Lisa Madigan

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Posted by motoman 03/30/2009 @ 13:10

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News headlines
Politics may stall tax vote - Chicago Tribune
Some Democrats privately questioned whether the idea of rolling past the Sunday adjournment deadline might be an attempt by Madigan to raise questions about Quinn's ability to lead the state. Madigan's daughter, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, is eyeing a...
Attorney General Madigan Awards $2.7 Million in Pharmaceutical ... - eNews Park Forest
Attorney General Lisa Madigan today awarded $2.7 million in settlement funds to 24 nonprofit health clinics throughout Illinois that will help purchase prescription drugs for low-income patients. The funds come from the settlements of consumer...
Corruption in Illinois Costs Each Family $109 as Reform Stalls - Bloomberg
“I'm not satisfied with the pace of change,” Madigan told reporters. “I think it has to be accelerated, and that's the purpose of the legislation.” Madigan's daughter, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan, has said she is looking at either running for...
Missouri, Illinois sue 'fraudulent' charities -
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday sued what they called “fraudulent” charities that misrepresented their affiliation with local law enforcement and veterans groups to collect donations....
Gov. Quinn doesn't want to hand hold lawmakers - Chicago Tribune
“That's really the only way I can do well,” Quinn said as he faces a possible Democratic primary challenge in February from Lisa Madigan, the attorney general and daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago). She has more than $3 million in...
Sen. Harry Reid may need all the help he can get - Los Angeles Times
Lisa Madigan, daughter of Illinois House Speaker John Madigan. Also not Kennedys. Which is not to say that Illinois' famous Democratic politics is not run by family clans. Burris, a longtime Illinois Democratic loyalist, is the US Senate's sole African...
Madigan Sues Chicago Listing Service for Fraudulent Practices - eNews Park Forest
Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against a Chicago-based rental property listing service for allegedly charging consumers a membership fee for access to a property database populated largely with...
Illinois AG Joins Midwest States Seeking Protection for Chrysler ... - Insurance Journal
Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed an objection to the terms of Chrysler's pending sale to Fiat in federal bankruptcy court on behalf of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) and the Illinois Self-Insurers Advisory Board (ISIAB)....
Attorney Gen. Madigan objects to Chrysler sale - Crain's Chicago Business
(Crain's) — Attorney General Lisa Madigan has objected to Chrysler LLC's pending sale to Italian automaker Fiat SpA, claiming the deal could short-change injured Illinois autoworkers. The objection was filed Wednesday in US Bankruptcy Court for the...
Why Does Media Matter? - Gapers Block
As Attorney General Lisa Madigan boldly stated in her introduction to the panel, "media makes democracy work; without it, who would hold the government accountable for their actions?" Over the past couple of years, the way we absorb our news has...

Lisa Madigan

Lisa Madigan

Lisa Madigan (born July 30, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois) has been the 41st Attorney General of the U.S. state of Illinois since 2002, when she became the first female attorney general for Illinois. She is a Democrat and the adopted daughter of Michael Madigan, who has been Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for most of the last quarter century. By the Illinois state constitution, with the office of Lieutenant Governor currently vacant she is next in line of succession.

On December 12, 2008, she attracted national attention after filing a motion with the Supreme Court of Illinois to temporarily remove Governor Rod Blagojevich from office. The motion was subsequently denied by the court without a hearing.

Madigan attended The Latin School of Chicago for her secondary education, and received her bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1988. She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a teacher and community organizer, developing after-school programs to help keep kids involved in education and away from drugs and gangs. Madigan also volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa during apartheid. Madigan later worked as a litigator for the Chicago law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver.

Madigan was an Illinois Senator from 1998 through 2002, during which time she worked down the hall from her friend Barack Obama. In 2002 she ran for Attorney General of Illinois and narrowly defeated Joe Birkett with 50.4% of the vote. In 2006 she was re-elected with 72.4% of the vote against Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart "Stu" Umholtz.

Notably, Madigan became the first Illinois Attorney General in over 25 years to personally argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. In 2004, she successfully argued Illinois v. Caballes, where the court reaffirmed the ability of police officers to use specially trained dogs without a search warrant or probable cause to detect the presence of illegal drugs during traffic stops.

In 2002, Madigan received a $25,000 donation from a black metal musician Andrew Harris. When Harris's relation to the black metal band Judas Iscariot came to light, Madigan agreed to donate the money to anti-hate groups, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Madigan has also had a strained relationship with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, due at least in part to her father Michael Madigan's ongoing feud with Blagojevich.

She is considered a potential candidate for Governor of Illinois or the United States Senate in the near future. She was considered a possible replacement for Barack Obama's Senate seat following his victory in the 2008 presidential election, although Madigan herself described her chances of being appointed as "less than zero." Roland Burris was appointed to the U.S. Senate instead. During the Blagojevich Senate appointment scandal, Madigan was speculated to be "Senate Candidate #2" in the complaint against Blagojevich although no wrongdoing on her part was implied. Notably, on December 12, 2008, Madigan attracted national attention after filing a motion with the Supreme Court of Illinois to temporarily remove Blagojevich from office and install Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn as governor. Though the motion was denied by the court without a hearing, Blagojevich was later impeached and convicted and Quinn was sworn in as governor.

She is widely speculated to harbor intents to pursue a higher political office, and has been cited by The New York Times to be among the seventeen most likely women to become the first female President of the United States should Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin fail in achieving the office.

Madigan is married to cartoonist Pat Byrnes, and they have two daughters.

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Rod Blagojevich Gubernatorial administration

Rod Blagojevich Gubernatorial administration

In 2002, Blagojevich ran for his party's nomination to become governor. Blagojevich won a close primary campaign against former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, whose base was largely African-American voters, and Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas, who ran well in the suburban "collar" counties of Chicago. Blagojevich finished strongly in downstate Illinois, winning 55% of the primary vote downstate, enough to win a primary victory by a thin margin.

During the primary, state Senator Barack Obama backed former Attorney General Burris, but supported Blagojevich after he won the primary at Burris' suggestion, serving as a "top adviser" for the general election. Future Obama senior adviser David Axelrod had previously worked with Blagojevich on Congressional campaigns, but did not consider Blagojevich ready to be governor and declined to work for him on this campaign. According to Rahm Emanuel, he, Barack Obama, Blagojevich's campaign co-chair David Wilhelm, and another Blagojevich staffer "were the top strategists of Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial victory," meeting weekly to outline campaign strategies. However, Wilhelm has said that Emanuel overstated Obama's role in the sessions, and Emanuel said in December 2008 that Wilhelm was correct and he had been wrong in his earlier 2008 recollection to The New Yorker.

During 2005 to 2006, Blagojevich served as Federal Liaison for the Democratic Governors Association. Numerous scandals brought the Governor's approval rating as low as 36%, with 56% "disapproving" near the end of 2005.

By early 2006, five Republicans ran in the primary for the right to challenge him in the general election, with state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka eventually winning the nomination. Blagojevich formally launched his 2006 re-election campaign for Governor of Illinois on February 19, 2006. He won the Democratic primary on March 21 with 72% of the vote against challenger Edwin Eisendrath, whom Blagojevich would not debate. He convinced Democratic state senator James Meeks not to launch a third party run by saying that he would attempt to lease out the state lottery to provide education funding. Blagojevich was endorsed by many Democratic leaders (with the notable exception of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who claimed it was a conflict of interest since her office was investigating Blagojevich), including then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who endorsed the governor in early 2005 and spoke on his behalf at the August 2006 Illinois State Fair. Blagojevich was also endorsed by the state's Sierra Club, the only Illinois governor ever endorsed by the organization. The union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees declined to endorse Blagojevich for re-election, citing the 500 jobs he cut from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which left some state parks unsupervised.

