William Cellini Obama Rezko Levine, et al, All searches lead back to Obama and Rezko
I was following up on news on Obama corruption cronies in Chicago and Illinois and the Blaogojevich trial saga and came across an article that was probably much unnoticed.
From John Kass of the Chicago Tribune August 13, 2010.
“Cellini, 75, a Republican boss, was once Democrat Blagojevich’s co-defendant in the corruption case known as Operation Board Games. And who says the bipartisan Illinois Combine doesn’t exist?
Cellini has been a hobby of mine for years. And although Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak has done excellent work on Cellini’s deals, Cellini has mostly flown under the media radar.
In 2008, Cellini was indicted on federal charges that he conspired with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko and others to shake down Hollywood movie producer Thomas Rosenberg for $1.5 million in campaign cash for Blagojevich.
Since Blagojevich was arrested, Cellini’s volcano has been dormant. A trial date has not been set. If Blagojevich ends up with a hung jury and the case is retried and drags out for years, Cellini might turn 80 by the time of his trial, if ever.”
“Whether there will actually be a Cellini trial is an open question. If the Blagojevich case withers and dies, the Combine will ask its mouthpieces to call for the head of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. It’s been alleged that they already tried to get rid of Fitzgerald during the Bush administration.
Cellini made friends in all the high places. Yet federal tape recordings previously introduced in court show that he’s a guy who likes to lie low.
In a phone call recorded by the FBI on May 7, 2004, Cellini was reporting back to a fellow Republican, the since-convicted Stuart Levine. They were talking about the alleged shakedown of Rosenberg, who was threatening to go to the feds.”
Of course, one search leads to another.
From the Chicago Tribune November 16, 2008 reported on Citizen Wells April 29, 2010.
“Connections could touch every somebody”
“To fully appreciate our politics you’ve got to look at the connections. Sadly, this task is beyond the national press and some locals besotted with our renowned vintage, Combine Kool Aid.
But you readers have the mental agility to follow along.
So as U.S. District Judge James Zagel accepted the not guilty plea, Cellini stood with his defense lawyer, Dan Webb.
“I had a glass of beer last night,” Cellini told Zagel, saying he had no problem following the court proceedings. The three talked as if they knew each other well. They do.
Cellini is accused of helping shake down a Hollywood producer and politically connected Chicago investor Thomas Rosenberg for $1.5 million in campaign cash for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Cellini also is accused as a point man in a plot to remove U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald as federal prosecutor.”
“Cellini really began to pile up the cash when then-Gov. Thompson gave him a state gaming license. Webb and Zagel were young prosecutors under then-U.S. Atty. Thompson. Later, Zagel was director of the state’s Department of Revenue under Thompson. Webb ran the State Police.
Everybody knows somebody. So, no, Illinois politics isn’t a Robert Ludlum novel.
Illinois is Six Degrees of Bill Cellini.”
“The Combine wants Fitzgerald promoted out of town. But President-elect Barack Obama has promised newspaper editorial boards he would keep Fitzgerald in Chicago to fight political corruption.
That’s the same President-elect Obama with Mayor Daley’s guy Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, and another Daley guy, David Axelrod, as Obama’s chief strategist. The mayor’s brother Billy is one of Obama’s chief economic advisers. Whew!
Some political analysts become quite upset when “Daley machine” and “Obama” are mentioned in my column. They feel compelled to give me a vigorous corrective. But this same Flat Earth society denied the existence of a Combine for years, then shut up for a while when Obama’s real estate fairy Tony Rezko was convicted in the federal government’s Operation Board Games probe.”
All searches lead back to Obama and Rezko
From Citizen Wells April 13, 2010.
(Note the highlighted areas)
Obama’s role in rigging the Health Planning Facilities Board
Evelyn Pringle, Obama Curtain Time 2
“Obama was chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee in January 2003. A few articles in the media have mentioned that Obama sat on a committee that reviewed matters related to the Planning Board in conjunction with the Governor’s staff but none have discussed his integral part in getting the bill passed.
A review of senate records from January 2003 to August 2003, shows Obama played a major role as chairman of that committee, in pushing through Senate Bill 1332, that led to the “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, making the votes much easier to rig.
Democratic Senator Susan Garrett sponsored the bill in the senate, and the chief co-sponsor was Republican Senator Dale Righter. These two senators were also on the Human Services Committee with Obama.
The bill was filed with the senate secretary on February 20, 2003, and assigned to Human Services Committee for review on February 27. Less than a month later, as chairman, Obama sent word that the bill should be passed on March 13, 2003.
