Pritzker’s Hyatt House Hotel (The Purple Hotel, Lincolnwood, Illinois) – Men-Only Drug and Sex Parties Attended by Rezko, Levine, Obama – Synonymous With Sleaze – 1983 Execution-Style Murder of Teamsters Pension Fund Mobster Allen Dorfman – Stan Greenberg, Rosa DeLauro, and Rahm Emanuel’s D.C. “Play Condo” – Swim at Your Own Risk
American Urbex – Exploring America’s Gritty History
The Purple Hotel
May 6, 2011
According to one Chicago area native, the construction crew of the 293-room Lincolnwood Hyatt House were supposed to receive a shipment of blue bricks for the building facade. It isn’t clear if a communication or manufacturing error is to blame for the royal purple hue of the bricks, but Hyatt continued construction in spite of the error. Thus, an eccentric Chicago north-side suburb hotspot was born. Although the lodging operated under the Hyatt, Ramada, and Regency banners throughout the years, locals colloquially dubbed it “The Purple Hotel.”
In the early years, the hotel enjoyed a certain level of grandeur. In the 1960s and ’70s, the hotel was a swinging Chicago hotspot. Famous musicians such as Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, and Perry Como stayed in the hotel when in the Chicago area. The high times came to a screeching halt in 1983 when Teamster Allen Dorfman was murdered in the parking lot. Dorfman had been convicted of conspiring to bribe a US senator and faced up to 55 years in prison. When walking through the parking lot, Dorfman was shot eight times with a .22 caliber pistol. FBI wiretaps revealed that the Chicago Mafia may have been connected to the execution-style murder. Officials speculate that Dorfman was killed out of fear that he would divulge information from his 30 years of ties with organized crime figures. To date, the case is still unsolved and whoever is responsible is still on the loose. The same year, the head of Gerber Plumbing, Oscar Gerber, was also murdered at the hotel. A disturbed employee believed he was going to be fired and took Oscar’s life into his own hands.
In 1984, limousine driver George Koehler was standing at O’Hare airport waiting for his fare. After most of the passengers from the flight filed out of the airport, Koehler asked the pilots if anyone remained on the plane. The pilots informed Koehler that one more person remained and would be coming shortly. Once the passenger arrived, Koehler ferried the young basketball player who had never been to Chicago before to the purple Lincolnwood Hyatt House. According to ESPN, Koehler and Michael Jordan remain friends to this day.
After more than 40 years in operation, the hotel was taken over in late 2004 by Village Resorts, Inc., which officially christened the building with its affectionate “The Purple Hotel” moniker. Under new management, the hotel boasted of its modernity.
We feature fully renovated and tastefully furnished guest rooms. To ensure that you are completely comfortable, each guest room is spacious and provides a number of amenities to meet the needs of today’s traveler. All rooms have an oversized work desk, two dual-line telephones with data port and voicemail, and state-of-the-art electronic key security system.
Despite efforts to cater to a certain business clientele, the hotel was synonymous with sleaze. Police were frequently summoned to the hotel for drug and prostitution related offenses. In the May 7, 2008 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, the paper notes that the hotel relied on conventions such as the Midwest Fetish Fair & Marketplace for business. The hotel is split into three separate towers, and management knowingly tried to segregate known sex parties from the rest of the hotel guests. One news clipping from as far back as 1989 mentions Opposite Sex, Inc. giving several “Meet, Match, Mate” seminars at the hotel.
Village Resorts President Donald Bae positioned Stefanie Bae as hotel manager. In 2005, Stefanie wrote a ringer review for the hotel on the Yahoo! Travel page.
The Purple Hotel had the most friendliest and helpful staff. The food was amazing….and They have a Sunday Brunch that is to DIE for. The rooms were very clean and cozy, excellent value for your money. It is close to everything and they have a sandvolleyball court!!! They have the best steaks in the world!
Grammar and punctuation errors aside, Stefanie may have had a prophetic moment when using the past tense in claiming the “Purple Hotel had the most friendliest and helpful staff.” Acting on complaints by guests, health officials descended upon the hotel in 2006. The inspection led to the discovery of over thirty violations that included a leaking roof, garbage disposal issues, and a failure to exterminate insects and rodents. Of the 293 total guest rooms at the hotel, inspectors sampled 225 for mold. The results did not bode well for Donald Bae, as mold was discovered in 208 of these rooms (92.4% of the sample). In September the same year, the village of Lincolnwood sued hotel management for failing to fix the myriad of citations. The judge agreed with the village of Lincolnwood and ordered Bae to fix the problems by December. Unable to cover the cost of renovation, Bae opted not to fix the issues, and in January 2007 a judge ordered the hotel to close. The “most friendliest and helpful staff” suddenly found themselves unemployed.
