Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, have been under a cloud for quite some time and the charges were filed on Friday that they violated federal laws in the handling of campaign money was no surprise. What was a big surprise was the amount of money involved. The word was that Jesse Jackson Jr. had used $43,000 in campaign funds to purchase a gold-plated Rolex watch and had done some remodeling in their Washington, D.C. home.
While both were true, it is the extent of the misuse of campaign money that was unknown. What is true is that they dipped into campaign money to support a lavish lifestyle. The total, according to court documents, came to $750,000 which was spent on items such as furs, Michael Jackson collectibles, a $43,000 gold-plated Rolex watch, Martin Luther King Jr. treasures, $10,000 in children’s furniture and thousands of dollars in Bruce Lee memorabilia.
The Chicago Sun Times report gives an example that on one day in November of 2009, Jesse Jackson Jr., 47, whose district includes one of the most crime-ridden and most economically-depressed in the state, spent $5,000 on four fur coats, including a mink reversible parka for $1,200, a black fox reversible for $1,500 and two capes — one mink and the other black and red cashmere.
Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged with four charges — conspiracy, making false statements, and mail and wire fraud. His wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, was charged in a separate information with filing false tax returns from 2006 to 2011.
This brings to an end not one, but two promising political careers. Jesse Jackson Jr. was forever mentioned as a strong candidate for mayor, twice considering the run. Once in 2007 and again in 2011. He was also frequently mentioned as a candidate for United State Senator and Governor of Illinois.
His wife, Sandi Jackson, was also frequently mentioned for higher office because they were both viewed as young and intelligent.
Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi Jackson were once considered a “power couple.”
A special election is being conducted to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the 2nd Illinois Congressional District, in which 17 Democrats ad 5 Republicans are running.
Sandi Jackson was replaced as 7th Ward Alderman by Natashia Holmes who was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and approved by the Chicago City Council.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books