Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Lipinski contradicts Jackson Jr. testimony, says he never asked Jackson Jr. for $25k contribution

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki and Dave McKinney

The defense quickly finished up its questioning of former U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski by asking if Lipinski ever asked Jesse Jackson Jr. to give Rod Blagojevich a $25,000 contribution. Jackson's wife Sandi was hoping for a governor-appointed spot at the Illinois Lottery at the time.

Lipinski said he didn't ask Jackson for the money.

Jackson testified that in 2003, Lipinski approached him and asked him to donate that amount to Blagojevich's gubernatorial campaign.

"No chance," Jackson said he told Lipinski.

Six months later, Jackson described seeing Blagojevich again -- after the then-governor appointed someone else to the Illinois Lottery.

"I walked in the room and there was a chill in the air. I could see in his face, he wasn't going to be able to do anything for Sandi," Jackson said. "The governor came up to me and said, 'I'm sorry the thing with Sandi didn't work out. In classic Elvis Presley fashion, he snapped his fingers and said, 'You should have given me that $25,000,' '' Jackson said.

Prosecutors tried to undermine Lipinski's testimony by pointing out he did not remember the names of people he called for donations when promoting Blagojevich in his race for governor nor did he remember all of his campaign contributions when asked about them this morning.

Prosecutors also pointed out that after Blagojevich was elected, he appointed Lipinski's wife, Rose Marie Lipinski, to the state Court of Claims, which adjudicates financial disputes against the state.

Blagojevich appointed her March 1, 2004, and she left her post in February 2006. Her final salary was $50,893 a year.

In 2002, Lipinski donated $25,000 to Blagojevich's campaign. Prosecutors asked if Lipinski thought Blagojevich was aware of that contribution when the then-governor gave his wife the job.

"I never thought of him being aware of the $25,000 or not," Lipinski testified. "He was certainly aware of my strong support for him during the course of the primary and general election."

Lipinski testified that his wife left the post after the relationship between Blagojevich and himself soured. Lipinski was on the side of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in Madigan's stand-off with Blagojevich, he testified.

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Why in heaven's name would you believe Jackson over Lipinski? Jackson is already a proven liar with the affair he confessed up to after it was brought up between trials. Why would Lipinski risk a perjury conviction? You people just don't get it....Junior's comments in court were pretty bold, cocky and downright absurd!

Jackson is a scumbag just like his father, his political career is over.

Apparently Lipinski also did a "pay for play" for his wife.Did anyone think he was going to admit he told Jackson to give Blago $25 grand for his wife's job?

Sr. Lipinski won't be shooting for any elections. Jr. Lipinski (west suburbs) on the other hand will need some damage control considering he's nothing stellar to begin with. He's notso happy ol' dad got dragged into court because chances are dad taught him everything he knows.

I for one believe Jesse vs. Lipinski. Lipinski's wife is the one who got the job, so he's going to hide (or conveniently not remember) any suggestion that a contribution could lead to a pay-to-play hiring. It's just another example of how the more you peel back the onion, the more rotten it gets.

Lipinski is as untrustworthy as they come. Remember- he's the guy who set up his son (ala Stroger) to fall right into his place when he retired. Crooks supporting crooks, that's all this is.

Looks like JJ Jr. just perjured himself! Anyone who lies about his marriage, lies in the rest of his life as well. While the Democrats call for Weiner (another cheater and liar) to resign, they need to call for Jackson to step down as well. You cannot believe Jackson for a moment !
This case just proved the Govt is wasting taxpayer money and is much ado about nothing. Hopefully the jury has the courage and common sense to acquit!

U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski is committing political suicide. Hope he doesn't plan on getting re-elected. Doesn't remember, RIGHT!

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on June 8, 2011 9:58 AM.

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