Inherit The Windbag: Blago Family Budget Mess Variety Hour
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 2, 2010 2:45PM
Day 18 in the Blagojevich trial took a focus on the Blagojevich family finances and the debt that Rod and Patti incurred thanks to fancy clothes shopping, a debt prosecutors allege is what helped push Blago to look for a sweet deal in exchange for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Testimony by former deputy governor Doug Scofield wrapped up as Scofield underscored the "fucking golden" line. The next witness on the stand was state ethics officer David Kaehl whose office was actually created by then-governor Blago. It was a quick visit with Kaehl testifying that Blago completed the required ethics training for each year from 2004 until his arrest in 2008.
Testimony then turned to money. First, it was IRS agent Shari Schindler returning to the stand to testify about a money trail connecting the Blagos to Tony Rezko. Schindler than detailed the spending habits of the Blagos, including $400,000 Blago spent on clothes from early 2002 to late 2008, prompting at least one comparison (by the Tribune) to Imelda Marcos. Check out the full breakdown here. Blago's defense countered that the Blago's also paid a large amount of taxes, totaling over $458,000. Of course, all the while, Blago was also worried about his children's financial future:
In November 2008, Rod Blagojevich was plotting for a new job with his advisers, loudly complaining he was desperate for cash. "Amy is going to college in six years, and we can't afford it," Blagojevich screamed on the Nov. 10 call. "I feel like I'm fucking my children."
Four days later, he dropped $429 on two ties at Saks Fifth Avenue. Two days after that, he hit Saks again, spending another $429 on a pair of neckties. A few weeks later, it was time for a custom suit. That price tag: $4,000.
Not that that was the only outburst from Blago jurors heard.
In another tape, Blago completely blows his stack, saying of then-president-elect Obama, "You guys are telling me... Give this mother fucker his senator. Fuck him! For nothing? Fuck him!" Here's an excerpt from the rant:
BLAGOJEVICH : Everybody. Everybody. I mean we're struggling financially. Okay, [Patti's] business got dried up because the Tribune's been fucking writing about every one of her real estate clients. You know I should've fuckin' looked the other way on the landfill and then my father-in-law would take care of us. I should've fucking done that. Incidentally he's making money on that thing against you know, in violation of state law. I mean you guys are telling me I just gotta suck it up for two years and do nothing. Give this motherfucker, his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him. I'll put Louanner there before I do that.
KNAPP: You'd do what?
BLAGOJEVICH: I'll put Louanner in the Senate before I just give fucking Valerie Jarrett a fucking Senate seat and I don't get anything from some fucking chicken shi..., oh don't get me started, and he's gotta pretend like he's not for anybody and I piss everybody off. And I'm the one who pisses everybody off. Maybe I'll put Jesse Jr. there.
KNAPP: (Laughs) That would be a revenge.
Robert Williams, former chief financial officer of Rezko's Rezmar company, then testified of money allegedly directed to Patti Blagojevich for doing nothing, though the defense countered that perhaps Williams just wasn't aware of a possible contract. There was also testimony of a $40,000 check from Rezko to the Blagos coincidentally at the same time the Blagos did $40,000 worth of work on their home.
The biggest surprise, though, came as prosecutors indicated they could be finished within a week and a half, putting July 12 as an estimated date for them to wrap up their half of the case, much sooner than anticipated for a trial expected to last three to four months.