Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

MAYBE CHICAGO SHOULD BAN GANGS, NOT GUNS. What a concept!

September 22, 2013

BELLEVUE, WA – A call for banning so-called “assault weapons” in the wake of Thursday night’s shooting in a Chicago park, believed to be part of an ongoing war between two rival gangs, shows the Windy City needs to concentrate on banning gangs, not guns, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was quoted by Chicago reporters insisting that the shooting, which seriously wounded a 3-year-old boy, is ample proof that “assault weapons” should be banned.

But when the Chicago Tribune noted that police think the shooting was the latest episode of violence between the Gangster Disciples and the Black P. Stones, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said this puts the real problem in perspective.

“When you have street thugs opening fire on groups of people in a gang war,” he observed, “that suggests the city has not advanced much since the days of Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Law-abiding Chicago residents continue to face bureaucratic obstacles, wade through red tape and jump through hoops before they can legally own a gun, while criminals obviously don’t bother with any of that, and just drive around shooting people.

“If Superintendent McCarthy and his boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, want to make the streets safer,” he continued, “they should concentrate their efforts on ridding the city of its criminal element rather than push for bans on the kinds of firearms that are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans. Those citizens haven’t hurt anyone, and neither have their guns.

“McCarthy and his department could pull a little ‘Shock and Awe’ operation, one neighborhood at a time, rousting these thugs, arresting those who have outstanding warrants, jailing those found to be illegally carrying guns and sending a message to straighten up or you’re going down,” Gottlieb suggested. “It’s time for Chicago authorities to face the fact that they’re not going to get rid of their crime problem until they start getting rid of their criminals.”

SOURCE

Bloomberg Launches $350K Campaign Against Senator who Voted Against Universal Background Checks

May 28, 2013

New York Michael Bloomberg exemplifies everything that is wrong with modern politics. I don’t mean to sound bitter or to wage some kind of irrational mudslinging campaign; I mean it in the most literal sense. He is everything that is rotten about politics in America.

No longer content with disarming the law-abiding in his own crime-riddled island wasteland, Bloomberg has set his sights on a much grander and far-reaching goal: disarming the American populace…. Because it has worked so well for the good citizens of New York, D.C., Chicago, Newark and South Central L.A.

Bloomberg spends his days and nights looking to invoke his will on the people and punish those that resist. Some might call it fascism, but when it’s a lefty doing it, all is forgiven.

Bloomberg and his stormtroopers, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, have begun a pricey $350,000 ad campaign to target Arkansas Democrat Senator Mark Pryor who is up for re-election next year. His crime? He had the audacity to vote against the unconstitutional universal background check bill.

FULL STORY

 

A conspiracy theory for the ages: A grain of truth may have sewn the seeds…

April 2, 2013

Conspiracy theorists in America today have become so plentiful as to become laughable. A theory has been postulated concerning practically every major event on the planet, complete with alleged “proof” that supposedly not only vindicates the theory but legitimizes the theorist.

Regular readers of this column over the past four years since it was launched will note that the writer rarely buys into such theories and has, in fact, warned about the danger inherent in these theories and the people who devise them. This column, for example, took great pains to provide detailed evidence that disproved the numerous theories about the Bilderberg group, the Rothschilds, and other powerful, secretive organizations. They do not pose the threat that many assume.

In delving into Bilderberg and the Rothschilds, however, it was discovered that there is one powerful group of movers and shakers that has the gravitas and the means to exert an enormous amount of influence on the U.S. government and other nations. It is called the Council on Foreign Relations, or CFR.

And this leads directly to the point concerning conspiracies and conspiracy theorists. Usually there is a modicum of truth tucked somewhere deeply within the sensationalism and fluff that accompanies wild, unsubstantiated charges.

Some of the theories being postulated are not only true but alarmingly so. But in order to get to that truth, one must sift through a mountain of bilge to find it.

In the 1991 book titled, “Behold A Pale Horse,” conspiracy theorist Milton William Cooper makes a number of outrageous claims that go far beyond the realm of veracity. He claims, for example, that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower attempted to negotiate a treaty with outer space aliens in order to prevent them from destroying the Earth. He believed that these outer space beings had infiltrated the government. He also believed that AIDS/HIV was part of a conspiracy to decrease the population of blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals.

