Posted By: Michael Sweeney
Oct. 1, 2008
Despite all the semi-breathless blog posts and Ditto-head phone-ins from the over-zealous among the Obama-haters (and, frankly, they do not even seem like mere “McCain supporters”), if Tony Rezko rolls over and co-operates with Federal authorities – as expected – it is NOT the Democratic Presidential nominee who has much (if, indeed, anything at all) to worry about…
Yes, the found-guilty (and awaiting-sentencing) Syrian-born fundraiser, deal-maker, developer, and upper-level schmoozer among Illinois pols had some past dealings with Sen. Barack Obama (particularly over their neighboring real estate parcels; Rezko’s wife has since sold their parcel). Rezko even raised some political money for the then-novice Senator…most of which Obama has since donated to charity.
Overall, Obama has fairly confidently been able to distance himself from his previous (and minor) connections with Tony Rezko – and he has even apologized for not realizing earlier that the oft-connected man-about-town was what he turned out to be.
However, the Rezko bell may well be about to toll for not just one, but two members of the Blagojevich household…
Governor Rod has long been sweating through the Rezko trial and its aftermath. He – and his administration – has been tied multiple times to Rezko through fund-raising, patronage, and alleged pay-for-play kickbacks and even flat-out bribes. The worst-kept secret in Springfield, Chicago, and Washington is that Blagojevich is the unnamed “Public Official ‘A’” mentioned as being involved in political and financial corruption in the indictments of Rezko and the man who testified against him (in a deal), Stuart Levine.
Now, word is that Rezko may be attempting to cut a deal with the Feds to limit his potential prison time by rolling over on B-Rod…AND on his stylish, connected, and usually shrewd wife, Patty.
Patty Blagojevich – the daughter of one of Chicago’s most powerful ward bosses, Alderman Richard Mell (who pretty much boosted his son-in-law’s career, but now is somewhat distanced from both Rod and his daughter over some financial and political differences) – made some decent money over the last decade acting as a real-estate agent on multiple Rezko corporate property deals. And the probe into both Gov, and Mrs. B. based on Rezko’s info is said (by at least one insider source) to be moving “at top speed.”
The talks that Rezko is reported as having with Federal investigators and authorities are said to be “intense,” but are also said to not yet be thought of as full co-operation. But, with Rezko scheduled for sentencing in late October – as well as for at least two more trials in the next year or so – it is believed that his ultimate spilling o’ the beans will be coming sooner rather than later.
Makes you wonder about the discussion topics – AND the relative tension levels – that are floating over the Blagojevich dinner table these days…
For more coverage of Illinois politics, look for my regular, weekly posts (usually on Wednesdays) here on The Stonecipher Report. (And, for a free subscription to my twice-weekly e-mail column on politics and pop-culture, "And, in the News…" send a note to: firstname.lastname@example.org)