Bae attempted to sell the 8.5 acre property in 2008 for the sum of $27 million, but the deal fell through as the real estate market tanked with the economy. In November 2009, Bae tapped ForeFront Properties LLC to move the site along with two shuttered adjacent commercial properties for $25.8 million. As the property spent months on the real estate market, it deteriorated even further. Rather than wait around for Bae on the busy corner of Touhy and North Lincoln Avenue, village officials again took to the courts. If the building is not brought up to code by August 1, 2011, the village has won the right to demolish the purple blemish on their map. The court ruling in Lincolnwood’s favor sticks Bae with the bill for demolition costs. To make matters worse, Midwest Bank filed for foreclosure on the property, as a $4.2 million loan taken out by Bae has fallen into default. In any case, it looks as though the days for The Purple Hotel are finally numbered.
ABC – 2007 article that mentions the murder of Oscar Gerber at the hotel.
Chicago Real Estate Daily – 2010 article on Lincolnwood filing a lawsuit against the
Purple Hotel owner.
Chicago Real Estate Daily – 2011 article on the $4.2 million lawsuit filed against the
Purple Hotel owner.
Chicago Tribune – 1989 “Meet, Match, Mate” seminars at the hotel.
Chicago Tribune – 2007 article on the closing of the Purple Hotel.
CityNoise – A walk-around photo gallery of the abandoned hotel.
Global Traveler Blog – Claims the purple bricks were a mistake.
Google News – 1983 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the Dorfman killing.
Google News – 1983 Pittsburgh Press article on mob ties to Dorfman killing.
Hotel Planner – Has description of hotel services.
Flickr – Martin Gonzalez’ impressive Purple Hotel set.
Flickr – My photo set of the Purple Hotel.
Skokie Patch – Summarizes history of the hotel and redevelopment efforts.
Sun Times – 2011 article that puts an August 1 demolition date on the hotel unless health code violations are fixed.
Yahoo! Travel – Reviews by guests of the Purple Hotel.
Wikipedia – Lincolnwood entry has a bit of Purple Hotel history.
Wikipedia – Allen Dorfman was killed in the parking lot. The crime remains unsolved.
The purple bricks weren’t a mistake. In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, the architect of the building, John Macsai, explained “I planned to use a warm gray brick and he [Hyatt Corp.’s A.N. Pritzker, scion of the wealthy Chicago mob family] said, ‘Can’t you come up with something a little livelier?’ Macsai said.
“So I made a great mistake for an architect,” he said. “Instead of just bringing back some samples, I brought him the whole color palette. He said, ‘I want something lively like that purple.’ You don’t argue with a guy who could borrow $12 million on his signature only.”
The Purple Hotel, also known as the Hyatt House Hotel, was a hotel located at 4500 West Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Built in 1960, the hotel was Hyatt’s first Midwest hotel and became known for its purple brick exterior. The hotel served as Hyatt’s flagship Chicago area hotel until the 1970s, and featured two restaurants and live music from popular acts. In 1983, Teamsters lawyer and alleged mobster Allen Dorfman was killed in the hotel’s parking lot. After a series of ownership changes, the hotel closed in 2007 and was demolished in August of 2013. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 2013.
Location: 4500 West Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood, Illinois
Coordinates: 42°00′44″N 87°44′30″W
Architect: Hausner & Macsai
Architectural style: Modern
NRHP Reference #: 13000553
Added to NRHP: July 31, 2013
The hotel opened in 1960 as the Lincolnwood Hyatt House. Architects Hausner & Macsai designed the building in a modern design. The source of its unusual purple exterior is disputed: an owner claimed it was intended to be dark blue and the purple was a manufacturing error, while the original architect claims that his clients had specifically chosen the purple bricks against his recommendation. The hotel’s amenities included two upscale restaurants, Tessy’s and T.J. Peppercorn’s; an outdoor pool, which one visiting pianist called “the greatest”; and live entertainment from musicians such as Perry Como, Roberta Flack, and Barry Manilow.
