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Jackson Camp Held Fundraisers For Blago

From the (nearly defunct) Chicago Tribune:

Blagojevich fundraiser held by Jackson allies Saturday

By David Kidwell, John Chase and Dan Mihalopoulos | Tribune reporters
December 12, 2008

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.

Blagojevich and the congressman met to discuss the Senate seat on Monday, one day before federal prosecutors arrested Blagojevich and charged him with trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. As part of the charges, prosecutors alleged that Blagojevich was considering awarding the seat to a politician identified as “Senate Candidate 5” because emissaries for that candidate were promising to raise as much as $1.5 million for Blagojevich’s campaign fund.

The Tribune has identified Jesse Jackson Jr. as “Senate Candidate 5.” Jackson has denied knowing anything about efforts by emissaries or anybody close to him promising to raise money for Blagojevich in exchange for being appointed to the Senate. He has been contacted by federal prosecutors as part of the probe and has agreed to meet with them.

Jackson’s congressional spokesman Rick Bryant said Thursday that Nayak is a “family friend and supporter” of the congressman as well as his well-known father, Rev. Jesse Jackson. The congressman and Nayak have spoken about Jackson’s desire to succeed Obama…

Nayak, 54, is a political and community leader in Chicago’s Indian community who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Blagojevich, including more than $200,000 from Nayak, his wife and his various corporations. Nayak and his wife have donated more than $22,000 to Jackson, federal records show, and raised more for the congressman.

Nayak owns a series of surgery centers on Chicago’s North Side. He also founded and until recently retained an ownership stake in a drug testing laboratory with millions of dollars in Illinois public aid contracts…

Bedi is the managing director for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Trade and Investment, overseeing nine foreign trade offices around the world from China to Israel. He has also been a key fundraiser for Blagojevich.

Blagojevich has referred to Bedi, who wears a turban, as “My Sikh warrior.”

The two businessmen who spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity said they did so because they were afraid of repercussions in the close-knit and politically active Indian business community.

One said Nayak and Bedi told him and others of their plan to help Jackson.

The second said he overheard Nayak and Bedi discussing plans with Bhatt, the Joliet pharmacist.

“Raghu said he needed to raise a million for Rod to make sure Jesse got the seat,” the second businessman said. “He said, ‘I can raise half of it, $500,000.’ The idea was that the other two would help raise the rest.”

Bhatt, whose two Basinger’s Pharmacy outlets were searched by the FBI last week, has been the focus of a state and federal investigations into whether campaign donations were made in exchange for regulatory favors.

Bhatt is a prominent Indian businessman who helped the state’s top pharmacy regulator win his job. The Tribune reported last year that state pharmacy auditors probing allegations of Medicaid fraud at Basinger’s complained that their bosses thwarted the investigation, allegations Bhatt has adamantly denied in interviews with the Tribune.

Shocking is it not?

Our favorite line in all of this is Mr. Jesse Jackson Jr’s claim that he spoke last Monday with Mr. Blagojevich for 90 minutes about “his qualifications.”

Since Mr. Jackson has the most limited qualifications, one suspects something else was discussed for the other 87 minutes.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 12th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Jackson Camp Held Fundraisers For Blago”

  1. Gila Monster says:

    The praetorian pols of IL are in full scale damage control this week. You can expect further vast smoke-screens emanating from their MSM friends in the coming weeks as well.

    Heads are going to roll on this one but the “Light Worker” will emerge from the primordial ooze that is IL politics virtually unscathed, the new “Teflon Don”. ;o)

  2. Steve says:

    “The praetorian pols of IL are in full scale damage control this week. You can expect further vast smoke-screens emanating from their MSM friends in the coming weeks as well.”

    Notice that when a scandal involves Republicans the media becomes the prosecutors.

    When it involves Democrats, the media become defense attorneys.

  3. golfmann says:

    “Since Mr. Jackson has the most limited qualifications, one suspects something else was discussed for the other 87 minutes.”


  4. GuppyNblue says:

    The tape of Blagojevich made it grotesquely clear that he was selling the Senate seat. It’s also clear that Jackson Jr. was making “some” effort to get that seat.

    So it’s discovered that his people and Blagojevich’s “Sikh warrior” were attending meetings/fundraisers to support Jackson’s bid. “Raghu said he needed to raise a million for Rod to make sure Jesse got the seat,” the second businessman said. “He said, ‘I can raise half of it, $500,000.’ The idea was that the other two would help raise the rest.”

    It just happens that Blago was being promised $1.5 million from “Candidate 5”. If Jackson Jr. isn’t “Candidate 5” then who is? I’ve been hearing some of the talking heads trying to give Jackson the benefit of the doubt. We’re talking about politicians, shady businessmen, and a lot of cash mixing it up. They’re either being extremely naïve or boldly disingenuous.

  5. proreason says:

    SG: tons of background on Obamy on this site. Possibly a gold mine.


    I didn’t trace much through. The first article is well-written and cites original sources. It appears not to be strongly left or right wing.

