From the Sun Times :
John Harris, Blagojevich's former chief of staff, testified Wednesday in the former governor's corruption trial that three days after the Nov. 4, 2008, presidential election, the ex-governor told Harris he felt confident Obama knew he wanted to swap perks.
"The president understands that the governor would be willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets what he's asked for. . . . The governor gets the Cabinet appointment he's asked for," Harris said, explaining a recorded call.
Harris said Blagojevich came away believing Obama knew what he wanted after having a conversation with a local union representative, who in turn spoke with labor leader Tom Balanoff, with whom Blagojevich met to discuss a Jarrett appointment. Jarrett, now a White House adviser, was seeking the appointment to Obama's Senate seat.
A report from CBS2 Chicago, speaks to Rahm Emmanuel’s involvement:
In the call, Blagojevich's chief of staff, John Harris, tells his boss that Rahm Emanuel, Obama's soon-to-be top aide, had called him to give him a list of four people that Obama would find acceptable as his successor in the Senate. They were Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.; injured Iraq War vet Tammy Duckworth; U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes.
Harris tells Blagojevich "He doesn't want to say who he doesn't like," adding that if a person Blagojevich was considering was not on Emanuel's list, "he's not high on them." Harris explained that the message from Emanuel was that Illinois Senate President Emil Jones was not a favored candidate for the U.S. Senate spot.
Harris also testified that Emanuel told him that no one else in the Obama camp was authorized to talk about the Senate seat. That seemed to be an indication that previous messages from a union official that Jackson Jr. was not one of Obama's preferred candidates were unauthorized.
What is of interest in reading both reports is Emmanuel’s alleged claim that the message delivered by Balanoff was delivered independently by Balanoff, without the Presidents permission. That said, Blagojevich believed the list given to him by Emmanuel was a political move to portray then President-Elect Obama as promoting diversity – and that Jarrett was his first choice (as noted by Union delivery). The testimony given by Harris, speaks to the close relationship between organized Labor and the Democrat Party, specifically between Obama and the SEIU in Chicago. If true, the fact that Union officials were delivering the President Elects directions to a sitting Governor as to a political appointment, is of itself, disturbing on several levels. Labor today is specifically politically Progressive, (sic: Socialist) and its ability to influence policy at the highest levels of government lays a foundation that is prone to corruption. Organized Labor has been tied to several cases of corruptionincluding mismanagement of pension funds.. Historically, the ties between organized crime and organized labor are blurred. Therefore, the testimony coming from Chicago implies that the President of the United States is deeply wedded to a politically socialist corrupt organization.