Very few thinking persons would take these outlandish theories seriously. Yet within Cooper’s nightmarish fantasies he either inadvertently or deliberately inserted a conspiracy theory that has all of the markings of literal truth. In such an instance, the conspiracy is not a theory but an actuality.

Within the pages of “Behold a Pale Horse,” Cooper charges that certain sectors of the U.S. government initiated a covert operation decades ago designed to gradually turn the population against the private ownership of firearms. In order to accomplish such a feat, the government set about on a deliberate course of action that would insure that deadly, military grade firearms would make it into the hands of dangerous criminals. This would send the crime rate skyrocketing, the result of which fearful citizens would demand gun control and gun bans.

From the book, Cooper writes,

The government encouraged the manufacture and importation of military firearms for the criminals to use. This is intended to foster a feeling of insecurity, which would lead the American people to voluntarily disarm themselves by passing laws against firearms. Using drugs and hypnosis on mental patients in a process called Orion, the CIA inculcated the desire in these people to open fire on schoolyards and thus inflame the anti-gun lobby. This plan is well under way, and so far it is working perfectly. The middle class is begging the government to do away with the 2nd Amendment.

A glaring problem is obvious in Cooper’s statement, however. No credible proof or evidence can be found that confirms the charge that the CIA is using or has used drugs and hypnosis on mental patients. And a thorough examination of the Orion project makes it clear that there is no consensus as to what, exactly, that program entails, if it does, in fact, exist. Some theorists define Orion as something totally different than Cooper’s definition.

Yet within Cooper’s theory, apart from the over-the-top allegations, is one central truth — the U.S. government has, indeed, provided military grade firearms to some of the most dangerous criminals in the world, including those who are living here among us. The Fast and Furious scandal proved beyond any doubt that such a systematic program existed and may still be at work to this day since Congressional investigations went nowhere due to stonewalling and the refusal to cooperate on the part of Senate Democrats and the White House.

Not only were 2,500 heavy duty, high capacity firearms sent across the Mexican border directly to dangerous drug cartels, but according to the Justice Department cartel drug gangs now operate in all 50 states, particularly in large cities such as Chicago, which has become the murder capital of America.

Chicago has the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, yet the violence continues to escalate. And despite the attempts of anti-gun activists such as Barack Obama and his longtime friend, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to blame the violence on average gun owners, statistics from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) show that most of Chicago’s “gun violence” emanates from Mexican drug gangs.

In addition, something is pushing the severely mentally impaired over the edge that was not present in American society 30 years ago. Before the 1990s one rarely heard of mass shootings at schools, churches, movie theaters, and malls.

Even without drugs and hypnosis, there are ways that unstable persons can be pushed over the edge into committing unspeakable acts of violence. Society itself is at least 80 percent of the problem. America has forsaken its religious heritage that served as a restraint on the actions of individuals. Ethics and morals have been thrown out the window. A special report on CBS’s “48 Hours,” for example, noted how the United States has become a nation of liars. Hundreds of teachers in Atlanta, for example, were caught allegedly changing scores on standardized tests in order to make their schools look better on the national grid. A school in Texas was highlighted for the fact that not only did 25% of its sophomore class cheat on a key exam but the teacher who caught them was overruled by the school board for giving them failing grades on the exam.

Cheating was rewarded.

Hollywood is also a key example of the problem. Actors, writers, directors, and producers go public with their righteous indignation concerning the fact that citizens can own guns, although they themselves glorify violence in their movies and are flanked by armed bodyguards when they venture out. The emotionally fragile are bound to be greatly influenced by what Hollywood produces, in addition to the shockingly violent video games to which the nation’s youth seem to be addicted.

But the net result is the same even if Cooper was wrong about the drugs and hypnosis. Something is leading the weakest among us to go on shooting sprees.

Each time these horrific incidents take place, a few more Americans jump aboard the gun control and gun ban train. And the gullible fall for the shameful blood dance conducted by leftwing lunatics who are always standing at the ready to blame average citizens for what a few criminals do.

How many more of these shocking bloodbaths must take place before the gun-grabbing lunatics succeed in leading the populace to demand the Second Amendment be scrapped?

When a citizenry is disarmed, history teaches us that they are sitting ducks for oppressive, tyrannical government. Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China, Castro’s Cuba, North Korea, and host of other governments proved that disarmament of the citizens was a mere precursor for the atrocities that would follow.