The hotel became known for a murder in 1983, when Teamsters lawyer and alleged Chicago Outfit mobster Allen Dorfman was shot in its parking lot. Dorfman had recently been convicted of conspiracy to bribe a U.S. Senator and was likely killed to prevent him from releasing information to authorities in exchange for a lighter sentence. The hotel also hosted swingers parties in the 1980s; according to convict Stuart Levine’s testimony in two corruption trials, the parties were notorious for sex and heavy drug usage. In the 1990s, the hotel changed ownership and was operated by Radisson and Ramada, until it simply became known as the Purple Hotel in 2004.
Closure and demolition
The Purple Hotel closed in January 2007 due to health code violations. A village inspection had found mold in 208 of the 225 rooms visited as well as failing windows, roof leakage, and problems with the hotel’s fire sprinkler system. After the hotel closed, the village threatened to demolish it unless a developer was willing to restore it. A campaign to save the hotel began and the building was eventually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in July 2013. The Skokie-based North Capital Group purchased the building in 2011, intending to preserve and renovate the hotel. The group eventually decided instead to demolish it and convert the property to a mixed-use retail development. Before its demolition, the hotel’s purple bricks were given away at the 2013 Lincolnwood Fest as a fundraiser for the Lincolnwood Public Library. The hotel was demolished on August 27, 2013, but not before the building and property was auctioned to a Lincolnwood resident, sole bidder Jake Weiss. His new ownership will, as of March 2014 along with architect Jackie Koo, realize a near-replica rebuilding of The Purple Hotel – complete with already purchased and loaned artifacts from the original. As of March 20th, 2014, the plans are underway for the property development, in addition to the near-replica of The Purple Hotel.
1. “Hyatt House Hotel”. National Register of Historic Places Program. National Park Service. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
2. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/12/29/developer-wants-to-restore-revive-lincolnwoods-purple-hotel/“. CBS 2 Chicago. December 29, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
3. Hayes, Natalie (August 21, 2013). “Purple Hotel set to begin demolition next week”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
4. Cox, Brian L. (August 27, 2013). “The Purple Hotel is nearly history”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
5. Schroedter, Andrew (May 3, 2007). “It’s check-out time for a colorful hotel”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
6. Placko, Dane (October 8, 2012). “Infamous Purple Hotel to become retail complex”. Fox 32 Chicago. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
7. “Save the Purple Hotel”. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
8. Pukelis, Louis (July 24, 2013). “North Capital Group to swap Purple Hotel bricks for books during Lincolnwood Fest 2013”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
9. Roeder, David (August 27, 2013). “Purple Hotel fades to black: Wrecking ball tears through notorious landmark”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
99% Invisible: 90- Strowger and Purple Reign Redux – podcast episode includes interviews with the architect and first-hand accounts
Abram Nicholas Pritzker
Abram Nicholas Pritzker (January 6, 1896 – February 8, 1986), known professionally as A.N. Pritzker, was an American businessman and member of the Pritzker family.
Abram Nicholas Pritzker
Born: January 6, 1896
Died: February 8, 1986 (aged 90)
Nationality: United States
Occupation: attorney, real estate investor
Spouse: Fanny Doppelt
Nicholas J. Pritzker
Annie P. Cohn
Jack Nicholas Pritzker (brother)
Harry Nicholas Pritzker (brother)
Early life and education
Abram was the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants Annie P. (née Cohn) and Nicholas J. Pritzker. His father left Kiev for Chicago in 1881 and worked first as a pharmacist and then as a lawyer. His father wrote a small book that has been passed down from Pritzker to Pritzker; the theme of the book is “Your only immortality is the impact you have on your successors.” Abram graduated from Harvard Law School.
Abram joined his father’s law firm, Pritzker & Pritzker, along with his brothers, Harry and Jack. Harry specialized in criminal law, Abram (called Abe and later A.N.) specialized in business law, and Jack in real estate law. In the 1930s, he left the law practice and branched out with his brother Jack, investing in real estate and small companies, mostly in the Chicago area. Harry continued to run the law firm, which eventually became an in-house firm catering solely to the needs of the Pritzker family and its business. The Pritzker brothers were very successful and amassed a considerable fortune. They shielded their earnings from taxes through a series of trusts, which enabled them to distribute the money as they chose.
Pritzker’s philanthropic endeavors include funding the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. He also set up a trust fund for the A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, which he had attended when it was called the Wicker Park Elementary School. The Pritzker family also funds a charter school, Pritzker College Prep, in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago.
Pritzker has three sons: Jay Pritzker, Robert Pritzker, and Donald Pritzker. His sons continued to grow the family business, eventually buying the Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles in 1957 and forming the cornerstone of their hotel chain.
