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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
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'Lady Macbeth' of the Blago Scandal

POSTED: 01:32 PM ET, 12/11/2008 by Derek Kravitz


Patricia "Patti" Blagojevich (Joe Marquette / AP)

Patricia "Patti" Blagojevich, the first lady of Illinois and the wife of scandal-plagued Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is a mother of two and a strong advocate for children in her home state, spending her free time promoting childhood literacy initiatives and gardening, according to her online biography.

But Patti Blagojevich is also a tough-talking, no-nonsense scion of a ward boss who is well versed in the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago politics, according to a federal criminal complaint charging her husband with bribery and conspiracy. Her portrayal as one of her husband's most ardent supporters in his elaborate "pay-to-play" schemes caused the Chicago Tribune to liken her to "Lady Macbeth."

During one exchange investigators caught on tape in which the governor discusses holding up the cash-strapped Tribune Co.'s plan to obtain state financing to help sell the Chicago Cubs, Patti Blagojevich can be heard in the background, telling one of her husband's three deputy governors what she thought, according to the criminal complaint.

According to excerpts of the tapes, she said "to hold up that (expletive) Cubs (expletive)...(expletive) them." (She later advised that Tribune owner Sam Zell could "just fire" editorial writers that the governor disagreed with, arguing that they were hurting business.)

The 43-year-old eldest daughter of longtime Chicago Alderman Richard Mell is no stranger to Chicago politics.

Patti Blagojevich, who holds a bachelors degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a licensed real estate broker and appraiser, and owned her own real estate company, River Realty, on Chicago's North Side.

A Chicago Tribune investigation revealed Patti Blagojevich earned more than $700,000 in commissions on deals after her husband began raising money in 2000 for his first gubernatorial campaign. Her most famous client was none other than Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago businessman and ex-fundraiser for President-elect Barack Obama. Rezko was convicted of corruption charges in June and is cooperating with investigators, according to the complaint. (At the time of her husband's arrest, she already was being investigated by federal agents for her real-estate dealings.)

Of the $700,000 in commissions she received, the Tribune found that more than 75 percent came from clients "with connections." Patti Blagojevich later worked as an investment banker, touting "her ability to land state business," according to the Tribune.

In September, she began working as a full-time fundraiser and development director for the Chicago Christian Industrial League, a job she got after a political ally of her husband's spoke to the non-profit's boss, according to the Tribune.

All the while, Patti and Rod Blagojevich had a chilly relationship with her father, Mell, who accused the governor of selling jobs in exchange for campaign contributions in 2002. He told the Associated Press that when he spoke with his daughter yesterday, it was the first time they had talked in "quite a while."

"She said she's going through a rough time," he said. "But she said, as rough as it is, what happened two years ago when her mother died was harder."

Her family has rallied to her aid, saying that the 76-page criminal complaint does not paint an accurate picture of Illinois' first lady.

"That is absolutely not my sister," state Rep.-elect Deborah Mell told the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC5. "Patti is a mother, a sister and a devoted wife. She is particularly protective of her family."

Patti Blagojevich is "loyal sometimes to a fault" and would "jump down (his) throat" when he argued with his son-in-law at holiday gatherings, her father said.

Tax records show that in 2007 the Blagojevich family's income dropped 17 percent from the previous year, to $214,580 in combined wages. (The governor earns $177,412 per year.) In court documents, Rod Blagojevich is portrayed as being worried about his family's finances, offering to make an appointment to Obama's Senate seat in exchange for his wife being placed on paid corporate boards.

In one conversation, the governor said that if his wife could get on the boards of some corporations and she "picks up another 150 grand a year or whatever," it would help him get through the next several years.

"The immediate challenge (is) how do we take some of the financial pressure off of our family," he is quoted as saying.

By Derek Kravitz |  December 11, 2008; 1:32 PM ET Blagojevich Scandal
Previous: Jackson Denies Wrongdoing, Lawmakers Criticize TARP, Shay's Campaign Manager Investigated | Next: Would The 'Car Czar' Be Too Political?

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Woah!

Talk about stand by your man.

Bad news.

Posted by: bmschumacher | December 11, 2008 2:59 PM

Soon we shall see either of two political plays followed by an equally spell binding performance enacted before our very eyes. One possibility: the "beleaguered" Blagojevich (with wife and children adoringly staring up at him) appears weepy eyed before cameras to announce he is resigning. We will then see the current federal prosecutors in the case dismissed by Obama and his corrupt AG (Holder). They need to move quickly on this powder keg or it will explode in the blogs. The messiah team wants to get this off the front pages. Whole thing will then be swept under the rug and the messiah will once again be "shocked, shocked" that his one time political buddy is a crook. He can do no wrong as far as the starry eyed obamacons are concerned. Second possibility: if Blagojevich has any brain cells left, he will cut a deal with federal prosecutors. Spare his old lady the jail time and spill his guts about Illinois corruption. Then the feds should get on TV and announce they are widening their investigation. We'll see which of these scenarios plays out in the next few days. Then this will appear, a beauty of a floor show. We should see the equally defiant and voice cracking (he did that rather well the first time) Jesse Jackson Jr., scion of the famous shake down artist family, appears with lovey wife by his side vowing to fight this grave attack on his "integrity." He will also infer this is a racial motivated attack, la de da, here we go again. Washington Post and other liberal MSM will then say case closed and move off to cover the coronation of their crown prince. And, we wonder why no one trusts MSM.