Those who point to Europe as an example that disproves that assertion must be reminded that not enough time has elapsed since they criminalized gun owners. Give them time. Eventually they will prove everything gun rights activists warn about.

Ever heard of Cyprus?

The outright theft of the people’s money by government is merely the beginning of woes.

NOTICE. You may enjoy my blog and its ongoing series, “Musings After Midnight.” The following are a few examples:

My latest blog entry in the series, Musings After Midnight, is now available at The Liberty Sphere. It’s titled, “I get a vote, you get a vote, all God’s children get a vote! That’s right, Mr. President, and that includes gun rights activists!

You may also like “‘I Shall Not Be Moved:’ the bold declaration of patriots who have no intention of obeying unconstitutional laws.

Also check out: “I’ll see you in the war — Civil War II: Notes on the coming calamity to restore the Constitution.

SOURCE

 

Some post turkey day observations

November 24, 2012

Seems that the top jurist’s in Egypt have figured out what so many of us knew as the so called Arab Spring unfolded before the world. Nothing but a takeover by radical muslims in the guise of some sort of democracy, and epic fail obama even tried to make us all believe that this would be a good thing. Talk about a sales pitch that would make snake oil marketers proud!

Then we have this; Chris Brown still being hammered over his row with Rhianna. Didn’t he do enough time? Didn’t he go through all the counseling, and pay the fines? Why is this big news ? Why bother with it at all? From all accounts they have resolved their issues. Let them both go on with their lives without others telling them how to live those lives or castigating either one for how they go about it?

Two deaths of note, or better said that made the news. Hector Camacho took a dirt bath after taking a bullet in the face. Damn! He was one hell of a boxer! Even if he was one of the sweet sciences bad boys. Larry Hagman, the man everyone loved to hate every week on Dallas passed away after a terrible battle with cancer. Rest in peace men.

Then there has been the weather. From “Super Storm Sandy” to the latest cold front and attendant storm that chased me from Seattle to just outside of Chicago the idiots are all calling it a result of man made global warming. In Wyoming, we call it winter and never mind that scientific fact that we are emerging from the “Little Ice Age.”

The absolute joke of the week, as usual, involve the epic failure known as the obama. Yes, we knew this would happen. The election is being hailed as an overwhelming victory and mandate. Sorry folks, but it simply was not. He barely won. We lost, but not by much, and we have only ourselves to blame for running yet another half-assed conservative instead of a real non compromiser that loves the nation as well as the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

On to better things! Those that roll there own check out Magnum Pistol 300! Talk about some serious bang!

Keep the shiny side up…

Stuck on Stupid: Another episode of Chicago Crackheads at work!

October 22, 2012

As noted so many times here some folks are just stuck on stupid. Authorities in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles are always in the running for some sort of award for being the most outrageous.

CHICAGO (AP)– As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm – an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will submit a budget proposal Thursday that calls for a tax of a nickel for each bullet and $25 for each firearm sold in the nation’s second-largest county, which encompasses Chicago.

SOURCE

Hat Tip

 

An Obamanation

August 7, 2012

Sums things up pretty well!

ONE

BIG

ASS

MISTAKE

AMERICA!

Rahm Emanuel’s childish strategy of striking back at the Second Amendment

February 18, 2012
BELLEVUE, WAChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to slap law-abiding Illinois gun owners with a handgun registration mandate that includes a $65 per-gun fee is “nothing more than a maneuver to discourage gun ownership in the face of court rulings that have gone against Chicago’s stubborn gun ban mentality,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Under Emanuel’s proposal, any Illinois resident purchasing a handgun would be hit with the $65 registration requirement, which is over and above current statutory requirements that include possession of a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card.

“This is Rahm Emanuel’s childish strategy of striking back at the Second Amendment,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “Chicago lost before the Supreme Court in the landmark McDonald case, and its horribly written handgun ordinance has also been rejected by a federal appeals court.

“Because he is on the losing end of the gun rights battle,” Gottlieb continued, “Mayor Emanuel now wants to take out his frustration on every law-abiding gun owner in Illinois. This is the kind of reaction one expects from a five-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, but it should be beneath the dignity of an adult who is supposed to be the leader of one of the nation’s largest cities.”

Emanuel claims that his measure is aimed at helping police, parents and community groups. But State Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat, called the proposal a “slap in the face of every law-abiding gun owner.” Gottlieb concurs with that assessment.

