Comment last night by R. Milstein about J. Hale

Robert Milstein from Oak Park
Posted: April 8th, 2013 6:59 PM [scroll

We received an an email blast by Mr. Hale accusing Anan of misdeeds 23 years ago? Hedges publically said that it has no bearing on the election. He accepted Anan’s explanations and even the Journal walked past any inkling of a problem.

But sleeze rises to the top and Hale appears to be the new VMA hatchet man. Striking at the last moment like a true coward, John sought to besmirch a man running an honest, transparent campaign. Voters in OP are not stupid, they will see thru John and vote Anan

I would say so.

And would add that the 5/5/09 Wed Jnl piece by Ben Myers takes apart the Sun-Times piece on which Hale rests his case, in which case-resting Hale betrays at best a naive approach.

For instance:

The director of Northwestern University’s Center for Wrongful Convictions is quoted in the article saying it’s “pretty obvious” that Abu-Taleb’s clemency resulted from political favoritism. But Abu-Taleb himself is not quoted in the article, and there is no mention of any attempts to reach him. Attorneys who represented Abu-Taleb denied in the article that anything skewed the clemency petition.

The Sun-Times article may say more about Illinois’s political culture – where guilt by association may be just as common as guilt itself – than it does about Abu-Taleb. High-level, nonpartisan political contributions are routine in Illinois, which places no limits on giving. It’s near impossible to distinguish corruption from routine governance when everyone is paying and playing.

From Abu-Taleb:

“I would suggest you examine the top 10 law firms in Chicago and see how much they contribute to both Rep and Dem and I suspect you will find most of them do,” Abu-Taleb wrote.

In fact, one of the law firms in question, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, which according to the Sun-Times gave Blagojevich more than $207,000 between 2002 and 2007, also gave tens of thousands to Blagojevich’s political rivals. The Sun-Times article does not mention the combined $56,000 that the firm gave to Lisa and Michael Madigan in the same time period. [boldface added]

Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney did not immediately return a phone call to Wednesday Journal about those contributions.

No. Reporters almost never debate their reporting but move on to the next thing.

Lawyers’ donations:

Rieck & Crotty, one of the firms that did represent Abu-Taleb in the clemency process, according to the Sun-Times, contributed more than $23,000 to Blagojevich with cash and in-kind donations in 2001 and 2002. That was at least one year before Abu-Taleb filed his petition. [boldface added]

As for the Northwestern wrongful-convictions investigator whom Hale cites, “Neal Buer from Oak Park” notes in a 2/3/13 comment:

So the Northwestern University professor gave his opinion about a case he knew nothing about.

Not a professor but a newsman, once of the Chi Daily News, easy of access to the Sun-Times man and generous with comments on criminal-justice matters. Hale should know that and maybe next time will know it.

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