It makes you wonder whether Rezko really is talking?
The FBI is investigating a former Illinois state senator who is a poker-playing buddy of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.
According to Chicago authorities, the FBI visited the offices in Joliet, Ill., of a Will County auditor to ask questions about Larry Walsh, a longtime friend of Mr. Obama’s, and his chief of staff Matt Ryan.
Mr. Walsh, who served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2005, was endorsed by Mr. Obama in his county executive election bid. With the support of some of Mr. Obama’s U.S. Senate volunteers, he easily defeated incumbent Republican Joseph Mikan.
Why am I bringing up Rezko? Senate Bill 2063.Here we go:
Once upon a time there was a proposed third airport plan in Illinois. It originally starred our old friend Tony:
So, on Sunday, June 25, 2006, at the Chicago Four Seasons Hotel, Rezko showed up by himself. He said he could offer gubernatorial support for ALNAC’s airport plan – if the governor were allowed to make key appointments to ALNAC’s Board.
In essence, Rezko wanted to turn ALNAC into one of those state panels controlled by unaccountable pay-to-play ringleaders like Rezko and Stuart Levine.
When Jackson and ALNAC quickly rejected Rezko’s offer, they didn’t realize it would be their last official meeting with the state on the airport. A few weeks later, Levine and Rezko were charged in a massive federal corruption case.
This plan was later revived as Senate Bill 2063, which was supported in the Illinois Senate by Blagojevich supporter Debbie Halvorson – who is, by the way, running for Congress in IL-11: her opponent is Marty Ozinga, and you can donate to him here – and our friend Mr. Walsh. As State Rep. David Miller (Democrat, by the way) noted:
SB 2063 was suspiciously noteworthy for another reason: transparency. It passed without fanfare or publicity by its sponsor, the Majority Leader of the State Senate. It’s almost unimaginable that legislation effecting one the most contentious issues facing the south suburbs in 30 years managed to “slip through” the Illinois Senate without public notice. (Fortunately, the bill died in the Illinois House.) Lastly, on the same date of its passage in the Illinois Senate, after having learned of his newly gained status (5 appointments to the airport board), Will County Executive and former Senator Larry Walsh was so ecstatic that he celebrated and was arrested later that same evening for driving under the influence according to The Joliet Herald News.
So, does this mean that Walsh is going to get arrested? I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure that the Feds want as many people sharing my ignorance as possible. What’s happening here is that cages are being rattled, not least of which is Rezko’s: even if he isn’t cooperating, if enough people think that he is, and make deals themselves, then he sort of has to start cooperating, lest he spend even more time in jail. This is the Illinois Combine, after all: it is a comprehensive (and unfortunately bipartisan) web of favors, kickbacks, and civic corruption that pretty much extends from the Governor of Illinois all the way down to the streets. Worse than Massachusetts, worse than New Jersey; even worse than Louisiana, before Bobby Jindal showed up with the broom. No loyalty, of course; they’ll be happy to turn on each other – and they all know each other.
And this is where Barack Obama learned how to be a politician.
Yes, yes: the Master is pure, and would never stoop to such things. Whatever, kids: just remember that this is where he recruited his core *staff *from, too. In fact… isn’t the DNC headquartered in Chicago, now? Hrm. I wonder if they brought in local talent, too…