Obama, Clinton Connected to Blago Scheme

Obama sent Blago a list of 16 people he wanted Blago to hire

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Oct 16, 2009  |  Updated 8:38 AM CDT
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Two Illinois Pols Among Congress' "Most Corrupt"

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Blago's scheming knows no bounds.

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No one needs more evidence that Rod Blagojevich is corrupt.

The Sun-Times dug some up anyway, and the latest round of Blago shadiness goes all the way to the top.

Turns out that when the former governor instituted a state-hiring freeze back in 2003, it was just a ruse so that he could do favors for a bunch of politically connected buddies. He ended up hiring just over 2,500 people during the so-called freeze.

But these weren’t ordinary applicants; politicians, including then-state-senator Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, pushed all the job seekers on Blago.

None of the politicians in the report are accused of doing anything wrong -- leaning on clout is the status quo in Springfield -- but the report does illustrate the insider game that occurs on all levels of government.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the guy who nailed Blago, said in a 2006 letter that there were "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud" under the former governor.

Obama, for his part, sent Blagojevich a list of 16 people that he would have liked to see get sweet jobs.

He got five of them through. Two of them landed $75,000 a year jobs as administrators at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Affairs and the Department of Children and Family Services.

"I think we submitted just a list of people that were mostly, you know, some of them were people who'd sent us resumes in the past or other people we thought ... might be interested," Obama said. "But they weren't people who were connected to our political organization in any meaningful way. Or they weren't people I knew particularly well."

Hillary Clinton sponsored her childhood friend Voda “Betsy” Eveling for a job transfer within the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Rahm Emanuel sponsored seven people, and got four hired.

The list goes on to include Alderman Ed Burke, Senate candidate Cheryle Jackson, Tony Rezko and others.

The clout list likely won’t have any effect on Blago’s upcoming trial. 

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