Meanwhile, the Rezko Jury Still Deliberates…And A New Bill to Curb Money in IL Politics is Already Under Attack

Closing arguments in the Tony Rezko trial ended on May 13…Their first full day of deliberations was on May 15. After a weekend off, they started deliberating again on Monday (May 19).

It was speculated early on that there might be an acquittal because of the Obama mention in the case. So far, no quick decision, so, hopefully, the case is being thoroughly and conscientiously reviewed. It’s extremely complicated, so that is another factor to consider in terms of how long it will take for a verdict to come down.

Here’s the real indictment that was finally revealed on May 15:

Rezko Indictment

On Sunday/Monday, an AP story was posted in addition to a story on Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “The Piggy Bank.”

Among those named in the Rezko case is William F. Cellini, who is described in the AP story as having “an unusually powerful influence over the $40 billion fund that pays the pensions of retired downstate and suburban school teachers.”

The AP story reports on how the Illinois Legislature is trying to curb the role of money in the state’s politics. Ironically, Cellini, has now been accused by the State Treasurer of skimming profits of a state project involving an hotel to the tune of $2 million dollars by diverting cash to make the hotel look unprofitable. And, it appears that Cellini is still at work trying to weaken the reform bill now under consideration:

While the trial exposed the role of money in Illinois politics — perhaps even more than the Ryan trial did — there’s a sign that the abuses may be curbed at least a bit in the near future.

While the jury is deliberating the Rezko case, the state Legislature is deliberating a bill to bar anyone with a state contract of $50,000 or more from contributing to the official whose office awarded the contract.

The so-called pay-to-play bill would also make it easy for anyone to look up campaign donations from state contractors online.

But the word at the end of last week was that the Asphalt Pavement Association — Cellini’s organization — was trying to water down the bill.

“They’re making the calls,” Canary said.

The measure’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said his understanding “is that they want the bill amended to exclude contracts which are let to the lowest bidder.” But he said he expected the measure to pass intact without the amendment. Cellini did not return a call to his Springfield office.

With all this going on, it makes one wonder how Obama would be voting if he were still in the Illinois Legislature. Would he take a strong stance for the bill? Would he “bring people together” and push for the watered down version? And, in the end, regardless of whatever bill was adopted, would he IGNORE the intent and work deals to his advantage???

Just asking…

NOTE: For more information on the connections between Obama and corrupt money in IL, check out Evelyn Pringle’s 3-part series on the investigation “Operation Board Games” at “Scoop” Independent News.