April 17, 2006

Former Republican Gov George Ryan found guilty

Former Gov. George Ryan was found guilty by a federal jury Monday of all 18 counts against him, ending a historic, marathon public corruption trial that started more than six months ago.

The six-man, six-woman jury reached one of the most awaited verdicts in recent history after 10 days of deliberations and after U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer reconstituted the panel, swapping two dismissed jurors with alternates.

Ryan's codefendant, Lawrence Warner, 67, a lobbyist and businessman. was also found guilty on all counts against him.

The courtroom was packed with family of the defendants, including Ryan's wife, Lura Lynn, his son and others. Also packed in were judges and lawyers, including U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and a son of Janet and Scott Willis. The couple lost six children in a fiery truck accident - the truck driver in that accident was tied to corruption under Ryan.

Ryan, 72, who served eight years as Illinois secretary of state and four years as governor, was accused of using his official position to steer state contracts to pals such as Warner. Ryan is also accused of lying to the FBI, misusing his campaign fund and filing false tax forms.

Prosecutors say Warner, 67, made $3 million in the time Ryan held state office. Warner made much of the money, they contended, after shaking down vendors for lobbying work and threatening to cut off their state contracts in some instances if they didn't pay him. He also made big money off of state leases that he won under Ryan in which Warner's financial interest was hidden.

The trial itself ended more than a month ago and the trial started with jury selection seven months ago.

NOTE: Joshua Micah Marshall has a note detailing the evil liberal media bias in the reporting of this story by the AP and Time Magazine. Damn those liberal journalists!!

ANOTHER NOTE: The estimable Rich Miller at his Capitol Fax blog has one of the most extensive, expansive, all-encompassing, and link laden posts in the history of blogdom on the handing down of the Ryan verdict. It's an amazing and massive hunk of work. Rich must have been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.


At 4/18/2006 12:54 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

You can say a lot of stuff---both good and bad, about Denny Jacobs, but you can always count on him for a good quote and to give his honest opinion without spin.
His quote in today's D/A is right on target: "This is not necessarily out of the political norm. George just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar".
Illinois (like NJ and LA) is well known for it's corrupt politicians. I've seen articles that attempt to spin this in a way that Ryan's conviction will hurt Republicans. Anyone with a memory longer than yesterday, will recall the many Democrat politicians who went down to corruption. I would hope that the IL Democrats will be smarter than the national Dems, who thought a peachy campaign against Republicans would be that they are the "most corrupt" ever. Unfortunately for them, for every corrupt Republican there is at least one corrupt Democrat. Corruption seems to be about the only thing that is bipartisan these days. The national Dems have now dropped the "corrupt" meme and have moved on to "incompetent". I wish them well in attempting prove that only Republicans are "incompetent".

At 4/18/2006 4:09 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hell Paladin, the REPUBLICANS are doing a bang up job of proving they're incompetent without anyone's help.

They've failed on ever measure of leadership, put the economic lives of most people on a downward slope, are working their asses off to start WWIII, and have thrown the constitution and bill of rights out the window.

Yep. Real competent.

Condi says no one imagined using planes as weapons when she'd recieved warnings about just that, Bush lies every other word, changing the reason for invading a Iraq so often it's hard to keep track. They said it would be a "cakewalk" then allowed massive looting and devastation, had NO plans for after the invasion, made mistake after blunder after screw up, allowed corporations to plunder the treasury and rip off the tax payers, put corporate lobbyists in charge of corporate regulation, and on and on.

It's so damn easy to prove the Republicans are incompetent it's not like you have to try.

For instance, one word: Katrina. How's that "Homeland Security" thing working out? The biggest expansion of government bureaucracy in history, and it can't shoot straight.

This administration hasn't done ONE thing well. They're utterly inept and vastly incompetent, and when someone screws up fantastically, they get promoted or handed the medal of honor.

Name one thing that the Bush administration has done a great job on, other than making us hated around the world and creating millions of additional terrorists.

At 4/18/2006 5:11 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

Don't ask me to defend the Bush Administration. You're barking up the wrong tree.
But I'd like to know what's so great about the Democrats who proudly state that they don't have a plan, they don't need a plan, all they need to do is say "I'm Not Bush".
That worked so well for them in '04 and '02.
So please tell me what the Democrat policy is for any of this is, except Bush Sucks. Yeah, that's got my vote.

At 4/18/2006 5:20 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Sometimes, ABB is a damn fine policy. (anybody but Bush)

And lets face it, it's hard to conceieve of anyone doing worse. Just NOT doing what they're doing and DOING what they're not doing would be a great start.

Recall that at the beginning of the Bush misadministration, they'd throw out excellent policy and work if it had been produced in the Clinton era. That really worked out well for them, didn't it?

But the Dems shouldn't have to propose how they're going to fix all of the messes left for them. And the fact is, and this is the truth, that aside from the often spouted position that the Dems don't have any policies or ideas, that they DO have a lot of policies and ideas. It's just that the media and the right never discuss them or give them any weight. They're too busy figuring out what the Republicans are doing in the dead of night and what the dire consequences are after it's too late.

The country has been badly, badly mislead for 6 years, and frankly, I can't imagine the Dems doing worse.

Start with throwing out all the loony neo-cons and their stupid ideologically rigid fantasies, then give a big kick in the ass to the fundies who distract and waste so much time on stupid attempts to force their particular views down everyone's throat (though they don't like anything going down anyone's throat I'd imagine)

Get some common sense restraints and regulations to check the rampant corporate power. All kinds of just common sense stuff that I imagine most Republicans would firmly favor if they weren't too rigid about it.

It's past time for change, and this adminstration will take several more just to try to stem the damage they've done around the world and at home.

That's enough for me.

At 4/18/2006 7:27 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

Good luck with your "we have policies but the press won't let us discuss them" and the "Dems can't do worse" talking points.
If you're lucky, there will be enough stupid voters who believe you.
What a campaign slogan! Vote for Democrats---They Can't Do Worse. Yep, victory is just around the corner.

At 4/18/2006 7:59 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And what will your's be? Proudly ensuring that no one does anything you don't like in their bedroom and spending the country into ruin to make us less secure?

How about "We're not ALL crooks, fundementalist anti-science kooks, greedy multi-millionaires and racists."

Frankly, I think the "We won't do things the way the Republicans have" slogan will be mighty popular.

At 4/18/2006 8:19 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

My campaign slogan is "A Plague on Both Their Houses." I vote for the one with the least amount of carbuncles.

At 4/18/2006 8:22 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

HA!! Oh man... that's good.

I think you should run for something Paladin.

I ran for my life once. And won!

At 4/20/2006 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone see Barb Ickes' column today? Georgie boy is getting over $16,000 a month pension even now as a convicted felon.

He is not supposed to be able to collect this benefit anymore but seems that he may continue up until the fall...why no one knows.

Incompetence or partisan games perhaps? I remember when Dan Walker was convicted he didn't get a bunch of cash from the tax coffers each month or anything. He got jail time. Betcha it was a lot worse place than the Country Club they will send old Ryan to for his term.

Everyone needs to make a lot of noise about this injustice! George Ryan does not need our tax money. He got enough of it illegally while Governor (and finally got caught) and he is so rich now, he would not notice loosing his pension -- and he should be law NOW!!! Dope you ought to investigate this deeper!!!

At 4/20/2006 4:54 PM, Anonymous paladin said...

I heard that Ryan is still considered a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Considering that Jimmy Carter and Yassir Arafat also have NPPs, ol' Georgie would fit right in!


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