President Barack Obama has endorsed only two congressional candidates for the 2012 elections, including one lawmaker who may have tried to buy the president’s former Senate seat.
Obama endorsed Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., the son of Rainbow PUSH Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has been tied to imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell off Obama’s Senate seat in 2008. Two of the congressman’s fundraisers offered to raise $1 million for Blagojevich in exchange for a Jackson appointment to the Senate. Blagojevich reported to prison on March 15 to begin a 14-year corruption sentence.
Jackson was never charged in connection to the incident, but a House ethics panel continues to look into the scandal.
Jackson isn’t the only Obama endorsee with ties to corruption. He is also backing Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), whose wife Monica is serving three years in prison for bribery.
Obama has stayed out of most Democratic primaries, but in some cases, according to the Hill, candidates are not seeking his endorsement.
Not everyone on the list will seek Obama’s rubber stamp.
[Edolphus] Towns [D., N.Y.] and [Richard] Neal [D., Mass.], who endorsed Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 presidential primary, told The Hill that they do not intend on asking for the president’s backing.
There is a glut of Democratic primaries in this election cycle following the 2010 Republican election sweep, which gave Republicans control of a majority of statehouses, allowing them to control the redistricting process.