Disgraced Jackson predecessor announces bid for old House seat

posted at 8:51 am on November 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

To paraphrase an old saying, Chicago truth is often stranger than political fiction.  Two weeks ago on my afternoon show, I teased Andrew Malcolm about Jesse Jackson Jr’s plea bargaining and imminent resignation from Congress, reminding him that Jackson first took office in a special election after former Rep. Mel Reynolds resigned after being charged with having sex with an underaged campaign volunteer.  After pointing out that Reynolds tried running in a primary in 2004 to get his seat back from Jackson, I joked that Reynolds now had his shot at returning to Congress.

And, sure enough

Mel Reynolds, an ex-con convicted of bank fraud and having sex with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 40s, wants to replace the embattled Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

Standing in front of signs that read “Redemption” Reynolds held a news conference on Wednesday saying he would run in a special election after Jackson resigned in disgrace last week in the midst of a federal investigation.

It was Reynolds who Jackson replaced 17 years ago —in a special election — after Reynolds himself resigned in disgrace after his conviction.

“It’s what you do after the mistakes,” Reynolds said, adding that his crimes were “almost 18, 20 years ago,” and shouldn’t be a life sentence. “I want to serve.”

As a man of faith, I believe in redemption.  I also believe in common sense.  Reynolds not only ended up with the conviction for his sexual crime, he also got convicted of campaign-finance fraud, which tacked on a few more years to his sentence, which Bill Clinton commuted just before leaving office himself.  That’s not to say that Reynolds didn’t learn his lesson — only Reynolds can truly know the answer to that question — but the voters of his district aren’t required to give him his job back, either.  If Reynolds wants to “serve,” there are plenty of opportunities to “serve” right in his own community that don’t involve campaign funds and positions of public trust in the political arena.

Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times isn’t too inspired by Reynolds’ version of “redemption,” either. He cites a long history of dishonesty from Reynolds that goes far beyond his convictions, and concludes:

At his press conference, Reynolds said he shouldn’t continue to be punished for his past “mistakes”— a reference to his convictions for having sex with an underage campaign worker and for financial and campaign fraud.

“You know, all of us have fallen short of our dreams in life on occasion, but it is part of the Judeo-Christian spirit to give people the opportunity to show what they can do,” he said. “The most important thing, I believe, for a person when they make mistakes is what they do after they’ve made mistakes.’’

I agree, but Mel Reynolds has had his chances — plenty of them — and hasn’t done anything to earn another shot at the taxpayers’ dime.

Reynolds isn’t claiming redemption; he’s claiming an entitlement.  One might expect a man who has been redeemed to have approached the rest of his life with a little more humility.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Garbage in, garbage out.

petefrt on November 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

It’s all about name recognition, baby! Well that and catch phrases, “Did I win the Lotto?”

Fallon on November 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Every time I want to squash my racist thoughts, the reality slaps them back into my head.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I see him getting 99.9% of the vote.

docflash on November 29, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Mel Reynolds, an ex-con convicted of bank fraud and having sex with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 40s,

In Chicago politics, that is what is know as a resume enhancer.

rbj on November 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Anyone who runs against him is a racist, you know.

RedRedRice on November 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

The stupid people deserve to be ruled by human filth like this.

tom daschle concerned on November 29, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Amazing. Another example of the absence of shame in our populace. A child molester and financial crook thinking he should have another shot at representing the people. Let us pray that even the thoughtless voters of Cook County will say NO THANKS to this (add your own adjectives) criminal.

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on November 29, 2012 at 8:59 AM

This is a situation where, as leader of his party, President Obama should wade in and say “no.”

schmitty on November 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I see him getting 99.9% of the vote.

docflash on November 29, 2012 at 8:55 AM

So do I. After all, there’s some awesome “man on the street” relation going on, since his constituents are as competent and intelligent as he is.

Meaning they couldn’t pick cotton without an illustrated how-to manual, and will vote for the first person who promises them “free” stuff.

MelonCollie on November 29, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Shoe In!!!!

owlpellets on November 29, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I hope he gets elected. Show Chicago politics in all of it’s sleazy dishonest glory.

Blake on November 29, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I am so effing glad that we escaped that hell hole. That district would vote in Josef Goebbels-if he returned to life as a black democrat.
Reynold’s is gonna win w/80-90% of the vote.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 29, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Will the Republicans have the balls to label Democrats as the party of Mel Reynolds, just as the donks labeled Republicans as the party of Akin and Mourdock?

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Oh, come on – holding a black politician accountable for statutory rape and bank fraud, or any crime for that matter, is sooooooo yesterday and so transparently racist. Actually, I think that this Mel Reynolds fellow would be an awesome choice for U.S. Secretary of State – he’s got everything that obama is looking for.

