezko and Kelly tried to convince him to take over the national fundraising campaign for Blagojevich’s presidential bid.

Obama’s senate finance committee during Planning Board scheme

In his interview with the Tribune on March 14, Obama said Rezko “was a part of our finance committee and was listed as part of our finance committee.”

In 2003 and 2004, his finance committee raised the money as the Planning Board scheme was set up and the scandal unraveled. Yet Obama told the Tribune in regard to Rezko, “at that time, there were no indications that he was involved in anything inappropriate.”

Apparently, Obama expects the public to believe that nobody on this committee bothered to tell him he received a single contribution of $10,000, and the money came from a person he just recommended for the Board.” 

Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama’s salary almost triples

“Obama’s introduction into the “Combine” came when his wife Michelle was hired by Jarrett in the early 1990s, and served as Jarrett’s assistant in Daley’s office and followed her to the Department of Planning and Development.

Jarrett was appointed chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board in June 2006. She was also made chairman of a newly created Executive Committee of that Board, according to a June 13, 2006 University announcement. In addition, Jarrett was named vice-chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, the announcement states.

Michelle landed a high paying job at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Two months after Obama became a US senator, she was appointed vice president for community and external affairs. Tax returns show the promotion nearly tripled her pay to $317,000 in 2005, from $122,000 in 2004.”

We will return to Valerie Jarrett in an upcoming article

Pringle Cliff Notes: Curtain Time for Barack Obama – Part 4 (Mansion Deal)

By Evelyn Pringle, an investigative journalist

Obama’s ties to Ali Ata, Auchi and shady mansion purchase
“Obama told the Tribune on November 1, 2006, that the lot next door had to be sold separately because, “It was already a stretch to buy the house.” However, affidavits filed in the Rezko case in November 2006, show the Rezkos had no money. Rita’s only income was a $37,000-a-year job when she paid $125,000 in cash and obtained a half a million dollar mortgage at the Mutual Bank to buy the $625,000 lot.

“When documents unsealed in the case revealed a $3.5 million loan made to Rezko a month before the real estate deal, the money transfer raised “the question of whether funds from Nadhmi Auchi helped Mr Obama buy his mock Georgian mansion in Chicago,” a February 26, 2008 report by James Bone and Dominic Kennedy in the Times of London noted.”
“Auchi’a firm, General Mediterranean Holding, owns 50% of AR Pizza and Rezko owns 50%. Auchi’’s lawyer told the Times of London the $3.5 million loan to Rezko in May 2005 was to “assist the financial position” of AR Pizza.”

 

“The corruption in this case involves the Illinois Finance Authority. The IFA was established, “to support the Governor of Illinois’ economic development agenda,” and “IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year,” according to its web site.

Co-schemer Ali Ata was appointed to lead the IFA. He made a $5,000 donation to Obama on June 30, 2003.”
“Talat Othman was appointed to the IFA Board, and he donated $1,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003.

David Gustman was made chairman, and his wife, Lisa, also gave Obama $1,000 on June 30.

Co-schemer Abdelhamid Chaib is the former the director of Rezko Concessions. Chaib’s wife was appointed to the

Department of Employment Security Review Board. Obama received $5,000 from Chaib on June 30, 2003.”

 

“As part of the scheme, Ata signed a letter on Finance Authority letterhead that falsely made it appear that Dr Paul Ray had applied for financing with the IFA for acquisition of the pizza restaurants. The letter stated that Ray’s financing would be recommended for approval by the IFA Board on March 15, 2004, and that the IFA would guarantee 50% of the total $16 million.”
“But Ata said Rezko scoffed at the concerns. “He said as far as the publicity, he will get the governor’s office to approve the transaction, and as far as the board,” Ata told the jury, Rezko said, “We put them there.”””
“”Ata is a former president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He represents “a deeper corruption” in the Arab American community, “an aspect of the story that has not received much attention,” according to a May 2, 2008 report by Ray Hanania in the Southwest News-Herald.”
“In his report, Hanania explains how Ata and others would help organize political dinners attended by Arab Americans from the suburbs at which politicians where “honored.”

“These Arab community “leaders,” he says, “would tell the community that if they bought tickets to their “candidate’s nights,” their organization fundraisers or donated through them to local politicians, these politicians would respond by giving the Arab American community empowerment.”

“In truth,” Hanania says, “these political leaders lied.”

“They did get jobs, contracts and clout,” he notes, “but the people who benefited were not members of the community but rather the relatives, children, friends and business associates of these leaders.”””

Pringle: Barack Obama — Operation Board Games For Slumlords

By Evelyn Pringle, an investigative journalist

More Obama ties to Ata and slumlords

“”The Illinois Finance Authority was established by Blagojevich in 2004. Its “role is to support the Governor of Illinois’ economic development agenda,” and “IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year,” according to the its site.