His son Robert created a conglomerate of a multitude of manufacturing companies which grew into the multibillion dollar Marmon Group. Marmon was diversified to include manufacturing concerns ranging from lumber to railroad boxcars, and travel industry staples. It composed half of the family’s wealth. On December 25, 2007, it was announced that Warren Buffett, through Berkshire Hathaway, would purchase 60% of the Marmon Group from the Pritzkers for $4.5 billion.
The Pritzkers also own Royal Caribbean. TransUnion was a subsidiary of The Marmon Group until January 2005, but is now an independent, privately held company.
One of his granddaughters is actress Liesel Pritzker.
1. Ramirez, Anthony (January 25, 1999). “Jay Pritzker, Who Built Chain Of Hyatt Hotels, Is Dead at 76”. The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
2. “Annie Cohn Pritzker”, entry in International Who’s Who, Inc., 1951
3. abcde CNN Money: “THE PRITZKERS UNVEILING A PRIVATE FAMILY” By Ford S. Worthy April 25, 1988
4. New York Times: “HOW THEY DEAL AND MULTIPLY” By Marylin Bender February 26, 1984
5. CPSalumni.org. “About This School”. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
6. New York Times: “Rapidly, Buffett Secures a Deal for $4.5 Billion” By Vikas Bajaj December 26, 2007
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Harvard Law School graduate Abram Nicholas Pritzker set up a network of offshore trusts to minimize taxes on his growing real estate, hotel (Hyatt Hotel), cruise line and manufacturing empire. After A.N.’s death in 1986, the IRS demanded $53 million extra in estate tax, but settled for $9.5 million, while agreeing not to challenge the family’s oldest trusts. Congress cracked down on offshore grantor trusts like those A.N. used in 1976 and again in 1996. Today there are 11 Pritzkers on the Forbes 400 list. [source]
2013 Cornell Hospitality Icon of the Industry Award Recipient – Tom Pritzker
August 2, 2010 — Fitzgerald’s ploy in Rezko and Blagojevich trials was to avoid “the color purple”
After US Judge James Zagel repeatedly ruled against the calling or even mentioning of key defense witnesses and the playing in court of a significant portion of government wiretapped communications in the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the case brought about by U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald, one of the most corrupt federal prosecutors in the United States, is now (Aug. 2010) before the jury. During the trial, Zagel, a Ronald Reagan nominee, upheld almost every objection by the prosecution to defense questions as either irrelevant or argumentative, a clear indication that Fitzgerald, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner, and other members of his team were successful in their “judge shopping” for a tainted jurist. On its second day of deliberations, the jury requested a transcript of a segment of the trial from Zagel. In yet another unusual move, Zagel turned down the jury’s request.
Zagel was adamant in not having sitting Democratic politicians aligned with Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel brought up during the trial by the defense. Off limits were President Obama, his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Obama advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, and powerful Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan. Plans by the defense to call Obama, Emanuel, and Jarrett were stymied by Fitzgerald and the White House. If convicted, Blagojevich could face as much as 415 years in prison.
The final days of the courtroom proceedings saw Zagel threaten Blagojevich’s defense attorney Sam Adam, Sr. with contempt if he dared mentioned the names Antoin “Tony” Rezko or Stuart Levine to the jury. Rezko and Levine were two powerful Chicago businessmen who lavished huge sums of money and favors on Illinois politicians, including Obama and Blagojevich. In the trial of Rezko and Levine, the government argued that in return for political contributions and favors, Blagojevich and his associates attempted to steer state pension funds and other state money to interests in which they had a financial interest. Levine, a Republican, had been appointed to the board of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System and to the Illinois Hospital Facilities Planning Board by Blagojevich and his predecessor, Governor George Ryan, also convicted and jailed as a result of Fitzgerald’s prosecution.
The government’s investigation of Levine and Rezko was code-named Operation Board Games by the FBI. The investigation also involved Blagojevich’s campaign fundraiser Christopher Kelly and Blagojevich’s first-term chief of staff Alonzo “Lon” Monk. Monk was portrayed as someone who was willing to lie for the prosecutors in return for a prison sentence of two years, as opposed to a maximum of twenty years. Kelly died from what was determined to be a drug overdose last September. Even though Kelly had been stabilized at Oak Forest Hospital, he died after being transferred to Stoger Hospital in Chicago. Among the last people who saw Kelly before he died were reportedly a police officer and an unidentified “gray-haired man.” Kelly was to be called as a witness in the Blagojevich trial by the prosecution.
