By AP/St. Louis Public Radio
Chicago, IL – A former top aide says that as Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich said he had a deal to appoint a state legislator to Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat in exchange for letting a veto of ethics legislation stand.
Alonzo Monk testified today that Blagojevich was worried the legislation would hurt his ability to raise funds because it banned people with state contracts of $50,000 or more from donating to the campaigns of politicians who administered them.
Monk quoted Blagojevich as saying former state Senate President Emil Jones agreed to the alleged deal, but Jones called for the vote after Obama urged him to do so.
It passed just over a month before Obama was elected president.
Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to trying to profit from his power to fill the Senate seat and squeezing people for campaign contributions.
Jones did not immediately respond to a message today.