Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff, the famous political enforcer Rahm Emaneul, has a very special role in the criminal complaint filed against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich! Emaneul plays a "President-elect Advisor" whom Rod wants to call to shake down for $15 million to start a nonprofit. And, you know, it is unsaid that if Rahm talks to Obama about raising this money, their friend Valerie Jarrett has a good shot at getting that Senate seat. Fun with corruption! But will Rod try to sink Rahm? Is Rahm in trouble? There was a bit of a veiled threat from Rod, just the other day.
This guy named John Wyma used to be Blagojevich's Chief of Staff, and he was the political director of Wyma's gubernatorial campaign. In 2005, he was paid $400,000 by Lehman Brothers(!) to consult on business with the state of Illinois. Then Lehman was "picked to manage a $700 million Illinois tollway bond sale." In 2007, Rod's wife got a $650,000 commission for selling the condo owned by a firm selected to manage the tollways to Wyma, who lobbied for the seller's firm. Hah.
Finally, John Wyma cooperated with the feds in the investigation and wore a wire (because the feds had something on him, probably). Yesterday, Blagojevich issued this veiled threat against both Wyma and Rahm Emanuel:
"No, I consider him a friend. and I don't consider him as anything but a friend. And to someone who, as I've known him, always has been an honest person who's conducted himself in an honest way," Blagojevich said of Wyma. "That's the John Wyma I know and it's the John Wyma that [Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rep.] Rahm Emanuel knows and a lot of other people know."
I.e., Rahm knows this crooked lobbyist too! Everyone knows this crooked lobbyist! It's Chicago!