Who are the unnamed players in the Blagojevich case?

Speculation is rampant in Illinois and in the blogosphere over the identity of the unnamed characters in the affidavit supporting the complaint.

1. Advisor A and Advisor B

Some have wondered whether David Axelrod is Advisor A or Advisor B. This strikes me as highly unlikely.

Advisor A is described in the affidavit supporting the complaint as "a former Deputy Governor under ROD BLAGOJEVICH who is currently a lobbyist."

Advisor B is described as "a Washington D.C.-based consultant."

David Axelrod was never "a former Deputy Governor" and he is a consultant based in Chicago, not DC.

2. Senate Candidate 1

Identified as female and described as "an advisor to the President-elect," she is very probably Valerie Jarrett, as I noted in an earlier post.

3. Senate Candidate 2

Senate Candidate 2 is Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general.

The Allegations:

97. 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. According to ROD BLAGOJEVICH, by doing this, he wanted "to send a message to the [President-elect's] people," but did not want it known that the message was from ROD BLAGOJEVICH.

Thereafter, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Spokesman discussed specific language that should be used in the Sun Times column and arguments as to why Senate Candidate 2 made sense 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.

Here is part of the Michael Sneed Sun-Times column referred to in the allegations:

The latest from Blagoville: Is Gov. Rod Blagojevich toying with tossing Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who wants Blago's job?

Putting these two together, Madigan's identity is a near certainty.

4. Senate Candidate 3

JTA, a Jewish news service, claims (with no supporting facts at all) that Senate Candidate 3 is US Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

JTA has learned that Schakowsky, the only Jewish contender to replace Obama, is the "Senate Candidate 3" in the prosecution complaint.

5. Senate Candidate 4

The Affidavit states that "Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois." That would mean one of the following: Dean Martinez, Bob Greenlee, or Louanner Peters. Arch Pundit speculates that Senate Candidate 4 is Louanner Peters, but gives no reasons for her over the other two.

6. Senate Candidate 5

Although some have suggested that Senate Candidate 5 is Jesse Jackson, Jr., the likelier guess is Emil Jones, Obama's "political godfather" and former mentor in the Illinois Senate. More on that later.

7. Senate Candidate 6

The Affidavit states that, "Senate Candidate 6, based on other intercepted conversations, is believed to be a wealthy person from Illinois."

On Nov. 26, 2008, Michael Sneed's column ran this item:

HMMM . . .

The name of wealthy businessman J.B. Pritzker, a big supporter of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, seems to be bubbling up more frequently to the top of Gov. Blagojevich's short list to fill President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

A Nov. 10, 2008 Sun-times editorial mentions two wealthy possibilities: J.B. Pritzker and Edwin Eisendrath.

8. President-elect Advisor

There is speculation that the "President-elect Advisor" is Rahm Emanuel. More on that later.

fortyninerdweet (mail):
Kudos for publishing this interesting Souvenir Memorial Program listing so many of the important players in this unfolding political melodrama. Blagojevich might have been better off using eBay to peddle this particular senate seat.
12.10.2008 3:08am
Cardozo'd (www):
I believe the seat is on ebay...Ben Smith on politico had that earlier i think.
12.10.2008 3:34am
The eBay thing gives me an idea:

It would be very free-marketeery for the VC to auction off guest blogger spots rather than to invite Professors. This would be much more efficient than the current method, which reeks of central planning.
12.10.2008 4:17am
Sean M.:
J.B. Pritzker? The guy from Smith v. VanGorkom? Cool. It comes full circle for me.

(Sorry. I had my Business Associations exam yesterday).
12.10.2008 8:41am
Melancton Smith:
Please amend this posting to close the bold tag, you are bolding all comments and subsequent blog entries.

12.10.2008 9:08am
Plutosdad (mail):
Why would Madigan want to be Senator? She's in line for next Governor (nepotism reigning supreme in our state). Besides Blago and Madigan Sr. went from being friends to - for the past year - not even able to be in the same room with each other. I seriously doubt that candidate 2 could be Lisa Madigan.
12.10.2008 9:32am
Plutosdad (mail):
Ah nevermind I read it more closely, you are right. Though I think Blago was floating her just to pressure the others, since they knew Madigan Sr. would play ball to advance his daughter. But I don't think she was in serious contention ever.
12.10.2008 9:34am
Jeffrey Hall (www):
If this had happened a month earlier you could have made a fortune selling playing cards with the characters' pictures and bios on them. (Gov. Blagojevich could have been the ace of spades.) Would have made a great stocking-stuffer.

Ah, well, there's always next Christmas.
12.10.2008 10:33am
I think you broke the blog.
12.10.2008 10:42am
Daniel San:
The name I couldn't place was "[President Elect]"
12.10.2008 10:54am
pete (mail) (www):
Drudge linked to this ABC news story which says that Senate candidate five is Jesse Jackson Jr.

Chicago Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is the anonymous "Senate Candidate No. 5" whose emissaries Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reportedly offered up to $1 million to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

I am personally in shock that anyone related to Jesse Jackson could be involved in a shakedown scheme.
12.10.2008 12:32pm
a knight (mail) (www):
In Three paragraphs of the criminal complaint is found the phrase: "particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times".

I arrived here at the Volokh Conpiracy from a Google search using the string: "Blagojevich toying with tossing Barack Obama's U.S. Senate".

Narrowing down that Google search to specifically the Sun times domain, resulted in three records, but that specific article is no longer accessible through them. One is a 404, and the other two lead to Sneed archives which stop at November 11. Understandable, since November 11 would be a one month cut-off date for archival purposes, although it's easy to get articles from the blog of Sun times Columnist, Lynn Sweet, that reference Rahm Emanuel dating back to November 6.

A good probability this is coincidental, but at the same time greatly amusing that the Sun Times buries into their archives, the specific article noted by the Criminal complaint, written by their employee who is easily identified as the "particular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times" that the Blagojevich team leaked to.
12.10.2008 4:06pm

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