Cari and his conversation with the gov

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On the witness stand, Joe Cari has detailed multiple attempts by Gov. Blagojevich and people close to him in 2003 and 2004 to solicit Cari's help in raising money for the governor on a national scale.

Cari spoke personally to the governor aboard a private plane on Oct. 29, 2003, as they flew to New York for a fund-raiser Cari's former investment firm was hosting. Their wide-ranging conversation lasted between 20 minutes and half-hour, Cari testified.

So what was discussed?

Politics: "The governor wanted to know about my experience in the 2000 election," as Al Gore's fund-raising chief. Blagojevich wanted to know "stories of what happened," including the Florida election debacle.

Dreams: "He then slid into how excited he was to be governor, some of the dreams he had, and also he had aspirations beyond the governorship." Cari took that to mean the presidency.

Bill Clinton: "We got into a discussion about President Clinton, and his view of why Clinton was successful and my view of why Clinton was successful. . . . Gov. Blagojevich was very attuned that Gov. Clinton at the time was able to raise a lot of money . . ."

Chris Kelly, Tony Rezko and fund-raising: "That they [Kelly and Rezko] were responsible for raising money. That they had done an outstanding job for him, he was appreciative of it and wanted me to help in fund-raising."

Pay-to-play: "There were contracts," including ones for legal work, investment banking work and consulting work, that the governor could give "to people who helped them. . . . I took 'them' to mean Gov. Blagojevich and the poeple around him."

Cari's reaction: "I wasn't in a position to help. . . . I just wasn't in a position to do the kind of things the governor was looking for me to do."

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by admin published on April 15, 2008 3:50 PM.

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