Pork-Chop on November 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Disgraced Jackson predecessor announces bid for old House seat

And people laugh at me when I tell them the Democrat Party
is LITERALLY, CRIME INC.

ToddPA on November 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I’d have to guess that “content of one’s character” is totally meaningless these days, in lieu of color of one’s skin?

coldwarrior on November 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I remember that TEMS. Hilarious. Shameless, even by Chicago standards.

(I know, I know, “Chicago” and “shameless” are racist)

forest on November 29, 2012 at 9:07 AM

This is a situation where, as leader of his party, President Obama should wade in and say “no.”

schmitty on November 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

That’s funny, right there.

coldwarrior on November 29, 2012 at 9:08 AM

I’ve found that in US there are a few words that being overused and for no good outcome.

Deserve is one.

Where I came from no one deserves anything. Everything must be earned.

vnohara on November 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I’d have to guess that “content of one’s character” is totally meaningless these days, in lieu of color of one’s skin?

coldwarrior on November 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I’d like to put up billboards in deep-blue cities saying “More illegitimate births than anyone else, worshiping petty crooks, and living off welfare. The content of your character STINKS”.

MelonCollie on November 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Off topic, but is anybody a fan of the Starz TV program “Boss”? A great show, by all accounts, about politics in a dysfunctional Chicago. No political party was named but we all know which party controls Chicago. The program was recently canceled at the end of its second season. Seems odd as the program was renewed for a second season before the first season ended. I’m just wondering if the Democrat machine didn’t bring some “muscle” to bear on the Starz Network. “Ya gotta a nice network here, it’d be a shame if something happened to it because of this show “Boss”. Inquiring minds are just wondering.

SpiderMike on November 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM

A convicted felon?
A sex offender, an embezzler and a thief….?
He will win in a landslide.

NeoKong on November 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Mel Reynolds, an ex-con convicted of bank fraud and having sex with a 16-year-old girl when he was in his 40s,

In Chicago politics, that is what is know as a resume enhancer.

rbj on November 29, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Mel’s just holding the seat warm while Jr finishes paying for his resume enhancer.

Steve Eggleston on November 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Mel’s just holding the seat warm while Jr finishes paying for his resume enhancer.

Steve Eggleston on November 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Yeah, that girl’s mother must’ve settled out of court for one heck of a lot.

MelonCollie on November 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM

He’ll fit nicely in that district.

rplat on November 29, 2012 at 9:17 AM

A Chicago politician doing time in the big house is some kind of badge of honor. As a matter of fact they should just put bars on the buildings of all the Illinois branches of government as that would save the time and trouble of trying and convicting them for their crimes.

Deano1952 on November 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

A felon taking over for a felon. The only thing surprising is that the Chicago machine hasn’t figured out a way to appoint him.

STL_Vet on November 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

He’ll win. It’s the Chicago Way.

Democrats win in big corrupt cities… end of story.

Dasher on November 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

As Marion Barry goes…so does Mel Reynolds.

22044 on November 29, 2012 at 9:26 AM

This post is racist.

juliesa on November 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

If he really wants to serve then send him back to prison to finish his sentence.

myiq2xu on November 29, 2012 at 9:32 AM

ROFL

“I want to serve.”

Yeah, sure you do, grifting thug pedophile. You want to suck off the public boob because the opportunity for theft in private life just isn’t as lucrative as those in public life.

Bishop on November 29, 2012 at 9:32 AM

A felon taking over for a felon. The only thing surprising is that the Chicago machine hasn’t figured out a way to appoint him.

STL_Vet on November 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

There’s this little matter of the Constitution requiring a special election to fill a vacant seat. Of course, Jr. holding onto the seat until after the November election is tantamount to an appointment of his (temporary) successor.

Steve Eggleston on November 29, 2012 at 9:34 AM

He probably wins in a landslide. Such convictions-hell, any convictions-are just resume enhancers to Dems. But dare hold a pro-life view? Not fit for office!

changer1701 on November 29, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Is this a great country or what? An ex-con cannot “legally” vote but can run for public office. And if they’re lucky enough to be a black dem in Chicago you’re likely to win.

antipc on November 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Truly represents his constituents?

I think so…

roy_batty on November 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Holding a person’s convictions against him is unfair, and the term ‘ex-con’ is code for racism. I also bet he doesn’t show up on any registered sex offender lists, either, as most states require. That would be unfair to him, too.

There should be a Constitutional amendment whereby no convicted felon is allowed to run in a Federal election. But I guess that would be ‘racist’ or ‘profiling’, too.

I predict Reynolds by a landslide.

