Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 2 1/2 Years In Prison For Defrauding Campaign

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison – The Hill

A tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges related to illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal purchases.

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Federal Judge Amy B. Jackson reprimanded Jackson for using his campaign as his “personal piggy bank” as she handed down the sentence, which will be served in North Carolina. Jackson could have received as many as four years in prison.

The former Democratic congressman from Illinois choked up before the judge as he expressed remorse for his crimes, saying that he was “wrong” and had “misled” the taxpayers he represented.

“I take responsibility for my actions and am very sorry for what I’ve done,” Jackson said.

With a bevy of friends and family looking on, including his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the former lawmaker and his wife, Sandi Jackson, were sentenced in Washington, D.C., on a felony conspiracy charge and for lying on tax forms, respectively.

In an interview following the sentencing, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said his son remains in treatment for bipolar disorder, which causes his family to fear for his life. The Rev. Jesse Jackson added that he believes his son is strong enough to serve out his prison term.

“He did not even use that as an excuse for his behavior. He was remorseful… and he is still recovering. Jesse has been very sick. This time a year ago, I really thought we may have lost him. I think he is strong enough now to accept the challenges put before him by the judge. But this has been a very painful journey for our family.”

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who was responsible for prosecuting Jackson, said the case should be a “wake-up call” for other politicians and that Jackson squandered his career for personal gain.

“Jackson’s political potential was unlimited, but he instead chose to treat his campaign account as a personal slush fund, stealing from the people who believed in him so he could live extravagantly,” said Machen.

“He squandered his great capacity for public service through outright theft. The prison sentence imposed today should serve as a wake-up call to other public officials who believe there are no consequences for betraying the public trust.”

Earlier this year, Jackson admitted to living off of his campaign funds for years, buying televisions, appliances, a Michael Jackson fedora, movie tickets and a $43,000 watch. Jackson’s wife pleaded guilty to failing to report $600,000 in taxable income.

Jackson’s lawyers argued for leniency, citing his reported health concerns, his two children and his continued treatment for bipolar disorder.

The Chicago lawmaker resigned from Congress last year following an enigmatic and prolonged absence from Capitol Hill, which landed him at the Mayo Clinic.

While a handful of his former constituents wrote the sentencing judge, asking her to bring down the full weight of the law on Jackson, some of his former colleagues and political associates have stood by him.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, asked the judge for leniency, as did an Illinois Teamsters representative who called on the judge to “be merciful.”

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7 Things Jesse Jackson, Jr. Bought With Stolen Campaign Money

7 Things Jesse Jackson, Jr. Bought With Stolen Campaign Money – Red Alert Politics

Earlier today former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., pled guilty to a count of conspiracy for misusing more than $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. His wife, Sandi, is expected to plead guilty this afternoon for filing false tax returns in the years that her husband pilfered from his campaign coiffeurs.

The Jacksons had some – well, let’s say creative – uses for their embezzled cash. Below is a guide to some of the purchases the Jacksons made with the stolen cash:

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Apparently the Jacksons were obsessed with memorabilia belonging to deceased celebrities and civil activists, as that is where most of the purloined money was spent. The couple purchased more than $10,000 in Bruce Lee memorabilia between 2007-2009…

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…and another $27,000 on collectibles once belonging to Michael Jackson in the months following his untimely death in 2009. Among the items purchased were a fedora and a guitar signed by both the King of Pop and Eddie Van Halen.

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The Jacksons also spent $11,000 on memorabilia from the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., and several thousand more dollars on memorabilia belonging to the late Jimi Hendrix and Malcolm X.

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The former Congressman treated himself to a $43,000 gold-plated Rolex watch in 2007…

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…and also decided to redo his children’s bedrooms in 2008, spending nearly $10,000 on new furniture.

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The couple also spent more than $5,000 on furs from Edwards Lowell, a Los Angeles boutique, in November 2009.

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Last, but not least, there’s the football that the Jacksons purchased for $5,000, which is signed by several former U.S. presidents.

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Yet one more reason to love Allen West!

He irritates the sensitivities of the Congressional Black Caucus Via Bluegrass Pundit

(The Hill)- Still, some are “leery” of West, according to a CBC member who requested anonymity.

West raised some eyebrows in a CBC meeting soon after the assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

After members expressed concern for their safety, West, a two-decade plus Army veteran, said members should consider carrying a concealed weapon.

In an interview with The Hill this week, West said, “They were talking about getting detailed security and I said, ‘Well you just look in your state as far as getting a concealed weapons licensing,’ which is something that I have. I think personal protection starts with yourself, but you just coordinate with local law enforcement to make sure you have collateral security at your events.”

CBC member Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said West’s suggestion didn’t go over well, adding it was “frowned” on by other lawmakers.

Man how I wish I had been there to see their faces! I would have cherished that memory forever!