It is indeed ironic that Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. would complain about ex-governor Rod Blagojevich "wheeling and dealing."
Note the following from an April 15 column in the Southtown Star, "Jesse Jr. re-emerges in Blagojevich case." by Kristen McQueary.
Months after Blagojevich's December 2008 arrest, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd), of Chicago, told me it was impossible to interact with Blagojevich without "him wheeling and dealing and trying to extract something out of you."
Blagojevich reportedly told Jackson early on that he didn't hire his wife, Sandi, as lottery director because her application wasn't accompanied by a $25,000 campaign donation. Jackson said he turned to federal prosecutors for help when private developers willing to build a south suburban airport experienced Blagojevich's extortion.
"I have worked with four governors," Jackson said back then. "It wasn't until I came into contact with the Blagojevich administration that they sought to shake down the developers. (Blagojevich's) behavior was so unacceptable to me that I took that information to the U.S. attorney because how can we build our state if every time someone wants to invest and create jobs, they have to go through a political gauntlet of 'gimme, gimme, gimme?' "
Ironic indeed, but let's take that one step farther. The irony is that Jackson complained about Blagojevich doing what he himself has been doing for years. His entire motive for building a new airport near Peotone was about gimme, gimme, gimme.
Jackson is all about control of contracts, concessions, votes, and whatever else might be beyond my imagination.
Many suspect that Jackson got his nose out of joint because Blagojevich didn't satisfy his needs. His wife didn't get the political job he wanted for her—heading the state lottery—and he didn't he get approval for his pet project. So he complained to the authorities.
Both Jackson and Blagojevich are poster children for what is wrong in Illinois politics.
But, if you ask me, Blagojevich shaking down fat cats is far less bothersome than Jackson trying to feather his own nest off the backs of innocent people.
Jackson has misrepresented the truth to his own colleagues to make Peotone look viable, manipulated facts by making people think a runway will solve economic woes in his district, and tried his own version of shaking down four governors, with the promise to deliver votes.