In the general election, Blagojevich defeated Topinka and the Green Party's Rich Whitney, outspending Topinka $27 million to $6 million. He attempted to tie Topinka to former Republican governor George Ryan's corruption. Topinka ran ads detailing Blagojevich's federal investigations and non-endorsements by major state Democrats such as Lisa Madigan. A three-term state treasurer, Topinka said that she had attempted to block Blagojevich from using money from special funds for general expenditures without approval of the legislature; she said Blagojevich used the funds for projects meant to distract voters from his associates' corruption trials: “This constant giving away of money … a million here, a million there, it raids our already hamstrung government and deadbeat state.” Topinka's spokesman claimed that Blagojevich was the "most investigated" governor in Illinois history. Topinka lost to Blagojevich by 11%.

After the 2002 elections, Democrats had control of the Illinois House, Senate, and all but one statewide office. Since taking office, Blagojevich has signed numerous pieces of progressive legislation such as ethics reform, death penalty reform, a state Earned Income Tax Credit, a statewide comprehensive smoking ban and expansions of health programs like KidCare and FamilyCare (the latter ruled unconstitutional); critics claimed that Blagojevich was benefiting from the publicity more than the programs were helping the public. Blagojevich signed a bill in 2005 that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit. Blagojevich originally ran on a platform against pork barrel spending, but eventually used it himself to get more votes for bills.

During a suspected shortage of the flu vaccine in 2004, Blagojevich ordered 260,000 doses from overseas distributors, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned would be barred from entering the United States. Although the vaccine doses had cost the state $2.6 million, the FDA refused to allow them into the country, and a buyer could not be found; they were donated to earthquake survivors in Pakistan a year later. However, the lots had expired, and Pakistan destroyed the vaccines. After Blagojevich pushed for a law banning sales of certain video games to minors, a federal judge declared the law violated the First Amendment, with the state ordered to pay $520,000 in legal fees.

Shortly after taking office in 2003, Blagojevich continued support of a "moratorium" on executions of death row inmates, even though no such executions are likely to occur for years (his predecessor, George Ryan, commuted all of the death sentences in the state shortly before leaving office in 2003). This support has continued through his administration.

Another notable action of his term was a strict new ethics law. When campaigning for re-election in 2006, Blagojevich said that if his ethics law had been in place when former governor George Ryan had been in office, Ryan's corruption might not have occurred. Blagojevich also signed a comprehensive death penalty reform bill that was written by now-President Barack Obama (when he was serving as an Illinois State Senator) and the late U.S. Senator Paul M. Simon. Organized labor and African-Americans have become Blagojevich's staunchest political supporters. In 2008, he told a group of African-Americans that he sometimes considered himself the first African-American governor of Illinois.

Despite an annual budget crunch, Blagojevich has overseen record increases in funding for education every year without raising general sales or income taxes. He has been criticized by Republicans and many moderate Democrats for using funds from the state pension system in order to fund other spending.

Another early 2006 proposal included "PreSchool for All" for all three- and four-year-old children in Illinois. Legislation authorizing the program was adopted as part of the fiscal year 2007 budget.

On 10 January 2006, Blagojevich announced a proposal for a new $3 billion (US) spending plan for Illinois roads, mass transit, and schools, to be paid for by increased tax revenue and new gambling proposals (such as Keno and lottery games). The proposal met with immediate opposition by members of the Republican Party in Illinois and many Democrats, who viewed it as "an election year ploy." The suggestion to legalize Keno within Illinois was later withdrawn. As of 2008, Blagojevich had been unable to come to an agreement for five years in a row on a capital plan that would shore up Illinois infrastructure.

In March 2008, Blagojevich announced a bipartisan coalition, chaired by former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Former U.S. Congressman Glenn Poshard, to put together a capital construction package that could pass the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois Works Coalition toured the state and put together a compromise $34 billion package that relied on a lease of the Illinois Lottery, road funds, and expanded gambling for funding. The plan passed the Senate but stalled in the Illinois House, with opposition from Democrats.

Blagojevich has called the Illinois General Assembly into special session 36 times since assuming office, which is half of the total number of special sessions called since 1970. The sessions have been blamed for disrupting lawmakers' time off, while Blagojevich did not attend the sessions.

Blagojevich has not gotten along with many state Democrats while in office, with House and Senate Republican leaders Frank Watson and Tom Cross often refereeing among the Democrats. In 2008, Blagojevich even expressed fear that House Democrats would gain more seats and he would face more opposition.

Blagojevich's lieutenant governor is Pat Quinn, with whom he has had a sour relationship since taking office. Quinn and Blagojevich have publicly argued, among many other subjects, the latter's proposed "Gross Receipts Tax" to increase revenue for schools and other projects within Illinois. Quinn said in December 2008 that he had last spoken to Blagojevich in the summer of 2007. Blagojevich has also feuded with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Secretary of State Jesse White, and state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias-- who are all Democrats.

Blagojevich has had an ongoing feud "worthy of the Hatfields and McCoys" with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, a fiscal conservative who resists Blagojevich's proposed increases in state spending. Madigan has become Blagojevich's chief nemesis, blocking numerous Blagojevich proposals. Illinois senior Senator Dick Durbin said in 2008 that he receives many constituent complaints about the dispute between Blagojevich and Madigan, with letter writers wanting him to step in to negotiate. Durbin said the subject is also often talked about in the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. among the Illinois congressional delegation. However, Durbin joked that he'd rather go to Baghdad to mediate than Springfield. At one point in 2007, Blagojevich filed a lawsuit against Madigan after Madigan instructed lawmakers to not attend one of Blagojevich's scheduled special sessions on the budget.

Although Barack Obama served as an adviser to Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial campaign, by all accounts, Blagojevich and Obama have been estranged for years. Blagojevich did not endorse Obama in his 2004 United States Senate race, and Obama did not extend an invitation to Blagojevich to speak at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as he did Lisa Madigan, Hynes, and Giannoulias. Blagojevich has had a "friendly rapport" with the man who took over his congressional seat, Rahm Emanuel.

Following a 2007 meeting with Democratic State Senator Mike Jacobs, meant to convince Jacobs to vote for Blagojevich's health insurance proposals, Jacobs emerged telling reporters that the Governor "blew up at him like a 10-year-old child," acted as if he might hit Jacobs, screamed obscenities at him and threatened to ruin his political career if Jacobs didn't vote for the bill. Jacobs said if Blagojevich had talked to him like that at a tavern in East Moline, "I would have kicked his tail end." Blagojevich would not comment on the alleged incident. Jacobs said in 2008: "This is a governor who I don't think has a single ally, except for Senate president Emil Jones— and that's tenuous at best." Jones and Blagojevich have sometimes collaborated, while at other times disagreeing on funding for education.

In a 2008 Congressional race pitting Democratic state senator Debbie Halvorson against Republican Marty Ozinga, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran television ads attempting to help Halvorson by linking Republican Ozinga to Blagojevich, asserting that Ozinga had given campaign donations to the Democratic governor.

As of October 13, 2008 (well before Blagojevich's arrest), an unprecedented 0% of Illinois voters rated him "excellent" in a Rasmussen poll, with 4% rating him "good", 29% "fair", and 64% "poor". Blagojevich ranks as "Least Popular Governor" in the nation according to Rasmussen Reports By the Numbers.

On October 23, 2008, the Chicago Tribune reported that Blagojevich suffered the lowest ratings ever recorded for an elected politician in nearly three decades of Chicago Tribune polls. The survey of 500 registered likely voters conducted showed that 10% wanted Blagojevich re-elected in 2010, while three-fourths said they didn't want him back for a third term. The survey also showed only 13% approved of Blagojevich's performance, while 71% disapproved. Only eight percent of the state's voters believe Blagojevich has lived up to his promise to end corruption in government. 60% of Democrats did not want him to serve another term in office, and 54% disapproved of the job he had done. Among independent voters, 83% disapproved of his performance and 85% of them rejected a Blagojevich third term. Blagojevich said in October 2008 that if he were running for re-election this year, he would win, and the economy, not his federal investigations, had caused his unpopularity.

In February 2008, Blagojevich's approval ratings had been, by various accounts, 16% to the low 20s, which was lower than those of then-President George W. Bush in Illinois.

Recently, due to the corruption scandal, his approval ratings have sunk to 7%.

