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Jackson Denies Involvement in Ill. Senate Seat Scheme

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By Paul Kane
Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.) today denied any "involvement whatsoever" in a corrupt scheme to secure appointment to President-elect Barack Obama's newly vacant Senate seat and called for the resignation of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the wake of the governor's arrest yesterday on charges he was trying to sell the appointment.

"I did not initiate nor authorize anyone, at any time, to promise anything to Governor Blagojevich on my behalf. I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer or plead my case," Jackson said at a nationally televised news conference inside the Capitol.

Jackson's announcement -- which ended with him hinting he may still run for the seat in a possible special election -- came as federal investigators signaled that he was the politician referred to as "Senate Candidate 5" in court papers filed yesterday against Blagojevich. According to secret recordings detailed in the court papers, Blagojevich told an associate that an emissary for "Candidate 5" had discussed the possibility of raising $1 million for the governor if candidate 5 were appointed to the remaining two years of Obama's Senate term.

Jackson has been embroiled in a media storm since this morning, when ABC News reported that he was the candidate in question -- something Jackson's lawyer confirmed to ABC News later in the day.

"I am not accused of any misconduct," Jackson, who grew emotional at times, said at the news conference called to address the reports.

The Illinois legislature is considering holding a special session next week to revoke Blagojevich's power to appoint a successor to Obama, setting up a special election early next year.

Jackson, who met Blagojevich about the appointment Monday, said it was the first time in four years he had met with the governor. He said he spoke to the office of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday, and expects to discuss with them later this week what he knows about the selection process.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 10, 2008; 4:56 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , DEPT. OF JURISPRUDENCE  
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John Fund on the editorial pages of today's Wall Street Journal lays out the relationship between Barack Obama and the sleeze in Illinois politics.

He is one of the few in the national media to comment on what the Chicago media have reported on all year.

Why has the media ignored these relationships?

Posted by: mwhoke | December 11, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Jackson Denies Involvement in Ill. Senate Seat Scheme

Activity of this caliber, we expected, especially with President Elected Obama becoming the first president of color. Yet, we should be mindful that such an event only displays our nation's inability to accept a man of color as the top man of our nation and that is a shame. I am appalled to see that in the midst of change and unity, that such divisiveness is highly manifesting. People around this entire globe probably look at us like, is that what they call democracy? Yet, with all due respect, this storm will soon pass over...then back to the restoration of our nation agenda implemented by our President Elect Obama. God Bless America!

Posted by: Nisey01 | December 11, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Budweiser) must explain who met with Governor Blagojevich (D-Deat Meat) on October 31, 2008 on his behalf.

There is speculation in Chicago that it was his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.

Posted by: mwhoke | December 11, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

$500K? That's a lot of bean pies.....

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 10, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"Will "The One" at least answer if Jackson was on his short list of hoped-for replacements?

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 5:33 PM"
I believe it was "WE are the ones" - notice the "WE"?
The republitards came out with calling him "The One" because that is how they think.

Posted by: JRM2 | December 10, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse


Seems I read that Blago was considering No. 5 because he thought he could cut a deal and because he was getting a firm "no deal" on a quid pro quo from Obama. BTW I wonder how Jackson feels about being 5th choice?

My guess is that Blago tried to strong arm Emanuel about a deal for Jarett and Rahmbo dropped a dime on him. (Rahm denies it.)

But that's just speculation.

Team Obama looks pretty good here, even if they did fumble a chance to score with Axelrod's 180. So I see this as Obama taking out the garbage.

Is there more to it?

Ask Fitzgerald. He's the most powerful man in Chicago.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | December 10, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

By their fruits ye shall know them.

The news about Jesse Jackson, Jr., being Senate Candidate 5, does NOT surprise me, and should NOT surprise anyone else, that all of this is coming from the SHAMELESS HUSTLER Jesse Jackson, Senior's family!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | December 10, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Valerie Jarrett, a longtime Obama confidante that we all know he wanted to succeed him, is "Senate Candidate 1"?

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

yea... would have, could have, should have been... like Aunold in Hollywood, even more surreal.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | December 10, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

How I wish that Jack Ryan could have kept it in his pants.

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Jackson's lawyer characterized it as "tragic" that Jackson was not nominated before Blagojevich was arrested speaks volumes about Rep. Jackson and his personality. At his news conference, he seemed more interested in furthering his political ambition than addressing the serious matter at hand. The room was thick with an aura of entitlement. This may be a blessing in disguise in that the voters may be given an opportunity to choose who will represent them.

Posted by: nyc98765 | December 10, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.) was the co-chair of former Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) Presidential Campaign, right? Will "The One" at least answer if Jackson was on his short list of hoped-for replacements?

Posted by: JakeD | December 10, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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