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The Agnew Solution to Rod Blagojevich

Thomas F. Roeser 30 May 2008 3 Comments

A former high-up federal prosecutor whom I talked to the other day told me that in his estimation the feds will arrive at “an Agnew” solution to the Blagojevich problem.

Vice President Spiro Agnew was formally charged by the feds with accepting bribes totaling more than $100,000 while Baltimore chief executive and Governor of Maryland, receiving some of the money from past favors while holding the office of vice president. After a deal with the U.S. attorney, Agnew pleaded no contest on October 10, 1973 to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967 and as part of the deal resigned as vice president.

My source says that the Agnew solution would be applied to both Rod and Patty Blagojevich in this manner. There is a thick tissue of probes involving his possible corruption…a leasing deal reached for occupants of a remodeled Illinois Tollway oasis…the Illinois Department of Transportation…the Illinois Department of Corrections…thje Department of Children and Family Services…a letter sent to Attorney General Lisa Madigan from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald that the feds are looking into “very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” in the Blagojevich administration…that Blagojevich had accepted a $1,500 check from Mike Ascaridis, described as a close Blagojevich friend two weeks after Ascaridis’ wife received a state job, she receiving the job despite having failed a hiring exam, Blagojevich says the check was written as a birthday gift to his oldest daughter and then that it was given for his younger daughter’s christening…that a company contributing nearly $120,000 to his gubernatorial campaign in 2002 won a no-bid contract, awarded by the Illinois Capital Development board that reports to the governor. And all this before we get to Tony Rezko.

As we all know Blagojevich fundraisers Antonin Rezko and Stuart Levine were indicted and are on trial for participating in a scheme to obtain kickbacks from investment firms seeking business from two state boards, Levine pleading guilty and testifying against Rezko.

On top of this the feds are investigating the fact that Patricia Blagojevich was a business partner of Rezko for at least a decade and in 2004 received over $38,000 in real estate commissions from him…that as a licensed real estate broker she received $113,700 in commissions from Anita and Amrish Mahajan. Anita Mahajan owns a urinalysis company that has been given a no-bid contract with the state Department of Children and Family Services and Amrishajan is president of a bank that has had two requests pending before state regulators to acquire two out-of-state banks…that Melvyn L. Weiss, a lawyer was indicted after having made a $10,000 contribution from his firm which “Friends of Blagojevich” returned…that Blagojevich did not return another $40,000 from Melvyn Weiss and other lawyers in Weiss’ firm…that Weiss paid $5,000 toward lodging, meals and entertainment for Blagojevich and others with him during a December, 2003 trip to New York.

Moreover that Blagojevich campaign adviser Chris Kelly was indicted on federal charges of tax fraud unrelated to either the governor of political work but Kelly has been listened as a “co-schemer” in court filings related to the Rezko fcase and that prosecutors say he was involved in pressuring prospective state contractors for “finders fees” or political contributions…that Blagojevich is widely acknowledged to be “Public Official A” in the Rezko indictment…that a federal district judge named the Blagojevich campaign and Blagojevich as the intended beneficiary of at least one of Rezko’s extortion attempts…that federal prosecutors sought to prove that his top advisers were involved in kickback schemes…that Levine mentioned Blagojevich by name at least 30 times in opne day of testimony, declaring under oath that the governor told him “[Y]ou stick with us and yhou’ll do very well for yourself,” that Levine testified Blagojevich was aware of a shakedown involving a film producer Tom Rosenberg in 2004…

In addition, that Joseph Cari, Jr., the former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee testified Blagojevich was at one time trying to form a national fundraising presence in order to run for president, the governor tellilng him that “contracts, legal work and investment banking work” would be awarded to “people who helped”…that the former head of the Illinois Finance Authority, Ali Ata, became the first person to accuse Blagojevich of personally offering a position in his administration in return for campaign contributions…that having met Rezko several times regarding fund-raising efforts for Blagojevich’s campaign and discussing a job with a state agency in return for contributions,” Ata subsequently being appointed to the IFA post…that a federal judge confirmed Blagojevich was indeed “Official A”…that a “$25,000 Club” has been probed in which 75% of businesses, unions and individuals that give $25,000 donations to the Blagojevich campaign fund received benefits from the state, including state contracts and appointments to state boards…that “Friends of Blagojevich” received a $10,000 campaign from an elevator constructors PAC in the same month that three union officers received appointments to the Illinois Elevator Safety Board.

Blagojevich and his press spokesmen have consistently denied his involvement in all these matters. Nevertheless…

…in view of all this, the former federal prosecutor told me the feds are expected to offer a deal to both Blagojevichs. The governor will take a plea of an indeterminate lesser nature and resign in return for which his wife shall either not be prosecuted or receive a confinement sentence, allowing her to continue to care for their two daughters.

Thus endeth the insight of the former prosecutor. Political types are moving into speculation.

The Emergence of Pat Quinn as Governor.

If he accepts as Agnew did, the resignation would propel Lt. Governor Pat Quinn to the governorship. The types I talked to maintain that Attorney General Lisa Madigan would likely not move to challenge Quinn rather than become governor with such enormous state fiscal problems to solve-preferring to wait for a better opportunity. But Quinn would be challenged for the Democratic nomination on the grounds that as part of the Blagojevich administration he has inherited the taint albeit he has been vociferous about opposing the governor.

Quinn is seen as a seasoned campaigner and brilliant media strategist who would make the most of the ability to try to bring order out of chaos but highly unpopular with the Democratic party regulars.

3 Comments »

  • fred Hilop (author) said:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Christensen

    The Illinois Elevator Board Corruption is detailed in these links.

  • CountMyVote (author) said:

    Individuals, and related individuals, re: the firm Milberg Weiss (Melvin L.) Barshed And Schulm, made contributions to Obama in 2004: $16,750.00

    I haven’t checked other years, just 2004.

  • Robert (author) said:

    I like you’re speculation of Paul Vallas running as a republican for Governor even more now.

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