CHICAGO

Site Linking President Obama To Rod Blagojevich Launched By Swift Boat Funder

07/12/2010 01:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Those who happened to hear any of the comments Rod Blagojevich made about Barack Obama when he was being recorded by the FBI know that the ex-gov was not the president-elect's biggest fan--but that has not stopped those who don't support the president from trying to connect the two.

Blagojevich, sounding seriously desperate for cash, had no interest in taking Obama's suggestions about his recently vacated senate seat unless there was some money involved.

"I mean you guys are telling me I just gotta suck it up for two years and do nothing," Blagojevich told consultant Bill Knapp, discussing his lack of interest in remaining Illinois governor for another two years. "Give this mother f---er, his senator. F--- him. For nothing? F--- him."

Despite the harsh words, the Chicago News Cooperative reported Monday that Republican political operatives have launched a new site claiming that President Obama and embattled Blagojevich were a lot cozier than it sounded on tape. From CNC (emphasis added):

The site, ObamaandBlago.com, is being operated by two former political staffers for former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan- Dan Curry and John Pearman. In an interview Sunday night, Curry said that Ryan -- who has maintained a public silence on the trial of the man who defeated him for governor -- is not involved in the site.

The site's funding comes from the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, a 501(c)3 organization founded by Republican consultant Rick Reed, who produced the 2003 Swift Boat ads attacking Kerry's military record. The Web site makes its affiliation very clear, although the group historically has been quite secretive about its donors.

The site mostly accuses the press of not reporting connections between Obama and Blagojevich in their coverage of the Blagojevich corruption trial.

"I think the national media are tending to downplay his connections to the political culture in Illinois and to Blagojevich and we think that is being understated and we're pointing out areas in which the connection is much stronger than it is being portrayed," Curry told the CNC.

The site also claims that the media has downplayed how active Obama and Rahm Emanuel were in terms of suggesting Blagojevich appoint Valerie Jarrett to the president's old senate seat.

"So far, we have learned that the Obama administration's report that said Obama didn't actively seek to have Valerie Jarrett succeed him in the U.S. Senate is laughable," a July 2 blog post reads. The site lists several instances in which Emanuel reached out to the governor's office making Obama's choice for the seat clear--but wiretapped conversations between Blagojevich and his staff contradict the site's accusations.

"I'm left with gridlock, a pissed-off speaker, a potential impeachment and a president who is all take and no give," Blagojevich snapped just days before the November 2008 election. He went on to say he should appoint Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the seat--just to frustrate Obama.

"We're not saying everybody is in the same boat here, but we're saying in general that [Obama] is being portrayed as not closely connected to these folks," Curry told the CNC.

ObamaandBlago.com is another effort by Republicans to link Illinois Democrats to Blagojevich. Last week, the GOP released a line of merchandise featuring Blagojevich blow-drying his famous locks, and an elephant unplugging his hairdryer. The words "Unplug the Machine" accompany the graphic.

"If we captured the energy Republicans have expended in trying make something out of the most tenuous ties since the beginning of the campaign 'till now we'd eliminate the need for a new energy bill," Democratic National Committee Spokesman Hari Sevugan told the CNC. "Can you imagine if they could devote a fraction of that obsession, imagination and creativity to producing new ideas instead of rehashing tired political games? Too bad they can't."

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