Disgraced Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr Sentenced To 30 Months

By Mack Rawden 2013-08-14 12:52:40
The line between what qualifies as a campaign expense and what qualifies as a personal expense is often very blurry for politicians. Sometimes dinners are strategy meetings, and sometimes theyíre just dinners. Sometimes campaign stops involve sightseeing and family trips intermixed with rallies and fundraisers. As such, judges are typically very lenient when it comes to examining a Congressmanís expenditures. Unfortunately for Jesse Jackson Jr., however, buying flat screen televisions for your personal residence isnít even remotely acceptable.

This morning, the disgraced Congressman was sentenced to thirty months in jail for habitually using campaign money to finance an extravagant lifestyle. Alongside his campaign manager/ wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, he made approximately 3100 personal inappropriate purchases over a seven year period. From fur wraps to a Disney World trip to a gold-plated Rolex watch, the couple spent more than $750,000 on themselves. The sentence could have actually been far worse, but thanks to full cooperation from the ex-politician and his wife, who got 12 months in prison, prosecutors did not ask for the maximum.

According to The Chicago Tribune, both prosecutors and the judge also decided to offer some leniency in terms of how the prison time will be served. Jesse will be allowed to report to prison first. Once his time is up, he will then switch places with his wife, which will allow one parent to be home with the coupleís children as the family faces the fallout of their poor decisions.

Jacksonís downfall began not long after President Barack Obama won his first term. As governor, Rod Blagojevich, who was later jailed too, was given the responsibility of filling the departing Senatorís seat. Rather than select the most qualified candidate, he, in typical Illinois political fashion, decided to try and sell it. Representatives for Jackson were caught on tape offering more than $1,000,000. That trigged an investigation of the Congressmanís finances, which eventually trigged an emotional breakdown and a bizarre leave of absence that seemed to go on fooooorrrreeeevvvveeerrr, which eventually triggered Jacksonís resignation. Several residents reportedly sent in letters to the judge chronicling all the wonderful things he did for poor people while in office, but according to The Washington Post, a whole lot more sent in angry letters asking for an example to be set.

During todayís sentencing, Jesse addressed the court and apologized for his mistakes. You can read an excerpt of his comments belowÖ
ďYour honor, throughout this process Iíve asked the government and the court to hold me and only me accountable for my actions. I am the example for the whole Congress. I understand that. I didnít separate my personal life from my political activities, and I couldnít have been more wrong.Ē

Pop Blendís thoughts go out to the Jackson family children, as well as all those campaign donors who were duped into thinking they were helping a good cause when really they were only paying for vacations and luxury goods.
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