FBI wiretap records Blagojevich, Pritzker talking top state job in 2008

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FBI recordings from the 2008 investigation of Former Governor Rod Blagojevich were revealed and the wiretaps captured candidate J.B. Pritzker speaking to Blagojevich about a top state job. (WLS)

FBI recordings from the 2008 investigation of Former Governor Rod Blagojevich were revealed and the wiretaps captured candidate J.B. Pritzker speaking to Blagojevich about a top state job.

Blagojevich can be heard gauging Pritzker's interest in the senate seat the former governor went to prison for trying to sell. The recordings were released to the Chicago Tribune.

It's unclear who leaked the recorded call. Neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney's Office released the audio as it is part of ongoing litigation.

Regardless of the source, the reaction goes into day two as more people have heard the nine-year-old conversation.

The recorded call caught on an FBI wiretap gives voters a glimpse into backroom political conversations.

In the recording, Pritzker waves off interest in the senate seat but said:

Pritzker: The treasurer thing is a different thing.
Blago: Yeah. Oh this is a good option. Keep going talking.
Pritzker: There it's putting a business person in a business person's job.
Blago: Yep.


"To the general public it looks kind of sleazy. And association with Blagojevich certainly can't do any politician any good," Don Rose, political consultant, said.

Rose said while there is nothing illegal in the discussion it becomes an image problem.

"I have no doubt it hurts him but whether it's a fatal wound or not, we can't tell," Rose said.

"This is a nine-year-old tape that they are leaking in an attempt to distract from that 700 days into this administration, into this failure of a budget, this governor has done nothing for the people for the state of Illinois," Pritzker said on Wednesday.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner was questioned if his campaign had anything to do with the release of the call.

"Good grief. You know, our political system in Illinois is so broken. It's so full of self-interest and self-dealing and corruption," he said.

Aldermen Amaya Pawar and Democratic candidate for governor said he only heard the call when it was released in the media.

"These kinds of insider conversations take place all the time. I've never been on the inside. I've beat the Chicago machine, I've always done my own thing," he said.

As for other gubernatorial candidate's reactions, the campaign manager for State Senator Daniel Biss said, "This is part of a disturbing pattern that J.B. is using the same rigged game that the rich and well-connected have played to benefit themselves."

And Chris Kennedy was out of town but someone with the campaign spokesperson said simply, "The tapes speak for themselves."

Related Topics:
newselectionFBIrod blagojevichSpringfield
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