IL GOP Attacks Giannoulias for…Attacking Blagojevich?

In some ways It’s been nice seeing an Illinois GOP at least put up a fight instead of sending Andy McKenna around to whine.  However, it’s gotten a bit predictable:

 

Giannoulias Has Questions To Answer

“You have to be as transparent as possible and answer questions.” – Alexi Giannoulias, June 18, 2010

SEIU Official Tom Balanoff testified in federal court today that Alexi Giannoulias asked him to ask Rod Blagojevich about appointing him to Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Union leader Tom Balanoff testifies to a couple of other discussions.

He says Alexi Giannoulias, a friend to then President-Elect Barack Obama, asked him to ask Blagojevich about a possible appointment for him.

In a Nov. 24th meeting, Balanoff raises the point.

Blagojevich bristled, he testified.

“That mother f—–, I wouldn’t do s— for him. Every chance he got he took a shot at me.”[1]

Balanoff’s sworn version of events directly contradicts at least three claims made by Alexi Giannoulias.

December 4, 2008: Alexi Giannoulias told the Chicago Tribune that Rod Blagojevich’s staff had reached out to him about a possible appointment to the vacant Senate seat.

Giannoulias also said that staff within Blagojevich’s office have “reached out” to him as a possible candidat to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate, though a Blagojevich spokesman said the governor has not contacted Giannoulias directly.[2]

December 4, 2008: In the same interview, Giannoulias told the Chicago Tribune that he was not “pushing for the seat”

Giannoulias said he’s not pushing for the seat, but if it’s offered he’d have to take a “very, very hard look,” at the opportunity to work in Washington D.C. alongside his close friend Obama.[3]

December 12, 2008: Alexi Giannoulias said that he hadn’t “really thought about” Obama’s Senate seat.

Giannoulias, a Democrat, said he’s been busy sorting through the state’s financial woes following Tuesday’s arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you,” he said during an appearance at Aurora University. “I’ve been focused on trying to do my job and trying to rebuild the public’s trust in us as elected officials.”[4]

 

There’s nothing suggesting Giannoulias is actually lying here.  It’s entirely possible some staffer did reach out to him–it’s pretty clear that Blagojevich’s staff had to act on it’s own given they had an insane man as their boss.  December 4th and 12th appear to be pro forma answers to the press about something you are unlikely to get, but wouldn’t mind taking.

What we do know?  Alexi blasted Blagojevich enough to piss him so that he wasn’t go to be considered regardless of what he wanted which kind of blows a hole in the theory that they were in lockstep as the Illinois GOP keeps claiming.  Hell, Blagojevich may have hated Alexi almost as much as he hated Quinn and Jackson Jr.   What’s odd is that Alexi ran against Madigan’s candidate, won, and is now tarred as part of the Illinois Democratic machine.  I understand why Republicans make the argument, I don’t know why the press doesn’t laugh at them.  Alexi had no real allies in Springfield.  His two biggest allies are generally Durbin and Obama.

More seriously, there are two big issues the GOP has taken Giannoulias to task on that are legitimate.  The first is the Bright Start where one of the funds took a huge loss based on a bad operator.  Giannoulias and the state were able to reach a settlement where between 50 – 55 percent of the investment were returned to investors.  That’s not something to tout, but it’s also not the worst outcome and Giannoulias was the first to figure out the fraud amongst states involved in the fund.

The second is his family’s bank.  It’s legitimate and fair to point out the bank failed and Alexi has long touted it as experience. What’s weird are the zombie lies keep getting brought up about loaning money to the mob.  These were originally dug up by Madigan’s team (and everyone in the press seems to have forgotten that) and ultimately they amount to legal loans were made to some people who turned out to be unsavory, but also had loans at larger more established banks.

What all of this does do, though, is keep Mark Kirk from having to address his actual political beliefs that seem to change with the audience.

An Insanity Defense Would Probably Work

You always hear stories about how Blagojevich had no attention span so his staff just ignored him most of the time, but wow:

 

In the latest recording played at Rod Blagojevich’s trial, a breathless former governor can be heard pumping iron as he discusses his newest idea for Illinois’ next U.S. Senator: Oprah Winfrey.

“I think that’s, that’s crazy,” says then-chief of staff John Harris in the Nov. 21, 2008, secretly-recorded call.

“That’s where you’re wrong,” the then-governor says. “She’s the kingmaker. She made Obama. We know she’s a Democrat. We know she’s for Obama. … This one, she’s so up there, so high, that nobody can assail this pick. This would be huge.”

In reasoning for Winfrey, Blagojevich says he wants to make history by naming the first African American female U.S. senator — apparently forgetting that distinction went to Carol Moseley Braun, an African American from Illinois who was elected in 1992.

