Union leader Tom Balanoff just testified that on Nov. 12, 2008, after Rod Blagojevich heard Valerie Jarrett might be going to the White House, the ex-governor called him.
Blagojevich said he wanted a 501 (c) 4 foundation set up and in exchange he'd appoint Jarrett to the U.S. Senate.
"That somehow if I could get this foundation set up he would be open to appointing Valerie Jarrett."
Balanoff further explains that Blagojevich wanted to head it up himself: "That when he was no longer governor he could run this 501(c)4," Balanoff says, explaining a taped telephone call.
Blagojevich on the tape tells Balanoff that millionaires George Soros, Warren Buffett "could put $15 million $20 million over night."
"And then we can help our new Senator, Valerie Jarrett go out and push that," Blagojevich said.
How did Balanoff understand the conversation:
"That in fact he was making this proposal and in return Valerie Jarrett would be appointed," he testified.
Balanoff in the call said he would run the proposal "up the flagpole."
"Who was the flag pole?" Prosecutor Reid Schar asked.
Balanoff: "I was," Balanoff said he was just trying to get off the phone. "I never had any intention of taking this anywhere."
Balanoff then said he immediately called Jarrett and left her a message saying: "call me, I have a quick question for you."
Schar: "Did you ever hear back from her?"
Balanoff: "No I did not."
Later CNN reports that Jarrett was indeed going to the White House to be an adviser.
Balanoff then called Alexi Giannoulias.
"I heard from Blagojevich, he said Val is not interested," he said he told Giannoulias.
"If the governor called her in the next hour or so if he offered a job would she take it? And he said no. He thought it was a real shame that Blagojevich did not appoint Jarrett."
Then Giannoulias said this: "In passing he said, maybe he'll appoint me," Balanoff said.