Liam on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Detroit just elected an 8-time convicted felon as a state senator. The dude was involved in credit card and check fraud, and to top it all off his last name is “Banks”.

So yeah, I’ve pretty much given up on the urban shiitholes of this nation since the people living there have traded morals and ethics for handouts. When the end comes they can enjoy their abattoirs.

Bishop on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 AM

When is Chicago going to emplode?

Drill and Fill on November 29, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Oops, implode!

Drill and Fill on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I Really hope he wins the nomination.

dczombie on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 AM

In one recent interview, Reynolds blamed racism for his convictions. He’s simply playing to the sympathies of the low information IL-2 voter.

southsideironworks on November 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM

You all know da** well that Mel, here, is perfectly representative of this constituency. How dare you attempt to deny these poor, downtrodden, oppressed people their God-given rights, you racist crackers?

/

M240H on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Marion Barry makes Mel Renolds look like a piker.

And as for “redemption.” Barry, now a city councilman, came under fire last week for refusing to explain who was paying for $40K worth of free turkeys for his constituents.

Bottom line for me is that if you are a convicted felon who cannot vote in many jurisdictions then you are unfit for Congress. Redemption does not mean let’s forget that I’m a convicted criminal. You wouldn’t put a pedophile in charge of a day care center. Why put this guy back into a position where he can again commit fraud and lure underage women?

Happy Nomad on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I’m sad because I figured JJJ’s wife would run for his seat, to keep it warm for him and so the family business (corruption) can continue without pause.

Night Owl on November 29, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Oops, implode!

Drill and Fill on November 29, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I like emplode. In fact, I think you coined a new and useful word. Emplode- the point at which the takers and mooches outnumber and outvote the makers in a given society.

Happy Nomad on November 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Unless another black candidate with more felonies runs, he should win.

bob77 on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

You buy it, you own it.

TimBuk3 on November 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM

And if they’re lucky enough to be a black dem in Chicago you’re likely to win.

antipc on November 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Not true! There are plenty of black Dems in Chicago. They have to have the backing of the machine to win the nomination (which is the same thing as winning the seat). There was nothing unusual about the way the “effing golden” opportunity of appointing somebody to replace the rat-eared wonder in the Senate. It would have gone to the highest bidder had the converstions not been recorded and disclosed.

Happy Nomad on November 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Reynolds is a shoe in for this seat. He has all the right qualifications.

ObamatheMessiah on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

There are a lotta dumbmasses in that district who’d vote for him. On the other hand, the district has a different suburban/rural component after the post-2010 Census gerrymandering by the IL Dembeciles and candidates are crawling out of the woodwork to run for it, including former Blago attorney Sam Adam Jr (a white guy!) and Debbie Halvorson (a white woman!) who lost to triple J in the primary. The last three elected to that seat have been forced to resign it for misconduct, and yet one of them is running for it again. This is not only the corruption of Chicago and Illinois Democrat politics, this is the entire Democrat Party–only liberals can get away with this BS. They can be as corrupt, despicable and morally bankrupt as they want and this party condones and promotes them and the enablers in the slimestream media pave the way. Disgusting!

stukinIL4now on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

At first, I thought: “Gee, aren’t their any rules, or ethics standards that would prohibit someone with a criminal history from being a member of the United States House of representatives?”

Then I just started laughing…

This country is so screwed.

Hill60 on November 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

^^^^ House of Representatives.

ugh.

Hill60 on November 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM

They can be as corrupt, despicable and morally bankrupt as they want and this party condones and promotes them and the enablers in the slimestream media pave the way. Disgusting!

stukinIL4now on November 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

H.L. Mencken

STL_Vet on November 29, 2012 at 10:26 AM

If he gets on a ballot, the people will vote him in. Sorry to be so cynical, but it happens all the time.

scalleywag on November 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Man, you Christians really like to play that “Redemption” card don’t you?

mazer9 on November 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

It’s not like Congress has a high set of standards. Most of the members are crooks and liars. He’ll fit right in.

scalleywag on November 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Will the Republicans have the balls to label Democrats as the party of Mel Reynolds, just as the donks labeled Republicans as the party of Akin and Mourdock?

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Magic 8 Ball says, “No.”

trigon on November 29, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Can you actually run for a seat in the House if you’re ineligible to vote in an election because you’re a felon?

tom on November 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM

A convicted felon?
A sex offender, an embezzler and a thief….?
A DEMOCRAT?
He will win in a landslide.

NeoKong on November 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

FIFY…

Khun Joe on November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Man, you Christians really like to play that “Redemption” card don’t you?

mazer9 on November 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Redemption is great and all, but being a congressman is a high position. The average congressional district has about 650,000 people in it. There has to be someone who lives in the district who could do a better job than Mel Reynolds.

