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December 12, 2008

The ties that bind Jackson and Blagojevich

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s claim that he never sent any emissary to negotiate for Obama's Senate seat is being disputed in today's Chicago Tribune:

As Gov. Rod Blagojevich was trying to pick Illinois' next U.S. senator, businessmen with ties to both the governor and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. discussed raising at least $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign as a way to encourage him to pick Jackson for the job, the Tribune has learned.

Blagojevich made an appearance at an Oct. 31 luncheon meeting at the India House restaurant in Schaumburg sponsored by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak, a major Blagojevich supporter who also has fundraising and business ties to the Jackson family, according to several attendees and public records.

Two businessmen who attended the meeting and spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that Nayak and Blagojevich aide Rajinder Bedi privately told many of the more than two dozen attendees the fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jackson's bid for the Senate.

And there's this bit of damaging news from today's Chicago Sun-Times: "Even though U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. says he has gotten a clean bill of health from federal prosecutors, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times he's not yet in the clear."