Monday, February 27, 2006
The Unanswered Question: Whats Thompson Get Out of This?
I must say that if we had a good investigative pressor even a reasonably curious onewe would be deluged with questions concerning the multi-million-dollar pro-bono defense of George Ryan by Jim Thompson and Winston & Strawn. Thompson put his ace rain-maker, Dan Webb on the case and hes been working virtually full-time for at least a yearwithout remuneration. Which means that the partners have had their pay trimmed proportionately. My question is: whats Thompsons interest in all this. Oh, I dont mean the fact that hes a good friend of Georges. I mean: what does George have on Thompson to have placed at his disposal the massive resources of a major law-firm, free?
Any good government idea that Jim Thompson is an idealist and wishes to pursue the unblemished nuances of the law ended during Big Jims 4-term reign as governor when he followed the lifestyle of Suleiman the Magnificent, building that taxpayer-funded god-awful glass menagerie called The Thompson Center, supporting each and every item of the liberal Democratic agenda, promising no new taxes and cynically reneging after election ending up with the strange court decision rendered by Seymour Simons son that ended any possibility of a recount on the election he narrowly won from Adlai Stevenson III, wherein even Jane Byrne told me that in the 5,000-vote margin, the election could easily have been stolen. Further, any view that Thompson is ethically unchallengeable must have died with the humiliating laxity he displayed as chief of the audit committee at Hollinger where he signed off on every Conrad Black wish, enjoying hugely as he did the schmoozing of Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle, his board-mates.
The latest episode with the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois testifying for George Ryan without notifying anyone that he owes a debt to Winston & Strawn was ignored by everybody except the Tribunes John Kass. Frankly, Chicagos media has performed much better on other things than it has on this. Ladies and gentlemen of the so-called independent media, this has looked like a massive impropriety for a long time. Unless you have been suffocated by the charm of Big Jimbo, if there isnt an answer made to this million-dollar-plus donation of corporate in kind support Mother Teresa-like by Jim for George, there ought at least to be some recitation of it in the public prints. At the least there ought to be some estimate on how much Dan Webb would have charged plus the auxiliary legal services. Good God, questions should be asked, dont you think?