It never fails to amuse me what becomes political corruption, and what does not.
|JACKSON: Violated letter, if not spirit, of law?|
It really matters so much on the whims of the public and what they’re willing to become outraged over. Because what is more dismaying for an investigative-type person than to spend so much time trying to dig up dirt – only to find out that “Nobody cares!!!”
SOME OF THE biggest ‘dirt” we’re getting is all the trash-talk going about concerning Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., whose critics have been trying to claim for years that he’s prison-bound.
Only it seems that his behavior concerning his dealings with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich when the latter was looking for a replacement for Sen. Barack Obama at the end of 2008 hasn’t crossed over into criminal behavior.
It probably did cross over into boorish behavior on the part of a member of Congress – for which his colleagues may someday censure him. Unless those same federal investigators have taken their ongoing investigation and shifted its gears to another matter.
Which is why all the talk we’re getting these days concerns Jackson’s alleged misuse of the money that was donated to him for campaign purposes.
|HASTERT: He didn't do it, he says|
THERE ARE CERTAIN circumstances under which it can be put to personal use, and usually very strict reporting requirements.
Which means they may try to claim that Jackson violated the letter of the law – particularly with the reports that claim he tried to build himself a home office with the money, or used it to buy an expensive wristwatch for a woman who doesn’t respond to the name “Sandi Jackson.”
The fact is that there is an element that wants to believe the worst about Jackson. So anybody who claims to have something on the representative from the Illinois Second Congressional district is going to get listened to – and have certain people more than willing to believe them regardless of what they have to say.
Jackson is fresh. He’s “Big News!” Not so much for former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, who made it into the Chicago Tribune this week with reports that he used a federal financial perk to benefit his personal business interests.
|EDGAR: Who cuts his grass now?|
IT SEEMS THAT retired Congressmen are allowed to use federal funds to maintain an office to help them tie up any loose ends. The Tribune reported that Hastert’s federal-funded office benefitted his own interests.
He supposedly had a secretary using the office to send out e-mails on his behalf, although Hastert gave the newspaper a firm denial. His “I didn’t do it!’ sounded as vehement as the response we’d get from Jackson these days – if he weren’t in seclusion due to his medical condition.
Yet in today’s political climate where the Democrats bolstered their strength in both the Legislature and in the congressional delegation, do we really care any longer about a former Republican leader? This one might well pass into a trivial tidbit. Nothing more!
Although there is one incident I’m curious to see if it does become controversial. It is purely stupid. Then again, it has never taken intelligence to justify an “controversy” as legitimate.
FOR IT SEEMS that the lot located next door to the Chicago residence of the Obama family (which largely sits empty but has a Secret Service detail keeping its eye on the grounds) is for sale.
|OBAMA: Following in Edgar footsteps?|
A 50-foot by 150-foot lot. You can build a home right next to the president’s property – assuming you pass the Secret Service clearance to even put in a bid.
But in reading the reports about this property, I couldn’t help but notice a paragraph about how the Secret Service actually uses Obama’s lawn mower to cut the grass on the president’s property and on this lot – so as to keep it from getting all decrepit and detract from the first family’s former home.
I recall some two decades ago it became a “controversy” when it was disclosed by a Springfield-based television station that then-Gov. Jim Edgar’s Illinois State Police detail occasionally mowed the governor’s lawn at his personal home located just north of Springfield.
THE OUTRAGE OF it all! How dare this man use professional law enforcement types as though they were mere servants! The waste of taxpayer dollars!
Will we soon get this same kind of faux outrage against Obama – even though he has rarely set foot on the grounds in the past four years?
I’d like to think the answer is “no.” But let’s be honest.
The kind of people who are determined to disbelieve his birth taking place in Hawaii are exactly the kinds who would love to blow this nugget up into full-fledged scandal.