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

Harris to Blagojevich: How about a job with SEIU?

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Wednesday morning brings more testimony from John Harris, who's being asked about pay-to-play allegations and Blagojevich's attempts to find a job for his wife, Patti, after news of a federal investigation adversely affected her work in real estate.

In a tape from the morning of Nov. 6, 2008, Blagojevich and Harris are talking about an upcoming meeting with SEIU union leader Tom Balanoff, where Blagojevich plans to ask him about possible positions in exchange for a Senate seat. Harris testified that Balanoff told him President-elect Barack Obama wanted Blagojevich to name Valerie Jarrett to the Senate seat.

As part of a discussion with Harris about what well-paying positions or jobs he might be able to get, Harris suggested to Blagojevich that he could be head of SEIU's "Change to Win" campaign.

"I tell ya, it's f---ing a great idea," Blagojevich tells Harris. "It's a great idea."

Harris testified that if Blagojevich didn't get the job he wanted in Obama's administration -- Secretary of Health and Human Services -- he told him maybe Balanoff would be willing to give him or his wife a position on SEIU's "Change to Win" campaign.

He wanted a job for Patti because the family's finances were in trouble, Harris said. She's currently in the hallway; she has been asked to leave when there's testimony about her.

Perhaps it's a good thing she's out of the room: prosecutors just played a tape where Patti and her husband get in a fight about the merits of the "Change to Win" position.

"How about I hang up on you. What are you doin'? What is this?" Blagojevich asks Patti on the phone when she suggests the SEIU job might not pay well. But the two make up before the end of the call.

"I gotta stop swearin'. I gotta stop swearin'," he tells Patti.

"It's terrible," she says. "Total gutter mouth."

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1 Comment

No one thinks it's a little strange that they are going through Tom Balanoff of the SIEU instead of Obama or one of his staff memebers??? Nothing to see here folks, just keep on movin...

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 4, 2011 11:12 AM.

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