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

Blagojevich trial: Johnston testifies on racetrack bill

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

A mild-mannered Johnston is testifying with his hands folded before him.

He just told jurors the 2008 racetrack bill -- which would extend a 2006 law that funneled subsidies from riverboat casinos to the struggling horse racing industry -- would bring $9,000 a day to his two racetracks -- once it went into effect.

Every day counted when it came to getting the bill signed.

Prosecutors show jurors a chart showing that in 2006, it took Blagojevich just one day to sign a similar bill.

Earlier, Johnston testified about a series of conversations he had with Lon Monk during which Monk asked him for campaign contributions.

Johnston did not commit to giving money and generally dodged the issue, he said.

I would generally try to deflect the conversation to another subject matter," he testified.

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{Prosecutors show jurors a chart showing that in 2006, it took Blagojevich just one day to sign a similar bill.}

Did prosecutors; or the defense for that matter, bother to illustrate that Johnston; and or companies that he controls as well as industry PAC's had already given over $100,000 to Blagojevich prior to the 2006 bill having been introduced; let alone signed?

Does anyone believe that the same parties would not have made similar fund raising commitments in order to get the law reinstated and extended?

After all, they were doing nothing to actually earn the subsidy, it was simply money being diverted from one industry and re-directed to the benefit of the business of another.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on June 21, 2010 10:36 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Racetrack owner John Johnston takes the stand was the previous entry in this blog.

John Johnston: Blagojevich contribution and legislation were "linked" is the next entry in this blog.

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