“The odds of her actually taking it are f—— slim to none. Who’s going to complain about it?” Blagojevich said. “It’s going to be huge.”

“It would certainly be way out there,” Harris answers.

=================

Blagojevich at one point suggests Harris find various African American candidates.

“Maybe a black Albert Einstein,” Blagojevich said.

At that, one African American juror gently shook her head.

Jesse Jackson Jr. resurfaced in the discussion with Blagojevich referring to the U.S. congressman as an “uber-African American.”

The same juror laughed quietly and placed a hand over her mouth to suppress laughter. The female juror beside her flashed a knowing smile.

Another female juror smiled at her transcript when Blagojevich suggested a Mother Teresa-type should be appointed.

Blagojevich on the call is insistent they “bolster the list” of potential candidates — even if it means looking outside of Illinois.

“I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know what I’m saying?” Blagojevich tells Harris. “Tammy Duckworth is not from Illinois. Obama is not from Illinois”

Harris explains that Obama was an actual Illinois citizen before running for office.

“Picking somebody outside of Illinois has a whole host of problems,” Harris tells him. “[They’ll say], ‘There are 13 million residents [in Illinois], Rod hates them all.’”

 

Devastating Critique of Research 2000

Markos prints a critique of Research 2000’s polling that is stunning. I was reading through it and this is where I knew pretty much all I needed to, though the authors make the case in great detail:

 

Were the results in our little table a fluke? The R2K weekly polls report 778 M-F pairs. For their favorable ratings (Fav), the even-odd property matched 776 times. For unfavorable (Unf)  there were 777 matches.

 

A Fool And His Money

Breitbart is offering $100,000 for the full archive of the Journolist.

 

I’ve had $100,000 burning in my pocket for the last three months and I’d really like to spend it on a worthy cause. So how about this: in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex, I’m offering $100,000 for the full “JournoList” archive, source fully protected. Now there’s an offer somebody can’t refuse.

Yes, the mainstream media that came together to play up the false allegations that the “N-Word” was hurled 15 times by Tea Party participants at the Congressional Black Caucus outside the Capitol the day before the “Obamacare” vote, is the same MSM that colluded to make sure the American public accepted the smear, and refused to show the exculpatory videos that disproved the incendiary charges of Tea Party racism.

Ezra Klein’s “JournoList 400” is the epitome of progressive and liberal collusion that conservatives, Tea Partiers, moderates and many independents have long suspected and feared exists at the heart of contemporary American political journalism. Now that collusion has been exposed when one of the weakest links in that cabal, Dave Weigel, was outed. Weigel was, in all likelihood, exposed because – to whoever the rat was who leaked his emails — he wasn’t liberal enough.

 

===


Dave Weigel is a portal into the dark world of hardcore liberal bias in the media. This opening gives us a deeper insight into the insidious relationship between liberal think tanks, academics and their mouthpieces in the media…

 

Frankly, Ezra ought to take the $100,000 given most of it is probably useless given my take on most listservs that serve similar purposes for slightly different audiences.  The odd part of it to me is that all sorts of different groups have political listservs including conservatives yet somehow the coke addled mind of Breitbart seems to see this as some sort of deep dark conspiracy.  Then again, paranoia is a common side effect of narcotics dependency.

Fine Moments in Blagojevichland

Tom Balanoff’s testimony regarding the Senate Seat:

 

Blagojevich responded that he was in “active discussions” with the Madigans about appointing Lisa Madigan and was holding out for a legislative package with the House speaker.

“I said that could be months. He said, ‘Yeah’. I said Valerie Jarrett, I don’t believe she has that kind of time,” Balanoff testified.

Blago then turned the conversation to a cabinet position, Balanoff said.

“He said, ‘You know, I love being governor, but my real passion is health care,'” and then he asked about the Health and Human Services cabinet post.

“I told him that’s not going to happen,” Balanoff said. “He said, “Is that because of all the investigations around me?”

The next day, Balanoff said he reported back about the meeting to Valerie Jarrett and Alexi Giannoulis

 

“Is that because of all the investigations around me?”

 

Well, that and, you know, you are an idiot.

On a related note, let’s recall that David Hoffman attacked Alexi for ‘being connected’ to SEIU and all the bad stuff they were involved with Blagojevich over.   That was bullshit then and it’s bullshit now.  Hoffman defamed Balanoff and SEIU who were guilty of nothing other than some poor judgment in sticking with Blagojevich in 2006.  Attacking your base and allies is no way to win an election.  Worse in this case, it was dishonest.


Do I Understand Correctly that Stufflebeam Will Be On the November Ballot?

