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

Robert Blagojevich: As a fund-raiser, "outrageous" requests from donors are part of the job

Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

As a fund-raiser for his governor-brother, Robert Blagojevich often faced "outrageous" requests of people who wanted to buy favor with the government, he testifies.

One example of this was a fund-raising offer we've heard a lot about - an offer by an Indian community leader to raise $6 million if the governor would appoint Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to Barack Obama's Senate seat.

Robert Blagojevich grows animated on the stand, saying these are the things he "had to deal with as a fund-raiser" -- but he didn't take them seriously.

The ex-governor's brother then launches into another example - it took place when he was invited to a meeting with a group of Greek restaurateurs who had said they wanted to hold a fund-raiser for the governor.

When Robert sat down with the group, they pulled out an architectural drawing of an access road they wanted built to improve traffic to their businesses, he testifies.

"It was egregious," Robert says. "I said, 'I don't do that. I can't help you with that. You have to go through IDOT.' And as a result, they canceled the fund-raiser."

"Were they as blatant as Freveletti was?" Niewoehner shot back, referring to a lawyer and Blago donor that Robert allegedly helped curry favor with the governor.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 20, 2010 11:43 AM.

Robert Blagojevich: I wish John McCain would have won was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Blagojevich: $6M Jackson emissary Raghu Nayak is a "likable exaggerator" is the next entry in this blog.

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