by Jill Stanek
Rich Miller pointed out in his Feb. 1 Capitol Fax that Blagojevich's legal fees just for 2006 came to almost $1 million to defend his administration against various federal investigations of corruption.
Heres' an investigation Blagojevich could avoid.
It turns out Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who just signed an executive order mandating the HPV vaccine, has connections to Merck lobbyists, most notably Perry's former chief of staff. Perry also has received $6,000 in campaign contributions from Merck.
Well, that ain't nothing, honey.
The lobbyist for Merck in Illinois is the Chicago law firm of Freeborn & Peters, LLC, and since 2002, Freeborn & Peters has contributed $64,504.45 to the Blagojevich campaign.
In addition, one of Freeborn's partners, Joseph Roddy, served as General Counsel to Blagojevich's inauguration and was also a member of Blagojevich's Legal Transition team.
Blagojevich appointed another Freeborn partner, Robert Karr, to be Director of Midwest U.S.-Japan Association in 2005.
Blagojevich appointed another Freeborn partner, John Stevens, to his Budget Advisory Panel in 2003, noting in his press release that Stevens also served as general counsel to the Illinois Bureau of the Budget and legal advisor to the Illinois Procurement Policy Board.
The Hon. Louis G. Apostol is another attorney at Freeborn & Peters whom Blagojevich appointed to a position, this time as Judge of the Illinois Court of Claims in Chicago in 2003.
In 2004, Blagojevich appointed Freeborn senior partner David Gustman as chairman of his newly created Illinois Finance Authority.