Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 31--Before Rod Blagojevich ran for governor, Castle Construction of suburban Markham had not given state politicians much money in recent years, nor had it won big state contracts.
Then Castle and a related company, both with links to Blagojevich's chief fundraiser Chris Kelly, poured $224,000 into the Democrat's campaign fund. Firms directly owned by Kelly gave Blagojevich $462,000 more.
Last year, Castle scored a $24.3 million contract with the Blagojevich administration, nearly 10 times the state business it earned over the previous five years combined.
The Castle story is not an isolated one, when state contracts awarded under Blagojevich are compared with contributions to his campaign fund.
A Tribune analysis of state records shows that more than one quarter of individuals and businesses that have contributed at least $50,000 to Blagojevich have also received state business during his first term in office.
Many, though not all, of those contractors did state business before Blagojevich. Still, there was no letup in their campaign giving when the new governor took office, despite his …