They’re old friends. They go way back. Blago is serving 14 years in efforts to sell Obama’s senate seat. Jackson wanted it. So he raised some money for Blago in exchange. But the deal went south. The details are here. I won’t bore you with them. JJ is a typical Chicago politician, corrupt to core, bad to the bone.
What isn’t so well known is that his present troubles are just the latest ones for this outstanding example of corruption. Wiki outlines some of them:
Jackson’s earliest public controversy came when he was linked to alleged Nigerian drug trafficker Pius Ailemen. Ailemen was supposed to be Jackson’s best man at his 1991 wedding, but canceled at the last minute due to supposed passport-related issues.
Jackson and Aileman were investigated by the FBI; the investigation and court proceedings extended for several years. A wiretap recorded many conversations between the two, and financial records indicate that Ailemen had purchased an Alfa Romeo using a $13,000 charge on Jackson’s credit card. Ailemen was sentenced to 24 years and four months in jail.
Jackson got off free.
During Jackson’s 1995 campaign, controversy arose when it was revealed that Jackson’s salary as field director the Rainbow Coalition had been subsidized by the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, which was accused by a U.S. Senate investigative committee of having ties to organized crime.
The amount involved was $150,000. Jackson kept the money.
Chicago papers are reporting that this time Jackson won’t escape prosecution. He’s already agreed to plead guilty to charges he “misused” campaign money and could face up to five years in prison. That should be enough time for him to renew old acquaintances.