Reporting with Lark Turner
Rod Blagojevich heads into testimony about the third of five alleged shakedown schemes -- this one involves tollway improvements.
He's accused of shaking down road-building executive Gerry Krozel for a campaign contribution in exchange for pushing through a major tollway improvement.
At least part of his defense to this is that Blagojevich really wanted a massive capital bill to pass -- one that would have improved tollways as well as given a lift to other capital projects throughout the state.
Aaron Goldstein plays an Oct. 31, 2008 call between Blagojevich and chief of staff John Harris where the then-governor is heard pushing for this bill. He's heard dropping an f-bomb, and later apologized for it.
Blagojevich smiles, shaking his head a little bit in apparent, disbelief at his caught-on-tape self.
He's specifically talking about DuPage County Bob Schillerstrom, who wanted state funding to build a western access to O'Hare.
Blagojevich is heard saying that if Schillerstrom wanted it, he'd better "bring all their influence to bear" to get House Speaker Michael Madigan to lift a brick off of it in the Illinois House.
"You're a big, tough guy with a lot of influence, get down to Springfield...Lobby your government there," Blagojevich said he wanted of Schillerstrom at the time. "You'll get your western access road and a lot more. You'll get schools and roads and a lot more."
Judge James Zagel again tells Blagojevich he understands there's a tendency to explain how government works in each of his answers.
However, he tells him to instead: "Just answer the questions."