When Rod Blagojevich and family return from Disney World, they will
confront the Big Squeeze.
As journalists, present company included, scrambled to quickly dissect
the late-afternoon indictment of the governor, an array of intriguing
specifics were by and large missed. One of the biggest is found near
the end of what is, by and large, a rather snooze-inducing document,
absent the sorts of sexy new allegations many Blago watchers had
For starters, there is "Forfeiture Allegation One" on p. 71 of the
document. As a result of his alleged misdeeds, the government wants
his Chicago home and a condo Blago owns on 18th Street, Northwest, in
In the case of the house, the government informs that the family home
on Sunnyside Avenue on Chicago's North side is legally described
"LOT 24 AND THE SOUTH 20 FEET OF LOT 25 IN BLOCK 52 IN RAVENSWOOD
MANOR, BEING A SUBSDIVISION OF PART OF THE NORTH 1/2 OF SECTION 12,
TOWNSHIP 40 NORTH, RANGE 13, EAST OF THE THIRD PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN, IN
COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS."
So they want his house.
Then, there's his real gold mine. His campaign funds.
The government wants:
"All funds, certificates of deposit, letters of credit and assets held
by Ravenswood Bank, DuQuoin State Bank, First Suburban National Bank,
and Community Bank of DuPage in the name of or on behalf of Friends of
That's the more than $3 million in funds the former governor surely
hoped to use in part for his defense. Now, the government is
essentially warning the banks to not let a single penny out of those
The government's approach is straightforward: starve the beast.
Regardless of how much of taxpayer money has gone into the extensive
prosecution---figure many millions of dollars---they want to prevent
him from spending ten cents.
It was widely believed in the Chicago legal community that some
prominent defense lawyers took a pass on representing him specifically
due to the fear that he wouldn't pay. It's unknown if he fronted his
latest attorney, the well-regarded Terry Gillespie, with any funds.
If he did, those may be the last filthy lucre Gillespie, or anybody
else, gets from Blago.
And if the governor wants to buy a new flat-screen television, he best
make sure it doesn't come from one of those accounts. the government
will be watching.
For sure, tension is rife in millions of American homes these days,
first and foremost due to the rising ranks of jobless. It's tough on
In the case of a jobless governor, with wife and two kids, it won't be
any easier. Throw into the mix the nearly $70,000 prosecutors alleged
Thursday that wife Patti received for no work, and the possibility
that they're still trying to pressure the family by raising the
prospect of her potential indictment, and you have a lot more tension
than presented on Thursday's "E.R." finale.
My friend, Chris Matthews, hosts Hardball. Blago now confronts
hardball. It might make a guy considering seeking political asylum at
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