Video: From landslide to plea deal in five days?

posted at 8:51 am on November 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

This might be some kind of record, even for Chicago.  Just five days after winning a landslide victory in his re-election bid to the House, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has begun negotiations for a plea deal that will send him to the big house instead:

Jackson, Jr., the son of civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and husband to Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, has not yet pleaded guilty to alleged misuse of campaign funds to decorate his house and purchase a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend. But CBS Chicago reports the congressman’s lawyer, white-collar criminal defense attorney Dan Webb, is negotiating with the federal government a plea bargain that will likely be reached by year’s end.

The tentative deal includes Jackson, Jr.’s resignation from Congress for health reasons, a “guilty” plea involving misuse of campaign funds, and repayment of any contributions that were converted to personal use. At least some jail time is expected. Jackson, Jr.’s pension, which would pay out between $65,000 and $80,000 a year when he turns 62, is also part of the talks.

Webb, who served as Chicago’s top federal prosecutor during the 1980s, helped strike a plea deal for the late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill. Rostenkowski got 17 months in jail after pleading guilty to converting a congressional postage allowance into personal money, but was allowed to keep his $126,000-a-year pension for the rest of his life.

Jackson’s seat would remain open until a special election could be held. As CBS’ Chicago affiliate notes, there is a little irony in this, as Jackson himself won this seat in a special election after Rep. Mel Reynolds was forced to resign in 1995 before serving prison time for a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer. Two years later, Reynolds also got convicted of bank fraud. He eventually got a presidential pardon and tried running against Jackson in 2004 to regain his seat, but lost by a very large margin.

One has to wonder who will take this seat next — and whether voters should start baking cakes for their new Representative with files baked into them.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Why did Jackson, Jr. have to misuse his campaign funds? I am sure his father has him on his payroll.

SC.Charlie on November 12, 2012 at 2:10 PM

We continually witness this corruption that is so typical of these minority inner city districts. And this illustrates how hopeless it is to expect anything else. It is like the corruption we see in the banana republics; the corrupt voters demand a corrupt leader. And now they will simply elect the next black corruptocrat that will take his chance at using his/her position to plunder the government for personal gain. It’s inevitable. They can’t help themselves. And these are the people who will determine our government and indirectly what happens to our families.

artman1746 on November 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The voters in his district should be ashamed that they keep electing crooks.
But I guess they have to be capable of shame first.

WannabeAnglican on November 12, 2012 at 9:18 AM

That’s my Democrat-gerrymandered district! Half illiterate, half retarded, and all Democrat!

Jaibones on November 12, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Why does he even need to make a plea deal anyway? If he goes to trial, the jury will come from his district, and even if his lawyer just sits there and says nothing during the trial, lets only the prosecution present its case, he’ll be acquitted within 30 minutes. No jail time, no interruption of his “illustrious” career in the House, and the seat will still be his for as long as he wants it.

Gator Country on November 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Does the article mention that they are all Democrats? It would be in the headline if they were all Republican.

Theophile on November 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Why did Jackson, Jr. have to misuse his campaign funds? I am sure his father has him on his payroll.

SC.Charlie on November 12, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Because it was there.

BobMbx on November 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Obama will make Jackson his next Treasury Secretary.

Sherman1864 on November 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Comment pages: 1 2