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

Blagojevich, Harris prep for job bargaining with Tom Balanoff

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

The Nov, 6, 2008 call continues and the conversation turns to more plotting before Blagojevich's big meeting with union leader Tom Balanoff, which was scheduled for that afternoon.

Blagojevich is practicing a conversation in which he'd up others -- Emil Jones, Lisa Madigan -- to up the value of the appointment, showing Balanoff there was competition for the seat.

On the stand, John Harris explains that he didn't think Madigan or Jones were truly in consideration, though.

Blago says he heard on the news that the Obama camp was considering Valerie Jarrett, who they had been pushing for the Senate appointment, for a cabinet post.

"So they're willing to give her a cabinet spot," Blago is heard saying. "So if that's the case, give me the cabinet spot and we'll give her the Senate seat. What do you think of that? I thought that was a good sign."

At one point in the conversation, Blagojevich is referring to the Health and Human Service cabinet post he's after -- but he keeps referring to it as "DHS" -- Department of Homeland Security -- not "HHS." Harris keeps correcting him.

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