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Jackson Jr Faces New Allegations in Blagojevich Corruption Case

By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 22, 2010 3:20PM

U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr has been making noises in the press lately like he's going to run for mayor. Logistics, fundraising and personal popularity aside, Jackson could have bigger problems if he throws his hat in the ring. That's because new allegations of his involvement in former Governor Rod Blagojevich's alleged scheme to sell former Senator Barack Obama's seat in congress are coming to light.

The Sun-Times is reporting that Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak, a former fundraiser for Jackson, is claiming that Jackson authorized an offer to raise millions of dollars for Blago should he be appointed to Obama's old seat. Nayak told the FBI that he had a conversation with Jackson in private, where Jackson allegedly told Nayak to communicate to the then-governor that if appointed, Chicago's Indian community would raise $1 million for Blagojevich, and that after he was appointed, Jackson would the raise $5 million for Blago.

Adding to the salaciousness of the allegations is the disclosure that Jackson flew "social acquaintance" Giovana Huidobro to Chicago on several occasions. No specific allegations of marital infidelity have been made. Jackson has also denied the allegations regarding his relationship with the ex-Governor, saying in a statement to the media that "the allegations about fundraising and the Senate seat are not new. I've already talked with the authorities about these claims, told them they were false, and no charges have been brought against me.... The very idea of raising millions of dollars for a campaign other than my own is preposterous. My interest in the Senate seat was based on years of public service, which I am proud of, not some improper scheme with anyone."

In a separate statement, Jackson's wife, 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson said that "today's disclosure, one that my family and I have been privately addressing for several months, is a very private, painful and unfortunate situation. Therefore, I would hope that the public will respect our ongoing personal handling and healing from this matter.''

Whether the allegations prove to be true or not, Jackson's image in Chicago is certainly tarnished, leaving him vulnerable should he decide to run for mayor.