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Denny Hastert, the former Illinois-Republican U.S. Congressman and Speaker of the House, has been identified as "Individual C" in the complaint filed against Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois.  When people said that the corruption in Illinois was a bipartisan issues, they might have been completely right.  While there have yet to be any accusations of wrong-doing against Denny Hastert, the investigation is still in the beginning phases.  Hastert was mentioned during a phone-call between Blagojevich and a highway-contractor that was getting the shake down.

"Individual C" was mentioned on a secretly-recorded phone call as an individual that Blagojevich claimed to have spoken to in regards to a capital bill that would include infrastructure-spending.  "Individual C" was apparently "excited" about the project.   Blagojevich was excited about scoring half-a-million dollars.    This phone call was between Blagojevich and "Highway Contractor 1".

Mr. Blagojevich, who has denied wrongdoing, is accused by federal authorities of wide-ranging corruption, including trying to use the tollway effort to entice $500,000 in donations from Highway Contractor 1.

In other words, Denny Hastert's name might have been used to persuade "Highway Contractor 1" to pay for play.  Denny Hastert, predictably, denied any wrong doing and has claimed that he "could" be "Individual C" but that he has "no idea what the Governor is thinking" by dropping his name.  Having your name dropped in a shake-down isn't a crime, of course.  Hastert himself has said that he and Blagojevich spoke about the bill.

In October, Mr. Hastert met with the governor at the Thompson Center at the governor’s request to discuss "reviving" the capital bill, Mr. Hastert says.

The phone-call in which "Individual C" was mentioned was in late October.  While Mr. Hastert has not been accused of any wrong-doing, perhaps we should wait to see what details come out about the corruption surrounding Blagojevich, Hastert, and "Highway Contractor 1".

Originally posted to Setrak on Sun Jan 18, 2009 at 05:51 PM PST.

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