Blagojevich threatened to halt the state’s dealings with Bank of America Corp. over a shut-down factory in Chicago. On December 8, 2008, all state agencies were ordered to stop doing business with Bank of America to pressure the company to make the loans. Blagojevich said the biggest U.S. retail bank won’t get any more state business unless it restores credit to Republic Windows and Doors, whose workers were staging a sit-in. Workers called Blagojevich's leadership heroic. John Douglas, a former general counsel for the FDIC and attorney for Bank of America, called Blagojevich's worker support dangerous.

Although Gov. Rod Blagojevich campaigned on a promise to end corruption in Illinois government, his administration has been plagued by controversies similar to those of his predecessor, George Ryan, and a reputation for secrecy that has been noted by the Associated Press. To the surprise of many, Blagojevich said he agrees with the idea of commuting Ryan's federal prison sentence.

Regarding his decision to shut down the landfill despite the fact the landfill was owned by a relative, Blagojevich said, "This is the kind of thing that I think frankly separates the men from the boys in leadership. Do you have the testicular virility to make a decision like that knowing what's coming your way? I say I do." This remark was both ridiculed as an undignified comment for a governor as well as criticized for being sexist.

Mell said publicly at the time that a Blagojevich had traded state jobs for campaign contributions, but recanted after threat of a lawsuit.

Since 2005, Blagojevich has been the subject of at least a dozen separate federal investigations, involving accusations against at least 14 other people, including Blagojevich's former fundraiser Tony Rezko. In 2006, Blagojevich said that he has been targeted for investigation by "scoundrels" due to the change he brought as governor, such as his ethics reform bill.

On December 30, 2005, it was reported that a leasing deal reached for occupants of the remodeled Illinois Tollway oasis had come under investigation by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Those who signed the fast food contracts were reported to be connected to Blagojevich campaign fundraising. This is in addition to other investigations in the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Department of Corrections and the Department of Children and Family Services.

On June 30, 2006, it was revealed that state Attorney General Lisa Madigan had received a letter from United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, stating that Fitzgerald is looking into "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" in the Blagojevich administration, and thanking Madigan for turning over her office's investigation to the federal authorities.

In September 2006, it was revealed that Blagojevich had accepted a $1,500 check from Mike Ascaridis, whom the governor described as one of his closest friends, in 2003. The check was given two weeks after Ascaridis' wife, Beverly, received a state job at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Beverly Ascaridis received this appointment despite having failed a state hiring exam. Blagojevich initially asserted that the check was written as a seventh birthday gift to his older daughter. He later said it was a gift for his younger daughter's christening. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI are investigating the matter. In 2005, Beverly Ascaridis told investigators that she believed she had been hired in exchange for the check.

On October 2, 2006, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a company that contributed close to $120,000 to Blagojevich's 2002 gubernatorial campaign won a no-bid contract. Even though the contract was awarded by the Illinois' Capital Development Board, the board still reports to the governor.

On October 11, 2006, Blagojevich and Barack Obama fundraisers and businessmen Antonin "Tony" Rezko and Stuart Levine were indicted for participation in a scheme to obtain kickbacks from investment firms seeking business from two state boards. Levine pleaded guilty two weeks later and agreed to testify against Rezko.

The governor's wife, Patricia Blagojevich, was a business partner of Rezko's for at least a decade. In 2004, she received over $38,000 in real estate commissions from him.

In October 2006, it was revealed that Patricia Blagojevich, a licensed real estate broker, earned $113,700 in commissions from Anita and Amrish Mahajan. These were the only commissions earned by Patricia Blagojevich that year. Anita Mahajan owns a urinalysis company that holds a no-bid contract with the state Department of Children and Family Services. Amrish Mahajan is president of a bank that has two requests pending before state regulators to acquire two out-of-state banks.

Blagojevich was widely rumored to be the unnamed "Public Official A" mentioned in the Rezko indictment. The governor repeatedly denied that he was Public Official A, but on February 26, 2008, the judge in the case issued a ruling which confirmed his identity. A pretrial ruling in the case from U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve named the Blagojevich campaign and confirmed that Blagojevich was the intended beneficiary of at least one of Rezko's extortion attempts. Blagojevich was not charged in the indictment, although prosecutors have asserted in other court filings that he told a top Democratic fundraiser that he could steer contracts, legal work and investment banking in order to help with fundraising.

On April 3, 2008, Levine testified that Blagojevich was aware of a shakedown involving businessman and movie producer Tom Rosenberg in 2004. Levine said that when Rosenberg threatened to go to the authorities over what he saw as an extortion attempt, Rezko and the governor worked out a "damage control" plan. Rosenberg would get the contract, but would get no further business from the state. Levine told the jury that Blagojevich approved of this plan and told Rezko that the contract was "the last thing that Mr. Rosenberg should get from the state". Blagojevich's office responded by again denying that any such conduct took place. "We don't endorse or allow the awarding of contracts based on campaign contributions. We never have. We never will." a spokesman for the governor said.

Joseph Cari, Jr., the former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, testified that Blagojevich was at one time attempting to form a national fundraising presence in hopes of a run for President of the United States. Cari said that the governor told him that "contracts, legal work, investment banking work and consulting work" would be awarded to "people who helped". The governor's office again issued a denial after Cari's testimony.

On June 4, 2008, Rezko was convicted on 16 of the 24 counts against him. Facing decades in federal prison, it became clear that Rezko could cut his prison time significantly if he were to cooperate in ongoing investigations of other public figures, potentially including Blagojevich. On October 9, 2008, Rezko's sentencing was delayed indefinitely as he and his lawyers continued to talk with prosecutors in an effort to work out a deal.

The first signs of Rezko's willingness to give information to the authorities came with the October 30, 2008 indictment of longtime Illinois power broker and Blagojevich fund-raiser William Cellini. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, Levine and others to award contracts with the state's Teachers Retirement System (TRS) to companies which made campaign contributions to the Blagojevich campaign. The alleged extortion of Rosenberg was one of the instances specifically mentioned in Cellini's indictment.

In early October 2008, reports surfaced that another federal investigation was being conducted into whether Rezko had paid for the $90,000 renovation of Blagojevich's Chicago home.

In early 2006, after the appointment of Claudette Marie Muhammad, chief of protocol of the Nation of Islam, to the Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, five Jewish members of this commission resigned. Muhammad distanced herself from statements subsequently made by Louis Farrakhan about "false Jews, wicked Jews," and Blagojevich has promised to "oversee meaningful dialogue with leaders of the Jewish, black and gay communities." Despite this, the Anti-Defamation League and anti-discrimination groups called for her removal from the state panel. The resignation or removal of fellow commission member Rick Garcia has also been called for by the Illinois Family Institute, over statements made by Garcia about Francis Cardinal George. Republican candidate for Governor Jim Oberweis echoed the call for Garcia's removal or resignation in an e-mail release as part of his campaign for the Illinois Republican gubernatorial nomination.

In the midst of the Rezko trial, the Chicago Tribune reported on what it called a "$25,000 Club" in which 75% of businesses, unions and individuals that gave a $25,000 donation to Rod Blagojevich's political campaign received benefits from the State of Illinois, including state contracts and appointments to state boards.

In July 2003, Friends of Blagojevich received a $10,000 campaign contribution from the Elevator Constructors Local 2 PAC fund. In the same month three Union Officers received appointments to the Illinois Elevator Safety Board: (1) The President of Elevator Constructors Local 2 (Chicago) Stephen Hynes was appointed as the labor representative, (2) the Business Manager of Elevator Constructors Local 55 (Peoria) Roderick Gillis was appointed as a representative of a municipality with a population under 25,000 and (3) Local 2 Business Manager and Elevator Constructors Vice President Frank J. Christensen was appointed as Chairman of the Illinois Elevator Safety Board by Governor Blagojevich. Christensen was eligible to serve as Chair because he was also appointed as a representative of a municipality between 25,000 and 50,000. Christensen is a resident of Tinley Park, IL that had a population of 48,401 in the official 2000 census. Critics challenged his eligibility because at the time of Christensen's appointment in 2003, the village of Tinley Park had a population in excess of 53,000. Christensen and the Business Manager of Elevator Constructors Local 55, Roderick Gillis were reappointed to their same board positions in 2007 by Governor Blagojevich. Tinley Park's population was in excess of 58,000 in 2007.

