Friday, October 27, 2006

Ill. Gov's wife involvement in questionable real estate deal latest embarrassment for Democrat

Governor Rod Blagojevich, (D-IL), has another ethical problem at his doorstep. Actually, it goes past the doorstep and into his Northwest Side Chicago home. This one involves his wife, Patti.

Left out of the media reports is that Patti is the daughter of powerful Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, so it's ridiculous to assume that Patti is just some naive real estate broker unaware of "how things get done" in Illinois.

From the Chicago Tribune, free registration required:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wife earned more than $113,000 in real estate commissions this year through a woman who holds a longstanding, no-bid state contract and whose banker husband has business pending before state regulators.

The four real estate deals involving the Chicago couple Anita and Amrish Mahajan, the last of which closed Sept. 28, account for the only commissions Patricia Blagojevich has earned this year.

The governor's office scoffed at questions about whether it is a conflict of interest for the governor's spouse to make money from a couple whose businesses depend on decisions made by the Blagojevich administration.

Here's my favorite part:
"I didn't hire her," (Anita) Mahajan said in a brief interview from the balcony of her Chicago townhouse. "I didn't even know who she was until closing. That's when I heard she was the governor's wife. I try not to get involved in politics."

Rod Blagojevich faces the voters next month. He's being challenged by Republican Judy Baar Topinka and Green Party candidate Rich Whitney. Blagojevich is leading in all polls, and Whitney is polling surprising well, reaching double digits in some surveys.

Topinka has so far been unable to capitalize on the corruption charges made against the Blagjovevich administration.

For those who don't want to deal with the Tribune registration process, AP has a summary of the Chicago Tribune story here.

Related posts: Top Gov. Blagojevich advisor and fundraiser indicted in kickback scheme

Illinois' Gov. Blagojevich: Sweetheart real estate assessment?

Blagojevich kiddie check story catching fire in Illinois

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