Quoting the Blagojevich Complaint

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 9, 2008 4:45PM

2008_12_09_blagoquote.jpgSeveral of us here at the Chicagoist office have been combing through the complaint against Blago and Harris and all we can say is, "holy shit." This thing is...amazing. We wish we could curl up on the sofa in front of the fire and under a blanket and live with this thing like it was a Danielle Steel novel. It's just. That. Good. Below we've collected several of our favorite quotes from the complaint, but don't let this stop you from reading the entire 70+ page document. This barely scratches the surface.

Photo by Julius Lim

All of the following are direct excerpts from the complaint.

...in early October 2008, the government obtained information that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was accelerating his corrupt fund raising activities to accumulateas much money as possible before the implementation of ethics legislation on January 1, 2009, that would severely curtail ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s ability to raise money from individuals and entities conducting business with the State of Illinois. (pg 7)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed his interest in running for President of the United States. (pg 14)

According to Levine, in approximately late October 2003, after Levine was reappointed to the Planning Board, he shared a private plane ride from New York to Chicago with ROD LAGOJEVICH and Kelly. Levine, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, and Kelly were the only passengers on the flight. According to Levine, at the beginning of the flight, Levine thanked ROD BLAGOJEVICH for reappointing him to the Planning Board. ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded that Levine should only talk with "Tony" [Rezko] or [Kelly] about the Planning Board, "but you stick with us and you will do very well for yourself." (pg 20-21)

In regards to trying to influence the Trib's Editorial Board:

During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife can be heard in the background telling ROD BLAGOJEVICH to tell Deputy Governor A “to hold up that fucking Cubs shit. . . fuck them.” (pg 44)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Deputy Governor A to put together the articles in the Tribune that are
on the topic of removing ROD BLAGOJEVICH from office and they will then have someone, like JOHN HARRIS, go to Tribune Owner and say, “We’ve got some decisions to make now.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that “someone should say, ‘get rid of those people.’” (pg 44)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that he thinks that they should put this all together and then have HARRIS or somebody go talk to the Tribune owners and say, “Look, we’ve got decisions to make now. . . moving this stuff forward (believed to be a reference to the IFA helping with the Cubs sale) . . . someone’s gotta go to [Tribune Owner], we want to see him. . it’s a political fuckin’ operation in there.” (pgs 44-45)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said Tribune Owner should be told “maybe we can’t do this now. Fire those fuckers.” Deputy Governor A suggested that ROD BLAGOJEVICH say, “I’m not sure that we can do this anymore because we’ve been getting a ton of these editorials that say, look, we’re going around the legislature, we gotta stop and this is something the legislature hasn’t approved. We don’t want to go around the legislature anymore.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH agreed and said that he wants HARRIS to go in and make that case, “not me.” Deputy Governor A agreed and said that he likes it. ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked Deputy Governor A to put the list of Tribune articles together. (pg 45)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that “our recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get ‘em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support.” (pg 47)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH told HARRIS to tell Tribune Financial Advisor “this is a serious thing now” and that the only “way around it” is around the legislature and that the Tribune is “trumping up impeachment iscussions because I do this stuff to get things done.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH told HARRIS to tell Tribune Financial Advisor that “everything is lined up, but before we go to the next level we need to have a discussion about what you guys are going to do about that newspaper.” HARRIS stated that he “won’t be so direct.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH told HARRIS “yeah, you know what you got to say.” (pg 47)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that HARRIS’s suggestion will be to “get rid of these people” and that “the other point you want to make is in fact, we, we sure would like to get some editorial support from your paper. Okay?” HARRIS stated, “I want to do that in person.” HARRIS stated that they will not get editorial support “out of the current crew.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said, “this is a priority. Stay on it right. I mean, he, he gets the message, doesn’t he?” HARRIS replied, “Oh yeah. He got it loud and clear.” In apparent reference to the prospect of IFA assistance for the Wrigley Field deal, ROD BLAGOJEVICH then asked, “what does this mean to them? Like $500 million? What does it mean to [Tribune Owner] in real terms?” HARRIS replied, “To them? About $100 million . . .maybe 150.” (pgs 48-49)

In that conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Sports Consultant discussed the importance of getting the IFA transaction approved at the IFA’s December 2008 or January 2009 meeting, because ROD BLAGOJEVICH was contemplating leaving office in early January 2009 and ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s IFA appointees would still be in place to approve the IFA deal. (pgs 49-50)

On Obama's Senate Replacement

During the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Deputy Governor A that if he is not going to get anything of value for the open Senate seat, then ROD BLAGOJEVICH will take the Senate seat himself: “if . . . they’re not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it.” (pg 56)

Later on November 3, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Advisor A. By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect. During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH later stated, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain. You hear what I’m saying. And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.” Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.” (pg 56)

With respect to the Senate seat, Deputy Governor A suggested putting together a list of things that ROD BLAGOJEVICH would accept in exchange for the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH responded that the list “can’t be in writing.” Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed whether he could obtain an ambassadorship in exchange for the Senate seat. (pg 57)

Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, stating “how much are you offering, [President-elect]? What are you offering, [Senate Candidate 2]? . . . Can always go to. . . [Senate Candidate 3].” Later ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he will make a decision on the Senate seat “in good faith . . . but it is not coming for free. . . .It’s got to be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH states “[President-elect], you want it? Fine. But, its got to be good or I could always take [the Senate seat].” (pg 57)

In regards to the Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.” (pg 59)

ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him." (pg 63)

Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that if he appoints Senate Candidate 4 to the Senate seat and, thereafter, it appears that ROD BLAGOJEVICH might get impeached, he could “count on [Senate Candidate 4], if things got hot, to give [the Senate seat] up and let me parachute over there.” HARRIS said, “you can count on [Senate Candidate 4] to do that.” (pg 68)

On November 13, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with JOHN HARRIS. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he wanted to be able to call “[President-elect Advisor]” and tell President-elect Advisor that “this has nothing to do with anything else we’re working on but the Governor wants to put together a 501(c)(4)” and “can you guys help him. . . raise 10, 15 million.” ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he wanted “[President-elect Advisor] to get the word today,” and that when “he asks me for the Fifth CD thing I want it to be in his head.” (pg 70)