Blago Update: Jesse Jackson, Jr. is Candidate 5

The Sun-Times reports:
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is "Senate Candidate 5," whom Gov. Blagojevich was considering appointing as Barack Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate under the belief the governor would get at least $1 million in campaign contributions, his attorney said Wednesday.

But Jackson never offered, nor authorized anyone to offer, money or favors in exchange for the seat, said his attorney James Montgomery. Jackson doesn't know the identity of "Individual D," the person purported to make the pay-to-play deal on Jackson's behalf, he said.

"Congressman Jackson has never authorized anyone to seek the governor's support in return of money, fund-raising or other things of value," Montgomery said at the press conference. "Secondly, the congressman is not aware of any alleged associate having made such a proposal."

He later added that "politicians and fund-raisers do some very strange things" and that he wouldn't "put it past someone" to represent Jackson in shady dealings with Blagojevich without Jackson's knowledge.
I'm guessing that sounds like total bullshit to anyone outside the region, but I actually wouldn't be surprised if were true that someone was acting on Jackson's behalf without his knowledge. It's certainly happened before that some small-time politico in Illinois has gotten involved in a pay-for-play deal with the hope of ingratiating himself to a big-time politico after the fact. And, if they don't get caught, sometimes it even works. People have made their names for less, especially in Chicago.

Bear in mind, I really don't like Jesse Jackson, Jr., so I've no inclination to spin this in his favor. I wouldn't even if I did like him; not my style. But the point is, despite how ludicrous it may sound, it is eminently possible that someone was making promises to Blago on his behalf without his knowledge.

It's also eminently possible he's lying through his teeth lawyer, but, such a scenario being tough neither to imagine nor believe, I didn't think it warranted my opinion of its possible veracity.

Update: Video, care of Petulant, below.

Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Press Conference:

His Attorney's Press Conference:

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