Jesse Jackson Jr. had some cash flow problems

It seems like I can still remember back when Jesse Jackson Jr. disappeared for long stretches of time to seek treatment for debilitating health issues, becoming a sympathetic figure on the Left. Ah, good times, good times. Ed brought us up to date a couple of weeks ago, after it became obvious that there was quite a bit more to the story and that Jackson was heading for some serious legal problems. Well, now the tale is just about fully written and the details may come as a shock even to those who suspected the worst. The former congressman and his wife were dipping into the cash contributed by their supporters at a hefty pace, funding a lifestyle which was “way beyond their means” and the expected penalty is going to be high.

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) will plead guilty to conspiring with his wife to illegally spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, including a $43,000 Rolex watch, fur coats and memorabilia associated with Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Bruce Lee, according to information obtained by POLITICO.

The charges against him include conspiracy, making false statements, and mail and wire fraud…

Prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of between 46 months and 57 months for Jackson Jr., as well as a fine of $10,000 to $100,000, and forfeiture of a yet-to-be-determined portion of the misspent $750,000 in campaign funds.

I’m not sure if Jackson really is suffering from some sort of mental illness or it was all a dodge to put up a smoke screen around an investigation that he knew was closing in on him. But either way, this isn’t going to turn into one of those cases of money getting lost in transfer or a misunderstanding of the campaign finance laws and what constitutes legitimate campaign expenditures. The details being released by the prosecutors are pretty graphic.

In one instance there was a completely bogus charge for “billboard expenses” transferred to his wife’s business and then almost immediately moved to their personal account to pay down credit card charges. Others ranged from, “airplane tickets, booze and cigars to groceries.” It would be difficult to argue that anyone seriously thought those were legal expenditures for a political campaign unless your campaign manager was Billy Carter.

But if there’s any plus side to all of this, the people of his district have probably learned a valuable lesson, and will quickly move to elect a fiscally conservative Republican with a sold background in financial management who will ….


Sorry… almost injured myself laughing there.