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Monday, December 15, 2008

From the Archives: Rahm Emmanuel Held Secretive Fundraiser For Blagojevich in 2006

In the age of the internet, it's hard to play the "Rod, we hardly knew you" game. This from a June 27, 2006 report on a fundraiser held in Washington D.C. for Rod Blagojevich hosted by ... Rahm Emanuel:

June 27, 2006 (Last Updated: 4:45 PM) (WLS) -- Members of Illinois' political brain trust were all in one place Tuesday afternoon: Washington, DC. Mayor Daley and Governor Blagojevich went to the capital to talk legislative priorities with the state's congressional delegation. But in Tuesday's Intelligence Report: how one top official conducted some campaign business while on the government trip.

Tuesday's meeting in Washington was supposed to be all government business, but Governor Rod Blagojevich flew to the east coast a day early to feed his campaign fund already bulging with more than $15 million.

The governor attended fundraising events in Boston Monday and at a fancy Washington, DC restaurant Monday night. But Tuesday he wasn't interested in disclosing much about either.

The last 24 hours has been a whirlwind of mini-wieners and cocktail meatballs for Governor Blagojevich. Tuesday's official reason for his east coast swing began with a square-table lunch attended by Illinois' congressional delegation and Mayor Daley. Tuesday night he hosted an intimate campaign fundraiser here at the swank Charlie Palmer's Steakhouse on Capitol Hill.

The governor's reception and private dinner was attended by less than 15 of his most devoted DC supporters who feasted off of one of the capital's most succulent menus. Among those in attendance was lobbyist John Wyma, whom Blagojevich counts as a primo confidant. The Sun-Times Washington chief Lynn Wweet reports that Wyma declined to estimate Blagojevich's total haul from the

According to the governor's campaign spokesman Doug Scofield, the Boston luncheon on Monday was sponsored by Senator Ted Kennedy and the DC dinner was thrown by congressmen Rahm Emmanuel and Louis Gutierrez.

Blagojevich's haul in the Emmanuel fundraiser was probably far more than reflected in the attendance, per this report:

Blagojevich arrived in Washington on Monday night and hosted a fundraiser at Charlie Palmer's, a restaurant near the Capitol. A very small crowd--about a dozen paying customers were around for a reception and then a private dinner with the governor. Blagojevic was sunningly optimistic about his re-election when we chatted. He was accompanied by.....

Wyma, the Washington and Springfield lobbyist who is one of Blagojevich's top advisors and Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris, who went to work for the governor after a long stint in Daley's City Hall.

Wyma declined to release an estimate of what they raised. But I suspect it was more than was evidenced by the few people at the $1,000-a-head event. Washington was emptied on Monday because of the horrendous, historic rains which flooded basements, roads and bridges and forced the closing of some museums on the Mall and government buildings.

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