“We were approached ‘pay to play,’” Blagojevich said as FBI agents listened intently. The candidate would raise $500,000 for Blagojevich, and an emissary would raise an additional $1 million, according to the conversation. [...]
On Wednesday, it was revealed that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was the candidate, prompting him to hold an emotional news conference proclaiming his innocence. Jackson, the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, said prosecutors have told him he is not the target of the bombshell investigation, nor is he accused of any wrongdoing. [...]
In an interview with The Associated Press, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said it’s “common in politics for people to try to leverage relationships,” but his son didn’t do such a thing.
“The good is news is … that it did not say he had done anything illegal,” Jackson said, referring to the criminal complaint. “Somebody in his name was trying to negotiate” [...]
Chicago Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is the anonymous “Senate Candidate No. 5″ whose emissaries Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reportedly offered up to $1 million to name him to the U.S. Senate, his attorney confirmed today after it was reported earlier on ABCNews.com “The Blotter”.
According to the FBI affidavit in the case, Blagojevich “stated he might be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provided Rod Blagojevich” with something “tangible up front.” [...]
Jackson Jr.’s attorney James Montgomery confirmed that the Chicago congressman is “Senate Candidate #5″ but said “Jackson has never authorized anyone to seek the Governor’s support in return of money, fundraising or other things of value.”
Jackson said “I don’t know” when asked if he was Candidate #5 earlier this morning, but said he was told “I am not a target of this investigation.”
At a press conference this afternoon, Jackson Jr. did not comment on “Senate Candidate #5″ but said he has done nothing wrong [...]
Even taking into consideration the history of corruption in Illinois politics, this one is mind-boggling.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a 51-year old Democrat serving his second term, was arrested this morning on a plethora of corruption charges, including one that accuses him of conspiring to sell the Senate seat recently vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.
Blagojevich has long been the subject of a federal corruption investigation, as reports have swirled about alleged kickbacks for companies attempting to do business with the state [...]
Rod Blagojevich said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherf***er [the President-elect] his senator. F*** him. For nothing? F*** him.” Rod Blagojevich states that he will put “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give F***ing [Senate Candidate 1] a F***ing Senate seat and I don’t get anything.” (Senate Candidate 4 is a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois) [...]
Rogers, 49, is a friend of Michelle and President-elect Barack Obama‘s, and a leader in Chicago corporate and civic circles; her appointment signals that the first couple consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the country and the globe. She was a major fundraiser for Obama.
“This appointment sends a strong message that the Obamas want to use the White House strategically, to maximize its use in a way that is consistent with their philosophy — [to] open it to a broader range of people, ” said Valerie Jarrett, an Obama intimate and friend of Rogers’s who also will work in the White House. “Desirée is a heavy hitter — she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country. She’s close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy.” [...]
Ann Jordan, who has known Rogers for years, says: “She’s a very talented, successful, well-educated women who uses her skills well — she’s very organized [...]
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