Rezko business associate, Ali Ata, was appointed to head the Finance Authority. He is now under indictment in a separate criminal case in which Rezko is also charged. On June 30, 2003, Ata contributed $5,000 to Obama’s US senate campaign.

On June 13, 2007, the Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, “Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko’s successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens.”

“I am writing in support of the New Kenwood LLC’s proposal to build a ninety-seven unit apartment building at 48th and Cottage Grove for senior citizens,” Obama wrote in October 28, 1998 letters to both city and state housing officials. “This project will provide much needed housing for Fourth Ward citizens.””
“In the Times, Novak reported that the deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and Davis, while Obama was still working at the Davis law firm, for a bid on a project that was “four blocks outside Obama’s state Senate district.””

 Great summary of Chicago corruption and Operation Board Games

 Read the Evelyn Pringle series on Obama and Operation Board Games

Obvious conclusion:

Obama must be indicted

Rod Blagojevich indicted, Arrested, Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2008, Illinois pay to Play, Leutenant Governor Pat Quinn information, Obama endorsed Blagojevich, Rezko trial, Emil Jones picked to replace Obama, John Wyma

Illinois Governor Rod Blagovich has been indicted and arrested
in a continuing investigation into pay for play politics in
Illinois. The Leutenant Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn.
Here is some biographical information on Pat Quinn:

“Not to be confused with the other Pat Quinn, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn was elected to executive office in 2002, and recently won a second term, defeating Joe Birkett. He served as the elected State Treasurer of Illinois from 1991 to 1995, and was the Commissioner of the Cook County Board of (Property) Tax Appeals in the early eighties. He has also served as Revenue Director for the City of Chicago. In addition to being first in line of succession to the Governor, the Lt. Governor serves on a variety of boards and commissions around the state.

Regarded in political circles as a progressive, Pat Quinn has a record of organizing grassroots political initiatives around the state since the 1970s, including the ultimately unsuccessful push for the “Illinois Initiative,” which would have amended the state constitution to give state citizens the power to enact statutes through the process of referenda, much like California. Although the petition drive was successful, it was blocked by the Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled that the Illinois Initiative was an “unconstitutional constitutional amendment” and was never put before voters. In 1980 he successfully led the fight for the Cutback amendment to the Illinois Constitution, which reduced the size of the Illinois House of Representatives from 177 to 118 members. In 1983 he led the drive to create the Citizens Utility Board. His undergraduate degree is in International Economics, which he earned at Georgetown, and he holds a law degree from Northwestern and teaches Tax Law at Chicago-Kent. Recently, he has led the fight against utility rate hikes in Illinois, and, much like former Lt. Governor Paul Simon, he has used his position in state government to advocate for taxpayers and other people that lack powerful interests in our political system.

Much like the political culture in this state, Illinois election law has some unusual requirements, among them that candidates for lieutenant governor run separate in the primary from candidates for governor. As such, the two highest elected executives in the state don’t always agree, and the Blagojevich-Quinn administration has been no exception. Chicagoist had the opportunity to sit down with Quinn in his Chicago office a few weeks ago to discuss grassroots activism, tax relief, ethics, public transit, and Paul Simon.”

Read more here:

http://chicagoist.com/2007/04/20/interview_illinois_lieutenant_governor_pat_quinn.php

Rod Blagojevich indicted, Arrested, Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2008, Illinois pay to Play, Obama endorsed Blagojevich, Rezko trial, Emil Jones picked to replace Obama, John Wyma

** Updates Below **

Illinois Governor Rod Blagovich has been indicted and arrested
in a continuing investigation into pay for play politics in
Illinois. The citizen Wells blog has reported for months the
ties to Tony Rezko, including Obama, Blagojevich, Stuart Levine
and many others. Barack Obama had endorsed Rod Blagojevich. Here
are exerpts from a Chicago Tribune article dated December 9, 2008:

“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.”

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.”

Read more here:

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/12/source-feds-take-gov-blagojevich-into-custody.html

US Department of Justice Press Release

In my estimation, Obama is next.

** Updates from the Chicago Tribune **

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 makes reference to 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. An Obama spokesman had no immediate comment.

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.”

We The People Foundation, WeThePeopleFoundation.org, Press conference, Monday, December 8, 2008, National Press Club, Jeff Schreiber report, Robert Schulz, Philip J Berg, Orly Taitz, Reverend Manning, Chicago tribune, Curt Wrotnowski case December 12, 2008

Robert Shulz of the We The People Foundation held a press conference on Monday, December 8, 2008, at the National Press Club to discuss the eligibility issues and concerns surrounding Barack Obama. Jeff Schreiber covered the event and has written an excellent report:

“A stone’s throw away from the White House, more than 50 members of the press and curious onlookers alike crowded the intimate Edward R. Murrow Room at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. this afternoon to hear arguments why Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible to serve as president of the United States.

