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December 16, 2008

Claim: Informant Says Blago Ran Illegal Gambling Operation in the 70s

The Chicago Way, part sixty eight:


The ABC7 I-Team has learned that an attorney who went undercover for the FBI in the late 1980's says he told federal authorities years ago about wrongdoing by Blagojevich.

His name is Robert Cooley.

Cooley was a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago in the late 1980's who became one of the most potent witnesses against Chicago corruption, testifying for federal prosecutors in cases that resulted in dozens of convictions.

Cooley says that before Rod Blagojevich got into politics he was a bookmaker on the North Side who regularly paid the Chicago mob to operate.

...

He told ABC7 that Mr. Blagojevich regularly paid a so-called street tax to Robert "Bobby the Boxer" Abbinanti, a convicted outfit gambling collector. In the early 1980's, Abbinanti was working for convicted West Side mob boss Marco D'amico. Bookies pay street taxes to the crime syndicate in exchange for being allowed to operate such a racket.

"I predicted five years ago when he ran the first time that he was a hands on person who would be selling every position in the state of Illinois and that it exactly what happened," said Cooley.

So, here's another thing about Obama's political culture we didn't know.

On the other hand, we know that Sarah Palin once indulged and African priest who blessed her against witchcraft and that the Mat-Su Valley has a high incidence of methampthetamine use.

PS, Obama was asked a bit about the Blago case today. He responded "Don't waste your question" and expressed his preference to not answer.

Which he's done before. He tells the press "I'd rather not talk about that" and they say "Okay, seems fair." Um, yeah. Hard-news men, never afraid to go where a hot story might take them.

Meanwhile, no one bothered to ask if he ran Blago's 2002 campaign. One of those things Mike Barnicle instructs us is unnecessary to ask about, because his "instinct" has already told him the answer.



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posted by Ace at 09:08 PM

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