Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

BLAGO BOOK: Lisa Madigan was his Senate pick. Rahm asked for favor.

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I'm reading through an advanced copy of Blago's book "The Governor," officially due out in bookstores a week from tomorrow. (Rich Miller, who authors "Capitol Fax," first published excerpts from the book this morning.)

Some highlights:

-- Blago says he was going to appoint Lisa Madigan to the Senate post.
"It had everything to do with me loving the people of Illinois."
How much does he loves Illinoisans? (The italicized question reappears throughout the 10th chapter). "Enough to appoint the daughter of my political nemesis if it meant I could achieve a lot of good things for the people." Blago says he talked about it with everyone from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "I decided to do it because the greater good would be served," Blago writes.
Blago says he wanted to draft Durbin or Rahm Emanuel to approach Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan about cutting a political deal. Lisa Madigan would get the Senate seat if Michael Madigan advanced Blago's legislative agenda.
"He's a very troubled and confused human being," said Steve Brown, spokesman to Michael Madigan. "This book is another testimony of that."

-- Rahm Emanuel: Blago says Rahm asked him after the November election to appoint a seat holder after Emanuel vacated his Congressional post. The conversation came after Emanuel agreed to act as President Obama's chief of staff. (Sun-Times reported this in December.) Blago says Emanuel believed he was in line to become House speaker and didn't want to give that up.
"Rahm understandably wanted to keep his options open if he could," Blago writes. "Rahm told me that his lawyers thought there was a way where the governor might be able to make an appointment."
It turned out Blago didn't have the legal authority to do it.
Blago said he "teased" Emanuel that if he did it, then Emanuel should "consider it a favor."
"Because if I helped him appoint a congressman who was going to keep the seat warm for him, then I was going to make a lot of people who wanted to be congressmen unhappy with me."
Including Blago's sister-in-law, Deb Mell.

-- In the fall of 2008, Marilyn Katz, longtime friend of Valerie Jarrett, who is now an adviser to President Obama, called Patti Blagojevich about having lunch. She reached out to ex-Blago chief of staff John Harris too about Jarrett's appointment to replace Obama.
Blago says of Jarrett: "I knew her and I liked her. But was this the best I could do for the people of Illinois?"

-- Blago refers to Chicago's Special Agent in Charge as "Agent Grant," and actually puts Grant on hold when Grant tells him he's got two agents outside his home ready to arrest him. Blago was calling ex-gubernatorial lawyer William Quinlan for guidance.
--Blago takes a shot at U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and his role as a special prosecutor in the Scooter Libby case.
"The federal prosecutor had made such a big deal out of this investigation that the case became more about the prosecutor's own self-preservation than justice," Blago writes. "This same prosecutor is the one who accused me of trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat for personal gain."
He calls the accusation: "completely and entirely false."

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3 Comments

The tapes sealed by Judge Zagel will reveal the truth. With 400 hours worth of taped calls, much of this has to have been recorded.

Blago accuses other politicans of exploiting the people and enaging in certain, ahem, extracurricular activities. However, his comment about "loving the people of Illinois" proves that he, too, can't tell the difference between loving someone and, shall we say, "bleeping" them ;-)


"loving the people of Illinois", give me a break...Homeland Security cut him off! He put the entire state at risk because of his ego! He's not going to mention what really happened with Emanuel, his lawyers are not about to let him implicate himself. WHY hasn't P.F. brought charges against him and the "Companion Security" gang??? THis was far more heiness then any of the crimes he has been indicted for, he should be tried for treason!

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on August 31, 2009 2:19 PM.

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