On May 31, 2003, the House and Senate passed the bill and the only senator listed in the “yes” votes mentioned in the Board Games indictments is Obama.
Blagojevich made the effective date June 27, 2003, and the co-schemers already had the people lined up to stack the Board and rig the votes with full approval from Obama.
As discussed fully in Curtain Time for Obama Part 1, the Republicans and Democrats worked together in setting up the Planning Board scheme because the Combine as a whole would profit.
(Citizen Wells Note – Cellini reference)
During the trial, Stuart Levine testified that when he sought reappointment to the Planning Board, he told Republican co-schemer, Bill Cellini, to tell the Blagojevich administration he would vote however they wanted when approving projects.
He told the jury he had the same understanding with the two prior Republican governors, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan, who is now sitting in prison due to Fitzgerald’s successful prosecution of a corruption case against him.
A June 2003 email exchange produced in the trial shows Obama was one of eight officials who received the names of the nominees for the new Board ahead of time, from the office of David Wilhelm, who headed Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign for governor.
Tony Rezko’s name does not appear in the email. In fact, his attorney made the point to the jury that the exchange was from Blagojevich’s general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein, and Wilhelm’s office, and indicated the appointees were recommended by Wilhelm and supported by those who received the memo.
The memo said, “we worked closely over the past six months” with eight officials including three state senators.
Jennifer Thomas, a former aide in Blagojevich’s patronage office, testified that she attended regular weekly meetings at Rezko’s office between the spring of 2003 and November 2004, and Rezko floated names and specifically said Levine should be reappointed to the new Board.
The Senate bill said, the “Board shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.” But the Senate Confirmation Hearings were a joke. For instance, the Feds recorded Levine talking to co-schemer, Jon Bauman, the day Levine learned he was approved by the Senate from the executive secretary of the Board.
Levine told Bauman he ran into Jeffrey Marks, who said “congratulations on your appointment,” and Levine asked for what. Marks said, “well the Senate Confirmation Hearings on Health Facility Plan Board members.”
He told Levine Senate President, Emil Jones, only allowed 2 members to be approved and “that was you and the other person he just put in.”
“Isn’t that hysterical ’cause you know they had this big battle going on,” Levine told Bauman.
Laughing away, Levine said, “don’t you just love it.”
“I’m one of those independents and not part of the block.”
“Well, good, you know it’s good to be just a true independent civil servant,” Bauman said laughing along with Levine.
“Is, is that a good thing,” Levine replied, “I’ve never been that.”
Corrupt appointees fund Obama and Blagojevich campaigns
The corrupt new appointees were all contributors to the presidential hopeful, Blagojevich, and the US senate hopeful Obama.
The previous Act allowed the Board itself to select a “Chairman and other officers as deemed necessary.” But the new law stated: “The Governor shall designate one of the members to serve as Chairman and shall name as full-time Executive Secretary.”
The Board’s then sitting-chairman, Thomas Beck, who was originally appointed by a Republican governor, testified under a grant of immunity that he brought a $1,000 check to Rezko on July 15, 2003, to make sure Blagojevich reappointed him.
A few weeks later, Beck said, Rezko called to say he would be reappointed along with a Republican holdover Levine. Beck also testified that Rezko told him Blagojevich was set to appoint Rezko’s three doctor friends to complete the rigged voting bloc. He said he met the doctors in August 2003, at the first meeting of the new Board.
Dr Michel Malek gave Obama $10,000 a little over a month before the first meeting on June 30, 2003. He also donated $25,000 to Blagojevich three weeks later on July 25, 2003, and gave Obama another $500 in September 2003. Malek was an investor in Riverside Park.
Dr Fortunee Massuda donated $25,000 to Blagojevich on July 25, 2003, and gave a total of $2,000 to Obama on different dates. Massuda’s husband, Charles Hannon, is a co-schemer in the pension fund case and testified against Rezko in the trial.
Dr Imad Almanaseer contributed a total of $3,000 to Obama after he landed the appointment. On March 13, 2008, Almanaseer testified against Rezko and told the jury he was an investor in Rezko’s fast-food businesses.
This doctor’s son, Ahmed Almanaseer, was given a trade office intern position with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Ahmed is president of HireIraqis.com a bilingual human resources “site aimed at linking Iraqi job seekers with the companies engaged in the reconstruction [in Iraq] efforts,” according to Rezko Watch/RBO.”