Did Roland Burris's business partner, Fred Lebed, have anything to do with Patti Blagojevich landing a full-time job as development director of the Chicago Christian Industrial League?
Lebed, who served on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's transition team, also serves on CCIL's Board of Directors.
The question was raised on Sunday night by political pundit Bruce Dumont on his XM Satellite radio show "Beyond the Beltway." I was a guest, along with writer Salim Muwakkil and Judy Baar Topinka, the former state treasurer who ran against Blagojevich for governor.
When Patti Blagojevich, for the time being, at least, the first lady of Illinois, found her real estate activities scrutinized by the feds--some political insiders expected Patti to be indicted before Rod--she switched careers to the nonprofit CCIL which helps the poor and homeless.
Since 2002, Roland Burris, who will likely soon be the junior senator from Illinois unless something oozes up to taint his reputation, has been partners with Lebed in Burris & Lebed Consulting, LLC. Their website notes that both are registered lobbyists and that "their vast network of relationships are unmatched and stretch within every corner of Illinois and many of the major metropolitan areas in the country.
The website also boasts: "Burris & Lebed Consulting represents numerous clients in front of the Chicago City Council, Cook County Board of Commissioners, suburban local governments, other governmental units across Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, the Governor's Office and other local elected and appointed officials. "
Could the Lebed/CCIL/Patti Blagojevich connection provide Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin with the ammunition they need to keep the man whose tombstone trumpets himself as a "Trail Blazer," from joining their club?