WBBM-TV in Chicago reported on March 4, 2008 that the Safety Board appointments are expected to come up at the Rezko trial. On March 8, 2008, the Department of Justice released more court documents showing Rezko's ties to Blagojevich administration fundraising. Included in the ten page document, it reveals the July 23, 2003; $10,000 Elevator Constructors Local 2 PAC fund contribution went through Tony Rezko on July 24, 2003 and deposited into Blagojevich's coffers on July 25, 2003.

As Governor of Illinois, Blagojevich is entitled to live in the Illinois Executive Mansion, located in the state capital of Springfield. However, he and his family have opted to remain in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood on Chicago's Northside. Blagojevich cited an unwillingness to move his older daughter away from home, and a Chicago Sun-Times columnist speculated that another reason might be Blagojevich's wife's Chicago real estate business. As Springfield state agencies became populated with workers who commuted from Chicago during the week, and the Blagojevich family shunned the use of the Mansion even for one-night stays, onlookers have written that Blagojevich "disdains" Springfield and that Blagojevich "ignored" southern Illinois "more than any governor in Illinois history." Past governors have lived in Springfield or have at least stayed there during legislative sessions, while Blagojevich stayed in Chicago during legislative sessions. He has spent little time at the Illinois State Capitol. The decision not to live in the governor's mansion "offended many Illinoisans" and "infuriated just about every legislator"; Blagojevich also upset many by canceling the annual Halloween trick-or-treating at the mansion.

During July and part of August 2007, Illinois lawmakers were in a deadlock over approving a state budget. In light of this, Blagojevich faced "immense" criticism for choosing to take daily commutes between Chicago and Springfield rather than stay in Springfield. The round trip on a state plane costs nearly $6,000, and Blagojevich made the trip nine times during the 2007 budget crisis between May 22 and June 7, costing Illinois taxpayers more than $75,000 according to state transportation records. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted that a commercial round-trip flight between Springfield and Chicago can be had on short notice for between $500 and $700. State senator Chris Lauzen, head of the legislature's audit committee, noted that the cost was more than a teacher's annual salary. After ridicule from lawmakers, voters, and editorial cartoonists, Blagojevich stopped the daily flights home. In December 2007, the Associated Press released an analysis of Blagojevich's 2007 state travel and found that $225,000 of it had been for personal reasons, rather than official business.

During the budget crisis, Blagojevich had criticized state lawmakers for not working five days a week, with his spokeswoman saying, "Everyone in America works five days a week and is expected to put in full-time work in order to complete their jobs" on June 4. Travel records showed that Blagojevich had flown into Springfield in May and June an average of three days a week, arriving about noon and sometimes staying for as little as three hours before returning to Chicago, less than 200 hours in total during the three months. Blagojevich was criticized by even Democratic lawmakers for what they saw as hypocrisy. Rep. John Fritchey called Blagojevich's criticism "tantamount to lunacy" once his own work schedule was examined, and Fritchey also raised the issue of Blagojevich's lack of time spent in his Chicago office in the James R. Thompson Center, saying: "He governs out of his house or out of his campaign office. That's an odd way to govern." In November 2007, Chicago television station WBBM-TV watched Blagojevich's home during normal business hours, "repeatedly finding the governor at home during normal business hours with no one other than his family coming and going.” Former employees assert that Blagojevich does not appear at his Chicago office that often.

According to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Blagojevich threatened to revoke funds to Children's Memorial Hospital after its chief executive officer did not give a $50,000 contribution to the governor's campaign.

At 6:15 a.m. on December 9, 2008, FBI special agents arrested Blagojevich and John Harris, the governor's chief of staff. After the simultaneous arrest at their homes, they were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago. According to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court, Blagojevich is accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as soliciting bribes. It is specifically alleged that he attempted to benefit financially from his sole authority to fill the US Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. The complaint alleged that Blagojevich went on a profanity-laced tirade, saying that the Senate seat "is a ... valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing". The affidavit says that in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich sought to be appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Energy, or ambassador, or alternatively, that he could receive a lucrative job offer from a union in return for designating a pro-union appointee. He allegedly also mentioned corporate boards his wife could be appointed to, for which she could receive $150,000 a year compensation. If he could receive nothing for the seat, the indictment says, Blagojevich considered appointing himself, to position himself for a 2016 presidential run and to give himself increased resources to mount any potential legal defense.

Following Blagojevich's arrest, he faced calls from members of both parties to resign. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn said in a news conference that the possibility of stepping aside "should certainly be considered by the governor today. I think he knows what he needs to do for the people." The following day, Quinn went further, stating "This is a crisis of confidence of people in their government in a democracy... The governor has to resign, or at the very least step aside." The state's other top elected officials--Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Secretary of State Jesse White--have also called for Blagojevich to resign.

On December 10, Obama issued a statement calling for Blagojevich's resignation. He reiterated this in a press conference the next day, saying that he does not think Blagojevich "can effectively serve the people of Illinois" and that his former Senate seat "belongs to the people." He also stated that to his knowledge, "no representatives of mine" had engaged in any dealmaking with the governor.

Leaders of both the state house and state senate are considering a special session in order to strip Blagojevich of his power to appoint a replacement for Obama. There is also growing support for impeaching the governor and removing him from office as well.

On December 10, all 50 remaining Senate Democrats signed a letter calling for Blagojevich to resign and demanding that he not appoint a replacement for Obama. The letter also said that if Blagojevich did appoint a successor, "we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated"--seemingly indicating that any Blagojevich-appointed replacement would not be allowed to serve. Earlier, Illinois' remaining Senator, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, urged the state legislature to quickly set a special election to fill Obama's vacant Senate seat, saying that any appointment by Blagojevich would not be legitimate. On December 12, Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking Blagojevich's temporary removal from office (i.e. removal of his powers & duties of office) and naming Quinn acting governor. Failing that, Madigan sought a temporary injunction barring Blagojevich from appointing a replacement for Obama. She had originally said she would only go to the Supreme Court as a last resort if the General Assembly failed to impeach the governor. However, she said in a press conference that she felt the federal charges were too severe to wait for the legislature to act. On December 15, the Illinois House voted 113-0 to begin impeachment proceedings.

Madigan further stated that "We have given the governor six days to resign." He also has stated that the committee will commence its review on December 16 and work every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day until they have completed their report. Blagojevich, personally or through any legal counsel he may employ, will be able represent himself in an appearance before the committee. The Illinois House will decide whether to file impeachment charges after the committee completes its review. The Illinois Senate will then rule on the impeachment charges. Quinn said the impeachment process could be completed before the commencement of the new Illinois General Assembly on January 14. Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie was the chairperson of the Special Committee on Impeachment. When the Illinois House voted that the Illinois Senate should hold impeachment hearings, the Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald became the preside judge over the hearing instead of the Illinois Senate President, according to the Illinois Constitution.

Madigan stated that the impeachment committee would only consider the pending criminal charges. Other possible wrongdoing during Blagojevich's six-year reign such as abuse of power, taking action without legal authority, ignoring state laws and defying lawful requests for information from the General Assembly would also be considered for review. Currie confirmed that the panel's lines of inquiry would be official misconduct, abuse of power, actions without legal authority, failure to follow state law and failure to respond to requests for information from the administration. She further stated that among the controversial actions under review by the committee would be the Blagojevich administration's purchase of a flu vaccine that was never distributed and his unilateral decision to send a $1 million grant to a private school that was damaged when the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church was destroyed by fire. She also warned that the panel's interest in investigating alleged criminal activities surrounding Blagojevich may be affected by how much cooperation was forthcoming from federal investigators. Madigan stated that a formal written information request was being submitted to Fitzgerald. On December 30, Fitzgerald filed a motion to allow the impeachment committee to hear the conversations recorded by wiretap during his federal investigation.

