Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blagojevich & India

Chicago is an ethnic potluck, so it was only a matter of time before an India connection popped up in the Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Obama-Seat-For-Sale saga. The Chicago Tribune reports the restaurant India House in Schaumburg was the gathering spot where two Indian-American businessmen and a Blagojevich aide named Rajinder "privately told many of the more than two-dozen attendees that a fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jesse Jackson Jr's bid for the Senate." What you might call the smoking roti. Why? Because in Fed allegations that Blagojevich tried to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Illinois Senate seat, prosecutors allege Blago might give "Senate Candidate 5" (Jackson) the seat because emissaries for #5 promised to raise more than $1 million for Blago's campaign fund. In a separate effort to connect the political dots between Obama and Blagojevich, Trib columnist John Kass wrote an excellent piece on Rahm Emmanuel's ties to Chicago power broker Jim DeLeo, who "is considered by some to be the real governor of Illinois" though he was acquitted of taking bribes to fix tickets in the Operation Greylord probe of judicial corruption around 1989. One witness at the trial: Outfit gambling boss Ken "Tokyo Joe" Eto, who, Kass writes, "passed cash to Jimmy via handshakes." Better than fiction!

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