Tag Archives: Springfield IL

Blagojevich trial, Obama Levine ties, Stuart Levine must testify, Rezko trial, Politician A, Politician B, Springfield IL, Illinois capital, Purple hotel, Drug parties, Obama records

Blagojevich trial, Obama Levine ties, Stuart Levine must testify

Barack Obama and Stuart Levine

 

 

 From the Citizen Wells blog, April 2, 2008.

I repeat, April 2, 2008.

“We need to know the truth about Barack Obama. We need to know where Obama was on November 4, 1999. We need to know where Obama was and what he was doing during his term in the Illinois Senate. When I first read the allegations of Larry Sinclair, I was very skeptical. I am still somewhat skeptical. However, I went to the records of the Illinois Senate for November 4, 1999 and Barack Obama was not present. Sinclair alleges that he had 2 encounters with Obama from November 3 to November 8 1999. The first encounter was allegedly in a rented limo and involved drugs and gay sex. This alone was not a red flag for me but when you couple this information with Obama’s known association with criminals, with racists and hate mongers and his failure to provide his records while in the Illinois Senate, there is a legitimate need to get straight answers from Obama.”

“Lynn Sweet, a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times states:
“Instead, since I have some reporting history here, I am noting a pattern that has emerged: This is Obama’s third ethical conversion of convenience — taking on a higher standard, but only when it appears to be politically expedient. Obama is making government transparency and ethics a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.”
 
In a Tribune interview Thursday, the Illinois Democrat said he had no intention of sharing any of the documents he might still have in his possession.”
Next are the questions asked and responses from Obama. I know that many people have read this, but it is worth repeating:
“Q: It is kind of unknown where some of the records from your time in Springfield are located. Where is that stuff, what do you have?
“We had one district director. I had one staff person, so, you know, we didn’t have some elaborate sort of system. I didn’t at my disposal millions of dollars and potentially multiple staff people to conduct an archive. Now keep in mind, it is apples and oranges. First of all, I’m not the one who has made this an issue. We saw during the debate, Senator Clinton was asked about it and the suggestion was somehow they’ve done all they could. And my simple point was, I don’t think there is some smoking gun in these archives or something, or some damning evidence.”
 

“Q: What about your stuff, though? What do you have?
“I have no idea. I mean [muffled on recording]. I really don’t. Again, I did not have at my disposal. I wasn’t preparing for the Obama state senatorial library.”
Q: You must have kept some stuff. Correspondence, calendars?
“The problem is whatever remaining documents I have are inevitably incomplete. And then the questions going to be, where’s this or where’s that. Once I start heading down that road, then it puts me in a position that could end up being misleading. I don’t want to mislead people. I don’t know the extent of the records that I have as a state senator.”””

 

“The following is from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times on November 11, 2007:
“On Friday, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that she had asked Obama at a news conference: “Do your state senate papers still exist? If they do, just where are they? And would you ever intend to make them public to be responsive to some requests?”
Sweet wrote that he replied: “Nobody has requested specific documents.”
But the Chicago Tribune has reported that it “requested documents from his time in Springfield and never received a response.””

Read more

 Is this one of the reasons Obama has kept hidden his IL Senate records?

From the Tony Rezko Trial

Remember, the IL State Capital is Springfield.

 “Tales of the ‘Purple Hotel’
March 31, 2008; 2:43 p.m.
Prosecutors have taken a turn from the track of the day’s testimony and are asking political fixer and prosecution star witness Stuart Levine again about his drug use, the first time they have done so since early in his testimony.
Levine has said he used a number of drugs in the 1980s and into 2004, including cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.
He said he would make cash withdrawals, give that money to five male friends and use drugs with them during hotel parties. Those parties took place in Springfield and Lincolnwood at a place Levine said he and his friends came to call “the Purple Hotel.””

“”I do not remember using drugs on that day”
April 3, 2008; 12:32 p.m.
One of defense attorney Joseph Duffy’s first stabs at tripping up star prosecution witness Stuart Levine involved an attempt to raise doubt about his state of mind the very first time he met Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Levine had testified earlier that the two were introduced at a dinner party on Nov. 2, 2002, just days before the election that brought Gov. Rod Blagojevich to power. It was at that dinner that Levine testified he learned that Rezko had been blocking a real estate deal on which Levine had been seeking a sizeable kickback.
But Duffy produced a Levine credit card receipt showing a $761.87 transaction dated that day at a Lincolnwood hotel where Levine often went for all-day drug binges.”

“Levine explains decision to flip
April 3, 2008; 5:56 p.m.
Before Stuart Levine’s testimony ended for the day, he was walked through his decision to cooperate with prosecutors in their corruption case against Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Rezko’s defense attorney Joseph Duffy wanted to explore Levine’s motivation and first asked about a conversation Levine had with his business partner Robert Weinstein after FBI agents had come to Levine’s home to confront him in May 2004.
Levine’s phone was still tapped, and he was recorded telling Weinstein that agents had visited him. But Levine said he did not remember telling his partner that agents had mentioned Rezko was a target of an investigation.
“The government’s looking for a big fish, and it’s Tony Rezko,” Duffy quoted Levine as saying on the tape, which was not played in court.
Duffy then took Levine through the time leading up to his eventual indictment in the Rosalind Franklin University School of Medicine and Science kickback case a year later, in May 2005.
Levine still had not agreed to cooperate, and Levine told Duffy that he did not believe the government was aware of the “secret part of his life,” meaning his drug abuse and hotel parties with male friends.” 

” Trail of receipts from the Purple Hotel
April 4, 2008; 10:55 a.m.
More tales of the Purple Hotel kicked off this morning’s session of the Antoin “Tony” Rezko corruption trial.
On Thursday, Rezko’s lawyer Joseph Duffy grilled prosecution star witness Stuart Levine about a $761 transaction on his credit card statement for Saturday, Nov. 2, 2002, at the garish purple-painted Lincolnwood hotel that at the time was part of the Radisson chain. Levine has testified that he and a regular group of “drug buddies” often went to the hotel for daylong binges of crystal meth, cocaine, animal tranquilizers and other drugs.
The significance of that date is that it was the same that Rezko and Levine first met. The occasion was a dinner party, and during the chitchat Levine has said the two men came to realize they had been on opposite sides of a shady real estate deal.
As Duffy tries to chip away at Levine’s credibility, the lawyer used the credit-card statement to suggest that Levine’s memory of that first meeting was suspect because he showed up at the party after leaving a drug binge.
Levine acknowledged that the charge on his credit card was likely legitimate, but repeatedly insisted that he did not remember being at the hotel on that day and considered it unlikely. Credit-card transactions are not always recorded on the same day a charge is actually made.
This morning, Duffy questioned Levine about more charges he incurred at the Radisson. On Saturday, Oct. 26, exactly one week before the dinner party, Levine’s credit-card statement reflected a $1,077 charge at the Radisson, and exactly a week before that there was another $1021 charge there.
Duffy appears to be trying to suggest that Levine had a regular Saturday thing at the Radisson with his drug buddies. In earlier testimony, Levine said the group would get together and party once or twice a month at the Lincolnwood hotel, and always on weekdays. Levine said he tried to hide his secret drug life from his family and wanted to be home and clear-headed on the weekends.”

Rezko Trial transcripts.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rezko-court-story-7,0,5224754.htmlstory

 

 

Do Larry Sinclair’s allegations of a drug and sex encounter with Barack Obama in November, 1999 seem so far fetched?
 

From the Citizen Wells blog April 30, 2008.

“A comment was just posted on this blog. I recognize the poster from this blog and others I have posted on. Delenn has stated in the past that she was a chef and restaurant owner in Chicago and heard many rumors about Obama. Below is her comment about the Rezko trial, names being withheld and under reporting of the trial:

“Living in the Chicago area and being the “victim” of Chicago news media, I noticed early on in the Rezko trial that U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve quashed mention of politicians’ names except for a chosen few… so we have “Politician A,” “Poltician B,” and on and on down the alphabet. Judge St. Eve also ruled to keep jurors’ identities secret… which more than anything attests to the known potential for violence coming from those associated with Rezko, Levine, and likely from the political machines involved. And Judge St. Eve would not allow Levine to name names as to the identities of those present at the all-male parties involving drug use — parties attended by some of the city’s and state’s political powers-that-be as well as by those wanting favors. There was a “leak” months ago that Politician A is Governor Rod Blagojovich… but oddly no further identifying leaks materialized. Blagojovich has been candid in the past about his interest in running for US president — I think the “leak” was a way to shut him down, and frankly I believe that he was shut down to open the way for Obama’s candidacy, if not in 2008, then in 2012. I don’t know how coverage of this trial has been played elsewhere, but here it’s been curiously underplayed — odd indeed, considering the Chicago news media’s normal tendency to over-cover any major stories based in the area. I’ve suspected since early on in the trial that the under-coverage, and possibly even some of the court’s rulings regarding testimony, have been connected to Obama’s candidacy. Add to this that I haven’t seen a single television news story concerning the allegations of money laundering involving Robert Blackwell and Barack Obama and… well, the word “fishy” isn’t strong enough by half. The scents of coverup and collusion here in Chicagoland simply reek.””

Article

Politician A

Politician B

For the Blagojevich trial to be legitimate, for the charges in the indictment to be substantiated, Stuart Levine will take the stand, just as he did in the Tony Rezko trial. The question is, will Levine be restricted from naming politicians?

Will Obama’s name be mentioned with regularity in the Blagojevich trial, just as Blagojevich’s name was mentioned during the Rezko trial?

 

Footnote: For those really paying attention, you noticed that Larry Sinclair came out with his allegations of a drug and sex encounter with Obama months before Stuart Levine gave his testimony.

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Blagojevich impeachment trial, Thursday, January 29, 2009, Ellis closing argument, Rod Blagojevich closing arguments, Illinois Senate, Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn, Blagojevich secret recordings, Springfield IL

Governor Rod Blagjevich is giving his closing arguments as I write
this. He is attempting to paint a picture of his concern for citizens
and obtaining flu shots when in fact he used his position as
governor to gain power and money for himself.

From the Chicago Tribune website, January 29, 2009

“Closing arguments under way at Blagojevich’s impeachment trial
10:56 a.m. Blagojevich won’t stick around; Quinn in the wings

Blagojevich will leave the Senate and the statehouse immediately
after his closing argument to return home on a state aircraft,
to avoid any “plane issues,” spokesman Lucio Guerrero said. State
lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn have said Blagojevich is not
entitled to state transporation home if he is convicted and
removed before he leaves.

Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn is at the statehouse. Quinn came own on a
state plane with Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who will swear
him in if he becomes governor. His two sons will also be here.

10:48 a.m. Ellis finishes, Blagojevich next

At 10:40 a.m., Ellis turned to Blagojevich’s public denouncements
of the impeachment trial as a kangaroo court that was rigged with
“sham” rules.

“These rules are even-handed and fair. They apply evenly to both
sides,” Ellis said. But he said Blagojevich was “mischaracterizing
these rules.”

“He claimed the fix in. That’s not what I have seen. I have seen a
body that has … done honor to this process and honor to this
constitution,” Ellis said. “We believe we have more that adequately
proved an abuse of power.”

Ellis said senators did not have to be satisfied that Blagojevich
did all the things he is accused of in the 13-count article of
impeachment. They only have to find a “pattern of abuse,” however
many counts that includes, Ellis said.

“The people of this state deserve so much better,” Ellis said in a
quiet voice. “Governor Blagojevich should be removed from office.”

With that Ellis finished the first part of his closing argument. He
is allowed another 30 minutes after Blagojevich speaks.

10:40 a.m. Ellis blasts Blagojevich circumventing lawmakers to
expand health care

Ellis said 60 conversations were recorded between the governor’s
home and his campaign office.

“Sixty conversations. All in which the governor puts his own interests
first,” Ellis said. “Is that not an abuse of power, right there?”

Halfway through his initial hour, Ellis turned to connections between
the Blagojevich adminsitration and convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko.
In one example, Ali Ata, executive director of the Illinois Finance
Authority, told a federal court that he bought his position at the
state with two large contributions to Blagojevich, Ellis said.

The governor also circumvented the authority of the state legislature
in pushing forward a state health care plan with getting lawmaker
approval, the House prosecutor said.

“Whether or not you belive that expanding FamilyCare is a good idea,”
Ellis said. “The point is not the ends, it’s the means.”

“We are a country of laws, and everybody, including the governor, must
obey them,” Ellis said.

10:29 a.m. Blagojevich arrives at capitol

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has arrived at the statehouse for closing
arguments in his Senate impeachment trial.

10:28 a.m. Ellis plays Blagojevich secret recordings

Ellis told senators that Blagojevich wanted to raise $2.5 million by
year’s end and engaged in three schemes of coercion.

One involved an $8 million grant to Children’s Memorial Hospital
that he wanted to result in a $50,000 campaign contribution.

“He even contemplated breaking his commitment, holding back the money,”
Ellis said.

Another involved a $1.8 billion tollway project that Blagojevich
allegedly wanted to fetch a $500,000 campaign contribution.

“If they don’t perform, eff ‘em,” Ellis quoted Blagojevich as saying.

The third scheme was a plan to trade his signature on horse racing
impact fee bill for a campaign contribution from a horse track owner.

Ellis played a series of FBI recordings of Blagojevich trying to make
sure funds were raised from the horsetrack owner before a new law
banning contributions with people doing business with the state took
effect on Jan. 1. The track owner, Johnny Johnston, was good for the
donation, the governor’s aides told him.

“But clearly before the end of the year, right?” Blagojevich’s voice
could be heard saying. His former chief of staff, Lon Monk, told the
track owner the timing of the donation could cause “skittishness” if
made too late. “Good,” the governor replied in the intercepted cell
phone conversation.

The last tape Ellis played was between Monk and Blagojevich in which
Ellis said Monk told the governor he could apply some pressure to
secure a political donation from the racetrack owner before the
governor signed a bill that would benefit him.

“Give John Johnston a call,” Monk urged. “It’s a two-minute
conversation.”

“I’d be happy to do it,” the governor responded.

“I think it’s better if you do it — just from a pressure point of
view,” Monk said.

“Yeah. Good.” Blagojevich said.

“I’m telling you he’s gonna be good for it,” Monk said later in the
conversation. “I got in his face.”

“Good,” the governor said. “A whole year,” he lamented about the
delay in receiving the contribution.

10:16 a.m. Ellis walks senators through U.S. Senate seat, Tribune
shakedown allegations

Prosecutor David Ellis began taking senators through the impeachment
allegations, gesturing behind him to transcripts of secretly-recorded
conversation excerpts on poster board.

The U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama was a
“golden thing,” Ellis quoted Blagojevich as saying.

“’It’s an effing valuable thing. You just don’t give it away for
nothing,'” Ellis said, quoting from federal transcripts. “The governor
wanted to make a trade.”

Ellis talked about federal allegations that Blagojevich tried to
pressure Tribune Co.

“The evidence clearly showed that the governor tried to put a price
tag on financial assistance to the Tribune company,” Ellis said. He
had 15 conversations with former chief of staff John Harris in a
month, repeatedly directing Harris to talk to high-ranking Tribune
Company executives, Ellis said. Before helping with public financing
for the company’s sale of the Chicago Cubs, he wanted the company to
fire editorial board members at the Chicago Tribune who were critical
of him.

There would be no money from the state to help with the sale of the
Chicago Cubs “unless those editorial board members are fired,” Ellis
said.

“The governor new what he was doing was harmful,” Ellis said. He
agreed what Harris was doing should be done in person, not on the
phone.

“Don’t push too hard, but you know what you gotta do, right?'”

It was all “an abuse of power,” Ellis said.

10:11 a.m. Prosecutor David Ellis’ closing argument”

Read more here:

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2009/01/blagojevich-to-give-impeachment-speech-in-a-few-hours.html