Maybe Rezko can tell us how city that works really works
BY MARK BROWN email@example.com May 31, 2012 1:12AM
Antoin "Tony" Rezko returns to the federal courthouse on June 4, 2008, to hear the jury's verdict in his corruption trial in Chicago. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP file photo
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:34AM
Let’s just assume Tony Rezko wasn’t working any angle by giving his first public interviews since going to prison, even though history might suggest Tony Rezko is usually working an angle.
If there’s one thing we don’t want, it’s to do anything to discourage Rezko from talking, which is what many of us have desired for so long that we had given up hope.
Breaking his long media silence, Rezko opened up by telephone Wednesday with the Chicago Sun-Times’ ace federal courts reporter Natasha Korecki, and if we’re all lucky, they will have many more such discussions.
By all means, talk, Tony. Talk.
Talk, talk, talk.
Tell us whatever is on your mind.
Tell us what you really think.
You say federal prosecutors jerked you around. You say that prison conditions were really crummy, especially in that Wisconsin county jail. How fascinating. We’d love to hear all about it.
How was the food?
While you’re at it, though, could you please tell us about every dirty deal you ever did, and by all means, tell us who helped you do them?
Please don’t hold back the names, especially of the public officials.
Don’t think of it as squealing. Think of it as confession being good for the soul.
You say you always wanted to testify. Here’s your chance.
If nothing else, tell us everything you told the government. Why should FBI agents have all the fun of knowing the good stuff?
You say you didn’t commit the crimes for which you were convicted but you did plenty of other stuff for which you could have been convicted?
That’s very candid and refreshing.
We can respect that.
I’m sure the statute of limitations has run by now.
Give us an education in how these things are done at the high levels where the big boys play.
Tell us your philosophy about telephones.
You told Korecki that you thought Rod Blagojevich knew better than to say that stuff caught on the wiretaps, not surprised that he’d say it but that he’d say it on the telephone. Very insightful.
We noticed that the feds barely captured your voice on any of the wiretaps. What precautions did you take in that regard? Did you ever advise Blagojevich to avoid telephones as well?
Was Blagojevich really the first politician with whom you got involved in matters that others would consider illegal?
Maybe you could trace your own rise for us, give us the play-by-play of pay-to-play, so to speak.
We’d love to hear all about your dealings with the late Cook County Board President John Stroger, which is where you seemed to first surface as a major political player. You might think of that as ancient history at this point, and indeed it is. But if it makes you feel any better, Stroger loved to read about history.
And while you’re at it, maybe you explain how you managed to get crossways with City Hall?
You were able to get close to the county board president, the governor of the state and this other fellow who went on to become president of the United States, but every indication is that former Mayor Richard M. Daley didn’t much care for you. What was that about?
You surely must have gained some insights into how the city that works really works while you were trying to develop that 62-acre site at Clark and Roosevelt.
By the way, as long as we’re talking City Hall, what was your relationship with Rahm, if any, before the troubles?
And finally, while we understand your reluctance, do you think we could have a no-holds-barred discussion about your relationship with Barack Obama? You can take the lead, but at some point we’re going to have to get to that vacant lot you bought next to his house.
You might as well. He’s never going to give you a pardon.