First identified as potential witnesses for the prosecution, and then for the defense, neither Rezko nor Levine were called as witnesses during the trial. WMR has learned that to call either Rezko and/or Levine would have potentially exposed the jurors to the importance of the Purple Hotel in the overall discussion of Chicago’s seamier political scene. The Purple Hotel, which is now closed and slated for demolition, was a one-time meeting place for men-only drug and sex parties in suburban Lincolnwood. WMR has learned that the Purple Hotel weekday afternoon parties were attended by Rezko, Levine, and Obama. The Purple Hotel had previously been connected to the murder of Teamsters pension fund mobster Allen Dorfman, who was gunned down in the parking lot of the Purple Hotel in 1983. Dorfman’s killers were never identified.
Although Fitzgerald originally planned to call Rezko, who has been held in solitary confinement in the Chicago metropolitan detention facility since June 2008 pending assignment to a federal prison, and Levine as witnesses for the prosecution against Blagojevich, he suddenly changed his plans. Blagojevich’s team rested their case without calling any witnesses, including Rezko and Levine.
On April 1, 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the day-long parties at the 293-room Purple Hotel: “Daylong, drug-fueled parties at the Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood and sometimes in Springfield. Snorting crystal meth and ‘Special K.’ Stuart Levine, the star witness at businessman and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko’s corruption trial, told jurors Monday the drugs would make him ‘euphoric’ and lower his inhibitions as he partied all night with five other men. ‘I would stay out all night,’ said Levine, testifying that he hid his behavior ‘in order to deceive my family.'”
The Purple Hotel at the corner of Touhy and Lincoln, and just off Interstate 94, in Lincolnwood, was reportedly the scene of gay sex and drug parties attended by Obama and two potential key Blagojevich trial witnesses — Rezko and Levine — whose testimony was suppressed by Fitzgerald’s prosecution team and Judge James Zagel.
Search terms: crystal meth, ketamine, Special K, village of Lincolnwood, Donald Bae, Village Resorts Inc., U. S. Judge Amy St. Eve, Whitewater, Kenneth Starr, Clinton investigation, Jim Guy Tucker, Man’s Country. see WMR for details [source]
EXPOSED: Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Political Syndicate
Source: Advance Indiana
Friday, June 27, 2008
Levine Rolled for Government After Being Linked to Male Prostitutes
The government’s key witness in the corruption trial of long-time Obama pal and political supporter, Tony Rezko, decided to become a witness for the government after federal investigators linked him to male prostitutes. That’s in addition to the information gleaned from unsealed documents in the case, which revealed that prosecutors had originally planned to play up Rezko’s illegal fundraising activities on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama. The Chicago Tribune discusses Stuart Levine’s link to male prostitutes in today’s edition:
Rezko was convicted of using Stuart Levine, a member of a state pension board as well as a board that regulated hospitals in Illinois, to rig decisions in exchange for kickbacks. Levine was the government’s star witness against Rezko, but a newly unsealed defense filing alleges that Levine only agreed to cooperate after realizing that the government had learned that he frequented male prostitutes.
During the trial, jurors heard unsavory details about all-night drug binges that Levine had engaged in with a regular group of male friends, but St. Eve had barred any testimony about Levine’s sexual habits.
Earlier this year, the Sun-Times ran a story discussing the all-night drug parties Stuart Levine was known to host at the infamous Purple Hotel in Chicago’s Lincolnwood neighborhood and occasionally in Springfield. Although these parties were sometimes described as being all-male parties, news accounts skirted the issue of gay sex activities at these parties, and the judge in Rezko’s case barred any testimony about his sexual orientation. Levine, who is married with children, is shown in what is purported to be a photo of him with Obama at Gene & Georgetti, a popular Chicago restaurant. The photo of Obama and Levine was discovered hanging on the wall of the restaurant earlier this year and was uploaded to the Internet.
=>For a humorous take on Obama’s “Strange Bedfellows”, check out this video.
=>Also, it’s Gay Pride weekend in Chicago. The HillBuzz blog has a post pondering the question of whether Obama will be a no-show at this year’s Pride parade in his hometown, as in years past. “I’m sure there are tons of people in Chicago Obama hasn’t seen in years, and it seems like everyone comes out for the parade, so who knows, Obama could run into all kinds of old friends, which would, I’m sure, make him very, very happy (who doesn’t love seeing old friends, or fellow churchgoers, or whomever),” Sebastian Gray writes at HillBuzz. “Later, they could all retire to the Obama Mansion in Hyde Park to play some Scrabble with Michelle (bet she’s a whiz with the triple-word-score! So smart and classy! Yet, surprisingly not that into Pride.).”
