Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Jackson endorsed Roland Burris for governor and Blagojevich never forgave the slight.
For that reason, it must have been a moment of sweet revenge for Blagojevich Wednesday, as a former state trade official was portrayed as the go-between in an offer of a million dollar payoff on Jackson's behalf.
Former state commerce official Rajinder Bedi was on the stand as prosecutors told Judge James Zagel that Bedi was present at a meeting with Jackson, and Indian-American businessman Raghu Nayak in October of 2008. At that meeting, he said Nayak proposed raising a million dollars for Blagojevich, in exchange for Jackson's appointment to Barack Obama's soon to be vacant Senate seat.
Bedi was not allowed to tell that story to the jury. But they did hear that his proposal for fundraising was met with a casual dismissal that same day, by Blagojevich's brother Robert.
Still, it was clear that the governor himself knew of the offer. On an undercover recording from four days later, Blagojevich is heard telling his deputy governor Bob Greenlee, "I got some lady callin' my house for Jesse Junior here a little while ago. I...we were approached pay to play. You know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came, then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him senator."
Jackson has long maintained that he did nothing wrong, and never authorized any improper contacts.
"I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer to plead my case or to propose a deal about a U.S. Senate seat, period," he declared the day after Blagojevich's arrest.