Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Jackson Denies Fundraising For Senate Seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jesse Jackson Jr. did the expected Wednesday morning while on the witness stand.

    He denied that he offered fundraising for Barack Obama's Senate seat, which Rod Blagojevich is accused of selling.

    "Did you ever tell anyone you would raise campaign contributions if you were appointed to the Senate seat?" he was asked.

    "Absolutely not!" he said. "I never directed people to raise money for another politician, other than myself, ever."

    The defense finished its questioning after 12 minutes.

    On redirect, Jackson said that in 2002 he was asked by Dan Lipinski to contribute $25,000 to Blagojevich's campaign for the governor. Jackson testified that he told him, "No chance."

    During a meeting in Washington D.C., Jackson said he asked Blagojevich about a possible job in government administration for his wife, Sandi. She did not get it.

    Jackson also said that in a second meeting, he saw Blagojevich again. As the governor was walking out, he addressed Jackson.  

    "In classic Elvis Presley style, he snapped both fingers, looked back at me and said, 'Should have given me that $25,000,'" Jackson testified.

    In the past, Congressman Jackson made no secret that he wanted the job. But at the time, Blagojevich wasn't so sure. On undercover tapes, Blagojevich is heard calling the idea of appointing Jackson a "repugnant" thought.

    Later however, he seemed to warm to the idea after Jackson intermediaries allegedly offered over a million dollars in fundraising.

    Jackson has not been accused of wrongdoing.