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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich and "Change to Win"


The Smoking Gun has the criminal complaint filed against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

On page 68, paragraph 107, reproduced here, it is reported that an advisor to the governor, “Advisor B,” told the Governor that the “president-elect” would prefer the “Change to Win” option because there would be “fewer fingerprints on it” to which Obama might later be linked. Advisor B is reported to be a “Washington, DC-based consultant” who had had discussions with a representative from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Change to Win is a coalition of American labor unions originally formed in 2005 as an alternative to the AFL-CIO. Of several union affiliates, the SEIU and the Teamsters are the most prominent.

It seems that Gov. Blagojevich, his chief-of-staff John Harris, Advisor B and a high-ranking SEIU representative all considered the appointment of Blagojevich to head Change to Win a conceivable pay-back from Obama for appointing the president-elect’s first choice to his vacated senate seat.

This arrangement was seen as a win-win for all. Blago gets a cushy union job, Obama gets support from Change to Win for his political initiatives as well as a Senator that he hand-picks for the job. And, there would be little if any paper trail to implicate the new president in the deal.

My question, is how did these very powerful, politically astute people get so far in this scheme and make the assumptions about Obama that they did without some communication with either Obama directly or, at least, someone very close to him? The discussions in the FBI tapes give one the impression that this has all been hashed out at the highest levels and all that remains is to seal the deal.

Rahm Emanuel, a long-time Illinois politico and former Blago campaign strategist, was identified as the likely tipster that informed the feds about Blago's attempts to profit from the senate appointment. If true, that could help negate any suggestion that Obama was directly involved, but alas, a source close to Emanuel refutes the story.


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