Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Fighting Illini

I was looking for some information on the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago and came across this interesting bit.

When he first came to office, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed selling the building to assuage the state budget. The proposal won many critics. Lawmakers at first agreed to the plan, but later a $200 million mortgage was agreed to instead, payable over 10 years. The plan was declared unconstitutional by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in June 2004. The plan was set aside, although it had already cost the state $532,000 in legal fees.
Which brings up another piece today by John Kass. What is one of the things you need when you sell a piece of property? Title Insurance.
In the Continuing Saga of Gov. Dead Meat, there's a new connection among friends along the Chicago Way.

And one such fellow who will be involved in the governor's impeachment to come is the soon-to-be Illinois Senate president, John Cullerton (D-DeLeo).
There is a trail to follow here so let us go to the next link in the chain. After a discussion of Cullrerton's position on the sale of Obama's Senate seat - "I'm shocked" - Kass goes on.
It's nice to hear Cullerton's righteous views. But I'd like to know the feelings of Cullerton's buddy, the shadow governor of Illinois, a guy extremely close to Blagojevich who had time to install Cullerton in the Senate presidency but never got credit:

State Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin?).

Sadly, Jimmy won't comment about anything these days, according to his lawyer, Lisa Damico. He's peeved about a line in the column last week, about Jimmy stopping suddenly, and the governor chipping his teeth on the back of Jimmy's head.

Recently, Blagojevich has been meeting with high-profile defense attorney Edward Genson, the lawyer of choice for Chicago mob figures and politicians.
Now what does this have to do with Title Insurance? We are getting close to an answer.
Yet in all the stories about the governor's lawyer, there's one thing missing from the news reports.

Lincoln Park Title Co.

Lincoln Park Title, located in Chicago's Loop, is not your average, boring title company. It has a star-studded list of officers and directors. According to reports filed with the Illinois secretary of state's office, the president of Lincoln Park Title is Jimmy DeLeo.

As if he didn't have enough to do, Jimmy is also the treasurer and assistant secretary. And the vice president is Pamela J. Cullerton, who is married to John Cullerton. She's also the secretary. The board of directors includes DeLeo and John and Pam Cullerton and another guy who knows Eddie Genson extremely well:

Morton Genson. Eddie's son.

There's nothing improper about connected politicians and the son of the governor's lawyer investing in a title company. It's not a conflict of interest, either, since Eddie Genson is the one representing the governor, not Morton.
And Kass has another page and a half of innuendo like that. But it gives you a pretty good idea of how politics is done in Obama's Chicago. Which may I remind you the Smartest President Elect Ever™ had absolutely nothing to do with and he never talked to no one. He saw nothing. He heard nothing. Despite being married to the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Chicago politics. And what made him so powerful? He was a Democratic precinct captain. Don't laugh. It is true. Those are the guys ordinary citizens go to see when they want something. They are the interface between the Combine and the citizen. And what will they tell you if you want help? The University of Chicago Magazine explains it in reference to Abner Mikva's (who later became a US Congressman from Chicago) attempt to assist the Democrat Machine in Chicago.
Regular Democratic headquarters, looking to volunteer for duty. This was suspect behavior.

"Who sent you?" the ward committeeman asked him.

"Nobody," Mikva answered.

"We don't want nobody nobody sent. We ain't got no jobs," the committeeman told him.

Mikva told him he wasn't looking for a job. This was even more suspect.

"We don't want nobody that don't want a job. Where are you from, anyway?"

"The University of Chicago," Mikva told him.

"We don't want nobody from the University of Chicago in this organization."

Thus ended Mikva's career as a cog in the Democratic machine.
Evidently the Machine is no longer prejudiced against U Chicago guys.

Well there is lots more and I could probably go on for days. But let me present one more bit and tie a bow on it. Here is a little something from December of 2007.
An Oak Brook businessman who has extensive financial and personal ties to the former head of the Chicago mob has given more than $200,000 in contributions to Illinois politicians through personal and corporate donations -- with Gov. Blagojevich receiving the most money, $35,000, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Among other top recipients of donations from the businessman, Nicholas Vangel, a longtime friend of mob boss James "Little Jimmy" Marcello, were former Gov. George Ryan, House Speaker Michael Madigan and state Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano, an analysis of the political contributions shows.

Vangel has not been accused of any wrongdoing and did not return phone messages Friday. He has denied in court documents any connections to organized crime. Some politicians who received contributions from Vangel or his businesses told the Sun-Times they were either unaware of Vangel's relationship with Marcello or had no idea who he was.

"We don't know much about the person in question and are still reviewing the contributions," said Doug Scofield, a spokesman for the governor's campaign.

A spokesman for Madigan, who received more than $17,000 over 10 years, had no idea who Vangel was and noted the amount contributed was relatively small per year. Saviano, who got more than $20,000, did not return phone messages.
See how convoluted all this is? It is probably a case where the game is so rigged that if you back both horses in a race you can't lose. Almost as good as being a bookie.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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