New Book Taps Into ‘Golden’ Blagojevich Corruption Saga
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CHICAGO (CBS) – A book in stores Friday gives a detailed account of the corruption-related downfall and conviction of disgraced ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The title says it all: “Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor’s Office and into Prison.”
CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson sat down with the book’s co-authors, Chicago Tribune reporters John Chase and Jeff Coen, who discussed their exhaustive take on the Blagojevich saga.
The writers managed to acquire wire-tap recordings the feds made while investigating Blagojevich that were never made public. They won’t say how they got the material.
“What we were trying to do was build the entire story,” Coen says. “Rod is out there saying the public needs to hear everything.”
To tap Blagojevich’s phones, federal investigators “basically had to break into Rod Blagojevich’s campaign office — legally,” Chase says.
Coen says he’s still not sure why the Illinois governor said what he did, especially after it became apparent he was under federal scrutiny.
“Rule number one is you stay off the phone once you know somebody’s looking at you,” he says.
The book’s title, “Golden,” refers to Blagojevich’s now-infamous comment about Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich was convicted, among other things, of trying to sell the seat in exchange for campaign cash after Obama was elected president.
“I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden. And I, I’m not giving it up for f***ing nothing,” Blagojevich said on tape – unbeknownst to him — in 2008.
Convicted in a retrial last year, Blagojevich is serving a 14-year sentence in a federal prison.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports