The Chicago Syndicate: Ronald Reagan
Showing posts with label Ronald Reagan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ronald Reagan. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency

From the bestselling team of Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard comes Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency, a page-turning epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power -- and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down.

Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable -- or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world?

Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General, Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency, reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, up through the years in the California governor's mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan's most heroic actions. Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency, O'Reilly and Dugard take readers behind the scenes, creating an unforgettable portrait of a great man operating in violent times.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents in First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler

As in a play, presidents, vice presidents, and presidential candidates perform on stage for the public and the media. What the nation’s leaders are really like and what goes on behind the scenes remains hidden. Secret Service agents have a front row seat on their private lives and those of their wives and children.

Crammed with new, headline-making revelations, The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents by Ronald Kessler tells that eye-opening, uncensored story.

Since publication of his New York Times bestselling book In the President’s Secret Service, award-winning investigative reporter Ronald Kessler has continued to penetrate the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, breaking the story that Secret Service agents who were to protect President Obama hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia and revealing that the Secret Service allowed a third uninvited guest to crash a White House state dinner.

Now in this new book, Kessler presents far bigger and more consequential stories about our nation’s leaders and the agency sworn to protect them. Kessler widens his scope to include presidential candidates and former presidents after they leave the White House. In particular, he focuses on first ladies and their children and their relationships with the presidents.

From observing Vice President Joe Biden’s reckless behavior that jeopardizes the country’s safety, to escorting Bill Clinton’s blond mistress at Chappaqua, to overhearing First Lady Michelle Obama’s admonitions to the president, to witnessing President Nixon’s friends bring him a nude stripper, to seeing their own agency take risks that could result in an assassination, Secret Service agents know a secret world that Ronald Kessler exposes in breathtaking detail.

THE FIRST FAMILY DETAIL reveals:

·       Vice President Joe Biden regularly orders the Secret Service to keep his military aide with the nuclear football a mile behind his motorcade, potentially leaving the country unable to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack.

·       Secret Service agents discovered that former president Bill Clinton has a blond mistress who lives near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York. Within minutes of Hillary Clinton’s leaving, the woman—codenamed Energizer by agents—shows up to be with Bill and stays every day while the likely future presidential candidate is away.

·       The Secret Service covered up the fact that President Ronald Reagan’s White House staff overruled the Secret Service to let unscreened spectators get close to Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton, allowing John W. Hinckley Jr. to shoot the president.

·       Secret Service agents have been dismayed to overhear Michelle Obama push her husband to be more aggressive in attacking Republicans and to side with blacks in racial controversies.

·       Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan diverted agents from protecting President Obama and his family at the White House and ordered them instead to protect his assistant at her home and illegally retrieve confidential law enforcement records as a favor to her.

·       Because Hillary Clinton is so nasty to agents, being assigned to her protective detail is considered a form of punishment and the worst assignment in the Secret Service.

·       Secret Service agents were ordered to ignore security rules and allow the SUV carrying actor Bradley Cooper to drive unscreened into a secure restricted area when President Obama was about to deliver his speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

·       Vice President Joe Biden has racked up costs to taxpayers of a million dollars to fly to and from his home in Delaware on Air Force Two. His office tried to cover up the costs of the personal trips.

·       Because the Secret Service refused to provide enough magnetometers at his campaign events, Mitt Romney regularly left himself open to assassination by giving speeches to crowds that had not been screened.

·       Vice President Joe Biden swims nude at the vice president’s residence in Washington and at his home in Delaware, offending female Secret Service agents.

Sunday, February 11, 1990

Courtroom Tapes of Mob Boss Claim Cook County Undersherriff Accepted Payoffs to Protect Chicago Outfit

Three years after Cook County Republicans were giddily riding an unprecedented wave of popularity and political opportunity generated by President Ronald Reagan and an ex-cop named James O`Grady, the whole movement has spectacularly collapsed.

The Cook County sheriff, once the toast of the White House, a popular politician who happily fended off talk of a future in the mayor`s office or the governor`s mansion, faces the growing likelihood that his political career might be near an end.

The latest and most significant blow came on Friday when federal prosecutors in a court hearing played a tape of a reputed Chicago mob leader`s allegations that O`Grady`s former undersheriff, James Dvorak, chairman of the Cook County GOP, was taking payoffs to protect organized crime activities from the law.

The allegations are the unsubstantiated talk of a crime syndicate figure, and political leaders quickly rallied in support of O`Grady. But they hit him at a time that his political star has already been tarnished by previous incidents that raised questions about corruption in his office and political meddling by Dvorak.

Republican leaders, including Gov. James Thompson and Secretary of State Jim Edgar, remained publicly loyal to O`Grady. They suggested that the allegations by reputed gambling boss Ernest Rocco Infelice weren`t true, but should be investigated.

Sources close to O`Grady said that the allegations haven`t shaken the sheriff`s resolve to seek re-election. O`Grady huddled with advisers Friday afternoon-Dvorak was noticeably absent-and the subject of stepping down reportedly never was broached. But O`Grady allies anticipate that the allegations might force the sheriff to finally cut his ties to Dvorak, a longtime friend and business partner. They anticipate that Dvorak, who resigned only recently as undersheriff, would have to step down as party chairman, at least while an investigation of the matter is pending.

Even at that, some of O`Grady`s friends despaired that the unconfirmed allegations have killed his political fortunes. ''This is the final nail in the coffin,'' one O`Grady loyalist said.

As recently as six months ago, O`Grady was still the brightest light in local GOP politics. Although his political apparatus, led by Dvorak, had suffered a string of campaign losses after O`Grady`s election in 1986, he was still considered a strong favorite to win a second term. But O`Grady has spent the last few months fending off charges of corruption and political interference in his office that many local Republicans say have undermined his popularity. For O`Grady, the deluge seemed to be over, and the time to start repairing the damage had arrived. Then came Rocco Infelice.

