Tag Archives: John Kass

Cellini trial juror felonies, John Kass, Failing to order jury background checks is cruel and unusual punishment for taxpayers, Delaying Blagojevich prosecution costlier

Cellini trial juror felonies, John Kass,  Failing to order jury background checks is cruel and unusual punishment for taxpayers, Delaying Blagojevich prosecution costlier

“The citizens of Illinois deserve public officials who act solely in the public’s interest, without putting a price tag on government appointments, contracts and decisions.”…Patrick Fitzgerald

“I was not going to wait until March or April or May to get it all nice and tidy”  “I think that would be irresponsible.””…Patrick Fitzgerald

“Governor Blagojevich has been arrested in the middle of what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree. We acted to stop that crime spree.”…Patrick Fitzgerald

“I just think it’s very, very disturbing that we have these pay-to-play allegations going on for years.”…Patrick Fitzgerald

From John Kass of the Chicago Tribune November 16, 2011.

“John Kass: Failing to order jury background checks is cruel and unusual punishment for taxpayers”

“I have an idea for how federal judges who neglect to order background checks of criminal juries can do public penance:

They can wear orange “community service” vests and use sharpened sticks to spear cigarette butts from the sidewalk out in front of the earthy hangouts where judges are known to have lunch.

But first, let me tell you what my friend Deuce and I did the other day. We went looking for that Cellini juror.
The one who apparently lied about her multiple felony convictions — a DUI and possession of crack cocaine — and by doing so may have screwed up Illinois’ most important political corruption case in years: The successful prosecution of a political untouchable, Illinois Republican boss William Cellini, the multimillionaire who spent decades in the shadows, undetected at the center of the Combine’s web.

Out in that juror’s neighborhood, it was getting dark but still bright enough so the man in her apartment could see us and buzz us in. A little boy stood out on the landing, waiting, and then the older gentleman wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey came out.

“She’s not here,” said the man in Hawks colors. His cellphone started to ring, and Deuce asked for his number.

“No,” he said. “I don’t roll like that.”

It was dinnertime. I figured she was behind that door. Just then the boy stepped back out. He said something about the Cellini juror who is believed to have hidden her felony convictions.

“She’s afraid,” he said.

She has nothing to be afraid of, I lied. Don’t worry, I told him. Then we left.

Actually, she has reason to be afraid. Perjury is a federal offense, punishable by prison. And she’s made some important people look awfully foolish.

She may have cost prosecutors and taxpayers an important conviction, and the expense of an extra trial.

I was in the courtroom the day the juror was questioned by U.S. District Judge James Zagel. She said something about a male relative who had been arrested, but she told Zagel that she felt she could come to an impartial verdict.

Now Cellini’s attorney, Dan Webb, is demanding the guilty verdict be overturned. Webb will use the issue to appeal in the hopes of keeping Cellini out of prison for the next several years.

Cellini is the whole ballgame. He’s bigger than convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, more important, with greater reach. Now the Cellini case has been compromised because of one juror. But not without help from Judge Zagel.”
“In an earlier high-profile case, he promised to check the backgrounds of jurors. But in the Cellini trial — a “heater” trial if there ever was one — it looks as if that didn’t happen.

He should have known better. During the corruption trial of former Gov. George Ryan in 2006, the Tribune checked the jurors’ backgrounds and found that two had concealed criminal convictions. They were dismissed. One was a holdout for Ryan.

But in Blagojevich’s first trial, Zagel turned down requests of news organizations, including the Tribune, for the names of jurors. The public wasn’t invited to know. Zagel said he understood the problems raised by the Tribune in the Ryan case but told everyone not to worry.

“The information-gathering process used by the Tribune (is) now automatically applied to jurors in high-profile cases,” he said.

Yet it appears that background checks weren’t done in the Cellini case, as Zagel had indicated they would be. After the trial, it didn’t take a Tribune reporter long to find the Cellini juror’s felony convictions.”


Mr. Kass, I would add:

Failing to prosecute Rod Blagojevich earlier and Barack Obama at all, has cost the citizens of Illinois and the US an enormous price .

Obama style Chicago politics, Like Barack like Rahm: Ballot tactics ring familiar, John Kass

Obama style Chicago politics, Like Barack, like Rahm: Ballot tactics ring familiar, John Kass

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has been telling it like it is for years.

November 18, 2010.

