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Sweet column: Read the Obama camp e-mails to woo hired hand. In South Carolina, Clinton, Obama, Edwards bid for same consultant.


WASHINGTON -- South Carolina is a key primary state, and Democratic White House front-runners Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton competed to hire the same influential African-American consultant -- a state senator who is pastor of a 10,000-member megachurch.

Clinton's campaign made a deal, worth at least $10,000 a month, with state Sen. Darrell Jackson's firm, Sunrise Enterprises. The contract surfaced when Jackson earlier this week endorsed Clinton for president without mentioning his company would be working for her.

But e-mail exchanges obtained by this column show how the Obama campaign tried to woo Jackson, who was also negotiating with former Sen. John Edwards.

Obama and Clinton are making their first visits to South Carolina as presidential candidates. The Illinois Democrat is scheduled to stump in the state today and Saturday, while Clinton arrives Monday.

Both are crafting their Southern strategies with an eye on the Jan. 29, 2008, South Carolina primary.

E-mail exchanges between Obama campaign adviser Steve Hildebrand and Jackson's sister Andrea McCoy, who handles his correspondence, provide a rare inside look at how these kinds of deals are cut.

• 7:40 a.m. Feb. 6. Hildebrand sent an e-mail to McCoy: "Senator, I spoke with David Ploufe, Barack's campaign manager about your contract and we agree to start it on March 15. I'm looking forward to working with you. I'm very glad you are on our team."

• 6:39 p.m. Feb. 6. Hildebrand gets an e-mail from McCoy, asking for 48 hours before making a "definite commitment" to Obama. "He has received information of which I am not at liberty to discuss and is taking it into consideration."

• 9:47 a.m. Feb. 7. Hildebrand e-mails McCoy, "I know that Senator Jackson and Barack spoke last night. Barack is very concerned about this and wants to ensure that he has Senator Jackson on his team. If Darrell has a concern about the contract we proposed, we need to make sure we work out these concerns."

• 8:21 p.m. Feb. 7 Hildebrand writes, "I hope this is not problematic. I did leave the Senator a message a couple of hours ago. If there are questions he has, I hope that he will bring them to us. Barack needs his help and we take his possible support very seriously."


Pastors are quickly becoming the same as corrupt politicians except that they are worse...they use God as a way to enhance their pocketbooks. Is anyone else disturbed by this? Now I know why half the people in the inner city are Reverend "this" or Pastor "that".

If you think this is the only person Hillary is going to BUY, you are wrong. This black state senator will be getting over $200,000 from Hillary before its over ($10,000 a month through '08), By the way, don't be surprised if some columnists quietly and secretly get some payments from Hillary for their endorsements before its over. I've said Ms. Clinton plays rough, does Obama really know what he's up against? Lynn, if I see you driving around town in a Bentley I'll know why (LOL). Finally Lynn, isn't one of George Ryan's legal problems and convictions because of buying somebody like Hillary has done?

If there are so many reverends , why is crime rates so high there then? Think about it.

Juan-I don't see any correlation between the number of "reverends" and crime rate. You know the difference between right and wrong without a "reverend" telling you.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised when a senator receives a "favor" for his endorsement. It's just another indicator of how far we've come. Abuses of the system cross party lines and again show what we get whoever we elect. Yes, this one smells.

Hillary will buy people to get into the white house. We all know her reason for running is for the glory and power of Hillary. She is obsessed with this as she feels her 'co-presidency' was derailed and she should have been president in 92.
This woman is sick.
She doesn't give a rat's ass about the african american community any more than she cares about anyone else who isn't Hillary.
She will buy, threaten and blackmail to get her way. I would also keep close watch on the voting machines as she is very capable of doing a Rove on those as well.
I don't know how anyone can feel comfortable with the knowledge that this woman may be our next president. Keeps one up at night.

These emails make it look like the only difference between Obama and Hillary is that she's got more money. How did you get these emails?

Evelyn, Obama and Edwards try to BUY him too. Hillary just happened to come out on top. Why is she the bad ...girl?

outlaw,....the people who know are running from Obambi, why they know he CANT win, and he pissed off the winner Hillary!

Obama may feel that he needs the support of Senator Jackson, but with information like this being out, it will show that Senator Jackson is being bought. A black man with a chain around his neck.
With a congregation of 10,000 most of them do not have chains around their neck and they will be able to see for themselves.
If I were in the camp of Obama, I would post this information so that the many members of the church will see their reverens' tactics. Because you are a member of a mega church does not necessarily mean that you believe everything the pastor is doing.
You are there si serve God and not the pastor, let's give the members some credit. Please I pray that Obama does not stoop to Hillarys level.

