George Ryan

Statehouse
3:13 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Two Decades After Crash, Willis Family Gets TV Show

A promotional photo for Meet The Willis Family - Credit TLC

(Information in the following story is from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://chicago.suntimes.com/)  

A new TV show is set to focus on the grandchildren of a couple who lost six kids in a 1994 van crash linked to the investigation and conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.  

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the show about the Tennessee-based Willis family will premiere May 5 on TLC.  

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Satire
5:04 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

New Governor Means New Material For Political Cartoonists

Portrayal of Gov. Bruce Rauner (Scott Stantis)

This month's inauguration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner marks a change in leadership for lawmakers and employees at state agencies. But it's also a big transition for people who will deal with the new governor in a very different capacity over the next four years: political cartoonists.

Scott Stantis draws political cartoons for the Chicago Tribune. He says Bruce Rauner has very identifiable features.

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Legal
6:22 am
Tue October 28, 2014

George Ryan's Prosecutor Back In U.S. Attorney's Office

A prosecutor-turned-private attorney has returned to the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago to take its No. 2 job.  

Joel Levin served for 28 years as a federal prosecutor in California, Wisconsin and Illinois. In Chicago, he helped prosecute former Illinois Gov. George Ryan for corruption. He entered private practice in 2008.  

Another Ryan prosecutor is Chicago's current U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon. Fardon announced the 60-year-old Levin's appointment as first assistant U.S. attorney Monday.  

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Statehouse
8:42 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Off Supervision, George Ryan Talks About Time In Prison

Former Illinois governor George Ryan.
Credit WBEZ

Former Gov. George Ryan has finished a year of supervision following his release from home confinement last summer after a prison sentence for corruption convictions.

Ryan was released from prison in January 2013 and was confined to his home until last July. At the time his lawyer and friend former Gov. Jim Thompson said that Ryan was subject to another year of supervision and some travel restrictions. That ends this week.

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Harvest Desk
7:45 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Illinois Groups Want Expanded Trade With Cuba

Credit Illinois Cuba Working Group

Back in 1999, then Governor George Ryan led a delegation to the island nation of Cuba.   Since that time, a number of Illinois Agriculture groups have been working to ease trade restrictions to the small nation.   The Illinois Cuba Working Group recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama hoping to expand trade opportunities between the nations.  

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Politics
10:21 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Former Gov. George Ryan Attends Mandela Event

former Gov. George Ryan
Credit WBEZ

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan says Nelson Mandela was instrumental in his 2003 decision to empty death row.  

Ryan addressed attendees gathered Sunday at the Chicago church of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who hosted a "people's tribute'' to the late South African leader.  

Ryan, a Republican, was released from prison earlier this year after serving more than five years on corruption charges. His roughly five-minute speech was one of his first public appearances since his release.  

Ryan and Mandela met in 2000 on a trade mission to South Africa.  

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Ethics Anniversary
1:33 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

December Ninth: A Big Day On Illinois' Ethics Timeline

Then Gov. Rod Blagojevich's mug shot, taken on the morning of his arrest, on Dec. 9, 2008.
Credit wikipedia.org

 December Ninth is a significant day in Illinois' political history: for better, and for worse.

On Dec. 9, 2003 "the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act was signed into law," Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's David Morrison says.

That was Illinois lawmakers' response to the Hired Truck scandal that landed former Gov. George Ryan in prison. It created inspectors general with subpoena power, limited lobbyists' wining and dining of officials, and set conduct standards for state workers.

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Statehouse
3:29 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

George Ryan Adjusting To Life After Prison

Fmr. Gov. George Ryan
Credit WBEZ

Former Gov. George Ryan says he's still adjusting to private life in the weeks since his release from home confinement.  
Ryan spoke briefly to The Associated Press Thursday from his home in Kankakee. He says he traveled to Springfield over the weekend to celebrate the birthday of his triplet daughters, one of whom lives in that city.  
He also visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum on Saturday with family.  

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Illinois
9:17 am
Wed July 3, 2013

George Ryan: "Freedom's A Great Thing"

Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan

A cheerful, joking George Ryan has spoken outside his home after the former Illinois governor was released from home confinement.  
 Ryan spoke Wednesday afternoon in Kankakee, saying he felt good, physically and mentally.  
 Wednesday ended more than five years in federal custody for corruption. In January, he was released from an Indiana prison and moved to confinement at his home.  
 Ryan says he feels ``wonderful'' and that ``freedom's a great thing.''  
 Ryan says he's writing a book but didn't elaborate.  