The press conference was sponsored by Robert Schulz and his We The People Foundation, both of which just this last week ran an open letter to the former Illinois senator in his hometown Chicago Tribune, appealing to Obama to present for review any and all documentation which will prove his qualification to serve as president pursuant to Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Also attending the press conference: Philip Berg, a Pennsylvania attorney who, in August, filed the first lawsuit questioning Obama’s constitutional eligibility; Orly Taitz, a Chechnyan immigrant turned southern California dentist and lawyer who has filed a pair of suits in the Golden State, one of which was on behalf of Ambassador and former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who ran as the Independent Party’s candidate for president in this past election.; and Rev. James David Manning, chief pastor at the Harlem-based ATLAH World Missionary Church.”

“Schulz deemed the Court’s decision on Donofrio v. Wells “the latest injury,” cited a “conspiracy of silence” with regards to the individual merits of Donofrio’s case and others, and bundled it together with the adverse decision against self-proclaimed “Internet powerhouse” and “legendary muckraker” Andy Martin in Hawaii and the dismissal of Berg’s case at the district court level in Philadelphia. He also lamented a now widely publicized e-mail response on the eligibility-related issue from Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, who responded to such an inquiry by noting that voters are responsible for vetting candidates at the presidential level and more.

“Mr. Martinez is wrong,” Schulz said. “He would have us believe that our form of government is a democracy rather than a constitutional republic. It is not too great a burden to demand that one who seeks the office of the president simply produce documents proving his legal eligibility.”

Schulz stated that “as supreme law of the land, the Constitution is all that stands between freedom and tyranny.” He noted that “the Constitution is not a menu” and that we “do not get to pick and choose” which provisions and guidelines to follow, maintaining that the Natural Born Citizen clause was designed by our founders to “safeguard our nation from outside influence.””

“Philip Berg was next to speak, introduced by Schulz as a “lifelong Democrat” and 20-year member of the NAACP. Upon reaching the podium, Berg wasted no time in getting to the point.

“Barack Obama is really a phony, and this is the largest hoax perpetrated against the United States in 200 years,” Berg said. “Obama places our Constitution in a crisis situation, and will be able to be blackmailed by other world leaders who know he is not qualified.”

Berg then reminded those in attendance that his case is currently active and pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, contrary to what a Chicago Tribune article last week had asserted. He also noted that his case is distinguishable from Leo Donofrio’s, later expanding upon the statement and telling America’s Right that while Donofrio’s case was looking to the Court to define the concept of “natural born,” his case was merely before the court to ascertain standing, though he has filed for an injunction to stay the December 15 Electoral College vote pending disposition on his petition for writ of certiorari.”

““My case in district court was dismissed for one reason – standing,” Berg said. “According to the court, I don’t have standing, Bob doesn’t have standing, no one in this room has standing. We’re asking for one qualification out of three. We know he’s at least 35 years old. We’ll give him the 14 years in the country. We just want to know that he is natural born. It’s not that difficult.””

“Next up was Orly Taitz, the southern California dentist-turned-constitutional law attorney. A woman with a curious, unidentifiable, Arianna Huffington-like accent, Taitz explained that she was indeed Chechnyan-born and that, during this recent election cycle, “the media in the United States of America was worse than the media in communist Russia.””

“Taitz had several strong points and good moments in her lengthy presentation, including when she argued that startlingly little needs to be done to show eligibility for the ballot in her state, citing one such example where she showcased the lackluster approach of California Secretary of State Bowen in vetting and certifying mere electors by showing that one such elector, certified by Bowen, has been dead since 2001. Another good moment came when Taitz once again argued against potential foreign influence with regard to the presidency by reading from a letter written by the first Chief Justice of the United States, John Jay, to George Washington in 1787.

“Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen.””

“Just when it looked as though the room would open up for questions, the Rev. James David Manning asked to say a few words. A very eloquent and decidedly patriotic man, he led with a prayer.

“I pray, Lord, that we can overcome the wickedness which has overtaken our politicians, the media, and even in our court systems at the highest level,” Rev. Manning said, “and that this long-legged mack-daddy will not be allowed to take the oath of office on the 20th of January.””

““We don’t know who this man is,” he said, cautioning his fellow African-Americans not to accept this fruit of a white woman as their redeemer. “He’s no Booker T. Washington, I’ll tell you that. He’s no Martin Luther King. But he does possess the potential to be the most prolific con-man in the history of this country. It is my prayer that January 20th will not happen, that Barack Hussein Obama will not be inaugurated. This man has come from the womb of a white woman.””

Read the rest of this great article here:

http://www.americasright.com/

Jeff Schreiber puts the MSM to shame with his coverage and article on the press conference and the Barack Obama eligibilty issue, the story of the century.