The Resurrection of Rod Blagojevich

We`ve had the

Summer of Love
and the
of the Shark.
Now, are you ready for the Summer of
Corruption? On Thursday, jury selection begins in the
federal trial of disgraced former

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich
of Illinois. The
timing couldn`t be worse for Blago`s old Chicago pals in
the White House. Just as Team Obama tries to bury one
job-trading scandal, another one resurfaces.

It`s a useful reminder that
Washington didn`t turn Obama into a business-as-usual
politician. He was born and bred among the slimiest in
their class.

At the center of the Blago trial is
the convergence of the Chicago political machine—the

Democratic Party establishment
, Big Labor heavies at
the Service Employees International Union and Team

In December 2008, the political
ties that bind them all came under national scrutiny
when federal prosecutors

publicly released their criminal complaint
Blagojevich. SEIU figured prominently in Blago`s
secretly taped musings on how to profit from his power
to appoint Obama`s Senate replacement. So did a larger
union umbrella federation, Change to Win, led by SEIU
Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger. Blago hatched a plan to
snag a $300,000-a-year job as head of Change to Win in
exchange for appointing a union-friendly successor to

Like Obama, Blago enjoyed massive
campaign donations and on-the-ground support from the
SEIU`s Purple Army. Like Obama, Blago repaid his Big
Labor backers with labor-friendly executive orders and
legislative largesse to facilitate union organizing and
carve out major portions of the health care industry for
them. At the time of his arrest, Blago was preparing
another executive order to expand the union power grab
over an even larger portion of home health care workers
targeted by the SEIU.

Blagojevich did the country an
extraordinary unintended favor. As

health care analyst David Catron wrote
"He has

made it clear
to the meanest intelligence that Obama emerged from a hopelessly
corrupt political culture. Barack Obama oozed from the
same stinking Chicago swamp that produced Blagojevich,
and a man whose formative years were spent

wallowing in the
muck with such creatures isn`t

likely to be long in the White House before the

stench of pay-to-play politics begins to pervade the place."

Fast-forward. Nearly two years
later, Obama`s legal fixers can`t mask the Chicago-esque
odor of Sestak-gate. The president`s legal team, led by
chief fixer and legal counsel

Bob Bauer
, orchestrated a Memorial Day weekend
document dump intended to squash mounting public
criticism of the administration`s alleged government job
offer to Pennsylvania Democratic senatorial candidate
Joe Sestak. Bauer`s

acknowledged that
"options for
Executive Branch service were raised with him"

through former President Bill Clinton, whom White House
Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel enlisted to woo Sestak.

Blago knows all about working with
Team Obama through intermediaries to explore, ahem,
Blago`s then-Chief of Staff John Harris allegedly mapped
out a "three-way
to give the White House a
obscuring the obvious quid pro quo. SEIU would assist
Obama with Blago`s appointment of a union-friendly
candidate; Blago would get his cushy union job; and SEIU
would be rewarded down the road with favors from the
White House. Team Blago reached out to the SEIU. An
unnamed SEIU official agreed to float their plan and
"see where it

The Senate candidate Blago
allegedly approached was top Obama adviser and Chicago
political godmother Valerie Jarrett, who removed herself
from the running when she took a top White House adviser
post instead. Who was the
"SEIU official"
Team Blago spoke with and met? Internal communications
in December 2008 fingered Obama`s longtime Chicago pal
and SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. Balanoff, not
coincidentally, had been appointed by Blago to the
Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.

Two days before Christmas 2008,
legal counsel Greg Craig released an official
self-exonerating report outlining contacts between Team
Obama and Team Blago. Balanoff, it turns out, had indeed
spoken with Jarrett. The Obama defense? Despite her

political brilliance,

the legal team argued
, Jarrett
"did not
understand the conversation to suggest that the Governor
wanted the cabinet seat as a quid pro quo for selecting
any specific candidate to be the President-Elect`s

Blago subpoena of the president filed last month begs to
—and directly implicates Obama:

"…despite President Obama stating that no representatives of his had
any part of any deals, labor union president (presumably
SEIU`s Andy Stern) told the FBI and the United States
Attorneys that he spoke to labor union official on Nov.
3, 2008, who received a phone message from Obama that
evening. After labor union official listened to the
message, labor union official told labor union
president, "I`m the one." Labor union president took
that to mean that labor union official was to be the one
to deliver the message on behalf of Obama that Senate
Candidate B was his pick."

It`s going to be a long, hot summer
of Chicago corruption.



Michelle Malkin

is the author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our


for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click


for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

and the just-released
Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.