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

Blagojevich: I was looking for an 'African American war hero' for the Senate seat

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Rod Blagojevich testifies that one of his ideal appointees to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat was an African American war hero.

Beginning in the summer of 2008, Blagojevich said he was thinking, if he had the opportunity, of appointing then-Illinois Senate President Emil Jones; Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Rep. Danny Davis; an African American war hero; and himself.

Appointing himself to the Senate was "never something I felt deep down comfortable with," Blagojevich testifies. But he said spending the remainder of his term as governor in the political environment in Illinois was an unappetizing prospect.

In late October, he said he was still considering the same candidates for the Senate seat, with the inclusion of Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Now Blagojevich is talking about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s alleged attempts to get Blagojevich to appoint him to the seat. Blagojevich said he received offers of fundraising in exchange for the Senate seat from Rajinder Bedi and Raghu Nayak.

"I had no intention of appointing Congressman Jackson, with or without" the offers, Blagojevich testified.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 31, 2011 4:31 PM.

Blagojevich launches 'Madigan deal' defense, calls Lisa Madigan 'the offspring of a foe' was the previous entry in this blog.

Defense shouldn't argue Blagojevich's advisers led him astray, judge says is the next entry in this blog.

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