I don't blame ANY of the candidates for trying to buy votes and influence. Is anyone else creeped out by the corelation between these mail-order Reverends (and their flock) and the fact that they are being bought (and the vote of their flock)???
We have them as well...Meeks, etc.

I have not decided yet who I would like to run for Predient but Barack Obama had better change his attitude. I do NOT think that I am wrong in my understanding that he was born of a white mother, black father (who deserted him) but never acknowledges his mother, who is white and did not desert him. If that is the case then he is not African-American and I feel that anyone white or black should not acknowledge him, until he acknowledges his mother, whatever her color.

Ann Donohoe

I totally agree that nobody is out of scope when it comes to buying votes - whether it be a newspaper, union, etc. Hillary is a master.
This crossing of lines between religion and politics is too much. You don't think this 200K includes him mentioning to his church-goers who he plans to support do you??
We have them in our city too...Meeks is as dirty as they come.

to Anonymous: Almost like an auction, isn't it? The person (Hillary) who has the most money wins. And just think, the state senator/pastor, whose probably got his new Lincoln or Lexus picked-out now (LOL), tells his congregation, "vote for Hillary", and they will all become like sheep and do so. Doesn't democracy work beautifully?

I am quite surprised because I thought only the african 'dictators' were into vote rigging and buying. But Bush, Clinton, Mayor Daley, and everyone else in the 'free' world does it. Now I wonder why its so bad if it so happens to be in Africa. Go figure

this capitalims at large! money rules, democracy is just a saying! shame to the world!

Corruption is a competitive opportunist, forever buying and selling, faithfully constant. "Buyer Beware" is equally "Seller Beware" as when Corruption caresses itself. In this transaction, the kinship of buyer and seller is innocent of doubt. Corruption is sold with a prayer to the bowing heads of the faithful, a prayer given by the seller as transcribed by the buyer.

Wasn't it Royko who said that what made Chicago unique was that once you bought a politician he stayed bought? Everywhere else you only rent them for a time - South Carolina and Afghanistan have that in common:,6903,759126,00.html
'In any case, you do not buy warlords in Afghanistan: you "rent" them for a period. The Russians discovered this to their cost. They would buy off a warlord and after a while he would come back and tell them: "My men won't wear this arrangement any more. You will have to give me more money, or we will have to go back to attacking you".'

So I doubt Hillary's cost is capped at $200,000. ;-)

I don't believe Obama and his crowd should be whining that they lost out. Another victory for Hillary, the best candidate in the 2008 race.

I am writing to let you know that, Obama is a well qualified candiate then Mrs Clinton. Sen. Obama has a plan for the american people more so then Sen. Clinton. Especially about the war. Hilary is a flip flopper about the war. First she Tells the american people that she does not support the war and turn around and voted for it any how, and has the nerve to critize Bush please!! This truly going to hunt her.

Mayor Daley got Obama for a song and dance, any money he give to Senator Obama, or any money that he help Obama get for this race to the White House, will be going into David Axelrod pocket. Obama sold his soul to Mayor Daley for peanuts,now the whole world will know who the Senator really is, he's no Harold Washington or Martin Luther King, lord knows he has did nothing to further the cause of African- American men ,women and boys as young as 13 years of age.

We here in Chicago know that Obama supports corruption, police torture and the the elected official who coverd-up the torture done to more than 200 African-American men, women and boys as young as 13 years of age, at the hands of Jon Burge and other Chicago Police officers, where they used electic shocks to their genitals, now the South knows the character of Obama, because of his endorsement of Daley over Dorothy Brown for mayor.

Urban Translator

Whats all lost in this controversy? Isn't it the democrats, especially the liberal end of the party, who always preaches the 'separation of state and religion'. Yet they are the main ones who cater and pay-off religious leaders for endorsements and what have you......and Gator, just nosy, did they have to pay-off to create a position/job called Urban Translator?

I can't believe I am agreeing with Gator Bradley but he is right.

Obama is supposed to be different but he is doing the same quid pro qou politics that has always been practiced, nothing wrong with that but don't claim to be different and special.

Obama doesn't have to go to Kenya to find corruption. Obama is justing trying to buy off the pastor/consultant to the highest bidder. Obama should talk about the corruption of Daley and the corporate power of Bill Daley and the evil police torture on John Burge.

Obambi in bed with Richie Daley and John Burge? Wow if he endorses Daley then he is turning a blind eye to what happened with Burge.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 16, 2007 10:08 AM.

Sweet column: Obama reframes the experience debate. Michelle Obama on the stump. was the previous entry in this blog.

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