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Fast times at Purple Hotel
REZKO TRIAL | Levine tells of drug-fueled parties — some at Lincolnwood landmark
April 1, 2008
BY NATASHA KORECKI AND CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporters
Daylong, drug-fueled parties at the Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood and sometimes in Springfield. Snorting crystal meth and “Special K.” Stuart Levine, the star witness at businessman and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko’s corruption trial, told jurors Monday the drugs would make him “euphoric” and lower his inhibitions as he partied all night with five other men.
“I would stay out all night,” said Levine, testifying that he hid his behavior “in order to deceive my family.”
Stuart Levine (inset) testified that he took part in daylong, drug-fueled parties at the Purple Hotel (shown in 2006) in Lincolnwood. (Sun-Times Library/AP)
It was the second time Levine’s drug use came up in his testimony. But Monday he gave jurors a more extensive look at drug abuse he said cost him $1 million over four years and offered a peek into what Rezko’s lawyers have labeled Levine’s “secret life.” They’ve said they plan to use Levine’s drug use to attack his credibility.
Levine said at times he’d take leftover drugs from parties to his offices at the Hancock Building and in his Deerfield office and snort “a couple of lines.”
“I’d prepare them in lines a ½-inch long and very, very narrow,” Levine testified, adding that he paid for all the drugs at the parties, spending about $1,000 each time.
He said he took the drugs at his Highland Park home only “on very rare occasions.” Why? “I didn’t wish to be caught,” he said. “We had a housekeeper, children and my wife all coming in and out of the house.”
His admissions about drug use came on the same day Levine described an April 2004 meeting with Rezko in which he said the two men divvied up millions of dollars in kickbacks for state business. Levine testified he reserved a private room on the fourth floor of the exclusive Standard Club downtown. Levine said he asked the waiter not to interrupt and drew up in his notes how he’d split a series of fees paid by firms seeking to do state business.
Levine had many of the firms lined up to get hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investments from state boards, including one on which Levine sat. Levine said he wanted to cut Rezko in on finder’s fees from these firms because “I wanted to further ingratiate myself.”
The 62-year-old Highland Park businessman has pleaded guilty to corruption and fraud involving state boards. Rezko, 52, of Wilmette, is accused of scheming with Levine to split kickbacks tied to those boards.
By the end of the meeting at the Standard Club, Rezko agreed to $3.9 million as his cut in a series of illicit kickbacks, Levine testified. Prosecutors showed a receipt from that night and played tapes showing Levine made arrangements to meet with Rezko.
“I told Mr. Rezko that there was an opportunity for a lot of money to be made,” Levine said. “I wanted Mr. Rezko to understand the magnitude of what could be done with these companies.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner asked how Rezko reacted.
“He asked me what needed to be done in order to accomplish them,” Levine said.
“Did Mr. Rezko ask you if it would be legal for him to receive those fees?” Niewoehner asked.
“No, sir,” said Levine.
More highlights from Levine’s testimony Monday
Star witness Stuart Levine also testified Monday that:
• He worked with political power broker William Cellini to convince Tony Rezko and Christopher Kelly, another adviser to and fund-raiser for Gov. Blagojevich, that three major state pension funds shouldn’t be consolidated into one, as Blagojevich budget chief John Filan had proposed. At first, Blagojevich seemed to back Filan, Levine said Cellini told him. But ultimately the pension boards weren’t consolidated.
In exchange for their killing the consolidation plan, Levine said he agreed to work with Rezko and Kelly to help direct state business for investment firms that the two of them would choose.
“What is your understanding of why Mr. Rezko and Mr. Kelly would recommend investment firms?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner asked Levine.
“In order to reward campaign contributors” to Blagojevich, Levine replied.
• He held sway over state Teachers’ Retirement System board decisions because he controlled the agency’s executive director, Jon Bauman. Levine, who headed the TRS board’s personnel committee, said he let Bauman write his own job-performance reviews, which enabled Bauman to get bigger raises and other perks.
But Levine said he grew frustrated with Bauman in 2004, when Bauman didn’t act quickly on investment moves Levine was pushing.
“Jon has a couple of personality traits that are problematic: arrogance and stupidity,” Levine said in a secretly recorded call in April 2004.
In an interview Monday, Howard Feldman, an attorney for Bauman, defended his client, who remains TRS’ executive director.
“The board met and considered the evaluation of Mr. Bauman’s performance,” Feldman said. “They renewed his contract. And, in fact, not a single dollar was lost or an inappropriate investment made.”