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon May 1, 2006

Ends and Means: George Ryan's conviction may have made other politicians nervous

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

If ominous winds are sending chills up and down the spines of the muckety-mucks frequenting the 16th floor of the James R. Thompson Center and the 5th floor of Chicago's City Hall, don't blame vagrant breezes off Lake Michigan.

Instead, look south a few blocks to the Dirksen Federal Building, where a few weeks ago a federal jury found former Gov. George Ryan and Chicago businessman Larry Warner guilty on all counts in a marathon public corruption trial.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Wed March 1, 2006

Editor's Notebook: We miss something if we look only to the scope of graft or means of acquiring it

Peggy Boyer Long
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

How much is enough? A few steak dinners? First-class flights to better fairways? A million or more in undeclared cash? What if even that is not enough? What if there is no enough?

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue November 1, 2005

State of the State: Government service isn't supposed to be about helping yourself

Pat Guinane
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

To hear him tell it, Scott Fawell never let good government get in the way of politics.

His approach wouldn't be unusual for a high-priced political consultant. The problem is, Fawell has "been on a lot of state payrolls." 

And it's hardly a revelation. Much of the first day of testimony in the federal corruption trial of former Gov. George Ryan focused on a faulty firewall between government and politics.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat February 1, 2003

Editor's Notebook: Illinoisans face some old business in this new era

Peggy Boyer Long
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Changing governors isn’t as simple as calling the movers. For good or ill, departing residents of the Executive Mansion always leave something behind. 

Pundits will debate the relative pluses and minuses of George Ryan’s four-year tenure as Illinois’ chief executive — and there is an impressive trunkful of stuff to rifle through. Historians will assess the legacy of this endlessly complex politician. Even philosophers might weigh in on the stunning personal transformation of this confounding and complicated man. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri November 1, 2002

Ryan's paradox: In a classic tragedy, the protagonist's character always prefigures his fall

Paralyzed by scandal, yet one of the most active Illinois governors in recent memory. A political version of Donald Trump in his love of the deal, yet unable to focus on the all-important details. Loved by political insiders, yet increasingly mistrusted by much of the public. These are a few of the paradoxes that define George Ryan. The most poignant, though, is that this lifelong public servant had waited an entire career to become governor, yet was never able to become the leader he had hoped after moving into the Executive Mansion.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Fri November 1, 2002

State of the State: The governor ignited a fire by musing aloud about his clemency powers

Aaron Chambers
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Edward Spreitzer doesn’t contest the guilty verdict against him. Nor does he dispute the horrid nature of the murder that landed him on Death Row. He simply argues the justice system that tried and convicted him is broken, just as Gov. George Ryan says it is, and that, therefore, his death sentence should not stand.

This is a bold legal argument, to say the least. But the courts won’t be deciding this case: The governor will. And if any argument should persuade Ryan to grant relief to Spreitzer, this evidently is the one.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat June 1, 2002

Tall Orders, Tall Hats: Matthew Bettenhausen is central figure in state's most contentious issues

Matthew Bettenhausen wears lots of hats, all of them tall. Increasingly, this top adviser to Gov. George Ryan is a central figure in some of the state’s most contentious issues. He wants to keep a low profile — he’s an aide, after all, not an elected official. Nonetheless, he manages to cast a long shadow across Ryan’s agenda, including the governor’s ongoing efforts to reform the death penalty.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat June 1, 2002

Politics: Lawmakers' summer vacation could be over almost before it starts

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Facing perhaps the worst fiscal crisis in state history, Illinois lawmakers chose an equally unprecedented remedy — selling long-term bonds — to help fill a $1-billion-plus hole in the state’s day-to-day operating budget.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sat September 1, 2001

Politics: The governor’s departure marks the end of an era in Illinois

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

As the 2001 baseball season winds down, fans across the nation are saying farewell to a pair of the game’s best, Baltimore Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. and San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn.

In similar fashion, the Illinois political scene is losing one of its top performers with the decision by Gov. George Ryan not to seek a second term.

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