Blagojevich Responds to Madigan "Liar" Comment, Sorta - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blagojevich Responds to Madigan "Liar" Comment, Sorta



    Former governor Rod Blagojevich today fired back, via his PR firm, at Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who said Monday that Blagojevich was "lying" about planning to appoint Madigan to President Obama's former Senate seat.

    In a release, spokesman Glenn Selig said Madigan is "flat out lying" about not speaking with Blagojevich for, in her words, "in more years than I can count on one hand."

    From the release:

    Former Gov. Blagojevich never said he talked directly with Lisa Madigan or her father Mike Madigan about his intentions to name her a U.S. Senator.  The fact is Gov. Blagojevich was working through President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emamuel, U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Robert Menendez and Congressman Jerry Costello to reach out to Mike Madigan to broker a deal that in exchange for appointing Madigan's daughter to the U.S. Senate, Madigan would pass a public works bill he had been holding up that would create jobs, he would expand health care coverage and he would sign a written memorandum of understanding not to raise taxes. Taped recordings about that deal were presented at trial. 

    As for Madigan's interactions with Blagojevich:

    Lisa Madigan is flat out lying when she says she has not spoken to Blagojevich in ‘more years than I can count on one hand.’  Lisa Madigan spoke with Gov. Blagojevich as recently as the 2008 Democratic National Convention on the convention floor to ask him to spare the budget for the Attorney General's office.

    I would also urge you to challenge her to tell you what she remembers about a visit she made with her father to the governor’s campaign office on Sunday, January 14, 2006 at 2:00pm seeking two and a half percent of the governor’s campaign funds which amounted to $396,491.25 to use against Alexi Giannoulias who at that time was running for state treasurer.  She came to the very campaign office she made the subject of an investigation a year earlier.  She listened as her father asked the governor to tap into his campaign fund.

    The funny thing about this retort is that ... it's a really poor retort. If we give Selig the benefit of the doubt, Madigan neglected to remember an interaction on the convention floor in 2008. But then, that interaction, apparently brief, didn't involve appointing her to the Senate seat -- so the crux of Madigan's point remains: she didn't have a relationship with Blago, and had no idea that the purported Senate seat deal was taking place.

    At any rate, Selig's equivocation actually serves to undermine Blago's argument. Lisa Madigan would've known of any serious attempt to appoint her to the Senate. She has little incentive to lie here. Blagojevich, on the other hand, does.