The Chicago Sun Times reported on Friday:
Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones.
Rather, Reid called Blagojevich to argue he appoint either state Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Sources say the Senate majority leader pushed against Jackson and Davis — both democratic congressmen from Illinois — and against Jones — the Illinois Senate president who is the political godfather of President-elect Barack Obama — because he did not believe the three men were electable. He feared losing the seat to a Republican in a future election.
Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero confirmed that Reid (D-Nev.) and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) — the new chief of the Senate Democratic political operation — each called Blagojevich’s campaign office separately Dec. 3. Sources believe that at least portions of the phone conversations are on tape.
Guerrero added today that Team Blago views Reid's protest against Burris is indeed politically motivated.
Illinois' embattled governor complained through his spokesman Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is guilty of a conflict of interest in that Reid telephoned him in early December to discuss the seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Lucio Guerrero, spokesman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, said he didn't know firsthand which candidates the Nevada Democrat supported during the call, but said he knows Reid's candidates did not include Roland Burris, the man the governor recently picked for Obama's seat.
Senate leaders have vowed to oppose the appointment of Burris.
"I think the governor believes there is a conflict of interest — that Reid showed he has a horse in the race and Roland Burris wasn't one of them," Guerrero said.
The AP Article also mentions that Timothy Wright, the lawyer for Burris wrote a letter to select Senators asking they provide the people of Illinois with representation provided by the constitution.
"What is clear to me is that every candidate that was African-American was denied and every other candidate was acceptable," said Wright, adding, "I'm not going to read too much into that."
Wright also echoed Blagojevich's claim of a conflict of interest, saying that Reid's call to the governor showed he had a political stake in who took Obama's seat.
Reid fired back late Saturday afternoon with this statement.
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to reports that Gov. Blagojevich has been leaking and distorting conversations about the process for filling Illinois' vacant Senate seat:
"Gov. Blagojevich appears to be trying to distract attention from his daunting legal problems and damaged credibility by distorting information about private phone calls between himself and other public officials. It is regrettable and reprehensible.
"Gov. Blagojevich's efforts to try to tarnish others while the cloud of suspicion continues to grow over him are shameful, as are his efforts to further betray the public trust and sow seeds of division. As each day passes it becomes increasingly clear that Gov. Blagojevich is not fit to lead, and he should resign.
"I will not allow his corruption charges or his antics to distract me from leading the Senate, to drive a wedge in our party or to obscure the facts."
Reid is not only dragging himself deeper into dangerous water, he is legitimizing Blago's irrationality and making himself and others appear to be not only racist, but just as politically corrupt as Blago himself.
The soap opera continues...