Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich warned home-state presidential contender Barack Obama he is falling into a Republican trap by siding against the governor in a battle over ethics legislation that is dominating state politics.
Blagojevich's unusual tactic of taking on the U.S. senator and favorite-son Democratic nominee raised the stakes in the governor's struggle with fellow Democrats who control state government.
Blagojevich's aggressive fundraising is the target of the original ethics bill, which was overwhelmingly supported by Democrats and Republicans alike in the state legislature. It would prohibit state contractors and those seeking state business worth $50,000 or more from donating to the official who doles out the work. The governor rewrote the bill to include a variety of side issues and critics charge Blagojevich's move was an attempt to sabotage the original measure.
On Thursday, Senate President Emil Jones said he bowed to a request from Obama and agreed to call senators into session next week to consider an override of Blagojevich's changes, which the House has previously done. Obama, who has been promoting himself as a reformer, was trying to forestall a home-state controversy involving Jones, his political godfather, from becoming an issue on the national campaign trail.