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updated: 4/18/2014 5:16 AM

Blagojevich makes one final campaign donation

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  • Rod Blagojevich

      Rod Blagojevich

  • Video: Blagojevich at New Gracanica

 
 

More than a decade after he served in Congress and two years into his prison sentence, Rod Blagojevich's federal campaign account made its final donation this week.

In closing down, the federal fund Friends of Rod Blagojevich gave $709.85 on April 14 to the Serbian Orthodox Church's New Gracanica Monastery in Third Lake.

The donation puts the campaign fund at zero, Federal Election Commission reports show.

The Third Lake location is the seat of the church's vast, multistate Midwestern America diocese.

Blagojevich has Serbian roots, including from his father he often talked about on the campaign trail, touting himself as the son of an immigrant steelworker.

Blast from the past

In a video posted to YouTube in 2008, Blagojevich speaks at a gathering at the monastery warmly about his time growing up in the church and is introduced using a childhood nickname, "Milorad."

"I have never been introduced or talked about in a speech as Milorad," Blagojevich said.

He talked of being an altar boy for someone in the audience and his multiple summers going to the church's camp with his brother, Robert.

"Back then, the camp we went to was in Libertyville," he said.

Blagojevich gave his speech from the head table at the gathering.

"I remember thinking to myself, I wonder if I could ever have a chance to sit at that table," he said.

Foreshadowing

In the video, the almost two-term governor talks about being at camp with his supportive brother.

The talk is particularly interesting to hear now, knowing that not long after, Robert Blagojevich would be indicted at the same time as his brother only to see the charges later dropped as the former governor faced a second trial.

"Sometimes you pick a fight when maybe you shouldn't," Blagojevich said of his camp days. "It's always nice to have your big brother with you when you pick a fight with someone who's a lot bigger than you."

Moving on ...

FEC reports also showed fundraising totals for people who are actually running for office and displayed a large advantage for some of the Democrats seeking re-election to Congress.

We told you last week about how Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield and Republican Bob Dold of Kenilworth are running about even, each with around $1.3 million in cash in the bank.

In the 11th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville finished the first three months of the year with about $1.2 million in the bank.

His opponent, Republican Darlene Senger of Naperville, had only $41,000 in the bank after the first three months of the year, which included a primary battle for the GOP nomination.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, has about $1.1 million in the bank for her 8th Congressional District re-election campaign.

Republican Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville has just about $6,400 after his landslide primary win over Manju Goel of Aurora for the 8th District nomination.

Backup

Roselle Mayor Gayle Smolinski weighed in on the constituent meeting held Thursday by state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, that was labeled a "gun control recruitment meeting" by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Smolinski said in an online comment on our story about it that she invited Kotowski along with state Rep. Michelle Mussman to have the meeting at Roselle City Hall in the same way she always invited former state Sen. John Millner, a Carol Stream Republican.

The ISRA sent fliers asking its members to pack the meeting even though advertising for the event -- a typical town hall meeting held by two lawmakers -- said nothing about guns.

"I personally support conceal carry, and for any group to represent that this is a gun control recruitment meeting is doing so with ignorance and/or vicious intent," Smolinski wrote in her comment. "These two state elected officials are having a town hall meeting for the residents in their district."

Moving day

Communications guru Dan Curry is working as spokesman for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis. Curry worked for runner-up Doug Truax of Downers Grove during the primary campaign.

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