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

Balanoff: I wouldn't have endorsed Blagojevich if I knew then what I know now

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman


After a break, Prosecutor Reid Schar asked union leader Tom Balanoff, who said his Service Employees International Union supported Rod Blagojevich, whether he would
still support Blagojevich today.

"Would you have endorsed him if you knew what you knew now?" Schar asked.
Balanoff: "No."

Schar, a bit worked up: "Is it fair to say he isn't what you thought he was?"

Objection sustained.

Defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky crosses Tom Balanoff again. Balanoff says he couldn't think of an issue the union wanted that Blagojevich didn't support.

"So the governor clearly had integrity on supporting the issues of the working people, did he not?" Sorosky asked.

That's sustained.

Sorosky finally asks Balanoff if Blagojevich ever explicitly told him that he wanted a 501 (c) 4 organization in exchange for Jarrett's appointment.

"He never said those exact words," Balanoff said.

Sorosky tries pressing him but doesn't seem to get the answer he was hoping for.

Balanoff: "He said that if he could get $10, $15, $20 million in this 501(c)4, that our Senator Valerie Jarrett could go about her job."

With that, Balanoff's testimony concludes. It was a brisk ending for a major prosecution witness.

Now we are between witnesses where we are listening to a new recording where Rod and Patt Blagojevich discuss the four Senate seat candidates President-Elect Obama had endorsed.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 29, 2010 4:06 PM.

Defense: Isn't union threat to cut off Blagojevich extortion? was the previous entry in this blog.

New witness. Scofield says he left state job after seeing Rezko/Kelly in control is the next entry in this blog.

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