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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 08:35 pm
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srossi

 

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http://beta.news.yahoo.com/jury-convicts-ex-ill-gov-blagojevich-retrial-191413841.html


CHICAGO (AP) — A jury convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday of nearly all the corruption charges against him, including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Blagojevich had faced 20 charges, including the Senate seat allegation and that he schemed to shake down executives for campaign donations. He was convicted on all charges regarding the Senate seat.

Jurors delivered their verdicts Monday after deliberating nine days.

Blagojevich had testified for seven days, denying wrongdoing. Prosecutors said he lied and the proof was on FBI wiretaps. Those included a widely parodied clip in which Blagojevich calls the Senate opportunity "f------ golden."

Jurors in his first trial deadlocked on all but one charge, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI. Blagojevich already faces up to five years for the lying conviction.

Blagojevich, 54, had arrived at the courthouse accompanied by his wife, Patti, and walked past the crowds that lined the street outside the building.

Prosecutors, defense attorneys and dozens of reporters filed into the courtroom Monday after the court announced it had received word of a note from jurors.

"The jury has come to a decision on 18 of the 20 counts," Zagel said, clutching the note and reading it aloud. Jurors added they were deadlocked on two counts and "were confident" they couldn't agree on those charges "even with further deliberations."

Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008, after the FBI had wiretapped hundreds of his telephone calls at work and home. The Illinois Legislature impeached him a month later.

Both trials hinged on whether the former governor's bold ramblings to aides and others on the telephone was just talk, as he insisted, or part of "a political crime spree," in the words of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Before a national audience, the Blagojevich saga exacerbated Illinois' reputation for graft. The convictions mean Blagojevich is the second Illinois governor in a row facing a prison sentence for corruption. His predecessor, former Gov. George Ryan, is serving a 6½ year sentence.

The case also became a media spectacle, as the indicted governor and his wife appeared on TV reality shows, and as the loquacious Blagojevich made theatrical appearances daily outside the courthouse during the first trial to profess his innocence and hug his remaining fans.

In a case full of high-level name dropping, defense attorneys in the retrial pulled into court Chicago's new Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Emanuel's appearance on the witness stand, the most anticipated by a Chicago mayor in a federal courtroom in decades, was over in just five minutes. Jackson was done in about half an hour.

Overall, though, the retrial had far less of the circus-like atmosphere that accompanied the initial trial. Blagojevich himself also was more subdued this time.

Other major differences were in the prosecution's dramatically streamlined case, and the fact that the defense put on a case after not doing so the first time around.

Prosecutors dropped racketeering counts against the ex-governor and dismissed all charges against his then co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich. They presented just three weeks of evidence — half the time taken at the first trial. They called fewer witnesses, asked fewer questions and played shorter excerpts of FBI wiretaps that underpin most of the charges.

There was also a new variable at the retrial: The testimony from Blagojevich himself. At the first trial, the defense rested without calling any witnesses and Blagojevich didn't testify despite vowing that he would.

Retrial jurors saw a deferential Blagojevich look them in the eyes and deny every allegation, telling them his talk on the recordings was mere brainstorming.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 28th, 2011 12:18 am
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Married Jo



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HA!



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 Posted: Tue Jun 28th, 2011 08:30 pm
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clawmaster
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No shocker. Blago is a douchebag.

On the same day.

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Lura Lynn Ryan, the former Illinois first lady who spent the waning years of her life seeking freedom for her imprisoned husband, former Gov. George Ryan, has died after a long bout with cancer. She was 76.

Lura Lynn passed away Monday at age 76.

Lura Lynn Ryan died late Monday at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, said Andrea Lyons, an attorney for George Ryan. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and hospitalized for apparent complications from chemotherapy.

She was a steadfast supporter of the former governor, whom she had met in high school, and maintained that he had never done anything wrong during his lengthy political career. They had been married for 55 years.

The former governor, serving time on federal corruption charges, was quietly escorted from his prison cell in Terre Haute, Ind., to be at her side for two hours in January in the intensive care unit at a Kankakee hospital, about 130 miles away. She had been hospitalized earlier in the day and, according to George Ryan's lawyer, drifted in and out of sleep and struggled to speak while he was there, though she recognized him.

The secret visit was not revealed until two days later, when federal prosecutors mentioned it in a court filing arguing against a request by Ryan's lawyers to have him released on bail so he could spend more time with his dying wife. The former governor was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2006, and has served three years of a 6 1/2-year sentence for racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI.

Lura Lynn Lowe grew up in the Kankakee County village of Aroma Park where her family, originally from Germany, had lived since 1834. Her father owned one of the nation's first hybrid seed companies. She moved to Kankakee for high school.

She and the former governor met in high school English class. Together, they have five daughters, one son and more than a dozen grandchildren.

Lura Lynn Ryan had no idea when they got married that her husband would go into politics. He started life as a Kankakee drug store owner.

But his brother was mayor and she started to think her husband might run for office when he helped a friend who was running for the county board and seemed to have a flair for politics.

The climb was steady, from a seat in the General Assembly to lieutenant governor to secretary of state and finally the governorship — reaching the pinnacle of both state government and Illinois' Republican establishment.

She spoke admiringly of the mansion in Springfield — her official home for four years.

Prosecutors say the road to the top was marred by corruption. But she focused on the positive, including Ryan's unprecedented commuting of all 156 inmates on Illinois' death row before leaving office in 2003, and his efforts to curb drunken driving. She made it a priority to participate in charitable causes, such as a program to influence teenagers to avoid drug and alcohol abuse.

"As my children grew older and I could be with him (Ryan), I kind of took up my little causes," she said. "And I think we did make a difference."