“White House Bare-knuckle strategy to douse residency questions harkens to Obama’s 1996 state Senate race”

“Rahm Emanuel’s campaign demanded Wednesday that his opponents condemn efforts to challenge his candidacy and knock him off the Chicago mayoral ballot.

“News reports indicate that political operatives are organizing an attempt to limit the choices of Chicago voters in the mayoral election,” Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt told reporters about my Wednesday column.

That column detailed the coming legal challenges to Rahm’s candidacy. These include the fact — confirmed by all sides now — that while he lived in Washington, Emanuel was twice purged from the Chicago voter rolls yet was allowed to vote absentee even though he wasn’t living at his old North Side address.

How this was done may be explained any day now, as election law expert Burt Odelson is expected to challenge Rahm’s candidacy before the city elections board.
Naturally, the Emanuel campaign put its own spin on things.

“Every mayoral candidate has an obligation to state whether they are involved in this effort,” LaBolt said. “If they’re not involved, they have an obligation to publicly condemn it.”

That’s an admirable strategy by an able public relations guy. And I’m in agreement that Rahm is a Chicagoan and should be allowed to run for mayor. But then, there’s that irritating law, which says in order to run for mayor, a candidate must live in the city a year before the election.

Yet this highly principled demand from the Rahministas, about condemning political operators who seek to limit the choices of the voters, reminds me of a guy.

He’s a famous Chicago politician, known across the world. And he, too, used bare-knuckle tactics before the Chicago election board to knock his opponents off the primary ballot.

He not only knocked off his main rival. By the time he was done, this politician knocked all of them off — The Chicago Way.

And “voter choice”? Are you kidding? After this guy was through, voters had no choice at all. He was the only one left on the ballot.

This candidate’s name?

Barack Obama.

Yes, the very same fellow who is now president of the United States and was, until quite recently, the boss to both Emanuel and LaBolt in Washington.

In the 1996 Democratic primary campaign for the Illinois Senate, Obama used every trick in the book before the election board to get rid of his four opponents.

He didn’t challenge their residency. Instead, Obama challenged their petitions of candidacy. And years later, as he campaigned for the presidency, he was billed as a reformer, not some old-school Chicago pol.”

Read more:


Hopium, Obama and pals need hopium for election, John Kass, Citizen Wells open thread, October 8, 2010

Hopium, Obama and pals need hopium for election, John Kass

John Kass wrote about hopium prior to the 2008 election and it was reported here.

From John Kass at the Chicago Tribune October 7,  2010.

“Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
As President Barack Obama returns home Thursday for some old-fashioned Chicago politics with his friends, let’s make one thing perfectly clear.
America’s Hopium farmers must increase production, because the nation’s supply is dangerously low, and the November midterm elections are only weeks away.
Even my personal Obama Chia Heads don’t produce as much Hopium as before. And this should worry the president.
Because as readers know, Hopium is the stuff that sends tingles up reporters’ legs and keeps everybody, even taxpayers, feelin’ all right.
If America has a Hopium deficit, we might have no way of altering political reality like we did a few years ago. And these days, reality bites.
There’s the rotten economic news. Unemployment keeps rising and the federal deficit keeps increasing because politicians in Washington keep spending money that we don’t have.

So in a few months, you might need half a bar of gold bullion just to buy a Happy Meal.

Then there are those federal tax hikes coming after the November elections — and don’t tell me that reversing a tax cut isn’t a tax hike. It’s a sign to employers not to hire anyone, not even their idiot brothers-in-law.

The polls say congressional Democrats expect a serious thwacking. And Obama will be blamed by the same journalists who once felt those tingles at his approach.

Here in Illinois, we’ve got Alexi Giannoulias and Rahm Emanuel seeking the president’s help so they can get elected. That way, hope can waft across the state and soothe our fears. Yes, we can.

Alexi, the famed Broadway Bank loan officer with those mob loans dragging him down, sure needs Obama to raise some big money at Thursday’s fundraiser. I’m betting on a staged man-hug for TV, with a couple of shoulder slaps. But open mikes can be treacherous, so they probably won’t be whispering, “Dude, how’s Tony?”

Remember Tony Rezko? He’s Obama’s personal real estate fairy and loyal customer of the Giannoulias family’s now-failed Broadway Bank. Rezko is also the convicted influence peddler who might testify in the retrial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
So fill a bowl of Hopium and tell me the story of how we had all transcended the broken politics of the past.”

