Morning Business: ‘Advisor B’ Outed

Posted January 23, 2009 at 5:49pm

The Associated Press reported Thursday that “Advisor B” identified in the criminal complaint against embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) is Fred Yang, a Washington, D.C.-based consultant with the Democratic polling firm Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group.

[IMGCAP(1)]Yang was named by Michael Ettinger, a lawyer representing Blagojevich’s brother.

Federal wiretaps late last year recorded discussions between Blagojevich and Yang that involved ways the governor could get another job, either with a union or in the Obama administration, in exchange for appointing someone to fill the Senate seat of President Barack Obama.

The complaint against Blagojevich contains 16 references to “Advisor B,” who had five telephone conversations with the governor. Yang has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He declined to comment for the AP report.

Yang is a prominent Democratic pollster who has worked for numerous lawmakers on Capitol Hill over the years. The Hart Research Associates Web site lists 16 House Members, 10 Senators, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee among its political clients.

Upping the Ante. The Federal Election Commission last week issued new federal contribution limits for political committees. Adjusted for inflation, individuals now may give up to $2,400 to federal candidates and $30,400 to national party committees. Contributions to political action committees and state-level committees for federal candidates by individuals remain unchanged, with PAC gifts capped at $5,000 per year and $10,000 annually to local committees. Individuals also may now make up to $115,500 in contributions biannually to all political committees.