On January 8, after the testimony by Roland Burris concluded, the 21-member bipartisan committee on impeachment voted unanimously to recommend that the House vote to have the Senate begin impeachment proceedings. They came to this decision after Fitzgerald determined not to produce any evidence or witnesses from his ongoing criminal prosecution. The following day, the full House voted 114–1 to begin the first-ever impeachment of an Illinois governor. Rep. Elga L. Jefferies from the South Side of Chicago voted present. Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached and the sixteenth in United States history. Seven of the previous fifteen have been found guilty. A two-thirds super majority is required to convict him on any of the thirteen articles of impeachment.

The specific allegations largely follow the claims in the federal criminal investigation. The House charged Blagojevich with "abuse of power" by engaging in "a plot to obtain a personal benefit in exchange for his appointment to fill the vacant seat in the United States Senate." They also charged him with plotting to divert casino gambling revenues to the horse racing industry in exchange for campaign contributions, among other alleged misdeeds. Another charge is that Blagojevich threatened to withhold $8 million in Medicaid reimbursements to a children's hospital if an executive failed to make a $50,000 campaign contribution. The governor is also accused of trying to have a Chicago Tribune writer and certain members of the editorial board who had been critical of the governor fired by withholding state financing for a stadium project that would help the newspaper's parent company, which filed for Chapter 11 the day before the allegations against Blagojevich were announced.

On January 14, Blagojevich presided over the first meeting of the new session of the Illinois Senate. He performed his role of swearing in new State Senators. The new session of the Illinois House of representatives also convened on that day and voted to affirm the impeachment vote of the prior session with only Blagojevich's sister-in-law Deborah Mell dissenting. The impeachment trial began on January 26, 2009. Blagojevich boycotted attending his own hearings, referring to them as a Kangaroo court. On January 26, in his first cable television news interview since his November 2008 arrest, Blagojevich derided the process while talking with Geraldo Rivera. Neither the governor nor his lawyer, Ed Genson, was present in Springfield, Illinois on the first day of the hearing. Blagojevich spent the day in New York City making media appearances on a myriad of shows including Good Morning America and The View.

Blagojevich was removed from office through a unanimous vote by the Illinois State Senate on January 29, 2009.

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Jil Tracy

Jil Tracy

Jil Tracy is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 93rd district since her appointment in July 2006.

Tracy's current committee assignments are Consumer Protection, Local Government, Aging, Rural Economic Development, Higher Education, Juvenile Justice Reform, and Transportation & Motor Vehicles.

Tracy was appointed by Attorney General Jim Ryan in 1997 to serve as Illinois Assistant Attorney General and Director of the West Central Regional Office. She continued in that office under Attorney General Lisa Madigan until 2004.

Tracy graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1979. Tracy practiced law in the Mt. Sterling area from 1980 to 1997. While in private practice, she served as the attorney for the City of Mt. Sterling, the Mt. Sterling Fire Protection District, and the villages of Ripley and Mounds Station.

Tracy's husband, Jim, is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Dot Foods. Dot Foods was founded in 1960 by Jim Tracy's parents, Robert and Dorothy Tracy. Dot Foods is headquartered in Mt. Sterling, Illinois and is one of the largest food distribution companies in the nation.

Tracy lives in Mt. Sterling with her husband, Jim, and their four children.

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Rod Blagojevich corruption charges

Lisa Madigan convocation.JPG

Rod Blagojevich, former Governor of Illinois, has been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2005 for corruption. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris were charged with corruption by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald; but the federal investigation is ongoing. As a result of the scandal, Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office by the Illinois Senate.

The investigation became public knowledge when a federal judge revealed that Blagojevich was the "Public Official A" in the indictment of Tony Rezko. The case gained widespread attention with the simultaneous arrests of Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, on December 9, 2008, at their homes by federal agents. Blagojevich and Harris were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes. The case involved sweeping pay to play and influence peddling allegations, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for Barack Obama, who had resigned after being elected President of the United States. United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama.

After the arrest, Illinois elected officials began calling on Blagojevich to resign. The 50 members of the U.S. Senate's Democratic caucus called on Blagojevich to not appoint a senator and pledged not to seat anyone he attempted to appoint. Legislators introduced bills in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to remove the Governor's power to appoint a senator and require a special election; however, no such bill passed. Blagojevich did eventually appoint Roland Burris to the seat. Despite attempts to keep Burris from taking the seat, he was eventually allowed to take the oath of office. However, he has since become a target for detractors who question his whether he has been honest in his filings to attain the seat.

Within days after Blagojevich's arrest, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking to declare the Governor "unable to serve" and strip him of the powers of his office. The court denied the request. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Mike Madigan (the Attorney General's father) announced that on December 16 he would begin impeachment proceedings. The state House impeached Blagojevich on January 9, 2009, and the state Senate convicted him on January 29, thereby removing him; they also disqualified him from holding further office in the state.

The public scandal and turmoil began with arrests of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, and his Chief of Staff John Harris at 6:15 a.m. on December 9, 2008, at their homes by deputies of the United States Marshals Service on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Blagojevich and Harris were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of soliciting bribes. The case involved sweeping pay to play and influence peddling allegations, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for Barack Obama, who had resigned after being elected President of the United States. United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama. The cases are part of a broader federal investigation by Fitzgerald code-named Operation Board Games that had been going on for three years in which 15 people have been charged by Fitzgerald.

Prior to the scandal, Blagojevich considered himself as a contender for the 2016 presidential election, but was willing to pursue an interim position as a United States Cabinet member, United States ambassador, or high profile corporate titan instead. The governor's statutory power to appoint a replacement for Obama in the U.S. Senate was something that Blagojevich viewed as convertible currency of the form that could assure this future. Soon after the Presidential election, it became very clear to Fitzgerald from his wiretaps that a sale of the Senate seat was imminent; Fitzgerald immediately pressed for Blagojevich's arrest. After the arrest, the prosecution began proceedings to obtain an indictment from a grand jury, a process that was granted an extension to April 7, 2009.

On January 2, 2009 Governor Blagojevich's federal security clearance was revoked.

In the wake of the scandal reform measures are being proposed. Wisconsin Senator Russell Feingold, who is the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights, has stated that he will introduce a constitutional amendment requiring vacant Senate seats be filled by special elections, as the House of Representatives requires.

Following Blagojevich's arrest, United States Senator Richard Durbin issued a statement regarding the prospective gubernatorial appointment to replace Barack Obama in the Senate: "No appointment by this governor, under these circumstances, could produce a credible replacement". Durbin urged the Illinois General Assembly to quickly set a special election to replace Obama. Durbin noted that Illinois has a need to call a 2009 House of Representatives special election to replace then-Representative and White House Chief of Staff-designate Rahm Emanuel in Illinois's 5th congressional district. Then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones stated that he would call a session to consider legislation to establish a special election to fill the Obama Senate seat vacancy. Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, said that he would call the House of Representatives into session to consider a special election.

Bills were introduced in both houses that would have revoked the Governor's statutory authority to appoint a senator, and would have required a special election instead. Neither house debated the bills, nor were they enacted.

Barack Obama requested that Blagojevich resign.

In the midst of the controversy, on December 31, 2008, Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris, a former Illinois Attorney General and the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Illinois, to the vacated Senate seat. Blagojevich stated that, per the Illinois state constitution, he had sole authority to make such an appointment and that it was his duty to ensure Illinois was fully represented in the Senate. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White refused to certify Burris' selection for the vacant Senate seat.

Under the United States Constitution, members of the United States Senate have the final say on who is accepted as a member of the Senate. One of their standing rules – Rule 2 – requires a senator-designate's credentials to be signed by the state's governor and secretary of state. On January 6, when the 111th United States Congress opened its session, the Secretary of the United States Senate Nancy Erickson rejected Burris's credentials because White had not signed the certificate of appointment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ordered that Burris be turned away from the Senate. The lone Democrat to show support for Burris' nomination was Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Diane Feinstein, who recognized the propriety of the appointment based on the statutory authority of the Illinois Governor. On January 7, Burris met with Reid and Durbin, the two ranking Senate leaders who stated their support was conditional upon Burris both obtaining the signature of the Illinois secretary of state and testifying under oath before Illinois House of Representatives committee investigating impeachment.

