Blago Campaign 'Hit List' Targeted Burris, Other Senate Candidates
Fundraisers for Rod Blagojevich set their sights on four candidates for Barack Obama's then-vacant senate seat in the months before the ousted Illinois governor's arrest, according to an internal campaign document published Saturday by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Dec. 3, 2008, list of about 150 potential campaign donors included Roland Burris, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who were all reportedly under consideration for the Senate seat. According to the list, the Friends of Blagojevich organization hoped to raise up to $2.3 million by the end of last year.
"The FBI obtained an early version of the list in October, after former Blagojevich friend and aide John Wyma began cooperating with authorities investigating the governor," the Sun-Times reported. "It was key to prosecutors' successful effort to win extraordinary court approval to wiretap the governor's home phone and to bug his campaign office."
Burris, who is working to establish a legal fund amid an ongoing investigation into his testimony on the Blagojevich scandal, maintains that there was no "pay to play" for his Senate appointment. Schakowsky told the newspaper that she was never approached for cash, Pritzker dismissed the list, and Gutierrez's office disputed a Blagojevich claim that he organized a Dec. 5 fundraiser.
Chicago Tribune publisher Sam Zell, whose editorial staffers were allegedly subject to threats by Blagojevich over critical coverage, was also reportedly an intended target for campaign cash.
By Amanda Zamora |
March 30, 2009; 1:15 PM ET
Previous: Star Lobbyist Closes Shop; Bank Walkaways Leave Trail of Headaches; Blame, Acclaim for KB Exec | Next: Are Bank Execs Next?; The Man Who Brought Down AIG; EPA to Monitor Schools' Air
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: laysertag | March 31, 2009 8:22 AM