Blagojevich masks fund transfer

Blagojevich masks fund transfer

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

The first stain on the seemingly pristine image of Democrat Rod Blagojevich, candidate for Illinois governor, has appeared.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in its Sept. 27 edition that Blagojevich transferred $1 million in campaign funds to a downstate bank owned partly by the vice-chairman of the Illinois Board of Elections just two days before the board may have issued sanctions against him.

The shift of funds occurred in late August, the paper said, and should, by law, have been reported to the election board early in September. But the fund transfer wasn’t disclosed by Blagojevich until this past week after the newspaper made inquiries.

The deposit was made in the DuQuoin State Bank, partly owned by Democrat Wanda Rednour and her family. It came just before an Aug. 29 vote by the board to drop a Republican complaint against Blagojevich.

The GOP said Blagojevich did not reveal employers and occupations of more than 200 top donors and did not give addresses for another 100 contributors as required by state law.

At that August meeting, Rednour joined other Democrats in an effort to dump independent Marisellis Brown, the only African-

American candidate for governor, from the ballot. The effort failed. Ousting Brown could have helped Blagojevich in a tight race.

Rednour and her husband, John, also entertained Blagojevich and housed him overnight while the candidate attended the DuQuoin State Fair just six days before the election board voted.

The election board voted 8-0 against taking any action on the Republican complaint. The Blagojevich campaign denies there was any impropriety in the fund transfer or any attempt to influence the board’s action.

The Sun-Times quoted Terrance Norton, executive director of the Better Government Association, as commenting: “Whenever a candidate or public official wants to hide the ball, whether there’s really something improper going on or not, it raises suspicion there is something improper.”

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