Randall Stufflebeam of the Illinois Constitution Party appears to have no challenges to his petitions to be placed on the ballot for US Senate.  He had only 34,000 signatures with a needed 25,000 signatures meaning it was pretty unlikely he would survive a challenge. If this works as it seems to be working out, Mark Kirk’s people made a major mistake in not knocking him off the ballot.

The reason it is so important is that Stufflebeam is pro-life and given a pro-life alternative on the ballot, many conservatives may vote for him over Kirk. While third party effects are usually exaggerated, the pro-life community has a rather extensive network to push out his name for the general election.  Compare this to the Green Candidate who might pick up some African-American votes hurting Giannoulias, but has little organization to do so.

I Wasn’t Thinking

Okay, I’m especially pissed after I gave him some leeway on the issue of being a pre-school teacher and he turned out not to be, so take this as someone who feels a bit taken…

 

He had to be thinking to make up some of this..

 

On embellishments:
“I wasn’t thinking.”

On his teaching career — did he misspeak?
Doesn’t agree that he did. Says he was referring to high school kids at his school.

Here is what he said:

Apparently Mark Kirk saw those preschoolers as pretty mean little bastards:


In a speech on the House floor on Sept. 19, 2006, as he talked about school safety, Mr. Kirk spoke about “the kids who were the brightest lights of our country’s future, and I also remember those who bore scrutiny as people who might bring a gun to class.”

Mr. Kirk declined an interview on Wednesday to talk about his time as a teacher. His spokeswoman said the congressman was referring to nursery school students in Ithaca, not his students in London, during that speech on the House floor in 2006.


Private British Prepatory Schools also taught him a lot about teacher development in the United States:

In a House Budget Committee hearing five years earlier, shortly after Mr. Kirk arrived in Congress, he talked about his time as “a teacher, both nursery and middle school.” He added, “I did leave the teaching profession, but if we had addressed some of the teacher development issues, which I want to raise with you, I might have stayed.”

Mr. Kirk left Milestone College in 1983 and began working on the staff of an Illinois congressman, John Porter, the following year and did not return to teaching.


Well, no, he was thinking and he was making stuff up. To a certain point this press conference will reduce the heat on him, but if more comes out–as any smart oppo team would hold back some for after he has the mea culpa, this will all start to come back and come back harder.

 

The Crazy Emerges

Crazy people make blogging fun.  We have our own Orly Tai(n)tz here in Illinois—Sharon Meloni.   She’s objecting to multiple candidates’ filings because there is no proof of their citizenship. To support the argument she says:

 

The objection is based on the fact that there is no evidence that any of the candidates fit US and Illinois Constitutional mandates of age and citizenship requirements.  For the most part, the age of a candidate is generally easy to discern.  Citizenship status is not.  Recent changes in HIPPA privacy laws prohibit the public access to records establishing citizenship status. As a consequence, a potential candidate can run for office without ever proving citizenship status.

 

Of course, she’s referring to HIPAA not HIPPA and that has nothing to do with public access to citizenship documents.   Proof of citizenship is done through a US Passport, a US Birth Certificate, a Naturalized certificate, or some report of foreign birth to US Citizen parents.  None of these are restricted by HIPAA–they are restricted by state and national laws to protect privacy.   There’s nothing recent about the changes to such documents, they have been that way for years.  HIPAA is concerned with privacy rights to your medical records which is an entirely different issue.

This woman is batshit crazy and making crap up.

I’m Not Pat Quinn and I’m Not Taking Any Questions

I’m pretty sure that Bill Brady’s campaign manager has been trying to get the above phrase into his idiot candidate’s head for the last few months.  It’s not working:

 

SPRINGFIELD — Republican governor candidate Sen. Bill Brady today said he supports lowering Illinois’ minimum wage if he wins in November and the state rate remains higher than the federal one.

“For the state of Illinois to come in and micromanage wages above the federal minimum wage is a mistake,” Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, told reporters.

Illinois’ minimum wage will rise a quarter to $8.25 an hour on July 1, a dollar above the $7.25 federal minimum wage that took effect last July.

Gov. Pat Quinn, Brady’s Democratic opponent, has been touting the state increase this week as he makes appearances throughout Illinois. The state rate also will be a dollar higher than all of Illinois’ bordering states, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Brady, speaking after an appearance at a VFW convention, initially hedged on saying whether he would support rolling back the state minimum wage to the federal level if he becomes the state’s chief executive.

“I disagree with trying to elevate the minimum wage above the federal level,” he said. “The federal level is a competitive level, competing with neighboring states. We are losing jobs because private sector business investments (are) going to other states.”

Pressed further, Brady acknowledged he backs bringing down Illinois’ minimum wage to the federal level if it remained lower than the state rate once if he becomes governor.

“I would support equaling, uh, adopting the federal minimum wage, yes,” Brady said.

