Rahm Emanuel, who has been tapped by Obama to be his White House chief of staff, had conversations beginning just before the Nov. 4 election with Blagojevich’s administration about who would replace Obama in the Senate, according to a report Saturday in the Chicago Tribune.
Emanuel, a Chicago congressman who has long been close to both Blagojevich and Obama, gave Blagojevich’s chief of staff a list of Democrats acceptable to Obama to fill the Senate seat, according to the Tribune report. The report did not suggest there was any dealmaking in the conversations, which were captured on court-ordered wiretaps.
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
Republicans are criticizing President-elect Barack Obama‘s silence over contacts his aides may have had with disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying he is breaking promises to bring openness to government.
“While it is encouraging that the president-elect has stated his office will disclose contacts with the scandal-ridden governor, it remains disappointing that his actions are in response to political pressure,” Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan said.
“Americans expect the highest degree of transparency from their elected leaders, rather than promises of openness on the campaign trail,” he said.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich shakes hands with Pastor Marshall Hatch of the New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church as he arrives at his home with Pastor Ira Acree, right, of the Greater St. John Bible Church, and the Rev. Steve Jones, president of the Baptist pastor’s conference, Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, in Chicago. Calls to impeach the governor intensified in the wake accusations of scheming to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.(AP Photo/Mark Carlson)