- U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) speaking with Don Lemon of CNN on Friday, December 12, 2008 after being identified as "Senate Candidate 5" in the federal criminal complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Jackson, the son of famed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and a six-term Democratic congressman from Chicago, had publicly sought to succeed President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.
Jackson had talked to Blagojevich, the person with the sole power to make the appointment, on Monday, just one day before federal agents arrested the Illinois governor. Jackson said he only presented his credentials and polling information that suggests he could win re-election in 2010.
BLOG UPDATE (12/16/2008): CNN.com reports that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who was cited in a criminal complaint against Rod Blagojevich, went to the U.S. Attorney's office about alleged wrongdoers, including the Illinois governor, a Jackson spokesman said Tuesday.
In a statement, spokesman Kenneth Edmonds described Jackson's interaction with federal authorities this way:
"As a responsible citizen and elected official, Congressman Jackson has in the past provided information to federal authorities regarding his personal knowledge of perceived corruption and governmental misconduct.
"This was completely unrelated to the current investigation regarding the U.S. Senate appointment. [But] Jackson has given information regarding the embattled Democratic governor of Illinois, though not in the case currently under investigation."
plez sez: call me cynical, but to paraphrase Shakespeare, "the [gentleman] doth protest too much, methinks."
this is not a good time to be associated with the current governor of illinois. the taint about him rubs off on anyone with any close association.
the vulgar language. the brazen disposition about him. the arrogance and high mindedness of rod blagojevich. congressman jackson cannot be faulted for wanting to vault into the upper chamber of congress on the heels of BARACK OBAMA's awesome win of the white house. but he should've also been aware of the volatility and risk that he was taking in even going to speak with blago.
jackson would do well to find the "emissary" who spoke on his behalf and have this "emissary" publicly disclose his or her involvement in putting jackson's name out there for blago to think he would "pay to play". just as jesse, jr. made an attempt to clear his name, that name won't be stain-free until all the facts about the use of his name in the context of the sale of Obama's senate seat are aired in public.
i'm afraid saying "i don't know who did it" won't cut it this time around!
Read the CNN.com article about Illinois Attorney General asks state's high court to remove Blagojevich.
Read the CNN.com article about Obama asks Blagojevich to step down.
Read the CNN.com article about Jesse Jackson, Jr. trying to clear his name of the Blago scandal.
Read the CNN.com article about Jesse Jackson, Jr. providing feds with info on Blagojevich.