• When he relayed to Rezko concerns he had about a new ethics ordinance that Blagojevich had pushed through the General Assembly in 2003, “Mr. Rezko told me nobody of any consequence was going to pay attention to the ethics ordinance. It was there just for show.”
Blagojevich, who isn’t facing any criminal charges, has said he “is not following” the Rezko trial, and “it would be inappropriate for me to comment on a trial I’m not a party in.”
Source: Wayne Madsen Report (WMR)
New details on Emanuel’s “play condo” in DC
June 3-4, 2010
On June 2, 2010, WMR reported: “WMR has recently learned that while a member of the House, a major Democratic strategist and lobbyist rented [Rahm] Emanuel his Washington, DC condominium at below market rates. Emanuel reportedly used the condominium for trysts with his homosexual partners in Washington while Emanuel’s family remained at their home in north Chicago. The Democratic strategist in question is also a top lobbyist for BP.”
WMR has learned additional details concerning the DC “play condo.” Well-informed sources report the condo in question was actually owned by Connecticut Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro. She is married to Democratic pollster and strategist Stan Greenberg. Greenberg’s firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, counts BP as one of its largest clients. Greenberg’s business partners are James Carville and Bob Shrum. Carville has been appearing on CNN commenting on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, another indication of the massive conflicts-of-interest of CNN in objectively covering news stories.
Although Greenberg and DeLauro are close friends of Rahm Emanuel, WMR has been told the “play condo” was “wired” and that there exists video and audio evidence of trysts not only involving Emanuel but also those engaged in by then-US Senator Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who both stopped at the condo on separate occasions for “extracurricular activities.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Introduced legislation to make it illegal to grow vegetables in your own garden (HR875). Her husband, Stanley Greenberg, works for Monsanto … Educate Yourself HR875
Articles on DeLauro:
Is Organic Farming Killer Rep. Rosa DeLauro Becoming the Most Hated Woman in America? (I Hope So) PDF From: John C. Hammell March 20, 2009
Monsanto’s dream bill, HR 875 [mirror site] PDF by Linn Cohen-Cole 3/9/09
HR 875 The food police, criminalizing organic farming and the backyard gardener, and violation of the 10th amendment PDF by Lydia Scott 03/06/09
Further reading: Monsanto-FDA Partnership: The Fix Is In – Big Agribusiness – Central Planning and Distribution – Patenting Frankenseeds – Gene Drift – Sophisticated and Pathological Elites – Conscious Intent to Deceive
Source: Los Angeles Times
The ties that bind. Remember Rahm Emanuel’s rent-free D.C. apartment? The owner: A BP adviser
June 7, 2010
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here’s a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation’s capital. And Chicago.
We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama‘s 2007-08 campaign.
Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.
Shortly after Obama’s happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg.
For an ordinary American, that would likely raise some obvious tax liability questions. But like Emanuel, the guy overseeing the Internal Revenue Service now is another Obama insider, Tim Geithner, who had his own outstanding tax problems but skated through confirmation anyway by the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Remember this was all before the letters BP stood for Huge Mess. Even before the Obama administration gave BP a safety award.
Now follow these standard Washington links if you can:
Greenberg’s consulting firm was a prime architect of BP’s recent rebranding drive as a green petroleum company, down to green signs and the slogan “Beyond Petroleum.”
Greenberg’s company is also closely tied to a sister Democratic outfit — GCS, named for the last initials of Greenberg, James Carville, another Clinton advisor, and Bob Shrum, John Kerry‘s 2004 campaign manager.
According to published reports, GCS received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political polling contracts in recent years from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Probably just a crazy coincidence. But you’ll never guess who was the chairman of that Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensing those huge polling contracts to his kindly rent-free landlord.
— Andrew Malcolm
Police say no foul play in car fire death of wife of White House aide
WMR January 11, 2011 – Ashley Turton, the wife of White House liaison to the House of Representatives Dan Turton, was burned to death in her car on the morning of January 10. Although Washington Metropolitan police ruled the death as an “accident,” WMR has learned that the FBI has alerted potential witnesses in politically-connected criminal investigations elsewhere in the country to use remotely-controlled “key fob” automobile starters to protect themselves from bombs triggered by car ignitions.
Ashley Turton, nee Westbrook, 37, and mother of three, including twins, was a lobbyist for Progress Energy of Raleigh, North Carolina. Just hours after Westbrook Turton died in the fiery incident in her garage, Duke Power announced that it was buying Progress Energy for $26 billion, creating the nation’s largest utility. Previously, she worked as the chief of staff for Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who is married to influential lobbyist and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. Greenberg counts BP among his major clients.
