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

Blagojevich on campaign funds: 'Not of personal value to me' and just 'political'

| 7 Comments | No TrackBacks

Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

Moving onto allegations Rod Blagojevich held up signing a bill to extort campaign contributions from a racetrack industry executive, prosecutor Reid Schar is diving into Blagojevich's personal feelings on his campaign funds.

Before Blagojevich's friend, lobbyist and former Chief of Staff Lon Monk headed out to collect a promised contribution from Monk's own client, Johnny Johnston, Monk and Blagojevich went over the conversation Monk would have with Johnston.

Johnston was waiting on Blagojevich to sign a bill on his desk granting the racetrack industry money redirected from casino profits. Blagojevich maintains he was waiting to review the bill alongside others.

Monk said he would tell Johnston that Blagojevich would be "skittish" about signing the bill before getting the money.

"I'm not gonna cross any lines, one's not for the other, and that's what mattered to me," Blagojevich testified. "How he [Monk] decides to deal with his client who's paying him, I trust his judgment at that point, I trusted his honesty and I trusted his self-interest."

Blagojevich said though campaign funds were "undoubtedly" important to him, he was "very scrupulous in never using the campaign funds for personal use," he tells Schar. "I don't view that as a value to me. It was political."

After a few back-and-forths with Schar about the personal importance of his funds, Schar smiles, seemingly incredulous. "It's nice to see you smile," Blagojevich comments, earning laughter in the court and a big smile from one juror. But Schar's smile disappears.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/40995

7 Comments

Dear Just Ice,
Thanks for your response. To my way of thinking, he may be unlikeable, but he hasn't broken any laws.

Dear K:
Time after time during the Blago trial, it was brought out that he was only interested in enriching his campaign with unlawful actions. If he is found guilty, he has only himself to blame and not the people who feel betrayed by this pol. I believe many people hate Blago's past behavior and not this defendant who must have felt the law did not apply to him.

So, Just Ice, if I don't join the Blago-haters and I try to be objective, I'm naturally a relative? Then, I have to ask you are you kin to Fitz?

Are you related to this bamboozler?

Are you related to this bamboozler?

I think the ex-governor is holding up very well under cross examination. There appears to be nothing at all to this case.

Hogwash

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on June 6, 2011 2:47 PM.

Prosecutors: Blagojevich was banking favors, would have remembered school grant was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich on his previous testimony: 'I was speaking, I think, somewhat parenthetically' is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.