“Rahm Emanuel is a both a product, and a philosophical poster child, of two anti-gun administrations,” he said. “He served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, always as point man on gun control initiatives. He does not seem to grasp the reality that American citizens, including those living in Illinois, have a constitutionally-protected civil right to keep and bear arms for their personal protection.

“Mayor Emanuel’s crass effort to infringe on that right through legislative demagoguery is insulting and immature,” Gottlieb said. “This is the kind of behavior that continues to land Chicago in court, and pretty soon, taxpayers will grow tired of entertaining his anti-gun agenda with their dollars.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.

The Great Society

October 17, 2011

There are always social experiments going on. That said, most are flops. Social engineering just doesn’t work. At least when it is based in the political correctness of the day. One of the biggest failures in more recent times would be Lyndon Johnson‘s destructive socialist program known as “The Great Society.” This creation and expansion of the welfare state has caused, for the most part, the exact opposite of what it was meant to eliminate.

The epic failure obama’s attempt to wreck havoc upon America via obamacare, operation fast and furious, and pure Chicago style cronyism are extensions of that failed experiment. An exercise in repeating the same operation and expecting a different outcome are hallmarks of socialism and communistic thinking.

This macroeconomic success owed nothing to policymakers’ fine tuning, because neither the administration nor Congress made such delicate adjustments of fiscal policy as conditions changed. In truth, the U.S. government was institutionally incapable of fine tuning fiscal policy, however much it appealed to Keynesian economists drawing diagrams on blackboards.

Full Story

Now we have obama’s foot soldiers staging occupations here, there, and everywhere blaming America and our way of life for their own failures. They remind me of children saying “not me” when confronted about something that has gone wrong. Rather than rolling up their sleeves and doing something that is actually productive themselves they stage protests that ultimately result in more government, more rules, and less personal freedom.

The United States of America. Land of the free. That includes the freedom to fail. Home of the brave. Courage, to take on the task of personal wealth creation without having government getting involved in that task so long as we do not infringe on the freedoms and liberty of others while doing that.

Stopping Urban violence Chicago style

August 27, 2009

Chicago has latched onto the method of choice for controlling urban violence. It’s just so simple that it cannot be ignored in fact! How can we all learn this simple lesson? With the stroke of a pen you can get rid of all the violence that plagues America. Who would have thought it would be so simple? Let’s all just follow the Chicago example, and all of our cities across the nation will be just like Chicago!

Shootings rampant despite gun ban
Proponents, critics argue over effectiveness of weapons ban

By TIM TALIAFERRO
Medill News Service

You cannot legally buy a handgun in Chicago, yet the city is the nation’s most murderous city.

You can own one, but only if you’ve owned it since before 1982, and it’s registered every year with the Chicago Police Department. Gun-control advocates and gun-rights advocates don’t – or can’t – agree on how a city with a handgun ban can lead the nation in murders. To proponents of owning guns, it means the ban doesn’t work.

“Laws are only for law-abiding citizens anyway,” said John Riggio, owner of Chuck’s Gun Shop and Pistol Range in Riverdale. “Criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law.”

But to proponents of regulating guns, it means the ban isn’t big enough.

“Gun control opponents like to look at Chicago and say, ‘They have a handgun ban and look at all their murders,’ but I think, frankly, that’s ignorant,” said Thomas Mennard, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. “They’re not taking into account that you can get handguns just outside of Chicago.”

Indiana Avenue cuts straight south from the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant into Riverdale, past a row of boarded-up and abandoned buildings. At 143rd Street, on the right, sits Chuck’s Gun Shop, one of the closest places to legally buy a handgun outside Chicago’s city limits.

A trip to Chuck’s on a recent weekday morning saw nearly 30 patrons walking through the door in the span of an hour. They were there for guns. Trade-in, apply for, shop or rent – it’s all available at Chuck’s. In 2006 Chuck’s won the Dealer Recruiter of the Year Award from the National Rifle Association for getting the most patrons to join the association.

Employees wear handguns in hip holsters, and before they’ll let customers see or touch anything, they ask to see their Firearm Owner’s Identification card. According to Illinois law, anyone who owns or wants to own a firearm must apply for a “gun card,” as the FOID is commonly known. Once approved, there’s a 72-hour waiting period from the time you buy a handgun to the time you can pick it up.

