Bloomberg Helped Fund Blagojevich's Campaign

Former aide worked for Bloomy-then became Deputy Gov.

By Juan DeJesus
|  Tuesday, Jun 22, 2010  |  Updated 1:30 PM EDT
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Bloomberg Helped Fund Blagojevich's Campaign

Getty Images/cer Platt

In this 2003 file photo, Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich looks on as Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs onto a web site to petition the United Food and Drug Administration to permit states and cities to import prescription drugs from Canada.

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What do May Michael R. Bloomberg and Rod R. Blagojevich have in common? Hint: It isn’t just having a middle name that begin with “R.”

The mayor and the impeached governor share one employee in common – Bradley Tusk

He is a 36-year-old known for his penchant for organization and sharp political acumen. Having successful ran the mayor's latest reelection campaign, Tusk,  now an adviser to the mayor, is a consultant providing guidance to candidates of the mayor’s liking.

The New York Times reported that at Monday’s corruption trial for the former governor of Illinois, Blagojevich received a $25,000 injection of cash from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Records show that the donation made by the billionaire mayor was one of the largest the Blagojevich campaign received.

The donation may have come because of share views on certain issues. Both men were advocates for tougher gun laws and abortion rights.

But the politicians also have a shared interest was Bradley Tusk, who also served as deputy governor of the State of Illinois. under Blagojevich.

Tusk was a top Blagojevich aide at the time the money was donated.  After Blago’s impeachment Tusk came back and ran Bloomberg's reelection campaign after taking great steps to distance himself from the disgraced governor.

Blagojevich’s lawyer confronted Tusk on the connection and explicitly asked if Tusk helped arrange for the large donation from his former employer.

Prosecutors made clear their objections to the line of questioning, prompting the presiding judge to remand Tusk from answering.

However the press jumped at the chance to question Tusk and his role in acquiring the donation for the helmeted haired governor to which Tusk promptly denied any involvement.  

Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg told the Times, “The mayor and the then-governor worked together on issues ranging from fighting illegal guns to protecting a woman’s right to choose to immigration to prescription drugs.”

But when asked is Tusk played a part in encouraging the donation Loeser declined to answer.

Bloomberg is no stranger to handing out money for out-of-state campaigns. In 2006, Bloomberg donated $44,600 to the re-election campaign of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
 

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