By MAGGIE HABERMAN
INFLUENCE GAME: Hillary Rodham Clinton, due to campaign in South Carolina this weekend, "jumped at the chance" to enlist Jackson, a spokesman said.February 15, 2007 -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign reached a deal to pay a key South Carolina black leader's consulting firm more than $200,000 just days before he agreed to endorse her run for president, it was revealed yesterday.
The arrangement involves South Carolina state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a well-connected African-American leader and pastor whose support is coveted by national campaigns.
Jackson confirmed to The Post yesterday that his public-relations firm struck a deal with the Clinton campaign just days ago for a contract worth up to $10,000 a month through the 2008 elections.
Jackson had also been in talks with Sen. Barack Obama's campaign about endorsing him and entering into a consulting contract for more than $5,000, sources said - raising questions about whether Jackson's endorsement was bought by a higher bidder.
Jackson acknowledged that his financial dealings with the Clinton camp should have been mentioned on Tuesday, when his support for the Democratic front-runner was revealed by a South Carolina colleague.
But Jackson balked at suggestions that his political support for sale.
"It's not about the money
- there were some other candidates who offered to double [Clinton's] offer," Jackson told The Post, though he declined to say which candidates. He said his firm, Sunrise Enterprises, is the "oldest, largest and the best" in the state. "
It's ALWAYS about the MONEY$$$$$ Can't be about her ideas!