You can buy as many guns as you want at once, but at Chuck’s you can only take possession of one every 31 days – a Riverdale law. Most of the customers are blue collar, Riggio said, and most of his business is in handgun sales. But he doubts there is any relationship between guns and gun violence.

“I would think there’s no relationship at all,” Riggio said. “Ever seen a gun shoot by itself? I haven’t.”

Riggio declined to provide shop sales figures and demurred when asked whether the Chicago handgun ban has any effect on his business.

“I don’t know if it has an effect one way or another,” Riggio said. “I just follow the law.”

Chicago passed its handgun ban on April 9, 1982. In the wake of a 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, its legality is being challenged. After the Supreme Court decided that a federal district could not prohibit handguns, the NRA and the Illinois State Rifle Association challenged the Chicago ban. A circuit court judge dismissed the suit but it is currently on appeal before the 7th Circuit.

Jennifer Hoyle, director of public affairs for the city’s law department, stressed that until the courts say otherwise, the city’s handgun ban will remain in effect.

“There have been no changes and it is still being enforced,” she said.

Currently, several hand-gun bills are under consideration in the state legislature. One, for instance, mandates background checks in private gun sales, which currently don’t require them. Another prohibits sales of multiple handguns to one person within a 30-day period. A third bans assault weapons altogether.

The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which lists gun violence as one of its six priority issues, chooses not to take sides in the debate over gun control.

“What we are in favor of,” spokesman Charlie Boesel said, “is a reduction in gun violence.”

The foundation offers grant money to groups looking to study the problem or with ideas on how to address it.

“We are very concerned about gun violence in Chicago,” Nina Vinik, the Joyce Foundation gun violence senior program officer, said. “We’re based here so it’s a hometown issue for us.”

Analyzing the gun issue

According to a study released in the spring by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and funded by the Joyce Foundation, gun violence costs Chicago taxpayers $2.5 billion a year, the equivalent of $2,500 per household. That’s aside from the emotional costs that victims and their families must bear.

The study also found that, too often, programs addressing gun violence lack the kind measured analysis needed by policymakers and expected by the medical community.

“One of the frustrating things is that the criminal justice system has for many, many years been trying programs to address gun violence, but when you go ask them what works and for whom, there’s very little data,” said Harold Pollack, co-director of the Crime Lab and a public health researcher who worked on the study.

There’s no shortage of people working on the problem, and the Crime Lab offers anyone with an idea the chance to get it rigorously tested. Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor at Saint Sabina’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, organizes gun drives and runs the Do You Care? intervention program to teach young people ways to resolve conflicts nonviolently.

He sees the problem as largely a cultural one.

“Kids are armed with guns because it has become part of the wardrobe in America,” Pfleger said. “I’ve never been at a high school in the last year and asked if they needed to get a gun, [or] whether they knew where to get one and not had at least 75 percent of the student body raise their hand.”

Pfleger maintained that the challenge is to create an atmosphere in cities that doesn’t tolerate gun shootings.

“You shoot one of our children, we’re going to put a bounty on your head,” he said.

Law enforcement has its own ways of approaching gun violence. Last weekend, the city hosted its annual summer gun turn-in program. Former Chicago police officer and Cook County state’s attorney John Armellino also suggested that crime is linked with financial destitution.

“Crime is really a function of economics. It is a function of poverty,” he said. “Turf wars are fights over money. Whoever’s got the more lucrative corner to sell drugs is going to protect it.”

The majority of guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Both the mayor’s office of criminal justice and the Chicago Police Department mentioned community policing as among the most important methods of combating gun violence. Sgt. John Delgado, a team leader of the Chicago Police Department’s Community Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), agreed.

“In my experience, the most organized communities have the best ability to change things,” he said. “My job is to make criminals uncomfortable. If the neighborhood is well-lit and clean, and if people look out for each other and take pride in their property, the likelihood of criminals getting a foothold is greatly diminished.

But, Delgado warned: “If the neighborhood doesn’t care, nothing’s going to change.”

SOURCE

note: yes, the lead in was sarcasm.

