Rod Blagojevich had no reservations about whom to squeeze for quid-pro-quo cash.
The former governor discussed plans to have President Barack Obama lean on billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to fund his dream non-profit – a 501(C) (4) health care advocacy group – in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the vacant Illinois senate seat.
“It would be my little platform,” Blagojevich says in a tape recorded on November 12, 2008. “This is my way of playing a role in the national game.”
He wanted $10 to $15 million in start up capital.
Blagojevich discussed the idea with chief of staff John Harris. According to his plan Blagojevich would run the foundation, which would help sell health care legislation to the public, and draw a hefty salary.
All the while his presidential aspirations would remain intact.
Blago was determined to get something for the senate appointment.
Rahm Emanuel sent a message to the governor sometime in November saying the president-elect would be “thankful and appreciative” if Blagojevich appointed Jarrett to the senate.
"OK we know he wants her--they're not willing to give me anything,” Blagojevich says. “Appreciation? F*** them!"