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of former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and his latter-day career as adviser to the powerful in Tuesday's Baltimore Sun includes a little-reported nugget about Schmoke’s involvement as attorney for then-Senate appointee Roland Burris.

Burris, of course, was the Illinois politician who didn't decline then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's offer of the seat vacated by President Barack Obama – a seat Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell (from the federal complaint: "I've got this thing and it's [EXPLETIVE] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [EXPLETIVE] nothing").

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When the Senate Democratic leadership resisted the appointment, West reports, it was Schmoke, dean of the Howard University law school, who advised Burris to press his case.

Soon after, West reports, Schmoke got a call from a top official of the Baltimore Teachers Union and its national parent in Washington, asking if he would mediate the D.C. schools' long-stalled labor talks, adding to his post-mayoral resume as a troubleshooter and power broker.

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