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