Wednesday, January 08, 2014


Blago Joker
...Federal prisoner number 40892-424 is laughing

Ultimately, (as one wag once noted)  Rod Blagojevich’s real-real crime was using his Outside Voice to talk bluntly and stupidly about things which every sentient mammal in Chicago knows you only talk about obliquely using your Inside Voice.

Blago and his crew broke the only hard and fast rule in politics -- "Don't Get Caught" -- and for that he will spend many years in the house of many doors.

Apparently, word of this fundamental rule of Big Time Politics never made it East of the Alleghenies.

From the L.A. Times:
Email scandal mars Christie's chances for presidency; governor apologizes

In an explosive story Wednesday, the Bergen Record revealed a cache of private emails that seemed to show Christie’s staff and appointees orchestrated the closure of lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge to plague the small town of Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, had failed to endorse Christie for reelection.

This is dirty politics at its worst. It's like chucking a brick through a window because a shopowner won’t pay you protection money. No one wants a potential president who acts like a mob boss.

The lane closures, starting on Sept. 9, resulted in four days of what the Record called “paralyzing gridlock” in Fort Lee, a small town of 35,000, as folks trying to get across the bridge into Manhattan were stuck in jams that lasted for hours. Here's the money quote in the emails, from the Record's story:
"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Bridget Anne Kelly, one of three deputies on Christie’s senior staff, wrote to David Wildstein, a top Christie executive at the Port Authority, on Aug. 13, about three weeks before the closures. Wildstein, the official who ordered the closures and who resigned last month amid the escalating scandal, wrote back: "Got it."
Kelly’s feckless email is bound to go down in history as one of the all-time great political blunders. It becomes the smoking gun that kills Christie’s national political aspirations. Whether he knew about the plan, Christie hired the people and created the atmosphere that allowed this sort of behavior to flourish.
Governor Christie is already deep into the inevitable next step in political fire-control -- the blaming of the underlings:
[Updated 2:16 p.m. PST Jan. 8: In a statement released late Tuesday afternoon on his official website, Christie responded to the scandal: "What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions."
Those with a freakish memory for political scandal may remember way back in 2000 when then-Mare Daley made a similar attempt to quickly distance himself from the fucked-in-the-head snow removal plan of  his newly-appointed Streets and San Commissioner, Al Sanchez.  Aides reminded Hizzoner that seeing as how he's known Sanchez for years and had just appointed him with great fanfare...pretending that he'd never heard of the guy or that he was shocked that Sanchez was a goof probably wasn't going to fly.

So Daley, being Daley, threw an arm around Sanchez and declared him a fucking genius!  And there Sanchez would remained, right by Da Mare's side and in-effect running one of the clout-generating engines of Daley machine called the Hispanic Democratic Organization...until a few years later when he got himself indicted for his part in the massive Hired Truck scam, at which point Hizzoner got a brand new mudflap named Ron Huberman to stand between himself and the scandal that was swallowing half of his cronies and went back to "Al Sanchez?  Who dat?"

Eventually Al went away for awhile.  Two-and-a-half years which, considering he coulda been doing 20, was not a bad deal. And now that he has paid his debt to society and is once again an upright citizen, what does Al plan to do next?

What else:
Convicted political boss Al Sanchez running for Cook County board
Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation commissioner rigged hiring to benefit party's foot soldiers 
December 03, 2013| By Rick Pearson and John Byrne, Chicago Tribune reporters

Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation boss Al Sanchez, shown in 2010 before the verdict, was convicted of scheming to rig city hiring. He's now running for Cook County Board.

Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation boss Al Sanchez, shown in 2010 before the verdict, was convicted of scheming to rig city hiring. He's now running for Cook County Board. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune 2010)

Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, convicted on federal charges of rigging hiring to benefit political foot soldiers, filed Monday to run for the Cook County Board seat previously held by William Beavers — who is headed for prison.
And why in the world does "Convicted political boss Al Sanchez" think he has a hope in hell of landing a seat on the Cook County Board?

Because through it all, Al Sanchez kept his fucking mouth shut.

Here endeth the lesson.


Horace Boothroyd III said...

Not to belabor the obvious, but what the Bergen Record did was investigative journalism - on matters of substance - that made a difference by exposing criminals.

Not like the self-absorbed pablum horked out by Greenwald after Snowden handed him a treasure trove of secret documents, which he then had the cunning to sell to a billionaire with an agenda.

n1ck said...

I don't know much about Chicago politics except for what I read here.

There is a club.

Fiddlin Bill said...

"No one wants a potential president who acts like a mob boss."

You're wrong about that. This is a virtue in Republican circles, and was the style of the Bush Administration, e.g., "throw some country up against the wall to make a point." Limbaugh has already said publicly that Christie is just proving he's "tough enough." A mob boss by another name is Musolinni.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. I think fucking with bridges, and yes denying people emergency services, is standard tactics in big urban areas. It's just as time honored as not having the trash picked up.

Every major city and every big blue state is crooked as fuck, has always been this way. There's a certain sort of criminal it takes to run these sorts of places. Which is why many of the crown cities of America, seem to be run by the mob.

I wouldn't hold the bridge against him, I will hold getting caught against him.