Sunday 14 December 2008

Senate scandal snares Obama’s chief aide

THE bullish, foul-mouthed but effective Chicago arm-twister Rahm Emanuel has come under pressure to resign as Barack Obama’s chief of staff after it was revealed that he had been captured on court-approved wire-taps discussing the names of candidates for Obama’s Senate seat.

Emanuel’s presence at the heart of the scandal threatens to roil the president-elect’s administration as a Chicago prosecutor builds his corruption case against Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois governor.

Blagojevich has been accused of plotting to sell Obama’s Senate seat - which is in the governor’s gift - in return for financial and political favours.
Source: The Times

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Illinois governor charged in scheme to sell Obama's former Senate seat

Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested Tuesday by the federal authorities and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to effectively sell President-elect Barack Obama's former seat in the U.S. Senate to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich, a Democrat, called his sole authority to appoint Obama's successor "golden," and he sought to parlay it into a job as an ambassador, as secretary of health and human services, or into a high-paying position at a nonprofit group or an organization connected to labor unions, prosecutors said.

He also suggested, they said, that in exchange for the Senate appointment, his wife could be placed on corporate boards where she might earn as much as $150,000 a year, and he tried to gain promises of money for his campaign fund.
Source: International Herald Tribune