Tag Archives: Rod Blagojevich

Journalist Natasha Korcecki: “Blago was radioactive” but politicians dealt with him anyway

Jesse Jackson Jr. was part of “a whole cadre of politicians who knew Blagojevich was radioactive, but dealt with him anyway,” writes Natasha Korecki.  Korecki covered both Blago trials for the Sun-Times and had a ringside seat as prosecutors untangled the web of corruption that defined the Blagojevich administration. Her book, “Only in Chicago: How the Rod Blagojevich Scandal Engulfed Illinois; Embroiled Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. and Enthralled the Nation,” details a dark chapter in Illinois’ political history.

Blago’s All Kids insurance program is a total mess

Illinois can’t blame all its problems on Rod Blagojevich, but one of the disgraced former governor’s proudest accomplishments remains one of the state’s most costly and troublesome headaches. The All Kids insurance program has seen its costs rise 22 percent since 2006 and its record-keeping is a mess, reports Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland. In one example, the state lost out on federal reimbursement for 11,000 All Kids enrollees because they were mistakenly categorized as undocumented immigrants.

Is Jesse Jackson Jr. Going to Provide “Blagojevich Trial II: The Sequel”?

We were hoping that Illinois’ pay-to-play political culture finished its time in the national spotlight when Rod Blagojevich headed to his new residence in Colorado. Now it’s looking like we’ll be back in the national news cycle for all the wrong reasons once again, this time courtesy of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who had a cameo role in the Blagojevich trial and now may provide the sequel.

Two Books on The Rod Blagojevich Saga Out Now

The downfall of our immediate past governor made for weird TV as it was happening (remember Rod Blagojevich’s starring role in a pistachio commercial?). Its aftermath brings us two new books – one by Natasha Korecki, the Chicago Sun-Times reporter who covered his federal trial, the other by two Chicago Tribune reporters – that tell the story of Blagojevich’s fall. Here is a review of “Golden” by Tribune reporters Jeff Coen and John Chase.

William Cellini Welcome to Prison.

For decades William Cellini was one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes figures in Illinois politics. On Thursday he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his role in an extortion scheme involving members of Rod Blagojevich’s inner circle. Acting U.S. Attorney said Cellini’s conviction has sent a strong message to the “bipartisan cabal of Illinois, the people that are the behind-the-scenes folks that fuel the corruption, that raise the money.”

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