Read more:


Governor Rod Blagojevich, Obama, Chicago Tribune, January 2, 2009, John Kass, Continuing to unwrap the gift of the governor, Chicago politics, Daley machine, Obama’s senate seat, Roland Burris

The Chicago Tribune, in spite of endorsing Barack Obama, has allowed
fairly extensive coverage of Obama’s ties to corruption in Chicago
and Illinois. John Kass has written some frank articles about Obama’s
connections. Consider this article by Kass dated January 2, 2009.
“OK, Kass, what are you paying Gov. Rod Blagojevich to give you material
for your columns? Or is he the gift that keeps on giving? —Sue S.

Dear Sue: As our esteemed governor has famously said, this thing is
“bleeping golden.” But the Illinois political freak show is not a gift to
me. I offer it nobly and without charge, as a gift to America. Because,
finally, despite all the willful cheerleading of national media types who
prattled cherubically about the new Camelot, Americans are finally
realizing that Chicago politics is no fairy tale.
President-elect Barack Obama was not found as an infant, floating in a reed
basket along the banks of the Chicago River. He is not the gentle faun, the
Mr. Tumnus, of the Daley machine. Obama could have forcefully and publicly
demanded that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and fellow Illinois
Democrats support legislation for a special election to fill his vacated
Senate seat. Obama had a responsibility to the people of Illinois to do so.
But he kept his mouth shut. As always, he avoided conflict with machine
political bosses, a consistent character trait stubbornly ignored by his
media cheerleaders.

His top White House strategist and his chief of staff are creatures of the
Daley machine, and Democrats didn’t want to risk the Senate seat. What
happened to the promise of transcending the old politics?

So when the freak show comes to Washington next week and political hack
Roland “I’m a tool of the people” Burris is denied entry to the Senate, and
the national political class shrieks in fake outrage and Blagojevich
surrounds himself with African-American ministers and he sings “Let my
people go!” remember who could have stopped all this: Obama, Madigan, Daley
and the Illinois Democrats.”

Read more here:


Obama, William Ayers, Marilyn Katz, Terrorists, Radicals, Mayor Daley, Chicago Machine, Chicago Tribune, October 12, 2008, John Kass, the Chicago Way

John Kass has an article about Mayor Daley, Chicago radicals and Obama, William Ayers and Marilyn Katz and how mayor Daley deals with radicals. Here are exerpts from the Chicago Tribune article dated October 11, 2008:
“Daley reins in radicals — the Chicago Way
John Kass
5:26 PM CDT, October 11, 2008
Turn on the TV news when John McCain is picking up undecided voters by invoking Barack Obama’s relationship with unrepentant American terrorist William Ayers and, invariably, some liberal talking head will sniff in disgust and say Ayers is no big deal where Obama comes from.

Unfortunately, that’s true. Ayers is a terrorist. But this is Chicago.

Obama and Ayers are neighbors and they worked together on school issues with the same foundation. Obama’s political coming-out party was held in Ayers’ living room when Obama was running for his first political office.

And the boss of Chicago is Mayor Richard Daley. Mayor Shortshanks has thrown his protective embrace around both men. These are facts.

But the reason Ayers is not a big deal in Chicago has to do with the Chicago Way, and the left fork of that road that has been bought and paid for by the Daley machine, subsidized by taxpayers who foot the bill for public relations contracts from City Hall.”

“One friend of Obama and Ayers is former ’60s radical Marilyn Katz, now an Obama fundraiser, strategist and public relations maven. She’s often a go-to quote for reporters to knock down the Ayers-Obama story.”

“What that story and many other pro-Obama articles gloss over is that during the violent protests of the 1968 Democratic National Convention here, Katz was the security chief for the radical Students for a Democratic Society. She once advocated throwing studded nails in front of police cars, back in the SDS days when the group was alleged to have thrown cellophane bags full of human excrement at cops and cans of urine and golf balls impaled with nails.”

“Now, as Daley prepares to lay off more than 1,000 city workers, he’s given Katz and other public relations firms five-year contracts that could pay them as much as $5 million each for consulting, advertising and promotion.”

“Happily, I beg to differ. Ayers is a terrorist—the narcissistic son of privilege and clout—whose father, Thomas, was the boss of Commonwealth Edison and a friend of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. As a leader of the ultraviolent Weather Underground, Ayers admitted to helping bomb the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in the 1970s. He should have been sent to prison. Instead, Chicago political clout allowed him and his wife, fellow radical Bernardine Dohrn, to magically join the payrolls of universities here.”

