This is what many had suspected, but now ABC News is confirming it:
Chicago Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is the anonymous "Senate Candidate No. 5" whose emissaries Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reportedly offered up to $1 million to name him to the U.S. Senate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.This pretty much torpedoes the probability of Jackson either being appointed to the seat or even winning an election to the seat. Hell, he may even be in legal troubles:
"Senate Candidate No. 5" played a key role in the governor's efforts to obtain something of value in exchange for the Senate appointment, according to the FBI affidavit.I was never crazy about Jackson being appointed. I feared he might not fare well in 2010 when he would be up for re-election. And I have to say I'm happy that "Senate Candidate 5" wasn't Emil Jones since some were trying to say that if it was him, he could spell trouble for Obama because he had been a mentor. Do I find such analysis unfounded? Yes. But Beltway Bloviators are nothing if not unthinking lemmings who will parrot the CW, no matter how illogical.
According to the affidavit, Blagojevich threatened to appoint Senate Candidate No. 5 if President-elect Obama refused to help get his wife on "paid corporate boards right now."
"If they feel like they can do this and not f-- give me anything then I'll f-- go [Senate Candidate 5]."
The FBI says that during an Oct. 31 conversation, Blagojevich described an approach from an associate of Senate Candidate 5: "We were approached 'pay to play.' That, you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him [Senate Candidate 5] a senator."
Update [2008-12-10 12:46:50 by John Campanelli]: Some people are saying that Fitzgerald has not said Senate Candidate #5 did anything illegal. That may very well be the case. The problem I see is the perception of impropriety that Jackson will need to shake off. It appears no other candidate or their camps were willing to play along with Blagojevich. And since it was well known that Blagojevich was under investigation, it seemed politically stupid to play footsies with this crook.