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Is Senate Candidate 5, who appears to have been particularly willing to play ball with Blago, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr?

The unnamed candidate appears to be a man. From the charging documents:

Rod Blagojevich told Fundraiser A to tell Individual D that Rod Blagojevich had a problem with Senate Candidate 5 just promising to help Rod Blagojevich because Rod Blagojevich had a prior bad experience with Senate Candidate 5 not keeping his word. (our itals)


That rules out Valerie Jarrett -- already assumed to be Candidate 1 -- Tammy Duckworth, Lisa Madigan, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

There's also this from the charges:
On December 4 ... ROD BLAGOJEVICH noted he was going to meet with Senate Candidate 5 in the next few days.


Now look at this from the Chicago Tribune on December 6:
Jackson, the South Side and south suburban congressman, said Blagojevich's office is looking to set up a meeting between him and the governor, who has the sole power of filling the vacancy.

"Every indication, I believe, is in the next four or five days a meeting will take place," Jackson said.


And indeed, Jackson and Blagojevich met yesterday.

And as of December 3, National Journal reported at the time, he had already met with Rep. Luis Gutierrez as well as some of the female candidates.

That's a long way from proof that Candidate 5 is Jackson. But it's at least suggestive.

From page 44 of the Blagojevich charges, about the deal the Tribune company was seeking on behalf of the Cubs:

During the call, Rod Blagojevich's wife can be heard in the background telling Rod Blagojevich to tell Deputy Governor A 'to hold up that fucking Cubs shit ... fuck them'"


Guess she's a White Sox fan.

Is Sam Zell, the Tribune Company owner, implicated in the charging documents of Rod Blagojevich?

From Fitzgerald's statement:

According to the affidavit, intercepted phone calls revealed that the Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Cubs, has explored the possibility of obtaining assistance from the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) relating to the Tribune Company's efforts to sell the Cubs and the financing or sale of Wrigley Field. In a November 6 phone call, Harris explained to Blagojevich that the deal the Tribune Company was trying to get through the IFA was basically a tax mitigation scheme in which the IFA would own title to Wrigley Field and the Tribune would not have to pay capital gains tax, which Harris estimated would save the company approximately $100 million.

Intercepted calls allegedly show that Blagojevich directed Harris to inform Tribune Owner and an associate, identified as Tribune Financial Advisor, that state financial assistance would be withheld unless members of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board were fired, primarily because Blagojevich viewed them as driving discussion of his possible impeachment. In a November 4 phone call, Blagojevich allegedly told Harris that he should say to Tribune Financial Advisor, Cubs Chairman and Tribune Owner, "our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get 'em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support."

On November 6, the day of a Tribune editorial critical of Blagojevich , Harris told Blagojevich that he told Tribune Financial Advisor the previous day that things "look like they could move ahead fine but, you know, there is a risk that all of this is going to get derailed by your own editorial page." Harris also told Blagojevich that he was meeting with Tribune Financial Advisor on November 10.

In a November 11 intercepted call, Harris allegedly told Blagojevich that Tribune Financial Advisor talked to Tribune Owner and Tribune Owner "got the message and is very sensitive to the issue." Harris told Blagojevich that according to Tribune Financial Advisor, there would be "certain corporate reorganizations and budget cuts coming and, reading between the lines, he's going after that section." Blagojevich allegedly responded. "Oh. That's fantastic." After further discussion, Blagojevich said, "Wow. Okay, keep our fingers crossed. You're the man. Good job, John."


In other words, the Tribune company wanted a deal that would save them millions. Harris, the governor's aide, told them that if they removed the paper's ed board, the governor would play ball. In response, Harris got the impression that Zell had received the message and would do what Blagojevich wanted. The governor was pleased.

Late Update: Here's a statement from the Tribune Company, denying the charge.

From Fitzgerald's statement:

In a conversation with Harris on November 11, the charges state, Blagojevich said he knew that the President-elect wanted Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Expletive] them."


Looks like Obama wouldn't pay to play.

From the Fitzgerald statement:

On November 12, Blagojevich spoke with SEIU Official who was in Washington. This conversation occurred about a week after Blagojevich had met with SEIU Official to discuss the Senate seat, with the understanding that the union official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1's interest in the Senate seat. During the November 12 conversation, Blagojevich allegedly explained the non-profit organization idea to SEIU Official and said that it could help Senate Candidate 1. The union official agreed to "put that flag up and see where it goes," although the official also had said he wasn't certain if Senate Candidate 1 wanted the official to keep pushing her candidacy. Senate Candidate 1 eventually removed herself from consideration for the open seat. (itals ours)


Both Valerie Jarrett, a friend and adviser to Barack Obama, and Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq vet who runs the Illinois Veteran Affairs Department, have been mentioned as candidates for the seat.

There appears to be no allegation of wrongdoing by Senate Candidate 1.

Late update: The charges themselves say:
By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect.
So it's Jarrett.

Embattled Rep. Don Young (R-AK) may have improperly spent $20,000 from his campaign account last quarter on a Seattle law firm, according to recent campaign filings. It is unclear whether the fees were related to the ongoing federal probe into Young or if they were for campaign-related expenses. FEC guidelines forbid candidates from using campaign funds for non-campaign related matters. Young, who is tight-lipped about the federal probe, has been under investigation by the Justice Department for over a year -- possibly related to his notorious earmarking. (Anchorage Daily News)

Sen.-elect Mark Begich (D-AK), who beat Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) in a week-long contested race in November, said he doesn't believe it is "appropriate" to send the 85-year-old Stevens to jail. Stevens, who was convicted on corruption charges in October, asked for a new trial on Friday. (AP/Roll Call)

Attorneys general will attend conferences this month funded by corporate sponsors that may have legal issues, including drug companies and tobacco firms. The financial ties "represent at least the appearance of a conflict of interest for the attorneys general, and could be improper," reports theKansas City Star. (Kansas City Star)

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A great nugget from the Fitzgerald statement:

Later on November 5, Blagojevich said to Advisor A, "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there."

More from Fitzgerald's statement:

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being "stuck" as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife's employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

Here's a bit more from the statement, which goes some way to explaining why Blagojevich might have been reckless enough to put a Senate seat up for sale even while knowing that he was under federal investigation:

The charges focus, however, on events since October when the Government obtained information that Blagojevich and Fundraiser A, who is chairman of Friends of Blagojevich, were accelerating Blagojevich's allegedly corrupt fund-raising activities to accumulate as much money as possible this year before a new state ethics law would severely curtail Blagojevich's ability to raise money from individuals and entities that have existing contracts worth more than $50,000 with the State of Illinois. Agents learned that Blagojevich was seeking approximately $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, principally from or through individuals or entities - many of which have received state contacts or appointments - identified on a list maintained by Friends of Blagojevich, which the FBI has obtained.

More from Pat Fitzgerald's statement on the Blagojevich charges:

A 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps during the last month conspiring to sell or trade Illinois' U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife. At various times, in exchange for the Senate appointment, Blagojevich discussed obtaining: - a substantial salary for himself at a either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions; - placing his wife on paid corporate boards where he speculated she might garner as much as $150,000 a year; - promises of campaign funds - including cash up front; and - a cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

Just last week, on December 4, Blagojevich allegedly told an advisor that he might "get some (money) up front, maybe" from Senate Candidate 5, if he named Senate Candidate 5 to the Senate seat, to insure that Senate Candidate 5 kept a promise about raising money for Blagojevich if he ran for re-election. In a recorded conversation on October 31, Blagojevich claimed he was approached by an associate of Senate Candidate 5 as follows: "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."


Who's Senate Candidate 5? Sounds like we'll find out...

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