Ward Room
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Why a Local Photographer Bought Hundreds of Blago Recordings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When Rod Blagojevich took down a portrait of Abraham Lincoln that once hung in his office and hid it away in a storage facility to be forgotten, he symbolically trashed the state's once-good-reputation.

    But Bill O'Neill of Elgin, a photographer and noted Blagojevich detractor, certainly had no intention of letting Blago bury this state's legacy in a warehouse somewhere, so he purchased the framed Abe Lincoln photo for $600 when the contents of the former governor's storage space were sold at a public auction.

    "I've been calling this guy out on his crap for a long, long time and will continue to do so," O'Neill said.

    For another $100, O'Neill also purchased three boxes of unmarked video tapes, which turned out to be recordings of Blagojevich's appearances on television, including commercials during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

    "They're pretty funny," O'Neill said.  "This guy taped himself at every opportunity. Every single time."

    O'Neill said hopes to use the videotapes to continue poking fun at the governor on his blog BlagoBlog.com.

    So far O'Neill has been able to make it through about 50 of the 111 tapes. Nothing incriminating has popped up, but the narcissism is tough to ignore.

    "When you listen to them over and over again it's like 'Oh my gosh' I can’t believe people voted for this guy."

    As for the Lincoln portrait, his family is fighting over what to do with it.

    "My kids look at me and laugh. But my one son wants to hang it in his room," O'Neill said.

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.