John McCaslin

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Illinois Democrat, is collecting a series of legal bills months after it was disclosed he was "Senate Candidate No. 5" in the arrest documents filed against former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

His campaign paid a lawyer $15,000 in the first quarter of this year, according to documents recently filed with the Federal Election Commission. That comes after a $100,000 payment to the same Chicago lawyer, James Montgomery, in December.

That month, Mr. Jackson outed himself as Candidate 5. According to the arrest documents, an emissary for Candidate 5 promised Mr. Blagojevich that the governor would receive up to $1 million in campaign cash if he appointed Mr. Jackson to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama. More recently, it came out that that figure could have been $5 million.

Mr. Jackson has denied any role in offering campaign cash in exchange for being named to the seat, which is now held by Sen. Roland W. Burris.


Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, will be the 2009 recipient of the Cancer Compassion Award, which is presented annually by the George Washington University Medical Center.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who also is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, reinvigorated the war on cancer just last month by co-sponsoring with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, the 21st Century Cancer ALERT Act, which seeks to better coordinate policy and science in aggressively fighting cancer.

Mr. Kennedy's award will be presented April 25 at the 6th Annual sixth annual GW Cancer Gala at the Ritz-Carlton Washington. This year's gala is chaired by GWU President Steven Knapp and Sen. Michael B. Enzi, Wyoming Republican.


In his soon-to-be-released book, "The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled," Washington Post news editor Vincent Bzdek likens Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to George Bailey, the selfless fictional character portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life."

Under the weight of his obligation to his family heritage . . . George stays home to do his duty rather than follow his muse and travel the world," observes Mr. Bzdek. "Ted Kennedy has been the same kind of politician when compared to his larger-than-life brothers: life size."

The author holds up Mr. Kennedy as "the patron saint of the unsung, the guy who stuck with his duty as he perceived it despite the high price he and those around him paid emotionally. As Bobby Kennedy once pointed out, "Ted could have sat at the pool his whole life sipping umbrella drinks."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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