In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled the House of Representatives could not refuse to seat Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, a New York Democrat who was accused of putting his wife on the payroll and misusing travel funds to vacation in the Caribbean. Despite those charges, he was reelected by his constituents in Harlem.And Jesse Jackson's allies are already raising money for Blago's campaign, as early as this past Saturday.
"The Constitution does not vest in the Congress a discretionary power to deny membership by majority vote," wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren. Congress may "judge only the qualifications set forth in the Constitution," he said.
The qualifications are minimal. A senator must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen and "an inhabitant" of the state.
As Gov. Rod Blagojevich was trying to pick Illinois' next U.S. senator, businessmen with ties to both the governor and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. discussed raising at least $1 million for Blagojevich's campaign as a way to encourage him to pick Jackson for the job, the Tribune has learned.
Blagojevich made an appearance at an Oct. 31 luncheon meeting at the India House restaurant in Schaumburg sponsored by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak, a major Blagojevich supporter who also has fundraising and business ties to the Jackson family, according to several attendees and public records.
Two businessmen who attended the meeting and spoke to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that Nayak and Blagojevich aide Rajinder Bedi privately told many of the more than two dozen attendees the fundraising effort was aimed at supporting Jackson's bid for the Senate.