Reply awaited 0

 Michael Isikoff has questions for Obama. The odd thing is he asks them in Newsweek – not the first publication that springs to mind when you think of questioning the One. 

 We could think of better questions, but answers to these would be interesting and we too would like to hear them. We don’t, however, expect a swift reply.    

1. Define " inappropriate, " make good on your pledge of transparency and show us the internal report. All of it.
Mr. President-elect, you have said that nobody on your staff was "involved in inappropriate discussions" with the governor or his aides about his apparent plans for your Senate seat. Please define "inappropriate." And, in light of your pledge for greater transparency in government, will you also turn over a full, unedited copy of the internal report conducted by transition lawyers into this matter, including the notes of all interviews they conducted with your staff members, as well as all phone records and e-mails documenting the contacts between your staff, Blagojevich and his team?

2 Explain what happened with Senate " Candidate 1. "
In the criminal complaint released by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich is quoted in a Nov. 11 tape recording as saying that you wanted him to name Senate Candidate 1 (since identified as your close adviser Valerie Jarrett), but that you and your aides were "not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them." How would Blagojevich have gotten the idea that this was your view? Were you or any of your aides aware, at any point, that Blagojevich wanted more than "appreciation"—such as contributions to his campaign fund or a seat in your cabinet—in exchange for appointing Jarrett? And why did she withdraw from consideration right after this conversation?

 

3 What did you know about Blago  s exit strategy?
In other parts of the complaint, Blagojevich is quoted as saying that he wanted you to tap wealthy "Warren Buffet types" and put up "10, 15 million" for a political advocacy group that the governor could then head up, and draw a salary from, after he leaves office. Were you ever told of Blagojevich’s interest in creating such an organization?

4 Have you shared everything you have on Rezko?
The criminal complaint makes a number of references to Tony Rezko, a convicted Blagojevich fundraiser who also raised money for your campaigns and who, on the same day that you bought your South Side Chicago home in June 2005, purchased property from the same owner right next door. Are there any records in your possession relating to your contacts with Rezko that you have not publicly released?

5. Will you promise to leave Fitzgerald alone?
Will you pledge to keep Patrick Fitzgerald as your U.S. attorney in Chicago and guarantee that he will face no impediments to completing his investigation by your Justice Department—wherever it might lead?

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 22, 2008

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

Reply awaited 0

 Michael Isikoff has questions for Obama. The odd thing is he asks them in Newsweek – not the first publication that springs to mind when one thinks of questioning the One. 

We’ d like to know the answers too, but don’t expect a swift reply. 

1. Define " inappropriate, " make good on your pledge of transparency and show us the internal report. All of it.
Mr. President-elect, you have said that nobody on your staff was "involved in inappropriate discussions" with the governor or his aides about his apparent plans for your Senate seat. Please define "inappropriate." And, in light of your pledge for greater transparency in government, will you also turn over a full, unedited copy of the internal report conducted by transition lawyers into this matter, including the notes of all interviews they conducted with your staff members, as well as all phone records and e-mails documenting the contacts between your staff, Blagojevich and his team?

2 Explain what happened with Senate " Candidate 1. "
In the criminal complaint released by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich is quoted in a Nov. 11 tape recording as saying that you wanted him to name Senate Candidate 1 (since identified as your close adviser Valerie Jarrett), but that you and your aides were "not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them." How would Blagojevich have gotten the idea that this was your view? Were you or any of your aides aware, at any point, that Blagojevich wanted more than "appreciation"—such as contributions to his campaign fund or a seat in your cabinet—in exchange for appointing Jarrett? And why did she withdraw from consideration right after this conversation?

 

3 What did you know about Blago  s exit strategy?
In other parts of the complaint, Blagojevich is quoted as saying that he wanted you to tap wealthy "Warren Buffet types" and put up "10, 15 million" for a political advocacy group that the governor could then head up, and draw a salary from, after he leaves office. Were you ever told of Blagojevich’s interest in creating such an organization?

4 Have you shared everything you have on Rezko?
The criminal complaint makes a number of references to Tony Rezko, a convicted Blagojevich fundraiser who also raised money for your campaigns and who, on the same day that you bought your South Side Chicago home in June 2005, purchased property from the same owner right next door. Are there any records in your possession relating to your contacts with Rezko that you have not publicly released?

5. Will you promise to leave Fitzgerald alone?
Will you pledge to keep Patrick Fitzgerald as your U.S. attorney in Chicago and guarantee that he will face no impediments to completing his investigation by your Justice Department—wherever it might lead?

