SEIU official under oath indicates Obama lied

June 30, 2010 15:01

Thomas Balanoff, head of the SEIU Illinois Council, testified under oath at the Blago trial that President Obama called him to lobby for Valerie Jarrett to be named by Governor Blagojevich to replace Obama in the Senate. This directly contradicts the President’s repeated denials of any direct or indirect contact with Blago to influence the naming of his Senate replacement.

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker

Sarah Ostman of the Chicago Sun-Times reports on the Blago trial testimony:

“Tom, i want to talk to you with regard to the Senate seat,” Obama told him.

Balanoff said Obama said he had two criteria: someone who was good for the citizens of Illinois and could be elected in 2010.

Obama said he wasn’t publicly coming out in support of anyone but he believed Valerie Jarrett would fit the bill.

“I would much prefer she (remain in the White House) but she does want to be Senator and she does meet those two criteria,” Balanoff said Obama told him. “I said: ‘thank you, I’m going to reach out to Gov. Blagojevich.”

Doug Ross of Director Blue notes what most media are ignoring: Obama’s repeated denials of such efforts.

In December of 2008, for instance, he flatly denied any discussions:

President-elect Barack Obama said Tuesday afternoon that he has had no dealings with Governor Blagojevich over his replacement in the Senate…

“I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening,” Mr. Obama said. “And as I said it is a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that I don’t it’s appropriate to comment.”

And on another occasion that same month, Obama repeated the claim:

In December 2008, Obama said he was “appalled and disappointed” by the revelations that the Illinois governor was involved in a “pay-to-play” scheme to fill his Senate seat.

“I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I’m confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat,” Obama, then the president-elect, said at the time.

Blanoff and his union have been very big donors to both Blago and Obama, making him an ideal cut-out to do a deal for Obama.


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