Update: According to WGN-TV News Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sentenced to 30 months at an Alabama Camp as opposed to the "Crown Jewel" of Federal Prisons in Buttner, N.C.. The 30 months was less than the minimum of 46-57 months under judicial recommended guidelines would indicate I was correct and that Jackson Jr. would not "get nearly the time" deserved. Sandi Jackson, meanwhile, was dealt with harsher considering her husband's sentence. Sandi Jackson was sentenced to 12 months in prison and it appears not eligible for the 85% time served rule because the term is less than a year and a day.
As Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi are set to be sentenced for their misdeeds it is hard to comprehend the why behind it all. Now I may not have always agreed with those outside observers about the man's pedigree, but as a human-being it is never easy to see any family being shattered. But I am a realist and the rise and fall of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was not only predictable but expected. And that is exactly why I placed him first in my 2012 Illinois Political Hall of Shame.
After all, Jesse Jackson Jr's path had been paved long before he thought of politics by his father the Reverend Jesse Jackson. And that, for many, is a tough act to follow especially if the fore-bearer had a measure of success. Reverend Jesse Jackson certainly met that criteria despite having done so using dubious methods.
But it is what it is with these political families of ours who have an eye on building a dynasty.
Jesse Jackson Jr., in my opinion, understood how to use all the right buzz words in his rhetoric and had a legion of followers to show for it. But his political ambitions weren't always aligned with that of his constituents. He wanted more. And not that that isn't a normal thing mind you, but I think he forgot a few things along the way and allowed corrupt behavior to consume him. And with it the rise and fall of Jesse Jackson Jr..
Do I believe his attorney's whether or not his thefts and odd behavior after he was caught were a result of mental illness? I am sorry the answer has to be no and I suspect it centers on not wanting to take complete and full responsibility for his and his wife's actions. I just think they were part of the same corrupt culture that runs rife in Illinois and the only difference is - they got caught. Much like those swarms of dead alewives that wash up on our Lake Michigan shores.
So while I am thankful that they spared the public a costly trial I also suspect that that had much to do with other things possibly coming to light. Particularly his role in another political downfall - that of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Yes, yes, yes - I know he has denied allegations that he did not push Raghuveer Nayak to put a $6 million bribe offer on the table for President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate Seat but there is way too much information out there to seriously question those denials. Hell just ask Raghuveer Nayak.
So there is more out there for sure regarding Jesse Jackson Jr. and his political ambitions. Does that mean that I happy that yet another of our politicians will be given complimentary housing by the Feds? Not on your life. Matter of fact I hate it that Illinois has become the butt of so many late night and international jokes.
At the same token, though, the time has come for the Jackson's to accept their punishment without the silly requests of which Club Fed is preferable or how Sandi Jackson should get off with a slap on the wrist. These two knew exactly what they were doing and I believe because of their betrayal of the public trust that their punishment be more severe than that of the average white-collar criminal.
Still, unless Jesse Jackson Jr. comes completely clean about all his political missteps, then I think the time has come for him to just shut up and accept the punishment without any special considerations from the judicial system. Somehow, though, I am sure a deal has been worked out and Jesse Jackson Jr. or Sandi Jackson get nearly the time they truly deserve.
Because that's just the way it is in Illinois for most corrupt politicians -
except, of course, for Rod Blagojevich.
Tags: 2012 Illinois Political Hall of Shame, Chicago, Chicago Political Commentary, Chicago Politics, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Headline News, Illinois, Jesse Jackson Jr., News and Opinion, Op Ed, Political Corruption, President Barack Obama, Raghuveer Nayak, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rod Blagojevich, Sandi Jackson, The Rise and Fall of Jesse Jackson Jr.