 

The primary way that Pat Quinn can possibly win in November is Bill Brady telling the people of Illinois what he actually believes.  You can make some complicated argument about whether a higher minimum wage is a good idea from an economic efficiency argument all you want, but that boils down to a campaign commercial that says “Bill Brady wants to reduce the minimum wage.”  This is true, though not very detailed, and very unpopular.

Bill Brady will never listen to me for campaign advice so I feel entirely free to say that keeping his mouth shut and looking pretty is his best shot.

Niecestro May Have Surpassed Cohen in the Dumb Gullible Category

Gator Bradley delivered a ton of signatures (no word on how many are valid as of yet) for Cohen, but Niecestro paid an idiot $10,000 and got nada.  Kelly didn’t even bother to forge some signatures.

 

Stufflebeam reports 34,000 signatures:

 

At least one candidate a lot of conservatives will now be watching is Randy Stufflebeam of Belleville who filed for U.S. Senate as part of the Constitution Party slate. Stufflebeam earned a lot of respect when he ran as a write-in candidate for Governor in 2006. He gave voters who couldn’t stomach either Judy Baar Topinka or Rod Blagojevich a place to go.

Stufflebeam says he filed 34,000 signatures – that’s 9,000 over the minimum. Anyone who has ever done the tedious work of gathering petition signatures knows that’s impressive – but at the same time it’s not a guaranteed safe cushion. We’ll have to see what happens. But if he can remain on the ballot, Republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for Mark Kirk may have a solid alternative in Stufflebeam.

 

That probably is not enough, but we will see.   Kirk is a lot more vulnerable on his right than Alexi is to Carl Officer.

When To Take the Hint

Via Rich

 

Blagojevich’s ‘defense’ team filed for a mistrial because too many of the objections by the prosecution have been sustained.

No, seriously.  The judge’s response is the best:

A barely audible Judge James Zagel is explaining his repeated upholding of prosecution’s objections after Rod Blagojevich’s defense team asked for a mistrial today.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a motion for a mistrial based on objections,” Zagel says.

The defense filing says Zagel so often cut off defense lawyers who were trying to cross examine witnesses, that they can’t properly defend their client. They also complained he chided defense lawyers in front of jurors.

Zagel said he believes lawyers are asking the questions the wrong way — beginning the questions in such a manner that the witness would have to guess what someone was thinking. Zagel noted the defense hasn’t objected much (indeed, today, just one even though the government’s most significant witness has been on the stand all day).

But the bottom line: Zagel said the defense can hand him a list of questions they think he should have allowed and he’d consider them.

Zagel said he saved Sam Adam Jr. and his client a level of resentment from the jury because he kept him from asking of the same questions time and again.

“I’d do it again, because I believe it is in the interest of justice to do so,” Zagel said.

First, “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a motion for a mistrial based on objections.”

This is a a judge poking a defense team with the not so subtle notion that they don’t know what the hell they are doing.  The reason Zagel has never seen such a motion is because most lawyers are smart enough to follow a judge’s guidance when they keep asking the questions wrong.  Instead, the Adams’ have charged ahead asking the same type of questions again and again.  It’s unprofessional and stupid. It’s damn near legal malpractice.  Given their client is a lawyer, you might think he would notice this, but then you would remember it’s Rod Blagojevich who surfed through law school.

The end part is the best though, Zagel is pointing out that his admonishments are meant to direct them towards the correct way to answer the questions so the process isn’t long and drawn out.

Shorter Zagel: It’s not my fault you don’t know how to cross examine a witness, but since you clearly don’t, I’m saving you from yourselves.

Federal judges don’t suffer fools. I’m rather surprised Zagel has been as patient as he has been. 

Howza ’bout Ambassador to the United Nations

Imagine the hilarity. It’s like a bad sitcom plot:

 

 

One of the oddest ruminations expressed by Blagojevich on the Nov. 3, 2008, wiretap played in court was his suggestion, admittedly wild, that he might wangle an appointment to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations out of Barack Obama if he picked Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to fill the soon-to-be president’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

“Whatever cabinet position would be not stupid?” Blagojevich asked John Harris, his chief of staff. “How about UN ambassador?” Which prompted Harris to say: “I don’t think that’s realistic.”

Who is the Biggest Mark?

Niecestro or Cohen.

 

Kind of like …and remember death is not an option…

 

Niecestro just told everyone that he relied on a notorious flake to gather his petitions and then came up with zero.  Apparently he didn’t check or confirm progress, he just found out they didn’t get done.

 

Cohen is hiring Bradley Gator to do campaign work, has zero chance of winning, and is spending his own money….

 

Okay, Cohen is the biggest mark, but either way these two are incredible fools.