Mrs. Turton graduated from North Carolina State University and transferred to DeLauro’s staff as her press secretary in 2000 after having served as the public information officer for then-North Carolina Attorney General Mike Easley. Turton previously served as legislative assistant to Democratic Governor Jim Hunt. In 2004, Turton was a spokesperson for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign.
During her time with DeLauro, Turton went from press secretary, then to leadership aide and floor assistant, senior policy adviser and finally, chief of staff, in 2005.
The DC Fire Department concluded that Mrs. Turton’s SUV came into contact with flammable chemical materials in a low-speed crash, resulting in the fire. Police are also spinning the notion that Mrs. Turton suffered from some “unknown” medical condition. However, the FBI’s warning to witnesses about ignition bombs calls into question the DC Fire Department’s assessment and the quick ruling out of foul play by DC Metropolitan Police. Mrs. Turton’s car was discovered by firemen at around 5 am engulfed in flames while inside the garage of Turton’s townhouse on the 800 block of A Street in the Eastern Market section of Capitol Hill.
Dan Turton previously worked for Democratic House Majority leader Richard Gephardt and he was also a lobbyist for Timmons & Company. On September 15, 2008, WMR reported on Timmons: “In a case of “premature election-action,” the McCain campaign named Washington uber-lobbyist William E. Timmons, Sr. as the head of his presidential transition team … Timmons, along with his son, have built up Timmons & Company as a deep-pocketed lobbying firm in a city full of lobbying firms … Timmons is tied to all the bêtes noires of the Republican Party over the last generation and a half: Watergate, Tongsun Park and Koreagate, and the Ford administration and its two top advisers, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Timmons was Richard Nixon’s congressional liaison who tried to derail the impeachment of Nixon for the Watergate scandal. Timmons was also very close to Nixon and Ford Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In 1980, a number of Ronald Reagan campaign aides were livid when Timmons became a top campaign aide to Reagan as deputy campaign manager for operations and convention manager. Timmons, who became a top oil industry lobbyist having counted the American Petroleum Institute among his top clients, was politically close to George H. W. Bush, who later became Reagan’s running mate. The following is what muckraking journalist Jack Anderson wrote on July 14, 1980, about Timmons’ coming on board the Reagan campaign: ‘But it is Timmons’ work as a lobbyist that may prove to be a political liability to the Reagan campaign. While his penchant for rich and powerful clients would not disturb conservative Republicans, his devotion to their causes might not sit well with the moderates and Democrats Reagan needs to win over this fall.'” …. As with the suspicious murder of former Air Force Secretary assistant John P. Wheeler III in Joe Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, the Ashley Westbrook Turton death in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Capitol Hill is fast becoming a “cold case.” Both deaths barely receive notice on the national news broadcasts. In Wheeler’s case, an ex-Philly cop named William Fleisher is now getting ink for his theory that Wheeler suffered a brain injury and crawled into a dumpster where he died, later being found in a trash dump. Now, the DC media is being offered up police theories that Mrs. Turton suffered from some “unknown” medical condition that contributed to the fiery explosion that engulfed her vehicle with flames shooting up to the top of her house. The question remains, if Mrs. Turton’s medical condition is unknown, how does the Washington Metro Police know about it? [NewsFollowUp.com]
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Tom Pritzker accepts the 2013 Cornell Icon of the Industry Award (10:53)
Rick Perlstein: The Penny Pritzker Problem (12:05)
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Secretary of Commerce Pritzker on the Asia-Pacific and the TPP (0:25)
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Larry Sinclair Press Conference about Gay Love Affair with Barack Obama (56:29)
Roast of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D–IL), Sept. 20, 2005, Chicago (C-SPAN) (1:53:53)
The Zionist Criminal Network of Chicago – Crown, Pritzker, Klutznick: B’nai B’rith “Elders of Zion” – “Crown” (Krinsky) Clan’s Immense Influence at Northwestern University – Lester Crown, Zdenek Bazant, W. Gene Corley, and the 9/11 Cover-Up – Identify, Shame, Blame the Real Culprits
Crown Crime Family of Chicago – Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy – Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles – Myer Schine, Mickey Cohen, Meyer Lansky, Other Undesirables – J. Edgar Hoover at the Gulf Stream Hotel – LBJ, Bobby Baker, General Dynamics, TFX Scandal