After the court's ruling, White provided Burris with a certified copy, which bears the Seal of the State of Illinois, of the appointment's registration, which Burris delivered to the Secretary of the Senate. On January 12, 2009, after deeming Burris' credentials valid, the Senate decided to seat Burris. Burris was sworn in on January 15, 2009, by President of the Senate Dick Cheney.

Burris filed an affidavit with the Illinois House committee that oversaw Governor Blagojevich’s impeachment, dated February 5, to supplement his earlier answer to a question posed by the committee. Burris acknowledged Rob Blagojevich requested "assistance in fund-raising" for the governor three times in the weeks and months before Blagojevich appointed Burris. Burris said he told Rob Blagojevich that he could not donate to Gov. Blagojevich because "it could be viewed as an attempt to curry favor with him regarding his decision to appoint a successor to President Obama." Burris stated that he neither donated to nor raised funds for Blagojevich after a fund-raiser on June 27, 2008. Saying that this is at odds with Burris' testimony during the impeachment trial, Illinois House Republicans are considering pursuing a perjury investigation. Democratic officials, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, support an investigation.

On February 16, in comments to reporters, Burris acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was making a pitch to be appointed to the Senate. Burris is accused of lying during his January 8 testimony to the Illinois House of Representatives and the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics has opened a preliminary investigation into the matter. Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan has forwarded materials for review in the Illinois state capital, Springfield, IL and expulsion from the United States Senate is considered a possibility even though only 15 persons have previously been expelled, most recently in 1862. Expulsion would require a simple majority vote by the committee and a two-thirds supermajority vote by the full Senate. In the subsequent days, records came out that showed Burris to have misrepresented a list of his lobbying clients. The series of controversies prompted Durbin to refer to it as the embarrassing "Blagojevich burlesque" and he mentioned that a resignation might relieve the situation. Illinois Governor Quinn called a press conference to request a resignation for the good of the Illinois citizens. Several Democrats called for Burris' resignation; the Obama Administration asked that he reconsider his future, and a pair of employees resigned from Burris' staff. On February 21, Burris met with federal authorities regarding his involvement in the matter.

Durbin requested a meeting with Burris on February 24 to discuss the disclosures. Durbin said that during the meeting he advised him to resign: "I told him under the circumstances that I would consider resigning," Durbin told reporters. However, Durbin said that Burris had stated that he would not: "He said he would not resign." Durbin also inquered about Burris' plans for the 2010 United States Senate elections and relayed to Burris that he would be very unlikely to succeed in the primary or general election. Quinn endorsed a special election to replace Burris, but there was vocal and procedural resistance in the Illinois General Assembly. On February 25, Lisa Madigan confirmed the constitutionality of moving forward a direct election for the seat formerly held by Obama to a targeted May 26 date. The following day, a story unfolded involving Burris' son who obtained a $75,000 job under Rod Blagojevich on September 10 as a senior counsel for the state's housing authority — about six weeks after the Internal Revenue Service placed a $34,163 tax lien on Burris II and three weeks after a mortgage company filed a foreclosure suit on his South Side house.

Apparently Blagojevich was aware that Barack Obama would have preferred "Senate Candidate #1" (Valerie Jarrett), and he allegedly made efforts to obtain favors in exchange for appointing Jarrett for the U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich said in a conversation with his chief of staff, in reference to what Obama would give him in exchange for Jarrett's appointment, "All they're going to give me in return is gratitude. The Senate seat's a fucking valuable thing. Fuck them." There was public speculation as to whether Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel had a role in any discussions with the governor's office. An internal investigation by the Obama team stated that Emanuel had communicated with the Governor's office about who might be appointed to the Obama seat, but nothing unethical or inappropriate had transpired.

On December 10, Obama called for Blagojevich's resignation.

In a December 11 press conference, Obama stated that he, his staff and his transition team were not involved in any corrupt activity, and that his staff had been exonerated by the 76-page FBI affidavit. He stated that, not only had he never engaged the governor on the topic of his Senate seat, but he was "confident that no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat." His administration compiled a summary of who might have known what at various times. Obama stated that he did not think Blagojevich could "effectively serve the people of Illinois" and that his former Senate seat "belongs to the people." He also stated that to his knowledge, no representatives of his had engaged in any dealmaking with the governor.

Had he pled guilty to the charges, Blagojevich would have been automatically forced to resign as the Illinois Constitution does not allow convicted felons to hold office.

On December 13 and 14, Blagojevich's attorney Ed Genson, at hearings by the Illinois House of Representatives' Special Committee on Impeachment, stated that the Governor would not resign.

Blagojevich faced calls from members of both major parties and prominent politicians to resign. On December 9, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn said in a news conference that Blagojevich should temporarily step aside from his office. On December 10, he went further and called for Blagojevich to resign, and also raised questions about his mental health. The state's other top elected officials—Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Secretary of State Jesse White—also called for Blagojevich to resign.

Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean also called for the governor to step down.

Illinois' remaining Senator, Majority Whip Dick Durbin, urged the state legislature to quickly set a special election to fill Obama's vacant Senate seat, saying that any appointment by Blagojevich would not be legitimate.

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, Illinois Congressman John Shimkus, and many Illinois state legislators from both parties also called for Blagojevich to resign.

House Speaker Madigan felt it would be inappropriate to make a statement calling for a resignation or a statement supporting an impeachment because he would have to preside over any impeachment debate.

On December 19, 2008, at the Thompson Center, Blagojevich said he "has done nothing wrong" and would not resign as governor in the face of federal corruption charges. He added that he would "answer in the appropriate forum: in a court of law," where he believed he would be "vindicated," vowing to fight “false accusations and a political lynch mob.” He proceeded to quote from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If—." After reading the prepared statement, Blagojevich exited the room and did not take any questions.

On December 12, 2008, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan began legal proceedings in the Illinois Supreme Court to have Blagojevich declared "unfit to serve" in case he did not resign.

Madigan filed a motion with the Illinois Supreme Court asking it to temporarily suspend Blagojevich's powers by declaring him unable to serve and name Lieutenant Governor Quinn as acting governor. Failing that, Madigan sought a temporary injunction barring Blagojevich from appointing a replacement for Obama. She said that given the nature of the charges, the situation was too severe to wait for the legislature to act. The Supreme Court, however, in orders without opinions, denied Madigan leave to file the complaint; it denied the motion for temporary relief, and it denied a private individuals' motion for leave to file a complaint to remove the governor from office.

According to the FBI affidavit, Blagojevich attempted to have Chicago Tribune writers fired for discussing his possible impeachment. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat representing Illinois's 9th congressional district, called for impeachment proceedings to begin should Blagojevich not resign promptly.

On December 15, the sixth day after the scandal broke with no resignation by the Governor, the Illinois House voted 113–1 to begin impeachment proceedings. This was the first impeachment inquiry against an Illinois Governor. Also on December 15, Illinois House Speaker Madigan formed a bipartisan committee of inquiry within the House of Representatives.

Madigan further stated, "We have given the governor six days to resign." He also stated that the committee would work every day except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day until they had completed their report. The Illinois House would decide whether to impeach after the committee completed its review. The Illinois Senate would then have a trial to remove the Governor from office. Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie was the chairperson of the Special Committee on Impeachment.

Madigan stated the impeachment committee would consider the pending criminal charges as well as review other possible wrongdoing during Blagojevich's term such as abuse of power, taking action without legal authority, ignoring state laws, and defying lawful requests for information from the General Assembly. Currie further stated that among the controversial actions under review by the committee would be the Blagojevich administration's purchase of a flu vaccine that was never distributed and his unilateral decision to send a $1 million grant to a private school that was damaged when the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church was destroyed by fire. She also warned that the panel's interest in investigating alleged criminal activities surrounding Blagojevich might be affected by how much cooperation was forthcoming from federal investigators, which was supported by a formal written request to Prosecutor Fitzgerald. On December 30, Fitzgerald filed a motion to allow the impeachment committee to hear the conversations recorded by wiretap during his federal investigation.

