Barack Obama's phone call to then-State Senate President Emil Jones in September 2008 was high drama here in Illinois. A week before it happened, Jones had made clear that he had no intention of calling the Senate back to override then-Gov. Blagojevich's veto of an ethics bill. More and more local good government activists then began to call on Obama -- who was busily campaigning across the country as the Democratic presidential nominee -- to step in and give his old mentor a push in the right direction. It didn't look likely at the time, given Obama's hesitancy to wade back into the muck of Springfield politics. But on September 17, he made the call. The following day, Jones decided to bring the Senate back. And on September 22, the chamber voted to override Blagojevich's veto and pass the ethics measure.
Now comes this: According to Lon Monk's testimony at the trial yesterday, Jones initially held up the bill as part of an agreement with Blagojevich involving Obama's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. By forcing Jones' hand, Obama apparently ruined that whole plan.
The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's David Morrison has more thoughts on this revelation.