Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

"If Jan could show me she had ancestors who came over on a slave ship, she would be fine!"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On the subject of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, SEIU leader Tom Balanoff said the governor told him he really needed to appoint an African American.

    Testifying in court, Balanoff said Blagojevich told him, "If Jan could show me she had ancestors who came over on a slave ship, she would be fine!"

    In earlier testimony, Balanoff said that Blagojevich was uninterested in appointing State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and appeared to brush off the idea of appointing Valerie Jarrett in favor of Lisa Madigan.

    Balanoff explained to Blagojevich that it was a smart political decision for him:  "It would help him with African-Americans, women, businesses and labor unions."

    And while Blago agreed, his response was, "I am in active discussions with the Madigans and am seriously considering Lisa.   (Appointing her) would remove his main rival for the governors election and move his legislation forward."