Jesse Jackson Jr.

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Jesse L. Jackson Jr., a former U.S. Representative. He represented Illinois' 2nd congressional district. He is the son of activist and former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson Sr. Elected to Congress in 1995 at the age of 30 from a district that includes a part of the South Side of Chicago, Mr. Jackson was one of the most prominent young black politicians in the country. He is most remembered for working on issues related to health care and education for the poor. Jackson and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pled guilty on Wednesday in a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign cash for personal use. In January 2006, Jackson personally opened a bank account under the name Jesse Jackson Jr. for Congress, according to the Chicago Tribune, Federal authorities allege that Jackson Jr. used campaign funds to purchase a $43,350 men’s gold-plated Rolex watch, $5,150 worth of fur capes and parkas, and $9,588 in children’s furniture. The purchases were made between 2007 and 2009, according to the criminal information, which authorities noted is not evidence of guilt. Other expenditures listed by prosecutors include $10,105 on Bruce Lee memorabilia, $11,130 on Martin Luther King memorabilia and $22,700 on Michael Jackson items, including $4,600 for a "Michael Jackson fedora." (Chicago Tribune). He pleaded guilty to conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins. Sandra Jackson was elected to the Chicago City Council as an alderman of the 7th ward of the City of Chicago in the 2007, resigned from her position and was expected to plead guilty to filing false tax returns before the same judge that same afternoon.

Wednesday’s plea was yet another chapter in the downward spiral of Jackson Jr.’s career. In 2009, federal authorities investigated former governor Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois over his efforts to sell the Senate seat that President Obama vacated in 2008. They uncovered evidence that one of Mr. Jackson’s friends had offered to make a contribution...
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