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

Blagojevich trial analysis: Lon Monk says money bought you access in Blagojevich's administration

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Lon Monk's testimony now discusses how Rod Blagojevich's two biggest fund-raisers - Chris Kelly and Tony Rezko -- raised millions of dollars, then the two immediately had the most influence over his administration as governor.

Kelly and Rezko were part of the governor's transition team in 2003 and had control over dozens of crucial appointments in Blagojevich's administration, Monk said.

Monk said Blagojevich vacationed with Kelly and his family. They went to ball games together and out to eat. They spoke frequently, with Kelly doing the lion's share of raising money -- millions of dollars between 2001 and 2004, Monk said.

Through Monk, prosecutors are trying to show that Blagojevich knew these men intimately and thus backed their aggressive fund-raising strategies.

"Did you learn which people were allowed to see defendant Blagojevich when they wanted to?" Prosecutor Chris Niewoehner asked.
"Yes," Monk said.
"How much access did Mr. Kelly have?" Niewoehner asked.
"A significant amount. He was the lead fund-raiser, he had developed relationships with these large donors and that was his responsibility."

As for Rezko's access, Monk said: "Significant amount. He didn't exercise it that often but a significant amount."

Rezko was second only to Kelly as far as raising money for Blagojevich.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 9, 2010 1:36 PM.

Rod Blagojevich and Patti lunch in cafeteria was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Monk questioned on 2002 political appointees is the next entry in this blog.

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