So? Just what is new in Illinois…

December 10, 2008

Illinois has a long history of corruption. Indeed, there are people that imply that New Orleans became corrupt only after Chicago carpetbaggers arrived there immediately after the War of Northern Agression. From the Daley dynasty in Chicago to the Governors mansion the state appears to have one big “for sale” sign on it. It’s no wonder to me why my father left Springfield and joined the Marine Corps, and that was more than fifty years ago. What follows serves to fill in just a few of the blanks having to do with this tradition…

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) — Rod Blagojevich has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors: He became the fourth of the past seven governors elected in Illinois to be arrested. Residents blame the sad tradition on a culture of patronage.

“Government in Illinois isn’t about political ideology or helping people,” said Christopher Mooney, who teaches political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield. “It’s about which idiot brother-in-law are you going to get a job on a road crew because he helped you get into office.”

The governor, a Democrat, was charged yesterday with trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat, according to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors. Three previous governors were jailed: Otto Kerner, governor from 1961 to 1968; Dan Walker, who held the job from 1973 to 1977; and George Ryan, who served from 1999 to 2003.

Blagojevich, 51, and his chief of staff, John Harris, 46, threatened to withhold state assistance to now-bankrupt Tribune Co. in connection with the sale of the Wrigley Field ballpark, according to federal prosecutors. No pleas were entered and neither defendant made any statements during the hearing.

The men also allegedly sought to force the firing of members on the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board who were critical of the governor. Tribune Co. owns the newspaper and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which plays at Wrigley.

State politicians being carted off to jail reflects a local indifference to wrongdoing that needs to be changed, said Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former city alderman.

“We have a culture of machine politics and it lends itself to corruption,” said Simpson. “We are the capital of corruption in the U.S.”

History of Corruption

Political corruption has a bipartisan history in the state. Kerner, a Democrat convicted in 1973, was jailed after the manager of two horse-racing tracks admitted to bribing the then- governor; charges were filed after Kerner left office. Walker, a Democrat convicted in 1987, a decade after leaving office, served less than two years of a seven-year sentence for receiving improper loans.

Ryan, a Republican charged with accepting trips and gifts in exchange for political favors, was sentenced to more than six years in 2006.

Robert Sorich, who led Democratic Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and three other men were found guilty by a Chicago federal court jury in 2006 for illegal hiring. Daley, first elected in 1989 and the son of the city’s longest-serving mayor, wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.

“They must have a cell reserved somewhere for aldermen and governors,” said Tommy FitzGibbon, executive vice president at MB Financial Bank in Chicago, who wants Blagojevich to resign. “It’s an embarrassment.”

‘What an Idiot’

The region’s reputation was in the national spotlight during this year’s presidential election. Republican presidential nominee John McCain ran political ads claiming that Democratic rival Barack Obama is part of a “corrupt Chicago political machine.”

The Blagojevich arrest has brought more notoriety to the region. Clients in Germany and Ireland were aware of the arrest and brought it up in morning telephone calls with Caimin Flannery, a partner in Caimin Flannery & Associates in Naperville, Illinois, about 35 miles west of Chicago. The international business-development firm advises companies on mergers of $10 million to “several hundred” million dollars.

“Most people I’ve talked to today feel: ‘What an idiot,’” said Flannery, who was born in Ireland and speaks nine languages. “It’s just the greed factor.”

‘A New Low’

The governor was charged with conspiring to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official actions, including the replacement of Obama. Court-approved wiretaps intercepted Blagojevich last month conspiring to sell the Senate seat, said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. At various times, Blagojevich sought in return a cabinet post, an ambassadorship or a seat on a corporate board for his wife, Fitzgerald said.

“This is a sad day for government and it’s a very sad day for Illinois government,” Fitzgerald said. “Governor Blagojevich has taken us to a new low.”

The governor’s office has become the heart of a corruption culture in the fifth-largest U.S. state, said Tamara Holder, a Chicago defense attorney.

“It’s definitely ingrained,” Holder said.

Blagojevich, in his second term, has been buffeted by scandals in the state government and budget shortfalls. A Chicago Tribune poll in October put his approval rating at 13 percent, the lowest ever recorded by the newspaper’s surveys.

No one among more than a dozen residents interviewed said they were caught off-guard by the arrests.

“You’ve been getting report after report of something negative going on,” said Hector Galvan, a trading consultant for RJO Futures, the private client division of R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC in Chicago.

While Blagojevich is the latest Illinois governor in court, Galvan said the state has also produced admirable politicians.

“The President-elect is from here,” Galvan said. “You can’t let a few spoil it for everyone else.”

SOURCE


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