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, December 22, 2008

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

Scandal for Christmas 0

 Jonah Goldberg writes:

There are so many things to love about the Rod Blagojevich scandal it’s hard to know where to begin.

Wait. That’s not right. There are so many bleeping things to love about this bleeping-bleep Blagojevich scandal it’s hard to know where to begin.

For starters, the folks at the Chicago Tribune are Christmas Pony Happy because Blago tried to strong-arm Trib ownership to fire members of the editorial board. Instead, Trib editors will get to have a big tailgate party outside Blago’s cell window.

Newspaper people love that sort of thing.

For the more historically minded, it’s a time for nostalgia. The past comes alive as Chicago’s grand tradition of corruption is sustained for another generation. As the Chicago Tribune once wrote, "corruption has been as much a part of the landscape as corn, soybeans and skyscrapers." According to the Chicago Sun-Times, as of 2006, when Blago’s predecessor, George Ryan, was sent to prison for racketeering, 79 elected officials had been convicted of corruption in the past 30 years. Among the perps: 27 aldermen, 19 judges, 15 state legislators, three governors, two congressmen, one mayor, two turtledoves and a partridge in a stolen pear tree. Especially in this holiday season, it’s so very important to keep traditions alive for the kids. In a sense, Blago did it for the children.

For partisans, there’s the schadenfreude that comes with watching the Democrats – self-proclaimed anti-corruption zealots in recent years – explain why Blagojevich shouldn’t be lumped in with Congressmen Charlie Rangel (cut himself sweetheart deals), William Jefferson ($90,000 in his freezer) and Tim Mahoney (tried to bribe an aide he was sleeping with not to sue him; and you thought romance was dead) as part of a new Democratic "culture of corruption" storyline.

There’s the enormous I-should-have-had-a-V8! moment as the mainstream press collectively thwacks itself in the forehead, realizing it blew it again. The New York Times – which, according to Wall Street analysts, is weeks from holding editorial board meetings in a refrigerator box – created the journalistic equivalent of CSI-Wasilla to study every follicle and fiber in Sarah Palin’s background, all the while treating Obama’s Chicago like one of those fairy-tale lands depicted in posters that adorn little girls’ bedroom walls. See there, Suzie? That’s a Pegasus. That’s a pink unicorn. And that’s a beautiful sunflower giving birth to a fully grown Barack Obama, the greatest president ever and the only man in history to be able to pick up manure from the clean end.

Obviously the list doesn’t end there… 

Read the rest. It’s all delicious. 

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 12, 2008

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

Lies, Blagojevich, and Obama 2

From Little Green Footballs: 

Barack Obama has denied ever discussing his Senate seat replacement with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

But that apparently was not true. 

 A November 8th article at the KHQA website reports:

QUINCY, IL — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

Obama met with Governor Rod Blagojevich earlier this week to discuss it.

UPDATE at 12/10/08 11:17:50 am:

Another KHQA article on the meeting, from November 5th: Who will fill Obama’s senate seat?

CHICAGO, ILL. — Now that Barack Obama will be moving to the White House, his seat in the U.S. Senate representing Illinois will have to be filled.

That’s one of Obama’s first priorities today.

He’s meeting with Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon in Chicago to discuss it.

UPDATE at 12/10/08 11:48:08 am:

And at the Illinois Government News Network, an announcement that the meeting took place and the Senate seat was discussed, with the headline:

Governor Blagojevich Congratulates President-elect Obama and Discusses U.S. Senate Seat

UPDATE at 12/10/08 12:21:23 pm:

Curiouser and curiouser. KHQA has taken down both of their articles about the meeting.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

Corruption, Blagojevich, and Obama 0

 Obama is ‘saddened’ to hear that  Governor Blagojevich of Illinois has been arrested on corruption charges, for (inter alia) trying to sell Obama’s vacated seat in the US Senate. He knew nothing about it. If he had, he would have been shocked, shocked. 

Most media reports carry a denial, variously worded, that Obama can in any way be connected to Blagojevich’s alleged corruption. 

However, ABC News reports:

On the Chicago TV show "Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz" on June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, "Right now, my main focus is to make sure that  we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we…"

"You working hard for Rod?" interrupted Berkowitz.

"You betcha," said Obama.

"Hot Rod?" asked the host.

"That’s exactly right," Obama said.

In 2004, then-Gov. Blagojevich enthusiastically endorsed Obama for the Senate seat after he won the nomination [without paying a bean to Blagojevich?], and Obama endorsed Blagojevich for his 2006 re-election race in early 2005.

In the summer of 2006, the then-U.S. Sen. Obama backed Blagojevich even though there were serious questions at the time about Blagojevich’s hiring practices

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink