Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jacksons have gone D.C. Or so it seems

It seems we can now count the Jacksons (not the musical family, but the political one) among the ranks of people who have given up their Chicago-area ties for someplace else.

JESSE, JR.: A pre-charges version
For Jesse, Jr. and Sandi seem to be thinking of themselves as residents of the District of Columbia when they contemplate their fates. Both are up for sentencing on Wednesday for their involvement in what federal prosecutors say was misuse of campaign funds.

THE FORMER MEMBER of Congress from the Far South Side and surrounding suburbs used campaign funds for personal purchases without reporting it as income, and the former 7th Ward alderman signed the income tax returns that didn’t acknowledge the extra income.

Attorneys for Jesse, Jr., on Monday made their preferences known for where they’d like the former Congressman to serve his prison sentence. He’d like to be sent to either a federal prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., or to the minimum-security portion of the federal correctional complex at Butner, N.C.

Jackson indicates those facilities are his preference because of their proximity to the District of Columbia – which the Jacksons seem to think of as their home now, rather than the South Side.

The latter facility is about 700 miles from Washington, but that make it one of the closest to the nation’s capital city. Attorneys wrote that putting him there would make it easier for him to maintain contact with his wife and children while incarcerated.

AS FOR NORTH Carolina, Jackson is thinking back to his days in college – when he attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He thinks he still has ties to North Carolina, and thinks it would help rehabilitation if he were in a familiar region of the country.

It also would make him a fellow inmate along with Jon Burge, the former Chicago police commander who supposedly let the officers under his command abuse the rights of the people in their custody. Although he’s doing his prison time for a perjury conviction in a civil lawsuit where he denied the abuse occurred.

SANDI: Doing the D.C. service route?
In short, that facility in Butner could wind up becoming a new focal point for Chicago political observers – who’s to say who else will wind up there?

Although this case is most likely to wind up in an eastern (or southern) facility because it is of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. If it were in the federal courts of Chicago, we’d be looking at the likelihood of Jackson getting himself an Oxford Education (ie., serving his time in the minimum-security facility in Oxford, Wis.).

BUT JESSE, JR., is not the only person thinking of himself as a D.C. resident, rather than a Sout’ Sider. Sandi Jackson put in her own request. She’s looking at the possibility of a year in prison, although probation is an option.

Sandi’s attorneys filed a similar request, asking for probation and pointing out that the Martha’s Table charitable organization in Washington is willing to accept her as a volunteer IF she gets a sentence that includes community service as part of the punishment.

We won’t get the sight of Sandi Jackson serving slop to the homeless in the South Shore neighborhood, or anywhere else in the city. Perhaps it will be better for us if the actual penalty phase of this whole sordid ordeal takes place somewhere else. At the very least, the people who get worked up over this case for purely partisan political reasons won't be able to revel in the Jacksons' misery quite as much.

Not that the courts are obligated to follow along with any of these requests. If anything, I wonder if the real humiliation for them would be if they had to do their punishments on Chicago-area turf. Where it would be easier for them to be seen by the locals.

GOING AWAY TO D.C. might make it easier for them to blend into the masses and be overlooked? Who’s to say!

Maybe it means we’ve lost the Jacksons as a part of our local scene for a second time.

Just like how Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito (along with little brother Michael) long ago left their Gary, Ind., origins for something bigger and better musically.
It's too bad that the political version of a Jackson family won't get as much glory from this D.C. shift.

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