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Report: Blago list included Senate hopefuls

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[March 30, 2009]  CHICAGO (AP) -- A list of people targeted for contributions by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign committee included four possible candidates for appointment to President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, according to a published newspaper report.

The Chicago Sun-Times obtained the Friends of Blagojevich committee's list and posted it on the newspaper's Web site Saturday. It's dated Dec. 3 -- six days before Blagojevich's arrest on federal charges of scheming to sell or trade the Senate appointment, among other misdeeds.

The former governor also is charged with using his power to squeeze state contractors for campaign contributions. Blagojevich denies any wrongdoing. An indictment is expected any day.

The list published by the Sun-Times contains the names of J.B. Pritzker, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Roland Burris. All were reported to be under consideration and Burris ultimately won the governor's appointment to the Senate.

None is reported to have contributed. About 150 names are on the list, some with dollar amounts as goals and adding up to more than $2 million.


"They may have had him on the list," said Pritzker spokesman Dave Lundy. "But they had a lot of quirky ideas that didn't have a basis in reality." Pritzker was being targeted for $100,000, according to the list.

Schakowsky said she never was asked for a donation. "The empty space next to my name speaks volumes and shows that Blagojevich knew better than to approach me," Schakowsky said.

Gutierrez had taken himself out of the running for the seat in late November. Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, has acknowledged he attempted to raise money for Blagojevich, but has denied wrongdoing.

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Also listed are at least six Blagojevich appointees to state boards or other jobs. Already in debt because of mounting legal fees, Blagojevich was trying to amass as much money as possible before a new ethics law kicked in Jan. 1, according to prosecutors.

The campaign document "was a preliminary outline of who might have fundraisers and what we might be able to expect from them," said Michael Ettinger, a lawyer for the former governor's brother, Robert Blagojevich, who headed the committee. "It was like a guide, their initial draft of a plan on how to raise funds for the end of the reporting period, Dec. 31."


Information from: the Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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