Blago book: People approached him about seat

September 1, 2009 9:19:06 AM PDT
Former governor Rod Blagojevich's new book has hit some store shelves ahead of its release date.In "The Governor," the Blagojevich gives his side of the story in the U.S. Senate seat scandal that led to federal charges against him -- and the end of his role as governor.

The release of the Blagojevich book was to come next week as he made a round of national TV interviews. Those interviews are still scheduled, but for reasons unclear the book is already out there.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Blagojevich explains himself in new book

In the book, the ex governor, not unexpectedly, rips the Madigans -- both father and daughter. He writes they "...are surrounded by conflicts of interest and indiscretions in their public and private lives." And he's critical of the U.S. attorney and writes, "he's so concerned with his own standing that he willfully conducts prosecutions that cause great injustice."

"The Governor" is on the shelves of some book stores. There is - at present - nothing that calls special attention to its release. At one store, it sits on a table marked "Local Interest."

Blagojevich devotes two chapters in book to his alleged sale of the Senate seat. "The whole story on that", he writes, "is upside down".

Blagojevich writes he never approached anyone with the idea of raising campaign cash in exchange for the Senate seat. But, he writes others approached him. He doesn't name them in the book, but writes, "If anyone should have been charged with a crime for this, it should be them and not me."

The ex-governor revealed that he'd decided on naming Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the Senate seat - even though he regarded Madigan and her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, as "wolves dressed in sheep's clothing".

Blagojevich writes his hope was that by naming Lisa Madigan to the U.S. Senate her father would end his resistance to the governor's jobs bill and health care reform. But before he'd planned to make his Madigan announcement, Blagojevich was arrested. And on that subject, the ex-governor rips U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald -- writing he "... stopped the embryonic stages of a routine and lawful political deal..." which "...stopped me from doing a lot of good for a lot of people."

Blagojevich also writes about his former chief of staff John Harris, who'll be testifying for the prosecution. He writes that he is "...stunned and heart-broken..." and s that why Harris would plead guilty "...is a matter of great curiosity to me."

"... Perhaps he feels compelled to lie about me to get a lesser sentence."

Blagojevich got a reported six figure advance for the book, which he says provides the truth.

"As far as the truth goes, this guy can't tell the truth to save his life," said Doug Rees.

"It wasn't me defense. That's in Cook County criminal courts every day. Any court in the land. It wasn't me. It's somebody else," said Anthony Ealey.

"It'd be nice to see what he says about his side of the story," said Derick Africa. But would Africa buy the book? "Probably not."

Blagojevich writes Presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel talked to him about naming a congressional placeholder so that Emanuel could reclaim his congressional seat when he wanted to. Blagojevich said he told Emanuel he couldn't do that.

It's no surprise that those named in the book don't want to comment. Lisa Madigan said she's not going to read it. A spokesman for the house speaker re-uses the term "delusional" to describe Blagojevich.

There is a melancholy passage at the beginning in which Blagojevich likens Barack Obama to Zeus in Greek mythology - on top of Mt. Olympus. Blagojevich writes, "I'm Icarus who flew too close to the sun and I crashed to the ground."


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