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Carol Felsenthal
On Politics

5 years
ago

 

Right Nation 2010, Featuring Glenn Beck, to Take Place on Yom Kippur

It’s a whopper of a public relations blunder. Speakers for Right Nation 2010’s “evening extravaganza” on September 18th at the 10,000-seat Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates include Glenn Beck, gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady, blogger Andrew Breitbart, Rep. Aaron Schock, and Tea Party leader Herman Cain. One problem: the evening convention, which follows an afternoon “activist training conference” for conservatives at the nearby Marriot Chicago Northwest, is on Yom Kippur, the holiest of the Jewish High Holy Days.

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

 

Blago: The View from Washington

If Rod Blagojevich has one hero in life besides Elvis, it’s Richard Nixon, and if there’s one newspaper that wrecked Nixon’s life and legacy it’s the Washington Post. How ironic, then, that the Washington Post is trumpeting almost the same line as Blago himself. The Washington Post of Pentagon Papers and Watergate? Yes. Last week, the paper ran an editorial titled “Federal prosecutors should not retry Rod Blagojevich.”…

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

 

The Prosecutors’ Biggest Blunder in the Blago Case

The key mistake in the government’s case against Rod Blagojevich happened right at the start of the trial, during jury selection, with the choice of a juror who ultimately became the sole vote siding with the ex-gov on key counts of the indictment. Sources say the holdout juror, an African-American retired state worker who had worked for the Illinois Department of Public Health, should have been dismissed…

Carol Felsenthal
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5 years
ago

 

Kirk Ex-wife: Mark Will Win

Yesterday, I ran excerpts of my conversation with Kirk’s ex-wife, Kimberly Vertolli, in which she discussed the “Svengali figure” behind his campaign, Dodie McCracken. Here, Vertolli offers her take on what would seem to be Kirk’s perplexingly unnecessary exaggerations. She adds that, despite some missteps in his campaign, in the race between Kirk and Giannoulias, she would vote for her ex…

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

Mark Kirk’s Ex-wife: ‘Svengali Figure’ Influencing Candidate

Her marriage to Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10th Dist.) may have ended amicably in June 2009, and the two may remain friends today, but Kimberly Vertolli said that she will not “advocate” for her ex in his Senate run because she fears he is too influenced by a “Svengali figure” in his life—a former staffer named Dorothy “Dodie” McCracken…

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

Veteran Defense Lawyer: Blago Will Win Some Counts

After the closing arguments on Tuesday, I called a prominent defense lawyer in town whom I’ve known for decades. He asked not to be identified, but his insights are worth sharing as jurors begin deliberating today in the corruption trial of Rod Blagojevich. Caveat: His experience, legal acumen, and street smarts are from years of working as a criminal defense attorney…

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

 

Blago Defense Lawyer: Ex-Gov ‘Runs the Show’

“Quite frankly, it’s [Blagojevich’s] case, and it’s the high stakes that he’s facing, so he certainly runs the show on many of these things,” says Aaron Goldstein, the youngest—and arguably the most effective—member of Blago’s defense team.

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

Will Blago Drag Jesse Jackson Jr. Down with Him?

In tapes played for the jury last week at the Blago trial, the ex-gov was heard telling aides that if both Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. were drowning, and he could only save one, he’d probably pick Jackson. Back in the ’90s, Jackson was said to be Blago’s closest friend in the Illinois congressional delegation…

Carol Felsenthal

5 years
ago

Blago’s Lawyers Feel Judge’s Heat

By several accounts, Blago’s defense lawyers have come off looking like rookies—often tutored by U.S. District Judge James Zagel in a manner reminiscent of a an impatient and bored professor. (Don’t start a question with “so,” etc.) That goes for Sam Adam, father and son; for Blago’s old friend and former employer Sheldon Sorosky; and for Aaron Goldstein, the youngest of the group at 35. If Zagel gave Goldstein…

Carol Felsenthal
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