The revolving door in Corrupt Illinois

GradelS15Jesse Jackson Jr. gained his Congressional seat by winning a special election to replace Rep. Mel Reynolds.

Reynolds resigned after being convicted of sexual misconduct. Jackson himself resigned as the Representative of the Second Congressional District of Illinois facing charges of fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, and criminal forfeiture. The details of these charges included his use of campaign funds to buy more than one cashmere cape.

According to one of  the Congressman’s former colleagues, Jackson is set to be released this week from a federal prison camp to serve the final months of his sentence in a Washington, D.C. halfway house.

In their book Corrupt Illinois, Thomas Gradel and Dick Simpson recount Jackson’s day before a U.S. District Court Judge:

“I am guilty, your honor,” Jackson said, entering his plea. “Sir, for years I lived off my campaign.  I used monies that should have been used for campaign purposes, and I used them for myself personally, to benefit me personally.” He also acknowledges the accuracy of the government’s twenty-two-page statement detailing his criminal behavior.

Jackson is just one of many politicians whose extravagant behavior has landed them in what is seemingly a revolving door at the big house reserved just for those who have held elected office in Illinois.

As the authors write, (citing another famous Illinoisian):

Like Bill Murray’s day in the movie Groundhog Day, it keeps happening again and again.


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