Friday, May 27, 2011

Blago's second day of testimony

Blago: "I built the Sears Tower."
Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich took the witness stand again in his corruption trial. There were fewer theatrics today, but he did manage to tell everyone how wonderful he is. More on that in a bit.

First CBS 2 Chicago covers Blago discussing a race track owner he was trying to get to contribute $100,000 to his campaign.

That was clearly the focus on Friday as Blagojevich's defense team honed in on one allegations against him; that he held up signing legislation to benefit Illinois' horse racing industry while waiting for a $100,000 campaign contribution from racetrack owner John Johnston.

Prosecutors contend that Blagojevich was sitting on the legislation in an attempt to leverage the campaign cash from Johnston, because every day the bill went unsigned, Johnston's racetracks missed out on $9,000 in funding from the casinos.

But Blagojevich offered a couple different reasons for the delay: his long-running political feud with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and fears that a key fundraiser, Chris Kelly, was trying to pressure him to sign the bill for Kelly's own benefit.

What was unsaid in the new defense that Kelly was trying to pressure Blagojevich on the racing bill was that Kelly is now deceased and can't be called to refute his old friend's claim.
Kelly committed suicide two years ago. Madigan, like Blago, is a Chicago Democrat.

And now NBC 5 Chicago's Ward Room reports on Mr. Wonderful.

Throughout his testimony, the former governor casually slipped in the accomplishments of his administration, like free [public transportation] rides for seniors, and greater access to mammograms for women.
After his 2008 arrest, Blagojevich's approval ratings were at 13 percent.

Related posts:

Blago on stand: "I'm a f**king jerk"

Blago takes the stand in his corruption trial

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