On January 8, after the testimony by Roland Burris, the 21-member bipartisan committee on impeachment voted unanimously to recommend that the House impeach the Governor. The following day, the full House voted 114–1 to impeach the governor. After the Illinois House impeached Blagojevich, the Illinois Senate held a trial at which Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald presided. Under the Illinois Constitution, it was Fitzgerald's duty, rather than Senate President's, because the accused was the governor.

Blagojevich was the sixteenth governor in the United States and the first Illinois governor to be impeached. Seven of the previous fifteen were removed.

On January 14, the new session of the Illinois House of Representatives convened and voted to affirm the impeachment vote of the prior session with only Blagojevich's sister-in-law Deborah Mell dissenting.

The impeachment trial in the Illinois State Senate began on January 26, 2009. Blagojevich boycotted attending his own hearings, referring to them as a kangaroo court. Neither the governor nor his lawyer was present in Springfield, Illinois on the first day of the trial. Blagojevich spent the day in New York City making media appearances on a myriad of shows including Good Morning America and The View. In his absence, a "not guilty" plea was automatically entered on his behalf. On the same day, in a cable television news interview with Geraldo Rivera, Blagojevich derided the whole process. Lead attorney Ed Genson announced that he was withdrawing from representing Blagojevich, saying "I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen." Blagojevich was in New York again the next day continuing an apparent attempt to upstage the hearings with eleven media appointments at places such as The Early Show, and The Associated Press. Blagojevich insisted that unlike Richard Nixon who did not want his tapes heard during Watergate, he wanted his tapes heard in order to reveal the whole truth, which he felt would vindicate him.

On January 27, Federal prosecutors played four recordings from among the thousands of intercepted calls from Blagojevich's home and campaign offices. Although lawmakers trying to build an impeachment case wanted to hear more, the prosecutors feared further collaboration could jeopardize the criminal case against the governor. The recordings played at the impeachment trial were taped in November and December and revealed efforts by Blagojevich to collect money from a horse track owner in exchange for signing legislation benefiting the racing industry, prosecutors said. State Senator Dan Cronin said hearing the recordings "hits me right here in the stomach. It sort of reminds me of some Hollywood movie or a couple of thugs in a car driving around." Daniel Cain, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who investigated Blagojevich for years, also testified on January 27 and answered questions that did not extend to information not presented in the affidavit.

On January 28, Blagojevich requested the opportunity to deliver his own closing arguments, although he would not testify or submit himself to cross-examination. The Senate allowed Blagojevich to file an appearance late, enabling him to make a 90-minute closing argument.

The following day, January 29, the prosecution delivered a 40-minute closing argument. Blagojevich then delivered his 47-minute closing arguments in defense. Among Blagojevich's statement were continuing reminders that he believed the process to be tainted because it did not allow him to call witnesses or challenge the evidence (although, as the Chicago Tribune reported two days earlier, the process did in fact allow the governor to call witnesses and challenge the evidence, but Blagojevich had done neither by the deadline). The prosecution then made a 12-minute rebuttal.

After a recess, the Senate debated the vote on the article of impeachment. Under the Illinois Constitution, a two-thirds majority, or 41 votes, was required to convict him on the article of impeachment. After several hours of deliberations, Rod Blagojevich was convicted and removed from office by a vote of 59–0. He was also barred from holding further office in Illinois by a second vote of 59–0. Shortly after the vote, the lieutenant governor, Pat Quinn was sworn in as the new Governor.

During the federal investigation leading up to the arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigations used wire taps at both the Governor's campaign offices and his home phone.

Rather than identifying subject individuals by name, the FBI sworn affidavit used aliases to refer to people not necessarily accused of any crimes including the six people Blagojevich was considering appointing to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

The affidavit said that a representative of Senate Candidate 5 had proposed having the candidate raise up to $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for being appointed to the Senate. There was speculation by some that Senate Candidate 5 is the next most prone to criminal action of those not already arrested. Reports only show communications between Blagojevich and a representative of Senate Candidate 5 however.

ABC News reported that federal law enforcement officials identified Jesse Jackson, Jr. as Senate Candidate 5. Jackson, who was asked for an interview by federal agents, denied that anyone on his behalf had offered anything for the Senate seat. Jackson claimed not to be a target of an investigation, but admitted to being questioned. Also WLS-TV reported December 15 that Jackson notified investigators that Blagojevich refused to appoint Jackson's wife, Sandi, as state lottery director because Jackson refused to donate $25,000 to the governor's campaign fund.

The affidavit says that Blagojevich knew "that the President-elect want Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat," but Blagojevich was upset that "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation, so fuck them". The Washington Post identified Senate Candidate 1 as Valerie Jarrett.

Other prospects for the Senate seat, including Rep. Danny Davis and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said that they had not been contacted by federal authorities. Madigan confirmed that she is Senate Candidate 2 in the indictment. An anonymous source described Louanner Peters as being Senate Candidate 4.

On December 10, 2008, Illinois Deputy Governor Bob Greenlee resigned, with his lawyer saying the reason for the resignation should be obvious. Reportedly, Greenlee was the colleague who advised Blagojevich to pursue the cabinet position of Secretary of Energy because it was the one that "makes the most money." Deputy Governor A is also named as the person who supposedly attempted to coerce the Chicago Tribune on Blagojevich's behalf. Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Jones. and Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth were also under consideration, and could be one of the other unidentified candidates.

The 76-page FBI affidavit included extensive detail of various acts by the governor including a November 10 call between Blagojevich, Harris, his wife, and a group of advisers in which Harris had formulated an agreement with the Service Employees International Union. Harris proposed that Blagojevich would appoint a new senator who would be helpful to the president in exchange for a job as head of the union-formed group Change to Win. The union would receive an unspecified favor from Obama later under the plan.

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Social engineering (security)

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victim.

Pretexting is the act of creating and using an invented scenario (the pretext) to persuade a targeted victim to release information or perform an action and is typically done over the telephone. It is more than a simple lie as it most often involves some prior research or set up and the use of pieces of known information (e.g. for impersonation: date of birth, Social Security Number, last bill amount) to establish legitimacy in the mind of the target.

This technique is often used to trick a business into disclosing customer information, and is used by private investigators to obtain telephone records, utility records, banking records and other information directly from junior company service representatives. The information can then be used to establish even greater legitimacy under tougher questioning with a manager (e.g., to make account changes, get specific balances, etc).

As most U.S. companies still authenticate a client by asking only for a Social Security Number, date of birth, or mother's maiden name, the method is effective in many situations and will likely continue to be a security problem in the future.

Pretexting can also be used to impersonate co-workers, police, bank, tax authorities, or insurance investigators — or any other individual who could have perceived authority or right-to-know in the mind of the targeted victim. The pretexter must simply prepare answers to questions that might be asked by the victim. In some cases all that is needed is a voice that sounds authoritative, an earnest tone, and an ability to think on one's feet.

Phishing is a technique of fraudulently obtaining private information. Typically, the phisher sends an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate business — a bank, or credit card company — requesting "verification" of information and warning of some dire consequence if it is not provided. The e-mail usually contains a link to a fraudulent web page that seems legitimate — with company logos and content — and has a form requesting everything from a home address to an ATM card's PIN.

For example, 2003 saw the proliferation of a phishing scam in which users received e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming that the user’s account was about to be suspended unless a link provided was clicked to update a credit card (information that the genuine eBay already had). Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site resemble a legitimate organization's site by mimicking the HTML code, the scam counted on people being tricked into thinking they were being contacted by eBay and subsequently, were going to eBay’s site to update their account information. By spamming large groups of people, the “phisher” counted on the e-mail being read by a percentage of people who already had listed credit card numbers with eBay legitimately, who might respond.