Posted by: djudge1 | December 11, 2008 3:00 PM

Patricia "Potty Mouth" Blagojevich. Her official Mob nickname.

Posted by: theeasypartsover | December 11, 2008 3:04 PM

She and her husband need to quickly evaluate what is right and spare their children the spot of the glaring media and end this now.

Posted by: redridge710gary | December 11, 2008 3:06 PM

It appears they egged each other on. I feel bad for the kids.

Posted by: sandnsmith | December 11, 2008 3:33 PM

"In September, she began working as a full-time fundraiser and development director for the Chicago Christian Industrial League". Another faith-based initiative?

Posted by: frodot | December 11, 2008 3:59 PM

The comments by djudge1 are extremely unfair. No one with knowledge of the case has implied that Obama was involved. This is just more of the same old stuff that the right-wingers shoveled at us during the campaign. OK, guys, you lost. Now give it up!

Posted by: wolfstan | December 11, 2008 4:13 PM

This is just thrilling ... I get to see money grubbers squirm once again! This has been a great political year.

Posted by: alligator10 | December 11, 2008 4:19 PM

It's good to see djudge has joined the tin-foil hat brigade. Got it all figured out don't you? Somehow this HAS to come down on pres-elect Obama doesn't it? I mean after all he did come out of Illinois. Of course if you payed attention to reality you would have noticed that Obama kept a big distance between himself and Blago and Jesse Sr & Jr during the campaign. You see intelligent people know right from wrong and who to stay away from.

Posted by: jbtrim | December 11, 2008 5:25 PM

I supported Obama, I voted for him in the primary and in November, and I'm not happy about all the right-wing noise that's already being spouted about this (see djudge, above).

But I'm happy as a pig at high tide that this Blagojevich indictment has come along to brighten my otherwise dreary and earnest life. I hope it goes on for months.

Posted by: capnchucky | December 11, 2008 6:05 PM

OMG Where are all the Macbeth allusions?

Obama won! Who wants in in that damned Senate seat!

They "dared," unlike the poor cat in the adage.

No milk of human kindness at the Blagojevitch table.

Posted by: mcleangirl | December 11, 2008 6:39 PM

Ah, except for Redrige710gary who wrote: She and her husband need to quickly evaluate what is right and spare their children the SPOT of the glaring media and end this now.

Posted by: mcleangirl | December 11, 2008 6:42 PM

You know, I really try hard to avoid getting personal but djudge1 the words you write are concocted by an imbecile. Divorced from reason, they reek of the bitter prison to which your mind is sadly confined. Try to be more kind to your mind and let in some sunlight and fresh air once in a while. Good luck with that.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 11, 2008 6:57 PM

...spare the children, right..what a crock. I don't know how old the tykes are but if they are over the age of 5 they are probably already well groomed to follow in their (expletive) parents footsteps and become arrogant, selfish, potty mouthed, gimme-tho-I-didn't-earn-it (expletive) adults. Please, someone (expletive) spare me! Also, throw the book at the bum, put his (expletive A-S) in jail, and reopen the state parks.

Posted by: theresathefarmer | December 11, 2008 7:06 PM

"Out, out damned spot," cries Lady MacBeth. This wife, along with her man, did not take hostages but body count!

Posted by: meldupree | December 11, 2008 7:50 PM

Djudge, whatsamatterwithya? Bitter and clinging that Obama/Biden won? Get over it. Patrick Fitzgerald emphatically notes that President-elect Barack Hussein Obama is not part of this mess! The problem with you right-wingers and Bushies is that yo have no solutions to offer this nation so you opt to rant nonsense instead. Go away! Far away!

Posted by: meldupree | December 11, 2008 7:57 PM

Is it true that the son-in -law made daddy Mel mad when he called him out on some environmental violations, and that is why Daddy Mel retaliated on "The Hairdo" and made a dubious charge against him?


I hesitate to convict the Governor without a trial.
Those who are corrupt are yelling the loudest for his resignation.

He must have some very good evidence against somebody who wants his power slot.

Maybe Rod should simply call for a special election to fill the seat, and request that the Constitution for the State make that the law. Removing power of nepotism or cronyism would certainly help his credibility.

Not everyone thinks he is guilty, and he should be granted due process and be presumed innocent instead of railroaded by having his charges elevated to "revelations" by the next President.

Posted by: dottydo | December 11, 2008 10:26 PM

I cannot help myself in expressing my feelings about Blago and his wife in terms they would understand - F him and F her. Even the federal penetentiary is too good a place for these slime balls from the dark sewer pits of humanity.

Posted by: DragonRoll | December 11, 2008 10:29 PM

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