Mr. D on November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Three points:

● Redemption is not a purge of the public record.
● Forgiveness does not demand imprudence.
● Time served is not surety of reformation.

Here is the test of Mr. Reynolds’ post-prison redemption. Has he worked to repay the moral debt — not the punitive debt of his conviction (curtailed by commutation) — due his constituency for his betrayals of trust and stewardship.? Has he since served his constituency without personal enrichment?

Here is Mr. Reynolds’ own description of his post-prison redemption:

Reynolds says he has spent the past few years raising his three children and working as a broker between U.S. companies and African countries.

There is nothing damning here. Mr. Reynolds is expected to earn a livelihood. However neither is there anything to recommend returning Mr. Reynolds to the high office he abused.

DGB

Damian Bennett on November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Man, you Christians really like to play that “Redemption” card don’t you?

mazer9 on November 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

And your talk is just as cheap as Mel’s is.

It’s deeds, not words, that compose redemption.

M240H on November 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Convicted felons cannot own firearms but hey, they can be Congressmen!

Prediction: He’ll win with 105% of the vote.

CorporatePiggy on November 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM

…..AND YET…..the Bush Family and RINO infested gop thinks they can negotiate and be all nicey nice with this result from the Left?

If you look at the county by county map it’s easy to see where the TEATERS live.

Urban areas where whites for the most part have fled. Minorities RULE (Hispanics and Blacks).

The gop is DEAD DEAD DEAD.
Cause of death: suicide.

VIVA TEATERCRATS!!!
Reynolds forever!

PappyD61 on November 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Why should the continuing degradation of America stop with the last election? This is the “new normal” the libs keep talking about.

Pardonme on November 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I find it amazing that Democrats always believe in redemption when one of them has committed crimes, but Republicans caught j-walking are toast forever. I bet he will win, he is the ideal Chicago Candidate, corrupt, and an x-con.

old war horse on November 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I hope he gets elected. Show Chicago politics in all of it’s sleazy dishonest glory.

Blake on November 29, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Yeah, well, you don’t live here.

herm2416 on November 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Why not run Alcee Hastings? At least he’s not a child molester.

Ward Cleaver on November 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Garbage in, garbage out.

Garbage out, garbage in.

petefrt on November 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

FTFY

Ward Cleaver on November 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Eh, Jackson Jr. was re-elected with over 60% of the vote despite walking off the job 5 months earlier and going into hiding in an mental institution after he heard he was being investigated. At this point one of those big trucks filled with horse manure from the Back to the Future movies could get elected there if someone spray painted a (D) on the side of it.

JeremiahJohnson on November 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I could have backed him if it were Mal Reynolds instead of Mel Reynolds. But, alas, far too few people can handle both a revolver and a Firefly class space transport.

Buckland on November 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Why not run Alcee Hastings? At least he’s not a child molester.

Ward Cleaver on November 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

… because he’s the Congressman from Florida’s 23rd district. My aircrew had to haul the jacka$$ around Kosovo in ’07 when he, alone, was on a “fact-finding” mission prior to independence being declared. He was dressed as if for an outdoor cocktail party the whole time.

M240H on November 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM

There a plenty of young girls yet to conquer…

right2bright on November 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Prediction:
Reynolds. Landslide.
J Jackson Sr will endorse him.

Chicago is becoming Detroit-on-Lake-Michigan. One corrupt official, and one moral failure at a time.

orangemtl on November 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Zimbabwe! Holder’s people.

wepeople on November 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Reynolds complained that he was not expecting such treatment when he had brought investors to the country, according to the newspaper. He said he had been to Zimbabwe 17 times and had called for U.S. sanctions to be dropped against President Robert Mugabe and his top associates.

Well, after all, if it’s good enough for the Clinton White House, surely it ought to be good enough for Zimbabwe? Right?

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM

A Harvard graduate, Reynolds unseated U.S. Rep. Gus Savage in 1992, two years after a House ethics committee determined that during an official trip to Africa Savage had made improper sexual advances to a female Peace Corps volunteer.

But then Reynolds was convicted in his own sex case and sent to prison in 1995. Later, while still behind bars, he was convicted of fraud for concealing debts to obtain bank loans and diverting money intended for voter registration drives into his election campaign. In 2001, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud and Reynolds served his remaining time in a halfway house.

Reynolds’s arrest comes a little more than 14 months after he tried to resurrect his political career, running for the congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from office and pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds on personal items. Jackson is now serving a 2 1/2 year prison term.

So Reynolds won office in 1992 after the former officeholder was caught in a sex scandal, then was in prison within 3 years for his own, and Jesse Jackson Jr won, before he went to prison himself….

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM