Could be, could be: “The White House is expected to name a new U.S. attorney for Chicago soon from among four finalists. Whoever it is will be an insider compared to the man he or she will replace, Patrick Fitzgerald.” Basically, Fitzgerald is leaving the position after over ten years of putting governors (note plural) and other corrupt Illinois state officials (yes, I know, redundant) behind bars. And it’s… interesting… that this tradition is not scheduled to continue: all four possible replacements are fully integrated into the Chicago power structure. As ABC News noted, this is not likely to be accidental:
Appointing someone with Chicago ties may convey confidence that Chicago is no longer as corrupt as it was, said Gal Pissetzky, another Chicago attorney. He said it could signal a desire to shift focus away from corruption and on to other persistent Chicago crime, such as drug trafficking or gang-related murders.
When politicos play musical chairs in Illinois, what happens after the music stops and there’s no safe place to sit?
There have been four dead in recent years, unrelated cases of suicide, different except for the acts of the common pageant: The corruption investigators call. The music ends abruptly.
Two were done in by guns, one on a beach, the other under a bridge. A third was by pills in a construction trailer.
The fourth came Friday morning during rush hour, announced by that body under that white sheet on the Metra tracks in McHenry County.
The quote in the title is from Dan Collins of POWIP, who adds a fifth (a potential Burris perjury witness) to John Kass’ list of four Illinois political figures who suddenly became unavailable to prosecutors involved in corruption investigations. While the latest one on Kass’ list is almost certainly not murder – he jumped in front of a train, carrying a “Metra manual on how to handle service disruptions in the event of a suicide” – there’s at least two on that list that are, well, iffy. And five that are darned convenient for what Kass calls the Illinois Combine.
You know, it’s not that I think that this current administration is really, deeply, personally involved in any of this; it’s that I think that this administration effectively grew up breathing the poisonous air of the Windy City, got used to it – and that it now assumes that America is merely a larger Chicago.
Oh, Rod Blagojevich: why could you not have used your powers for good?
(Via Instapundit) John Kass has a thoroughly entertaining article up on the way that former Governor Blagojevich is doing his level best to drag President Obama into the equally thoroughly entertaining drama that is former Governor Blagojevich’s corruption trial. To summarize: the government is using Tony Rezko to go after Blagojevich; Blagojevich needs to taint Rezko’s testimony; so Blagojevich wants Obama to testify about Rezko. Obama probably doesn’t want to testify about Rezko. Particularly about things involving offers for Obama’s former Senate seat, which is why many details about the Obama subpoena were redacted… and promptly reconstructed (via Patterico).
Summing up, Kass cuts to the chase to write:
Though Thursday’s new information is quite fascinating, remember that it comes from the same defense team that has turned the case into a circus from day one.
And demanding the president take the stand in a corruption trial is all three rings, and the dozens of tiny little clowns pouring out of the diminutive car, and the bearded lady. Oh, and let’s not forget the dog-faced boy.
(murmuring) That was not a very nice thing to say about the Chief of Staff.
The family of Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias stands to collect more than $10 million in federal tax refunds even if its Broadway Bank fails, which Mr. Giannoulias said this week is likely.
A $75-million loss at the struggling lender last year generated tax benefits potentially worth between $12 million and $15 million to Mr. Giannoulias, his two brothers and his mother. As the sole owners of a subchapter S corporation that controls $1.2-billion-asset Broadway, they pay the taxes on the bank’s income and reap tax deductions on its losses.
The possibility of family members pocketing millions in tax refunds as Broadway slides toward insolvency and federal receivership is likely to fuel more controversy for Mr. Giannoulias, who is already under fire for his role in the bank’s downfall.
(Via Hot Air) Of course, not being in a rich banking family linked to Chicago’s culture of political corruption… oddly enough, that’s precisely the kind of work that I can’t get. And then there’s this little gem:
Asked whether he would advise his family to put the tax refunds back into the bank to help recapitalize it, Mr. Giannoulias said, “We’ll do everything we can to keep the bank going. . . .You’ll have to ask management of the bank what the best course of action is.”
Translation: “No.” Mind you, if they took this money and added it to the 70+ million in dividends that the Giannoulias family pulled in from the failing bank from 2006 to 2008, the bank would probably be able to avoid closing. But that would hurt them; so better to let the bank fail, let the FDIC take it over, and let the taxpayers take the blow. Much better, all around.
After all, the Giannoulias family got their refund.
(H/T: @sorendayton) You know, I noticed during the run-up to the Illinois Senatorial primary that more than one Democratic activist expressed worries about a Giannoulias primary win. And why were they worried?