Ben Joravsky, 12/10/08:
In 1988, when Blago was still a young man, he fell in love with Mell's daughter Patti. And alderman Mell fell in love with Blago. It could be that Mell saw in Blago all the things he never had—boyish charm, an aw-shucks personality, the real possibility of higher office. I remember some of Mell's allies telling me about it. They'd never seen anything quite like the old man's infatuation with young Rod.
Ben Joravsky, 5/6/04:
Then in the run-up to the general election Blagojevich began pulling away from Mell. When he made his victory-party speech he didn't even thank his father-in-law. "Rod's ditching us because he's decided we hurt more than help," says one 33rd Ward precinct captain. "He wants to look like some squeaky-clean independent. What a joke. Hey, the machine is what got him to where he's at."
Chris Fusco and Steve Contorno, Sun-Times, 7/26/10:
It was the feud that helped start it all. In January 2005, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich ordered state environmental workers to shut down a Will County landfill owned by Frank Schmidt — a relative of Blagojevich's wife, Patti, and of his father-in-law, powerful Chicago Ald. Richard Mell (33rd).