Blagojevich Pal Testifies To Ex-Gov’s Seedy Side

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Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wasn’t thrown completely under the bus during court testimony on Wednesday, but he was easily slid under one of the tires.

In Blago’s political corruption trial, longtime Blagojevich friend and former chief of staff Alonzo Monk told jurors the governor was consistently occupied by fundraising and didn’t separate that from running the state.

“He’d discuss how much was being raised, goals, who was raising the money, who else the campaign should pursue,” he said. Many of those talks were with firms and people that did business with Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported on a blog.

Blagojevich had once bragged there was a “firewall” between official state business and political fundraising, but Monk testified that was fictitious. In testimony, Monk said the governor was keenly aware of fundraising — for example, conversations he recalled in which there was talk of contractors being pressured to donate to the Friends of Blagojevich fund in exchange for the ability to do business with the state.

Monk was expected to take the stand again Wednesday to be asked more about allegedly illicit dealings by Blagojevich.