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Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and Wife, Ex-Alderman Sandi Jackson, Hit With Federal Charges

On the day his wife Sandi was charged with filing incorrect tax information, Jesse Jr. was charged with misusing campaign funds… and spending them on Bruce Lee, Michael Jackson, and Eddie Van Halen memorabilia, among other things.

Jesse Jackson Jr.


Today’s big story on the intersection of crime and politics in Chicago: the President addressing the city’s violence in his old neighborhood. Ex-congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has been charged with misusing campaign funds (not that big a surprise) at the same time his ex-alderman wife was charged with filing false tax returns (ok, bigger surprise).

For background, some good Chicago long reads: Steve Rhodes on “Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Dark Days,” written after the fall; “The Rise of Jesse Jackson Jr.” by Dale Eastman, written well before it; and David Bernstein with the BGA on “Lawmakers Gone Wild.” (Mart Anthony always piqued my interest when biking past it on the way to work; apparently it’s quite good.)

Within the charges is a list of property for Jackson to forefit “which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to this offense.” They are… curious.

Well, he does like martial arts.

Since we’re data-driven here, a tally of how much JJJr is alleged to have spent on memorabilia, by celebrity figure associated with said memorabilia:

Michael Jackson: $26,7001
Martin Luther King, Jr.: $11,130
Bruce Lee: $10,105
“Football signed by American Presidents:” $5,000
Malcolm X: $2,200

1. Includes $4,000 for a Michael Jackson/Van Halen guitar.


Photograph: Chicago Tribune


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