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

Blagojevich trial: SEIU leader Thomas Balanoff takes the stand, expected to provide Obama-Blagojevich link

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki
SEIU leader Thomas Balanoff, a key witness for the government, has just taken the stand.

Balanoff is expected to testify that Barack Obama called him before the election, giving him the green light to ask Blagojevich to appoint his friend Valerie Jarrett to his U.S. Senate seat.

He's also expected to say that Blagojevich told him he wanted a personal benefit in return for appointing Jarrett.

Early in his testimony, Balanoff says national union leader Andy Stern first raised Valerie Jarrett as a potential Senate successor in September 2008. As early as as October 2008, Stern said he talked to Jarrett and she said she was interested.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on June 29, 2010 12:04 PM.

Judge James Zagel: New tape won't be admitted until Rod Blagojevich takes the stand was the previous entry in this blog.

Tom Balanoff: Obama called day before election about Jarrett appointment is the next entry in this blog.

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