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The [Tuesday] Papers

"In another development Monday, prosecutors disclosed that onetime Blagojevich adviser Tony Rezko had begun cooperating with the government in July 2008 - the month after Rezko was convicted on charges he used his influence in Blagojevich's administration to benefit himself and his associates," the Sun-Times reports.

And yet, numerous reports over the last few weeks have stated that Rezko will not be called as a witness at Blagojevich's trial. Why not?

The media isn't saying.

For example, the Sun-Times reported on April 15 that "Tony Rezko, the once prolific fund-raiser and friend of President Obama, is unlikely to be called as a witness in Rod Blagojevich's trial, sources say."

Why not? Didn't say.

The Tribune reported on April 23 that "Rezko, a top fundraiser for Obama and Blagojevich, is cooperating in the case against the former governor" but that "sources have said Rezko has not been prepped by prosecutors to testify in the case, and that the government has not made a decision on calling him."

Why not? Didn't say.

Other reports have repeated the contention that prosecutors haven't prepped Rezko for a court appearance, though the Trib also reported that a "defense filing makes it clear that the Blagojevich camp is confident Rezko will take the stand as 'one of the government's main witnesses.'"

On May 1, the Sun-Times reported that "The Blagojevich defense team also wanted Obama to testify about his relationship with corrupt businessman Tony Rezko, who has been cooperating with authorities since his 2008 conviction on corruption charges involving state business under the Blagojevich administration," but that "sources said it's unlikely that Rezko will be called as a witness, despite his cooperation with the government."

Why not? Didn't say.

On May 2, Mark Brown wrote that "As it happens, there is every indication the U.S. attorney's office does not plan to use Rezko as a witness against Blagojevich, despite continued defense assertions to the contrary. Prosecutors, who have questioned Rezko's truthfulness on other matters themselves, appear to have built their case around other witnesses, even on matters directly involving Rezko."

We can infer from that that prosecutors aren't confident in Rezko's truth-telling. We can also infer from some of the most recent reports that putting Rezko on the stand could open the door to forcing testimony from Obama. But inferring is not knowing. Perhaps Rezko's credibility would be savaged given his own conviction - or the fact that he has yet to be sentenced. Or maybe prosecutors don't want to jeopardize Rezko's testimony and/or cooperation in other ongoing investigations.

We can infer all we want, though; it would be nice for reporters passing along what their sources tell them to also explain what their sources are telling them - or to simply acknowledge that they have been unable to unearth just that.

After all, the absence of such a major figure as Rezko from the witness stand is immensely curious - and immensely newsworthy.

Antti's Army
"When Antti Niemi was working as a goalie for a second division team in Finland, he made extra money by driving the Zamboni at a local rink," AP reports.

"'That's how he paid his bills,' recalled Bill Zito, his Chicago-based agent."

Oil Slick
Fixing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill the Chicago Way.

Heaven and Hell
Ronnie James Dio in 666 Words.

Tootsie Roll's Sweet Deal
"All that Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.'s Ellen and Melvin Gordon brought with them to Chicago Congressman Dan Rostenkowski's Washington, D.C., office 20 years ago was a bag of their company's signature candy, but they walked away with a deal that's the envy of the candymaking world," Crain's reports.

"The Gordons won an exemption from a tariff that nearly doubles the cost of imported sugar for other U.S. candymakers. It's a financial advantage that rivals can only seethe over."

Here is the video report:


Mine That Gap
"How would you fill the 76-foot-deep hole meant for the Chicago Spire?"


The Beachwood Tip Line: Testify.


Posted on May 18, 2010

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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