Illinois horsemen deny Rod Blagojevich assn

02:06 AM 22 Dec 2008 NZDT
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is1201060715.jpg Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
Courtesy Of Illinois.gov - The Official website for the State of Illinois

Steve Brubaker, lobbyist for the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association insists he or the association has not been cited, named or implicated, or involved, in any of the issues contained in complaint against Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The Illinois House committee investigating impeachment of Blagojevich wants to interview dozens of people who they think might have information about U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's pay-to-play allegations against the Democratic governor.

The committee wants to talk to the Governor's staff, people convicted of corruption, health board witnesses, people with possible knowledge of allegations and horse racing lobbyists.

The complaint mentions a "Contributor 1", who was to be approached for a campaign donation in exchange for Blagojevich's signature on legislation favorable to the horse racing industry.

As well as Brubaker, the committee said it as a result would now like to interview:

Jim Stumpf, of Arlington Park in Arlington Heights.

Jack Kelly, lobbyist for racetracks Balmoral Park in Crete and Maywood Park in Maywood.

Edward Duffy, lobbyist for Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero.

Betsy Mitchell, lobbyist for the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemens Association

Brian Zander, president of Fairmount Park in Collinsville.

However, Brubaker is adamant he or the Illinois Horsemen's Association is not involved in any capacity.

On the Illinois Horsemen's Association website it categoraically states:

"We have not been cited, named or implicated, nor are we involved, in any of the issues contained" in complaint against Blagojevich."

The committee's letter can be found on the General Assembly's website.

Duane RANGER (editor)

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