Read more here:


So, once again, we have Obama tied to terrorists and corruption.

Kick Obama out of the senate and help prevent his election to the presidency:


Obama, Chicago corruption, Rezko, Daley, Levine, Blagojevich, Emil Jones, John Kass, Chicago Tribune, September 6, 2008, A Democratic machine in Chicago? Don’t be naive

Once again, John Kass and the Chicago Tribune come through and address the ties between Obama and Chicago corruption. This time the approach is tongue in cheek, in response to Giuliani’s reference to the Chicago machine at the Republican National Convention. Here are some exerpts from the article:
“A Democratic machine in Chicago? Don’t be naive
John Kass
4:40 PM CDT, September 6, 2008”

“There is no Chicago Democratic machine. Mayor Richard Daley says so.”

“Rather, the current mayor was applying reason. When Republicans dared suggest that Obama was not a mythic reformer riding on a unicorn named Change, but actually some sort of silky creature of the Daley machine (which does not exist), those foolish Republicans were so very wrong.”

“The reporters might put on tinfoil hats to shield them from the channeling of Daley/Obama strategist David Axelrod, and such newfound clarity might cause the journalists to wonder, horrified, whether Obama’s gentle unicorn is actually named Cosmo and draws a paycheck from the Department of Streets and Sanitation.”

“When Obama is president and the red phone rings at 3 a.m. and Cosmo says that the Russians have put planes in the air, don’t worry about it. He’ll make a decision. He’ll call White House chief of staff Bill Daley. Bill will call Rich. And Rich will call the boss of all the brothers, Michael Daley, the city’s top zoning lawyer who’ll be running the Justice Department, and a decision will be made. So don’t worry.”

“By Daley’s reasoning, Obama’s first machine patron, state Sen. President Emil Jones (D-ComEd) wasn’t part of the machine either, even though for years Jones was double-dipping as a city sewer inspector. According to legend, Jones inspected sewers while wearing a luxurious camel’s hair coat and alligator shoes and never got a speck of dirt on his finery.

And all the Daley political hacks in federal prison now, convicted of illegally rigging city jobs to build a giant army of political workers who had to get out the vote to get promotions, they’re probably just dreaming. They’re not really in prison. They’re just having a nightmare. They’ll wake up on Nov. 5.”

Read more of the article here:

God bless John Kass and thank you Chicago Tribune for covering Obama.

Obama Hopium, Hopium helps you forget several unpleasant facts, John Kass, Chicago Tribune, July 30, 2008, John Kass MSM hero

John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has written one of the best articles I have read about Obama. The title of the article is:

“Hopium helps you forget several unpleasant facts”

Hopium is the addicting substance that let’s Obama supporters and the MSM ignore the ties to crime, corruption and dubious asscociations that Obama has.

Here are some exerpts from this exceptional article:

“Hi, my name is John. I’m a hopium addict. It’s true. Yes, I’m a journalist. And that led to the harder stuff. Then one day, Barack phoned the Tribune and called me “bro.”

Now, I’m addicted to hopium.”

“It’s America’s most powerful drug. Once on hopium, you won’t care if Iran has nukes or if taxes are raised during a recession or whether Obama keeps flipping and flopping on everything from foreign wiretaps to withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Who cares? Relax. Hopium is your friend.”

“Obama hopium was so powerful, that that first rush of it, well, it sent a tingle up my leg. Or down my leg. Then up. So now, when I read newspaper stories about Obama’s political history, like a recent gooey, puffy profile in the Washington Post and it didn’t mention Obama was a willing member of Chicago’s Daley machine, well, I didn’t get angry.”

“Now, I don’t get upset when foreign and national journalists fail to mention Tony Rezko, or the Daley boys, or how the Chicago machine plans to staff the Department of Justice, and the new Department of Homeland Casinos.”

John Kass and the Chicago Tribune are covering stories that few in the MSM bother to research. I applaud them. In fact, I am so impressed that I may subscribe to the Chicago Tribune.

John Kass has received personal attacks on the blog for his honest reporting. That is what happens when anyone questions the “holy” Obama, reminiscent of the church inquisitions, when anyone dared question corrupt Popes and church officials.

John Kass, I salute you, and challenge others in the media to step up to the plate and do your job.

Read the rest of the article here and make sure you read the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of the Tony Rezko trial and associated indictments: