Blagojevich planned to appoint AG Madigan to Obama seat

Chris Rizo Sep. 1, 2009, 11:00am

Rod Blagojevich (D)

Lisa Madigan (D)

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline)-Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich planned to appoint state Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama, he said in a new book.

Blagojevich wrote in "The Governor" that the day before his December arrest for attempting to sell Obama's seat in exchange for political favors he planned to appoint Madigan to the Senate seat because he hoped her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, would help him get a bevy of pet projects through the state Legislature, which was hostile to him.

In the book, the former disgraced governor noted that the idea of appointing Lisa Madigan to the seat "repulsed" him because of tensions he had with her father. For her part, Lisa Madigan pushed vigorously for the governor's removal after his arrest Dec. 9.

"How much do I love the people of Illinois? Enough to appoint the daughter of my political nemesis if it meant I could achieve a lot of good things for the people," Blagojevich wrote, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

After his arrest, Lisa Madigan made the unprecedented move of petitioning the state Supreme Court to remove Blagojevich from office, saying he was unfit to serve.

Before that, she had pressured Blagojevich to resign on his own. In several television appearances, the attorney general said the governor was incapable of leading the state amid his indictment.

The two-term governor's plan to appoint Lisa Madigan collapsed and Blagojevich eventually appointed Roland Burris, a former state attorney general, just before he was removed from office.

Blagojevich also wrote that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel wanted his help in reclaiming his seat in Congress after leaving the Obama administration in two years.

For their part, federal officials allege that Blagojevich was caught on wiretaps discussing a range of favors he expected in exchange for the Senate seat. Blagojevich's federal corruption trial is scheduled for next year.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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