Report: Emanuel talked to Blago about seat

Dec. 13, 2008 at 7:22 AM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- White House chief of staff-designate Rahm Emanuel spoke to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, sources say.

Emuanel spoke to Blagojevich about who would be acceptable to Obama as a replacement for him in the U.S. Senate, which the Illinois governor has the right to appoint to fill out the term, Saturday's Chicago Tribune quoted unnamed sources as saying.

Blagojevich has been charged by federal authorities with "shopping" the seat to potential candidates in return for campaign contributions or other favors for himself and his wife. The newspaper said Emanuel's alleged conversations with Blagojevich were captured on FBI wiretaps do not suggest there was any talk of dealmaking involving the vacated Senate seat.

A source told the Tribune that Emanuel delivered a list of "acceptable" Democrats to Blagojevich including Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston, Ill.

Schakowsky told the Tribune it was "natural" for Obama to take an interest in the selection process for his Senate seat, saying, "It makes perfect sense for the president-elect or his people to have some interaction about filling the seat he was vacating."

Emanuel refused to comment.

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