The recording of Infelice`s remarks was played by government prosecutors as they sought to convince a federal magistrate that their racketeering case against him and four others is so strong that they should not be freed on bond.

The five co-defendants are among 20 people who were indicted Wednesday on charges they used murder, extortion and bribery to build bookmaking and casino-style gambling operations in the Chicago area.

In the tape, Infelice told William Jahoda, a bookmaker working as a federal informant, that his organization paid $35,000-a-month to law enforcement officials and imprisoned mobsters.

''Between you and I, 10 goes to the sheriff,'' Infelice told Jahoda.

''Yeah, with the Bohemian?'' Jahoda replied, in what a federal agent testified was a reference to Dvorak.

''Yeah,'' Infelice responded, ''five goes to another guy.''

Later in the discussion, Jahoda said, ''I got no right to ask you the question, what . . . do you get for 10 thousand a month.''

Infelice replied: ''Sheriff never bothers us, then we got a guy at the state`s attorney`s office. We got another guy downtown.''

Later on the tape, Infelice suggested that Chicago Police Supt. LeRoy Martin would consider transferring officers out of the vice crimes unit at his request and that organized crime figures aided the mayoral campaign of Richard M. Daley by scuttling former Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak`s mayoral campaign in 1989.

O`Grady, Daley, Dvorak and Martin each flatly denied that Infelice had any influence in their agencies. O`Grady called on Chief Judge Harry Comerford to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the charges. ''I am troubled and incensed by the allegations spread so broadly from the mayor`s office to the office of the superintendent of police and from the sheriff of Cook County to the state`s attorney of Cook County and all the way over to the federal building,'' O`Grady said. ''I take these allegations seriously because they definitely undermine the confidence of the people of this county and the confidence they should have and expect in their government officials.''

Dvorak, at a separate press conference, said: ''I have made countless arrests of major gambling operations, major call girl operations and prostitution and obscene matter investigations. There has never been a hint of impropriety in my 25-year work record as a Chicago police officer or as undersheriff.''

Gov. James Thompson, who launched his political career by investigating official corruption as U.S. attorney, also called for an investigation. ''To rock my faith in O`Grady`s office, it would have to also rock my faith in LeRoy Martin and Rich Daley, and I certainly don`t believe that about the three of them,'' Thompson said.

There has long been speculation about how pervasive the influence of organized crime is in the Democratic organization that has long ruled Chicago politics. Mayor Richard J. Daley, the present mayor`s father, once told reporters that his own telephones were tapped, although he suggested the eavesdroppers would only hear his conversations with his children and grandchildren.

And talk of the mob`s demise has surfaced almost routinely. It`s been nearly 20 years since Justice Department officials claimed that the mob had been nearly snuffed out in Chicago. And Richard J. Daley, as well, claimed the mob was dead, at least within the city limits. ''It isn`t here anymore,'' he said in 1976. ''It`s all out in the suburbs.''

Of course, it wasn`t gone from the city, and, in recent years, organized crime has publicly surfaced in political waters like the tell-tale fin of a predator.

The 1987 campaign for mayor was rocked by allegations that Vrdolyak had met with the late mob chief Joseph Ferriola, a charge that brought an angry denunciation from Vrdolyak.

In the tapes revealed Friday, Infelice says that Vrdolyak had ''good taste'' in his 1987 campaign, but when he ran again in 1989, Infelice boasted, the mob shut down his political fortunes by forcing a major contributor to abandon him.

For weeks, attention has been drawn to a federal investigation of corruption that has focused on several Democratic political figures, including Ald. Fred Roti (1st).

Ironically, after years of Democratic domination of Chicago politics-and corruption investigations spurred by Republican-appointed prosecutors-the most sensational charges are now leveled at two Republicans.

Although the Infelice tape also raises the names of Mayor Daley and Martin, suggesting that crime figures boosted Daley`s election chances and had a conduit to Martin, neither has been in the position of having to fend off such allegations in the past, as O`Grady has.

The immediate reaction from O`Grady`s political adversaries within his own party was that, at the least, Dvorak would have to resign. Some believe O`Grady, too, won`t survive until the November general election.

''The talk in the party right now is we need a couple of replacements,'' said Donald Totten, the former county GOP chairman who was ousted by Dvorak.

''The decision on a chairman is probably going to have to come from Jim Edgar.''

Edgar, a Republican candidate for governor, said through a spokesman that the allegations should ''be thoroughly investigated and resolved quickly, because there is nothing more important for a public official or party leader than to maintain their integrity and the public trust.''

Although O`Grady`s adversaries might consider pressing for him to step aside, the political reality is that the party almost certainly couldn`t elect anybody else as Cook County sheriff. O`Grady was the first Republican to win a countywide office in a decade, and he narrowly won in 1986 largely because Democratic Sheriff Richard Elrod was dogged by repeated instances of corruption in his department.

But several allies of O`Grady noted that his consultations with top aides Friday afternoon did not include Dvorak, and some speculated that the sheriff wants to put even more distance between himself and the party chairman, who has been the focus of charges that he has heavily politicized the sheriff`s office.

Republican leaders quickly floated three possible replacements for Dvorak as party chairman: Totten, 42nd Ward Committeeman Ron Gidwitz, and Northfield Township Committeeman Richard Siebel. But after the weeks of political battering that O`Grady and county Republicans have taken, culminating with the Infelice tapes, it`s not clear that anyone will be clamoring for the job.

Thanks to R. Bruce Dold.


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