Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi intend to plead guilty to federal charges alleging the former congressman misused $750,000 in campaign funds while she understated their income on tax returns for six years, their lawyers say.The editors at a local newspaper express dismay.
Jackson Jr., 47, a Democrat from Chicago, was charged in a criminal information Friday with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and other penalties.
Sandi Jackson was charged with one count of filing false tax returns. She faces up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and other penalties.
Jackson Jr. is accused of diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
Federal authorities allege that Jackson Jr. used campaign funds to purchase a $43,350 men’s gold-plated Rolex watch, $5,150 worth of fur capes and parkas, and $9,588 in children’s furniture. The purchases were made between 2007 and 2009, according to the criminal information, which authorities noted is not evidence of guilt.
Ask yourself how an enormously gifted attorney, accustomed to the national limelight even before his eight terms in the U.S. House, could think his bold conduct involving staff members and other potential witnesses against him would remain secret.The error the editors commit is one of thinking of a safely blue district as a mainstream Congressional district, rather than as a microcosm of a third world failed state. Here's that editorial's characterization of the boodling.
Ask how he could squander a probable lifetime position in Congress. Squander all the good he might do there for the people he had sought to provide with better jobs and better futures.
Ask how he could humiliate not one but three generations of his globally known family — his famous father and his young children included.
That's more money than many of the defrocked congressman's former constituents on the South Side of Chicago will earn in their lifetimes. And it doesn't include an additional $28,500 in allegedly undisclosed gifts and loans, and enough dishonest paperwork to earn hard time.Those destitute constituents are simply a means to re-election for Democrat ward-heelers. It's a whole lot easier to posture and call out the System for the persistence of poverty than it is to ask for an outbreak of bourgeois virtues among those constituents, or to end the policies that enable the helpless while buying votes.
Representative Jackson's seat is open. It's a safely blue district, and there's a lot of Democrat interest in securing that potential lifetime job. The Chicago television stations are already running the attack ads, a goodly number of which attempt to tie Democrat candidates to the National Rifle Association. Nowhere is there a libertarian or Republican voice suggesting that private gun ownership might be the only recourse available to a citizen otherwise at the mercy of corrupt cops, gang turf wars, and of the young people rendered unemployable by the minimum wage, which Chicago Democrats state and national both seek to raise, and by the failure of the Chicago Public Schools to develop human capital.