The federal criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich details a series of conversations with aides about what the gov could exact from Barack Obama and other supporters in return for picking one of their favorites to fill Obama’s Senate seat. The candidates themselves aren’t named–they’re simply referred to by number. Based on the clues, here are some educated guesses on the identity of each. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald emphasized this morning that none of these individuals has been accused of any criminal conduct:
Senate Candidate 1
CLUES: Described as “an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect.” Blagojevich was considering her–the candidate is identified as a female–if Obama would name him secretary of Health and Human Services in return.
GUESS: Valerie Jarrett
Senate Candidate 2
CLUES: The complaint says, “On November 6, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Spokesman. ROD BLAGOJEVICH told Spokesman to leak to a particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Senate Candidate 2 is in the running for the vacant Senate seat. A review of this particular Sun-Times column on November 7, 2008, indicates references to the specific language and arguments regarding Senate Candidate 2 as a potential candidate for the Senate seat, as discussed by ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman.
GUESS: Lisa Madigan (The columnist is Michael Sneed.)
Senate Candidate 3:
CLUES: Not many. Only referred to once in the complaint: “ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the ‘trick . . . is how do you conduct indirectly . . . a negotiation’ for the Senate seat. Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH analogized his situation to that of a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, stating ‘how much are you offering, [President-elect]? What are you offering, [Senate Candidate 2]? . . . Can always go to . . . [Senate Candidate 3].’ Later ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he will make a decision on the Senate seat ‘in good faith . . . but it is not coming for free. . . . It’s got to be good stuff for the people of Illinois and good for me.'”
GUESS: Tammy Duckworth? Jan Schakowsky? Luis Gutierrez?
Senate Candidate 4:
CLUES: The complaint says, “Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois. . . . Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that if he appoints Senate Candidate 4 to the Senate seat and, thereafter, it appears that ROD BLAGOJEVICH might get impeached, he could ‘count on [Senate Candidate 4], if things got hot, to give [the Senate seat] up and let me parachute over there.'”
GUESS: Blagojevich has three deputy governors: Bob Greenlee, Louanner Peters, and Dean Martinez
Senate Candidate 5:
CLUES: According to the complaint, this person is “publicly reported to be interested in the open Senate seat”; the governor’s purported interest in the candidate was also leaked to the Sun-Times. Blagojevich “was giving Senate Candidate 5 greater consideration for the Senate seat because, among other reasons, if ROD BLAGOJEVICH ran for re-election Senate Candidate 5 would ‘raise money’ for ROD BLAGOJEVICH. . . . Senate Candidate 5 was very much a realistic candidate for the open Senate seat, but . . . ROD BLAGOJEVICH was getting ‘a lot of pressure’ not to appoint Senate Candidate 5.”
GUESS: Jesse Jackson Jr.
Senate Candidate 6:
CLUES: The complaint says this person is “believed to be a wealthy person from Illinois” and male. Blagojevich and his aides discussed the candidate’s ability to raise money for a nonprofit the governor could head after leaving office. “ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked, ‘if I get [Senate Candidate 6] to do something like that, is it worth giving him the Senate seat?’ Advisor A responded that it would be hard to put Senate Candidate 6 in the Senate seat. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that it would be better than putting Senate Candidate 1 in the Senate and not getting anything back.”
GUESS: Hyatt Hotel heir J.B. Pritzker