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December 12, 2008
Jesse Jackson, Jr. not out of the woods yet
Just three days before Blagojevich was arrested, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., whose campaign finance surrogate reportedly offered $1 million for Obama's senate seat to the governor's representative, held a fundraiser for Blago in Chicago:
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.
Among the attendees was a Blagojevich fundraiser already under scrutiny by federal investigators, Joliet pharmacist Harish Bhatt.
That meeting led to a Blagojevich fundraiser Saturday in Elmhurst, co-sponsored by Nayak and attended by Jesse Jackson Jr.'s brother, Jonathan, as well as Blagojevich, according to several people who were there. Nayak and Jonathan Jackson go back years and the two even went into business together years ago as part of a land purchase on the South Side.
This is looking very bad for Jackson the Younger. A few weeks ago the Feds taped a conversation where money was offered in exchange for the seat and then Jackson hosts a fundraiser for Blago specifically to help him get the senate seat?
Don't start measuring Jackson for a prison jumpsuit yet. It could be coincidence that the two events happened in close proximity to one another.
Then again, Santa Claus could be real and he could pop down my chimney this Christmas. We are, after all, talking about Chicago. And coincidences like this always seem to be happening when something crooked is going down.