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

Rod Blagojevich to Tribune Co.: Fire editorial board if you want state help

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Harris is testifying about a recording in which Rod Blagojevich demands that the Chicago Tribune's editorial board get hacked if the Tribune Co. wants state help with its sale of Wrigley Field and the Cubs.

"Did you see that Tribune editorial today?" Blagojevich begins on the Nov. 6, 2008 tape.

Blagojevich asks Harris about the results of a meeting he had with an associate of Sam Zell's, the owner of the Tribune, the day before -- the "mission he had sent me on earlier," Harris said from the stand.

Harris had been sent to tell the Tribune the governor wanted its editorial board fired and replaced, or he would not go forward with providing state assistance on the Wrigley and Cubs transaction, Harris testified.

But Harris ignored the directive, he testified, suggesting only that "continued negative (editorial) coverage could cause the General Assembly or others to try to derail the transaction," he testified.

On the tape, the governor coaches Harris to try to line up some positive editorials in the future.

"The other point you want to make is we, we sure would like to get some editorial support from your paper, OK?" Blagojevich is heard saying.

The two are also heard discussing how much the state's help on the sale is worth to the Tribune.

"What's it worth to them, $500 million?" Blagojevich is heard asking.

Harris responds that it's closer to $100 million.

"That's all? How do you figure?" Blago asks.

Back in the courtroom, an agitated-looking Blagojevich is digging into his notebook with his pen as he listens to Harris.

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4 Comments

Great point Bessie, i kind of forgot about Frawley in this whole mix, wasn't he partners with Rezko in that $50 million Iraqi deal? Where has he been?

Thats a great point Bessie! Im surprised the $100,000 was not brought up at Rezko's trial either in regards to the Companion Security deal. And where has Dan Frawley been during these two trials, he and Rezko were partners correct??

I hope the defense ask's Harris what he did with the $100,000 Frawley gave him for the Savanna site...It was cash, did he split it 4 way's or keep it all himself.

This is kind of funny timing, wasn't he just crying "freedom of speech" when he was threatened with a gag order? and here he's trying to gag the press.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on June 23, 2010 10:36 AM.

Rod Blagojevich on foundation jobs: "Salvation Army... have to wear a uniform, forget that." was the previous entry in this blog.

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