One reason the Obama transition team pushed New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson overboard was concern that other close associates of Obama might be drawn into the burgeoning "pay for play" scandal that is now enveloping not only Richardson, but also the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, as well as other prominent Democrats.
"The biggest concern is [Valerie] Jarrett and anyone associated with the public housing industry in Chicago," says an Obama transition team adviser. "Some of Obama's earliest and most influential fundraisers came from the low-income housing industry."
In fact, according to federal law enforcement sources, the company at the center of the "pay for play" scandal, CDR Financial, was about to announce the opening of a new office in Illinois. "They were expecting to make some money there, just how and how much isn't clear yet, but it's something that is being looked at."
Web pages on the CDR website that announced contact information for the Illinois office mysteriously were taken down about a week ago, about the time that Richardson announced he was withdrawing from consideration for Commerce Secretary.
And because of Obama's ties to the housing industry in Illinois, there is growing concern that the CDR story is not something that will go away any time soon, and it threatens to touch some of Obama's closest advisers.
UPDATE: Here's the story on Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.