Senate Candidate 5? It's Jesse Jackson, Jr.! Someone connected to the congressman apparently had ROD BLAGOJEVICH convinced that ROD BLAGOJEVICH would make a cool million dollars by appointing Jackson to Barack Obama's Senate seat, against the president-elect's wishes. Jackson says he was told he's "not a target of this investigation," and says he'll cooperate with the investigation. This makes two Obama allies caught seeming a bit corrupt in the Blagojevich filing!
As Blago says in the affidavit: "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 him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator." He's describing a talk with someone reputed to be associated in some fashion with Jackson. It's not quite damning, but it does look like Jackson was more willing to play ball than Obama's team. What's still unclear is why Obama wouldn't want his ally (and supposed friend!) Jackson appointed to his seat, something Blago seems convinced of in taped conversations.
On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1’s interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat. SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that “one thing I’d be interested in” is a 501(c)(4) organization. ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4) idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4)70 could help “our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1].” SEIU Official agreed to “put that flag up and see where it goes.”
This sounds mostly like Stern is just humoring Blago, and, obviously, the flag didn't go anywhere, as Candidate 1—Valerie Jarrett—withdrew from consideration.
Still, everyone in Chicago and a few in DC are getting lawyered up. Whee!