The [Wednesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
Here's my favorite part of Lon Monk's plea agreement:
"Beginning prior to Blagojevich's election as governor in 2002, Defendant had conversations with Blagojevich, Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, and Christopher Kelly individually and collectively about how the four of them could make money from their control over the State of Illinois government. Those conversations included a number of specific ideas for making money, such as through operating businesses that would get state money or receiving fees from people who did business with the state. As a general matter, Rezko was responsible for trying to set up the money-making arrangements and Kelly and Rezko were the most knowledgeable about how the plans would work. Defendant understood that Blagojevich and Defendant would use their power and authority in state government as needed to assist whatever plans Rezko and Kelly put in place to make money. Defendant further understood that he would share in the money that was made, but that those funds would not be disbursed to Blagojevich or Defendant until after they were no longer in government."
"Kelly first raised the idea that Blagojevich, Kelly, Defendant, and others could make money from state actions with Defendant prior to Blagojevich's election as governor in 2002. After Blagojevich's election, there were times when Blagojevich, Kelly, Rezko, and Defendant met together to discuss the status of their efforts to make money using their control over the State of Illinois government. At those meetings, Rezko typically led the discussion and would go through the status of different ideas or plans to make money for the four men that involved some kind of state action, although not every plan that Rezko discussed for making money involved state action. As Rezko talked, he indicated how much money the four men could hope to make from the different ideas. The amounts of profits that were associated with the different ideas were typically in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per deal. Defendant understood from those discussions that the profits would be split evenly between Defendant, Blagojevich, Rezko, and Kelly. The discussions involving Defendant, Blagojevich, Rezko, and Kelly about making money from their control over the state government stopped sometime after Defendant and the others learned that Stuart Levine had been confronted by the FBI in the spring of 2004."
Chicago's Budget Is So Bad . . .
What does this have to do with us?
As I've recounted before, it was questions about the renovation of the president's mansion at the University of Minnesota that led those of us at The Minnesota Daily in the 1980s to start pulling on threads that led to multiple scandals that brought down the president - and others.
(Funny, at the time a U of M vice president had warned his boss that housing renovation scandals had a curious history of bringing down presidents; the story grew beyond that but so it goes too in North Dakota.)
This is apt, I think, because Richard Herman has finally resigned as the chancellor of the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus.
In Herman's case, of course, it was the clout admissions scandal that brought him - and University President B. Joseph White - down.
Well, I'm pretty sure that if a University of Minnesota board member had made even a single phone call to clout a kid through the admissions process, we would have been all over it and the board member might very well have been pressured to resign. It's just something you don't do, like plagiarizing your thesis.
Interesting, too, that the president of North Dakota State is being questioned about a $1.1 million cost overrun. That's just all in a day's work here in Daleyland.
Big city life, I know. But also a commentary on differing political - and media - cultures.
Speaking of which . . . Chicagoland is dotted with a lot of little Russias.
T-shirt idea: University of Illinois Class Action of '09.
Ofman: Huet Must Go
More Flights From Pittsburgh
The Beachwood Tip Line: Branded.
Posted on October 21, 2009
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