The [Wednesday] Papers
"What bothers me is I'd hate to see it at Halloween if everybody walks in - a 12- or 14-year-old walks into a police station on Halloween, they'll be handed a desk," Mayor Daley said on Tuesday. "They'll give them a car. They'll give them a badge . . . That's a real concern that we have."
As a service to readers, The Beachwood Calendar Affairs Desk would like you to know that there are just 269 days 'til Halloween.
I've found it odd, or maybe not, that Pat Quinn's declaration in 2006 as Rod Blagojevich's running mate that he "has always been a person who's honest and one of integrity . . . I have confidence the governor does the right thing all the time" has been questioned by the media, but not the far more enthusiastic backing given by President Barack Obama.
"In the Summer of 2006, then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blago's hiring practices," ABC News recalls.
"At the time, numerous state agencies had had records subpoenaed, with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald telling authorities he was looking into 'very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud' with a 'number of credible witnesses'.
"In an interview with the Chicago Daily Herald in July 2006, then-Sen. Obama said, 'I have not followed closely enough what's been taking place in these investigations to comment on them. Obviously I'm concerned about reports that hiring practices at the state weren't, at times, following appropriate procedures. How high up that went, the degree at which the governor was involved, is not something I'm going to speculate on.
"'If I received information that made me believe that any Democrat had not been acting in the public interest, I'd be concerned,' Obama said."
Anyone who recalls Obama's similar denials about the investigation into Tony Rezko at the time of their house deal, since recanted, as well as recalling what we already knew about Blagojevich at the time and also with knowledge of how voraciously Obama reads the papers knows how disingenuous this is.
"At the Illinois State Fair in August 2006, Obama spoke on Blagojevich's behalf.
"'We've got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois,' Obama told the crowd."
Question Quinn all you want for his failure to stand up and tell the truth. It's appropriate. But why does Obama get a pass?
My guess is because Quinn is a true reformer with a record of action, not just talk. His failure to speak up about Blagojevich was an unfortunate anomaly. Obama has always endorsed Machine candidates over reformers; Blago was no exception. Reporters find Obama's actions unremarkable, despite being at odds with the lofty rhetoric that got him elected president.
That's why some of us are hardly surprised that Obama has gotten entangled with the Tom Daschles and Timothy Geithners of the world. The media's shock and horror that the only change Obama brings to the White House - outside of the huge and entirely heartening breaking of a racial barrier - is a return to normalcy from the utterly devastating and treasonous Bush years.
In other words, Obama is bringing us change back to business as usual.
It is an improvement, but still.
Similarly, the installation of the Machine's John Cullerton as state senate president is a vast improvement over the ultra hackery of Emil Jones in that business as usual will now return to the General Assembly. But it's not reform.
The Daley Show
A beer on me if you knew the answer was Richard M. Daley.
UPDATE 11:34 A.M.: I've been made aware of conflicting information about whether Daley or Emil Jones was Blago's other co-chair. I've been unable to resolve this conflict through Google searching. If anyone has definitive information, please send it along.
CORRECTION 11:46 A.M.: No wonder I was struck when I saw reference on the website of a trusted source to Daley's co-chairmanship of Blago's 2006 re-election campaign; apparently it's not true. I just found this (By Kristen McQueary, Daily Southtown, Aug. 13, 2005):
"Firing a warning shot to anyone considering challenging Gov. Rod Blagojevich in next year's primary election, top Democratic leaders announced Friday they would co-chair Blagojevich's re-election committee.
"Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) will coordinate the governor's re-election effort and work to unite the state's Democrats around the incumbent, Blagojevich 's campaign announced."
If anyone has any additional information regarding Daley, please send it along. Otherwise, I stand corrected.
CORRECTION CLARIFICATION 5:27 P.M.: A Beachwood reader writes:
"Daley chaired Blago's 2002 campaign. I don't have time now to find the source, but I'm sure Daley chaired it."
Sure enough, I found this from a recent Sun-Times article:
"In 2001, Mell abruptly dropped his opposition to Home Depot on the same day his ward boundaries were redrawn so the controversial corner was no longer in his ward. Four months later, Daley agreed to serve as chairman of Blagojevich's campaign - an unprecedented move for the mayor. He had never done that for any other candidate for governor."
Yes, that Roland Burris.
The one who, among other things, tried to kill Rolando Cruz.
Maybe Obama didn't follow that story closely either.
Blago on Letterman
LETTERMAN: Why exactly are you here, honest to God?
BLAGO: Well, you know, I've been wanting to be on your show in the worst way for the longest time.
LETTERMAN: Well, you're on in the worst way, believe me.
Top Ten-it is
Gee, no one's made that joke yet! Hilarious!
Refusing to even link.
This isn't any more acceptable than when Republicans allow corporate lobbyists to write legislation.
Here's an idea: if the Sun-Times wants to get out of its financial mess, it might considering charging a fee to republish press releases.
"'The goal is to keep control of your party,' Cullerton said."
When can we start the John Cullerton impeachment proceedings?
He contributed these pieces to the Beachwood:
The Beachwood Tip Line: Ginsu-ready.
Posted on February 4, 2009
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