Ryan was convicted in 2006 of steering state contracts and leases to political insiders while he was secretary of state and then governor for one term. He received vacations and gifts in return. He also was accused of stopping an investigation into secretary of state employees accepting bribes in exchange for truck driver's licenses.

In 2000, Lura Lynn Ryan was pulled into the licenses-for-bribes scandal when a woman claimed she'd handed her a letter in 1998 detailing corruption at a truck licensing facility. The alleged hand-off happened at an event nine months before George Ryan was elected governor, and the former first lady said she didn't remember the letter or the woman.

Lura Lynn Ryan grew increasingly frail during her final years, appearing at her husband's court appearances with an oxygen tank.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 02:38 am
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Chitown Rich

 

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This is the word on the Chicago streets spoken in the neighborhood bar where I go a few times a week.

Sure Blago is guilty.

But why did the Feds stop the investigation before any money was exchanged?

There are a lot of Mafia guys and wannabes in this neighborhood and they were lamenting over this today.
One guy said that if the Feds had investigated his uncle the same way they investigated Blago his uncle wouldn't have been sent to jail in January of 1986 under the Rico laws because they waited to arrest those guys when the paper trail was solved and money had exchanged hands.
Granted Blago was trying to extort money but why didn't the Feds wait until money actually exchanged hands and then bust in with everything on tape?

The answer is that the Feds didn't want this investigation to go any further.

Who was being protected?

I'm not a lawyer and I don't pretend to know all the ins & outs of the law but I think it's a simple question that needs to be answered.

The only people I've heard bring it up is a husband-wife talk team on WLS Radio.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 03:12 am
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srossi

 

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Chitown Rich wrote: Who was being protected?

Probably every politician, lawyer, judge, and businessman in Chicago.  Blago's an easy fall guy because he's just such an incredibly slimy douchebag even by politician standards, and tries so hard to be a Slick Willy type only with him it doesn't come across as charming and likeable, it comes across as amazingly sleezy.  He has anti-charisma. 

Last edited on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 03:14 am by srossi



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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 04:31 am
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Chitown Rich wrote: But why did the Feds stop the investigation before any money was exchanged?
IIRC, they stopped it before any money could be exchanged because the Fed Prosecutor felt that if they allowed it to continue, then it would expand from Chicago to the Senate, because who ever was selected, if bought, would have started issues in DC as well.

Remember, when Blago selected Burris, the Dems originally were not going to acknowledge him at all in the Senate, but they changed course after their own investigation showed he "supposedly" didn't give anything to get the seat.

I really do not think anyone is being protected in this, but if I were to go the conspiracy route in it, I would say that the ones being protected are the former mayor, the current mayor, the current President, a former Cook County President, a former Cook County treasurer, and probably a few former and current Cook County alderman.

I heard one crackpot on the radio that stated they should be investigating Pat Quinn also, all because he was his 2nd in command, yet anyone who follows Illinois politics knows that Quinn was not ever in Blago's circle of confidents whom he dealt with daily, there were times when Blago and Quinn barely spoke for months at a time during Blago's time in office. 



Last edited on Wed Jun 29th, 2011 04:34 am by mike3775

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 05:31 am
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Heretic



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The only people I've heard bring it up is a husband-wife talk team on WLS Radio.

Don Wade and Roma?  Are they still going?  I haven't been in the market in years, but they've been on forever.



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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 09:24 pm
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srossi

 

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In this joke with no punchline that is our current Executive branch, Trump has said that he will likely pardon Blagovich, or at least commute his sentence. 

"What he did does not justify 18 years in jail," Trump said. "If you read his statement, it was a foolish statement with a lot of bravado. Plenty of other politicians have said a lot worse. He's a Democrat, he's not in my party, but I thought he got treated unfairly."

Trump is also considering pardoning Martha Stewart for her insider trading conviction, and already pardoned conservative documentarian Dinesh D'Souza today for making illegal campaign contributions.

Blagovich was on "Celebrity Apprentice" shortly before starting his jail sentence, and Steward hosted a "Celebrity Apprentice" spin-off show.


Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2018 09:25 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Thu May 31st, 2018 09:26 pm
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indikator

 

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I wasn`t aware of the CA connection, thank you for pointing it out. I would like to say that it is insane, but it's just another day

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 Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2018 12:04 am
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lobo316
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srossi wrote:

Blagovich was on "Celebrity Apprentice" shortly before starting his jail sentence, and Steward hosted a "Celebrity Apprentice" spin-off show.




His wife was also on a reality show called "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here".
Torrie Wilson was also part of the cast.


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 Posted: Fri Jun 1st, 2018 02:19 am
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KGB

 

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srossi wrote:Trump is also considering pardoning Martha Stewart for her insider trading conviction, and already pardoned conservative documentarian Dinesh D'Souza today for making illegal campaign contributions.
I have no interest in or opinion about Martha Stewart but from what I know of her case, it seems she got railroaded.  At any rate, she's already served her time so what good does the pardon really do at this point? 

As for D'Souza, his pardon was fully justfied.  Whenever I hear lefties caterwauling about Trump's assault on the press, I'm reminded of Obama spying on James Rosen, spying on the AP, and throwing D'Souza in jail for an offense that's not uncommon and is nearly always the subject of a civil and not a criminal case.  That D'Souza was highly critical of Obama, that he had put out a negative documentary on him during the 2012 election cycle I'm sure played noooo part in the fact that he was thrown in jail!
"The idea of charging him with a felony for this doesn't sound like a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion," Mr. Dershowitz said. "I can’t help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it. . . . It smacks of selective prosecution." ... Mr. Dershowitz said the world of politics is rife with the sort of campaign abuses alleged. They're so common, in fact, he said he himself been called upon to participate in similar arrangements.

https://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/01/31/dershowitz-says-dsouza-case-smacks-of-selective-prosecution/

Last edited on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 02:20 am by KGB



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