Monday, October 28, 2013

Will we, the people of the United States of America, ever get reimbursed for the losses Jackson, Jr., allegedly cost us?

There may be only one thing more bizarre than the load of kitschy items former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., allegedly violated the law with when he used campaign funds to buy them.

JACKSON: Will we ever see money?
That would be the inability of the federal government thus far to get much restitution from Jackson for the financial losses – supposedly, $750,000 – our society suffered.

THAT IS THE reason this is considered a criminal act – the fact that money donated to a campaign fund ought to have been used strictly to support Jackson’s re-election bids, and not to pay for personal purchases.

Even though one could make a serious argument that the token opposition Jackson would get from the Rev. Anthony Williams (sometimes a Democrat, or a Republican, or a Libertarian or a Green – if not an independent) wouldn’t have required much of any money for “Jr.” to win.

Does that mean any campaign spending on Jackson’s part was wrong?

Jackson popped back into the news on Friday when officials let it be known that they wanted the congressman’s home in the Adams-Morgan section of Washington (think of something not quite as tony and upscale as Lincoln Park in Chicago) sold – with the federal government keeping the money as reimbursement for what he supposedly owes.

IT HAS BEEN reported that the home once had a $2 million-plus value on it. Even in today’s real estate market where it is unlikely Jackson would get full value, he ought to be capable of coming up with enough to pay off this particular expense.

Unless it turns out that officials would rather NOT have him be able to come up with the money. Would they really rather keep him indebted to the United States for many years to come – so as to inhibit his ability to ever fully recover in life?

I don’t know what to think.

But it does strike me as odd that the auction that was supposed to occur of all the actual items Jackson purchased was never able to take place.

I UNDERSTAND THAT there is reason to question the legitimacy of some of the items that qualify as memorabilia (a guitar once played by Eddie Van Halen back when he cooperated with Michael Jackson).

It may be enough of a taint to prevent any of the items from being able to get full value from the collector-types who will pay the big bucks to assuage their egos by saying they own the actual item that was used in some pseudo-significant moment.

But I notice that the feds say they have no intention of giving back any of the items that were confiscated – even though they’re not going to sell any of them.

So what happens with the alleged Muhammad Ali boxing gloves or the hat worn by Jackson – or even the pricey gold-plated Rolex watch or multiple fur coats, whose memorabilia value would have been that they once belonged to Jackson himself?

SOMEBODY COULD GET a laugh that they now own the watch that got Jackson put in prison – particularly if they wound up paying far less than the $43,350 that the former Congressman himself allegedly paid to get it.

Does this literally wind up being packed away in a federal warehouse reminiscent of that final scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark? It would be a waste if that happened – although it would be even more appalling if some federal bureaucrat somehow wound up with the items.

That would be more criminal in nature than anything Jackson might have done to warrant the 2 ½-year prison term that he will have to start serving (in North Carolina, it seems) in coming weeks.


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