Blago Singled Out Senate Contenders for Cash
List shows he targeted 4 would-be senators
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2009 5:51 PM CDT
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich stands by as Roland Burris addresses the media Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – In his race to build a $2.3 million campaign war chest last year, Rod Blagojevich listed four possible candidates for President Obama's vacated Senate seat as prospective donors, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. A list of 150 names in all shows that Rep. Luis Gutierrez, billionaire J.B. Pritzker, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky were targeted for money—as was Roland Burris, who ultimately landed the seat.

Federal prosecutors, who later charged the former Illinois governor with trying to sell the Senate seat, used an early draft of the list to obtain permission to wiretap him. Not surprisingly, potential donors said they were surprised to be on the list or denied making contributions. "They may have had him on the list," a spokesman for Pritzker says. "But they had a lot of quirky ideas that didn't have a basis in reality."