Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Senate Candidate #5: Change we can believe in!

The Chicago Tribune today identified "Senate Candidate #5" as Congressman Jessie Jackson, Jr. Think I've heard the name. Wasn't he just involved as National Co-Chair of a major campaign to bring Change We Can Believe In to government? Can we buy a seat in the US Senate? Yes, We Can!

Here's the section on "Senate Candidate #5" from the Trib's original story about the arrest of the Governor Blagojevich:

.... Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been the most aggressive in promoting himself as a contender for the Senate seat. As recently as Monday, Jackson met with Blagojevich to discuss the Senate post. Last week, Jackson told the Tribune that he had recently reached out to Blagojevich confidant John Wyma as well as the governor's patronage chief, Victor Roberson, to discuss the Senate job. The Tribune reported last week that Wyma has been cooperating with the federal corruption probe of Blagojevich.

Jackson did not respond to requests for an interview Tuesday, and his spokesman did not directly address questions about whether the congressman offered to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the Senate seat. His office, however, did release a statement in which he denied any wrongdoing and vowed to aid the federal probe.The government affidavit refers to a "Senate Candidate 5" whose identity could not be confirmed. The candidate is described as someone who publicly is known to be seeking appointment to the Senate.

On Oct. 31, according to the affidavit, Blagojevich described an approach by an associate of Senate Candidate 5. "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made [Senate Candidate 5] a senator," Blagojevich allegedly said.Last week, according to the affidavit, Blagojevich told an adviser that he was giving greater consideration to Senate Candidate 5 because that person could raise money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election and perhaps kick in "some [money] upfront" as well. And Blagojevich was recorded as saying that he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days, the affidavit said.

Blagojevich allegedly told one of his fundraisers to pass a message to someone identified in the affidavit only as Individual D whom Blagojevich believed to be close to Senate Candidate 5: If Candidate 5 was to land the Senate seat, "some of this stuff's gotta start happening now . . . right now . . . and we gotta see it. You understand?"

Emanuel, the confidant of both Blagojevich and Obama, is not mentioned by name in the government complaint. But the document refers to a "president-elect adviser" concerned about the conduct of a special election for a new congressman in his 5th District .....

Soon the whole country will have Change the Illinois Way!

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