This technique uses a rogue Interactive voice response (IVR) system to recreate a legitimate sounding copy of a bank or other institution's IVR system. The victim is prompted (typically via a phishing e-mail) to call in to the "bank" via a (ideally toll free) number provided in order to "verify" information. A typical system will reject log-ins continually, ensuring the victim enters PINs or passwords multiple times, often disclosing several different passwords. More advanced systems transfer the victim to the attacker posing as a customer service agent for further questioning.

One could even record the typical commands ("Press one to change your password, press two to speak to customer service" ...) and play back the direction manually in real time, giving the appearance of being an IVR without the expense.

The technical name for phone phishing, is vishing.

Baiting is like the real-world Trojan Horse that uses physical media and relies on the curiosity or greed of the victim.

In this attack, the attacker leaves a malware infected floppy disc, CD ROM, or USB flash drive in a location sure to be found (bathroom, elevator, sidewalk, parking lot), gives it a legitimate looking and curiosity-piquing label, and simply waits for the victim to use the device.

For example, an attacker might create a disk featuring a corporate logo, readily available off the target's web site, and write "Executive Salary Summary Q2 2009" on the front. The attacker would then leave the disk on the floor of an elevator or somewhere in the lobby of the targeted company. An unknowing employee might find it and subsequently insert the disk into a computer to satisfy their curiosity, or a good samaritan might find it and turn it in to the company.

In either case as a consequence of merely inserting the disk into a computer to see the contents, the user would unknowingly install malware on it, likely giving an attacker unfettered access to the victim's PC and perhaps, the targeted company's internal computer network.

Unless computer controls block the infection, PCs set to "auto-run" inserted media may be compromised as soon as a rogue disk is inserted.

Common confidence tricksters or fraudsters also could be considered "social engineers" in the wider sense, in that they deliberately deceive and manipulate people, exploiting human weaknesses to obtain personal benefit. They may, for example, use social engineering techniques as part of an IT fraud.

Reformed computer criminal and later, security consultant Kevin Mitnick popularized the term 'social engineering', pointing out that it is much easier to trick someone into giving a password for a system than to spend the effort to hack into the system. He claims it was the single most effective method in his arsenal.

Ramy, Muzher, and Shadde Badir - brothers, all of whom were blind from birth, managed to set up an extensive phone and computer fraud scheme in Israel in the 1990s using social engineering, voice impersonation, and Braille-display computers.

Other noted social engineers include Frank Abagnale, Dave Buchwald, David Bannon, Peter Foster, Will Ronco, Otten, Carlton Johnson Jr(White Hat), Razi Shaban, Atheyst and Steven Jay Russell.

In common law, pretexting is an invasion of privacy tort of appropriation.

In December 2006, United States Congress approved a Senate sponsored bill making the pretexting of telephone records a federal felony with fines of up to $250,000 and ten years in prison for individuals (or fines of up to $500,000 for companies). It was signed by president George W. Bush on January 12, 2007.

The 1999 The "GLBA" is a U.S. Federal law that specifically addresses pretexting of banking records as an illegal act punishable under federal statutes.

When a business entity such as a private investigator, SIU insurance investigator, or an adjuster conducts any type of deception, it falls under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This federal agency has the obligation and authority to ensure that consumers are not subjected to any unfair or deceptive business practices.

The statute states that when someone obtains any personal, non-public information from a financial institution or the consumer, their action is subject to the statute. It relates to the consumer's relationship with the financial institution. For example, a pretexter using false pretenses either to get a consumer's address from the consumer's bank, or to get a consumer to disclose the name of his or her bank, would be covered. The determining principle is that pretexting only occurs when information is obtained through false pretenses.

While the sale of cell telephone records has gained significant media attention, and telecommunications records are the focus of the two bills currently before the United States Senate, many other types of private records are being bought and sold in the public market. Alongside many advertisements for cell phone records, wireline records and the records associated with calling cards are advertised. As individuals shift to VoIP telephones, it is safe to assume that those records will be offered for sale as well.

Currently, it is legal to sell telephone records, but illegal to obtain them.

Illinois became the first state to sue an online records broker when Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued 1st Source Information Specialists, Inc., on 20 January, a spokeswoman for Madigan's office said. The Florida-based company operates several Web sites that sell cell telephone records, according to a copy of the suit.

The attorneys general of Florida and Missouri quickly followed Madigan's lead, filing suit on 24 January and 30 January, respectively, against 1st Source Information Specialists and, in Missouri's case, one other records broker - First Data Solutions, Inc.

Several wireless providers, including T-Mobile, Verizon, and Cingular filed earlier lawsuits against records brokers, with Cingular winning an injunction against First Data Solutions and 1st Source Information Specialists on January 13.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) introduced legislation in February 2006 aimed at curbing the practice. The Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act of 2006 would create felony criminal penalties for stealing and selling the records of mobile phone, landline, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers.

Hewlett Packard's former Chairman, Patricia Dunn, reported that the HP board hired a private investigation company to delve into who was responsible for leaks within the board. Dunn acknowledged that this company used the practice of pretexting to solicit the telephone records of board members and journalists. Chairman Dunn later apologized for this act and offered to step down from the board if it was desired by board members. Unlike Federal law, California law specifically forbids such pretexting, and this case is being investigated by the California Attorney General.

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Joe Birkett

Joseph E. Birkett (born February 13, 1955) is the DuPage County State’s Attorney and former Republican nominee for Illinois Lieutenant Governor with running-mate Judy Baar Topinka. Birkett has been State’s Attorney since October 1, 1996 when he was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Anthony Peccarelli.

Birkett is one of 10 children on Chicago’s West side. His father died when he was 13. He attended St. Phillip High School, and Aurora Central Catholic High School where he was football team captain and Most Valuable Player. He went on to attend North Central College, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science and English in 1977. He received his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1981, where he placed first in the Intramural Moot Court Competition.

He was the Assistant State’s Attorney of Dupage County from 1981 to 1985, Chief of Major Crimes Unit from 1988 to 1986, Deputy Chief of Criminal Division from 1986 to 1991, Chief of Criminal Division from 1991 to 1996, and has served as DuPage County State’s Attorney since then. He was first elected in November 1996, then re-elected in 2000 and 2004.

Birkett gained national attention when he prosecuted Marilyn Lemak in 1999 for the murders of her three children. Lemak is currently serving a life sentence.

He has been married to Patricia Hill since July 9, 1977, and has two children, Nick and Jackie. He is a resident of Wheaton and attends St. Daniel The Prophet Catholic Church in Wheaton. His brother-in-law is George Wendt, who is married to Birkett’s sister Bernadette.

In 2002, Birkett ran for Illinois Attorney General against Democrat Lisa Madigan. Madigan defeated Birkett in the November 7, 2002 General Election with 50 percent of the vote to Birkett’s 47%.

Judy Baar Topinka named Birkett as her running mate on 9 December 2005. On March 21, 2006, he defeated Steve Rauschenberger, Sandy Wegman, and Lawrence Bruckner in the Republican Party’s primary. Topinka also won her primary race. In the November 7, 2006 General Election, Democrats Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn defeated Topinka and Birkett, as well as the Green Party’s Rich Whitney and Julie Samuels.

Joe Birkett intends to run for Governor of Illinois in 2010.

In 2002 Birkett's role in the wrongful prosecution of Rolando Cruz, subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence in the murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico, was partly responsible for his loss to Democrat Lisa Madigan in the race for Illinois attorney general.

It is hard to believe that the criminal charges against Sarah M. Hartfield, 45, of Naperville and Jeff Zurawski, 39, of Downers Grove are not at least to some extent politically inspired in nature...We also suspect that had the banner read "Support Bush and Cheney" instead of "Impeach Bush and Cheney - LIARS" the situation would have been viewed a little differently.

Supporters of the defendants staged three rallies at the DuPage County courthouse. The charges were dropped when the chief witness failed to appear in court. Jeff Zurawski called the prosecution "vindictive" and requested a public apology.

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Source : Wikipedia