Jesse Jackson Jr. almost had to sell off his sweet precious mink furs and Michael Jackson memorabilia last month, and October isn't shaping up to be his month either — the former Congressman has to sell his $1.3 million Washington D.C. home to settle a $750,000 forfeiture judgement before he goes to jail for a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
If you’ve ever wanted to own a lady’s sheared mink jacket with 40% silver fox sleeves, just make sure to bid on this auction tomorrow. Not only will you get your hands on a sweet piece of mink, you’ll also help Jesse Jackson Jr. repay the $750,000 in campaign funds he spent illegally. Jackson Jr. pled guilty to misusing the campaign funds in February and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for misusing nearly $750,000 in campaign funds. Jackson's wife was also given a year in jail for filing false tax returns. The presiding judge agreed to let the Jacksons stagger their sentences so their children could have at least one parent in the home.
Civil rights scion and disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was officially charged today with, among other things, conspiracy to misuse around three-quarters of a million dollars in campaign funds. According to papers filed in a Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court today, Jackson, who was still a congressman at the time, used donor money to buy everything from a $43,000 gold Rolex to cashmere capes—capes, plural—to nearly $20,000 of Michael Jackson memorabilia. The documents allege that Jackson and a co-conspirator used a campaign credit card to make $582,772.58 of purchases for personal use, and that Jackson debited another $60,000 directly out of the campaign's account.
The void in Congress left by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last month after spending the second half of 2012 bouncing in and out of mental institutions and bars, is vast. And the bar is high for a candidate to meet the expectations of Chicago voters, who resoundingly re-elected Jackson less than four weeks ago even though he had disappeared without a word for five months and was under federal investigation for campaign finance violations. Luckily for Chicagoans, convicted sex offender and former congressman Mel Reynolds is bravely stepping into the breach.
When Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. emerged from last summer's disappearance—he had, his family said, been seeking treatment for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic—his chief of staff told reporters that he was "convalescing with his wife and children at home in Washington." But last week, he was seen convalescing in a D.C. bar with two different women on two consecutive nights.
Seriously, do you know? He's been missing since June. We mentioned last week that he's probably in rehab (also that he's a callow scion who owes everything to the circumstances of his birth, something a lot of you disagreed with!), but that his staff and family are still resolutely refusing to tell his constituents what's going on. His father vigorously denied a report that he'd attempted suicide, insisting that he's just "regaining his strength." An anonymous friend told a Chicago radio station that "he doesn't get a lot of sleep and he has sleep disorders." What do you think? Drugs? Suicide? Chronic illness he wants to keep secret?
If you ever doubted that our politicians really know nothing about economics, you must watch this video from Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL) who blasts Apple and Steve Jobs for killing American jobs with the iPad.
Rupert Murdoch turns 78 today. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is turning 73. Joel and Benji Madden are 30. Sam Donaldson is turning 75. Famed attorney David Boies is 68. Finance exec Alexandra Lebenthal is 45. Real estate broker Robby Browne is 61. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is turning 44. Singer Lisa Loeb is turning 41. Terrence Howard is 40. Actress Thora Birch is turning 27. Bobby McFerrin is turning 59. Director Jerry Zucker is 59. Rapper Paul Wall is 28. Johnny Knoxville is 38. And Long Island's very own Joey Buttafuoco is celebrating his 53rd birthday today.
Now that we know (or are told at least) that Rod Blagojevich's "Senate Candidate 5" is Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr, well, we have almost more questions than we did before. Why was he such a great bargaining chip against Obama in the (admittedly crazy) mind of Blago? Did Obama really not want Jackson to take his seat? Also why did Blago expect he'd get something "tangible up front" in exchange for a Jackson appointment? That last question seems to hinge on an unnamed "Individual D." Try to guess who we are wildly speculating that is!
Senate Candidate 5? It's Jesse Jackson, Jr.! Someone connected to the congressman apparently had ROD BLAGOJEVICH convinced that ROD BLAGOJEVICH would make a cool million dollars by appointing Jackson to Barack Obama's Senate seat, against the president-elect's wishes. Jackson says he was told he's "not a target of this investigation," and says he'll cooperate with the investigation. This makes two Obama allies caught seeming a bit corrupt in the Blagojevich filing!
Usually the arrest of a corrupt Chicago politician would afford, at best, a paragraph of coverage here at Gawker. It's Dog-bites-man news. But Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is a magical figure, who is connected, directly and indirectly, with so many beloved Gawker characters. Steve Dressler put together this little illustration of Blago's Web of Deceit, and all those who've been caught in it. Join us for explanations, below.
Rod Blagojevich wanted to sell an Illinois Senate seat. Who's in the market for such a thing? Apparently, Blagojevich figured either Obama would pay up (with a cabinet post or something) for the right to pick his own successor, or he would go ahead sell it to "Candidate 5"—someone who was publicly reported to want it. Logic dictates that Candidate 5 is probably Jesse Jackson, Jr [UPDATE: Or is it? Alternate theory added below]. Which puts this corrupt, white governor in the interesting position of trying to play the old vanguard of Black American leadership against its new version. And failing miserably.