Jackson Jr informed on Blagojevich



Hat Tip: By Don Babwin, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Shortly after his 2002 election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich told Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. he didn’t appoint the congressman’s wife for lottery director because he had refused to make a $25,000 donation to the governor’s campaign, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.

“That’s why she’s not getting the job,” the person quoted Blagojevich as saying. The person, a Jackson associate who was interviewed Tuesday by the AP, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing federal investigation.

Jackson’s name has played prominently ever since Blagojevich was arrested last week on corruption charges, including allegations that the governor tried to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for personal gain.

Jackson has been identified as one of the candidates Blagojevich was considering for the seat, and a criminal complaint said his supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million for the governor if he picked the congressman.

The complaint quotes Blagojevich as saying on federal wiretaps that an associate of the candidate offered to raise money for him if he made the Jackson appointment happen.

Jackson spokesman Kenneth Edmonds declined to comment on the account of the exchange shortly after Blagojevich’s 2002 election but said the Democratic congressman, the son of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, has approached federal investigators to discuss the governor and others for years.

“He has shared information with federal prosecutors about public corruption during the past several years, including information about Blagojevich and others,” Edmonds said.

Jackson has openly sought the Senate position but denies initiating or authorizing anyone to promise anything to Blagojevich on his behalf. The congressman has said federal prosecutors told him he is not a target of their investigation.

The Jackson associate interviewed by the AP did not know whether Jackson’s wife, Sandi had asked for the state lottery job. At the time, Blagojevich was the first incoming Democratic governor after years of Republican rule and had scores of state jobs to fill.

“The governor had kind of penciled Sandi in as lottery director and then asked for contributions from the congressman,” the person said.

Sandi Jackson, who has since been elected to the Chicago City Council, did not return a call to her office seeking comment.

In April, the Chicago Tribune reported that an examination of campaign donations to Blagojevich showed that three in four donors who gave exactly $25,000 received administration favors such as state board appointments or contracts.

It’s also the same amount of money that figured prominently in the testimony of a government witness in the political corruption trial this summer of political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Rezko, who raised more than $1 million for Blagojevich’s campaign fund, was convicted of shaking down companies seeking state business for campaign contributions.

8 thoughts on “Jackson Jr informed on Blagojevich

  1. I like and respect your blog. Would you consider exchanging blogroll links?

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  2. Andrea

    It’s not acceptable to practice transparency after-the-fact of being flushed out by bad press, innuendos, or presumptions. For all this time if Jackson knew how Blago was, it would seem to have been a noble deed to trap the man long before he himself was put in a threatening position to as well play the game.

    Either you are sick of playing it or you are an accomplice to the system crying that you have no power to change it. I’m not feeling sorry for anyone within that system that assisted that system in keeping their mouth closed, looking the other way, and being so scared to allow others to get away intimidating people with shake-downs.

    But the question is: How long has Jesse been working with the Feds? Last week, a few weeks ago, or for years? If the evidence proves for years, then I have the utmost respect for Jackson for trying to create some transparency for the people of his state to learn about as well as for his colleagues to practice. That however is the question: For how long…?

    We all know…well, we should know that the Black Community is not exactly the political fundraising types. So considering what competition is out there just to play, I almost want to say I feel sorry for Jackson. I understand what it is like to be broke and have all the passion but can’t pay to build shit. It’s a sick cycle that makes you think about pimping yourself, doing deviance complicit things, and hoping your good intentions will be enough to redeem your corrupted rationalizations.

    Until the politicians adher to COMPLETE transparencies for things that even makes them vulnerable, then transparency does not work…not after-the-fact to hope to get one leg up when you realize you want all of a sudden for the game to be fair and not about playoffs.

    I don’t know Jesse Jr. at all so I can’t say I remember ever hearing him be a promoter of transparency through ethical agency. Has anyone heard of transparency as one of his platforms? I really have not heard any Black politicians push it but Obama and we see how limited he practices transparency. It’s conditional for whom needs it at the time to be there game advantage.

    Can we get to a more open society?

  3. Snitch and be proud! 🙂

    He should take the snitch label and run with it. Black folk will give him a pass on it, and it might get him White votes.

  4. tabt

    Before you quote the Chicago Tribune as a reliable source, you might want to look into Sam Zell the man who owns it and his history of battles with Blago.

    I personally am not involved in Illinois politics. However, to believe that favors are not traded all the time by all politicians, including Jesse Jackson Jr. and Barack Obama, is simply naive. Quid pro quo is the name of the game. It is a large part of why most people enter politics.

    Do think Rahm Emanuel raised all the money he did for many political campaigns by just being a nice guy? Also, if you believe that Obama and his staff didn’t know everything about the influence and money trading going on for the Illinois Senate seat, you either don’t understand politics or are consciously pretending it didn’t/isn’t happening.

  5. akech

    Blagojevich appoints the black Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace Senator Obama. This guy should not have allowed himself to be used by this thug in such a manner!! This is desparately shameful. May be being a member of Operation Push makes one see no shame because they do not represent the ordinary people.

  6. akech

    There is no difference between African American leaders/elites, black Sub-Saharan African leaders/elites and Arab leaders/elites in the Middle East. They are willing to mow down those people they claim to represent whenever they are asked to do so in exchange for personal gatuities from the same people who do not want to see them united in order to help their constituents.

    Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris should have declined an appointment from Soprano Blagojevich as a matter of priciple. You do not want to accept an appointment form a person under indictment, for God’s sake!!!

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