Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fate of the non-singing Jacksons

I’m wondering if right about now, Sandi Jackson is regretting those remarks she made about how she’d keep the aldermanic office furniture for herself if her preference for an aldermanic replacement were not honored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
SANDI JACKSON: Blame of her own?

For it seems that the federal prosecutors who are hoping to make names for themselves at the expense of now-former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., are just as eager to prosecute his spouse.

THE REPORTS CAME out on Friday about how the former Congressman has signed a deal by which he will cooperate with federal prosecutors – in exchange for that cooperation being taken into consideration when the time comes that he pleads “guilty” to criminal charges and is sentenced to a prison term.

The charges, that contend he misused money that was donated to his political campaigns to cover personal expenses, could result in a prison term of up to five years – if he were not cooperative.

A judge yet to be determined will have to decide how much Jackson’s cooperation is worth in terms of time reduced from that five-year standard.

The reports coming out from the Chicago Sun-Times and WMAQ-TV on Friday were sparse on details.

BUT THE ONE thing that did come out is that Jackson’s focus in recent weeks has been in trying to persuade federal prosecutors that his wife was not involved in any of the activity that the modern-day G-men say is illegal.

Trying to protect his wife, he’d say. Although the Internet is already filling up with anonymous comments (some racially tinged) that Jackson sold his wife out in order to knock some time off his own potential for a prison term.
JACKSON: Now owned by the federal govt.?

In that context, Sandi Jackson’s comment that the furniture used for the Seventh Ward offices (centered around the South Shore neighborhood) was hers somehow just plays all too well into the hands of the people who are all too eager to see anyone named “Jackson” go down for the count.

Particularly if it is someone who’s the namesake son of the long-time civil rights leader. The only thing that would make them more happy is if it were the reverend himself facing a federal investigation and the possibility of prosecution and incarceration.

I FIND MYSELF skeptical whenever political corruption cases come about because there’s always the possibility that they turn into nothing more than excuses for partisan political prosecution.

The people who get most worked up and do their best to stoke the heat of the political fire are those who didn’t like what the candidates stood for. Prison becomes their ideal of what an opposition candidate should face.

And the reason for the incarceration ultimately does not matter too much!

Now personally, I don’t know if Jackson’s conduct (or that of his wife) rises to the level of criminal behavior.

IT CONSISTS OF activity that Jackson really doesn’t deny doing. His “defense” is ultimately going to come down to something along the lines of “I didn’t know that was illegal.”

Which means it comes down to a matter of perception, and degree. Although I do realize that in recent years, there have been changes in federal law to prohibit actions that once were perfectly legal.

We’re going to read a lot in coming months about that “$40,000” Rolex watch – which makes me wonder if it would be less offensive if it were just a cheap, $10 Timex knockoff.
DALEY: Would he be beloved today?

Things that Richard J. Daley once did without giving it a second thought now likely would get an assistant U.S. attorney all worked up – putting himself into career overdrive in terms of thinking about how much of a public boost he can get from taking down a “big” political name.

WHICH IS THE real reason why we don’t hear all too often about small-town political corruption. Who’d care? It takes something along the scale of that public official in Dixon, Ill., to gain any news coverage.

It also is something we should keep in mind when we regard the Jacksons in coming months. Just how different is their conduct from the many other public officials who toil away in obscure posts whose very low-key nature makes it possible for them to do questionable things without many people looking!


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