Reporting with Natasha Korecki
Friends of Blagojevich was not faring well when Robert Blagojevich came to Chicago to help with the governor's fund-raising in summer 2008, Robert testifies. Of a $2.5 million goal, the campaign had only reached the $700,000 mark.
The campaign got turned down often for contributions. "We got more 'no's than 'yes'es," Robert said.
Robert's attorney, Michael Ettinger, asks Robert if he was ever present for a political meeting at the Thompson Center or the governor's mansion in Springfield between Aug. 1, 2008 -- when he came to work for FOB -- and Dec. 9, 2008 -- the day of the arrests.
"No," Robert says. "I think (Rod) made it a deliberate point to keep it separate from that."
Ettinger asks if anyone ever asked Robert for his advice about politics.
"Nnnno," Robert said, smiling.
Ettinger: "As of Aug. 1, 2008, did you know very much about Illinois politics?"
Ettinger: "Did you ever think of running for office anywhere?"
Robert: "No," he said, snapping his head forward.
Ettinger ticks down the list of people who the ex-governor allegedly shook down for cash.
Ettinger: "Did you ever have a conversation about fund-raising with (racetrack owner) John Johnston?"
Ettinger: "(Road-building executive) Gerry Krozel?"
Ettinger: "(Chicago businessman) Blair Hull?"
Ettinger asks who typically would have these conversations, if not Robert. That was Lon Monk, Robert says, adding that he would just call Monk to check in.
"You're basically a score-keeper," Ettinger said.
"I'm a score-keeper, yes," Robert said.