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Jackson Denies Pay-to-Play with Blagojevich

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Jackson Denies Pay-to-Play with Blagojevich

Jesse Jackson Jr. with Gov. Rod Blagojevich at the Democratic National Convention this summer. (WBEZ/Justin Kaufmann)

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. says he expects to meet with federal prosecutors soon to discuss his pursuit of Illinois’ open senate seat.

Governor Rod Blagojevich still has the power to name Illinois’ next senator, despite the corruption allegations against him. Federal prosecutors say Blagojevich was caught on tape talking about an unnamed “Senate Candidate 5.” Blagojevich allegedly said “Candidate 5" indirectly offered to raise money for the governor in exchange for an appointment to the senate. Congressman Jackson is widely believed to be “Senate Candidate 5,” and yesterday he called a press conference to address the reports.

JACKSON: I did not initiate or authorize anyone at any time to promise anything to Governor Blagojevich on my behalf.

The congressman’s lawyer, James Montgomery, says he believes Jackson is “Senate Candidate 5.” But Montgomery says Jackson has done nothing wrong. Meantime, a spokesperson for another senate hopeful, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, says she has not been contacted, nor has any plans to meet with federal prosecutors.

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