    The site also has lots of info on many other topics of interest.

    Might be one to add to your list of sources.

  6. Steve says:

    “It appears not to be strongly left or right wing.”

    I’m not so sure about that.

    Here is just a brief sampling of Counter Currents “American Imperialism” page:

    13 November, 2008

    Don’t Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart
    By Tom Engelhardt

    On the day that Americans turned out in near record numbers to vote, a record was set halfway around the world. In Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force strike wiped out about 40 people in a wedding party. This represented at least the sixth wedding party eradicated by American air power in Afghanistan and Iraq since December 2001

    An Open Letter To Mr Barack Obama,
    US President-Elect
    By Friends Of Lebanon

    Mr Obama, it has been a mere week since you were elected, and already you have destroyed any semblance of hope held for peace in the Middle East. Over sixty years of US subservience to the Zionist dream has not brought peace to anyone, not even to the Israelis. It certainly is time for a change. You can continue to seek profit from the illusion of power, or you can seek pride from the reality of respect. It is indeed time, as you say, to promote the cause of peace

    17 October, 2008

    How To Manage An Imperial Decline
    By Aziz Huq

    Do empires end with a bang, a whimper, or the sibilant hiss of financial deflation? We may be about to find out. Right now, in the midst of the financial whirlwind, it’s been hard in the United States to see much past the moment. Yet the ongoing economic meltdown has raised a range of non-financial issues of great importance for our future

    05 September, 2008

    Going On An Imperial Bender
    By Tom Engelhardt

    How the U.S. garrisons the planet and doesn’t even notice

    25 August, 2008

    NATO: A Tool Of U.S. Imperialism
    By Ghali Hassan

    The U.S.-controlled North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has lost its purpose to continue as a defence alliance. However, its aggressive expansion is endangering world peace and the survival of the planet


  7. Diane says:

    “Since Mr. Jackson has the most limited qualifications”

    Oh, come now, SG. Mr. Jackson is at least as qualified for that seat as Mr. Obama.

  8. GuppyNblue says:

    This just popped up on Yahoo from the Associated Press.

    “On Dec. 4, two days before the fundraiser, prosecutors say Blagojevich told someone identified only as “Adviser B” that he was giving Jackson greater consideration for the seat because, “among other reasons,” he would raise money for a Blagojevich re-election run and might even provide some cash upfront.”

    “In another taped call, Blagojevich said he was elevating Jackson on his list of candidates because he “might be able to cut a deal” that could give the governor “something tangible up front.”

  9. 1republicanscientist says:

    like father, like son. the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. if this gets any more desperate, senior will start to cry racism and come up with some hokey slogan for the angry hoards to shout——-“don’t hate don”t hate….it’s time to free the chicago 8″

  10. JohnMG says:

    Kinda ironic, isn’t it? The very people who shout most loudly about the “house negro” turn out to be the biggest “house negroes” on the block.

    How telling!

  11. StalinsLoveChild says:

    Oh crap, standby for plan B….the race card. “The only way the oppressed black man had a shot at that seat was to pay the white governor i.e.. ‘The Man’.”

  12. GuppyNblue says:

    Why shouldn’t the buyer be as guilty as the seller? It shouldn’t but you’re right. Once the case gets politicized with the race card there will be different standards for Blago and Jackson Jr..

  13. StalinsLoveChild says:

    There is no honor among thieves. The MSM will assist Jackson in his depiction as a victim, while they continue to portray Blago as an insane madman. However, Blago holds the ace and he’s currently negotiating his golden parachute with Obama. Merely the suggestion by Blago that Obama was in on, or even knew about any of this without reporting it to the justice department would be devastating. This is going to be a hoot!

  14. Liberals Demise says:

    SG….I’ll give you a MILLION reasons as for why JJ jr. is qualified!! 87 minutes was used for the bartering and bantering (hedging) a price figure. OOOOOHHH YEAH…..he is black too. Gotta goes to a blacks man.

  15. Steve says:

    Lest we forget, Michelle Obama is very, very close to Jesse Jackson and his (admitted) offspring.

    She is probably even related to him. Of course her maiden name was Robinson.

    Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson’s biological father was Noah Louis Robinson, a former professional boxer and a prominent figure in the black community. (Alas, he was married to another woman when Jesse was born, so he was not involved in his son’s life.)

    Michelle babysat Jesse Jackson, Jr — and probably helped to provide his moral compass.

    Jesse Jackon’s daughter (and JJJ’s sister) sang at Michelle’s wedding.

  16. Liberals Demise says:

    Awwww….The family that pays together…..plays together.
    Thatsa nice!!

  17. proreason says:

    Au contraire to the limited qualifications. JJJ appears more than qualified to be the President, not just a Senator. Never worked a day in his life. Never made a decision. Good furrowed brow look. Pretty. The connections are right, the background is right, the complexion is right. If he’s not gay, he’s ULTRA-QUALIFIED. If he’s gay, he’s PERFECT.

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