SEIU/CtW Deny Blagojevich Ties; “source” names Stern
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Change to Win (CtW) union coalition have each released statements denying involvement in the corruption scandal that led to the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich this morning.
However, it may be some time before more is known. SEIU, in its statement, says, “In keeping with the U.S. Attorney’s request, we are not sharing information with the media at this time.”
Meanwhile, the Politico‘s Ben Smith credits an unnamed “Democratic source” with confirming the identity of “SEIU official” mentioned in the case.
A Democratic source confirms that SEIU President Andy Stern is the “SEIU official” referred to in the federal complaint against Rod Blagojevich.
There’s no allegation that the SEIU official did anything wrong, and what appears to be a wiretap transcript has the official reacting non-commitally to Blagojevich’s offer of a quid pro quo. Another Democratic source tells me that Stern was been in Chicago November 3 meeting with Blagojevich, a discussion thought to have included talk about the Senate seat — though that meeting isn’t mentioned in the complaint.
An SEIU spokesman didn’t respond to a call or email seeking comment.
It’s too early to tell what, or where anything improper, took place. Still, the SEIU and CtW connections are worth watching as the case unfolds. (By the way, Change to Win and SEIU are inextricably tied. SEIU President Andy Stern created CtW when he led his union out of the AFL-CIO in 2005, and SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger is also CtW Chair.)