Jesse Jackson, Jr., Fraudster

Guilty. That’s what Jesse Jackson, Jr., former congressman, pleaded in court yesterday.

Fraud. That’s the name of his crime, though it was a particular kind of fraud, the taking of campaign contributions for personal use.

Partnered. The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s famous son was not alone, nor did he merely “fall into” crime out of lax record-keeping. His wife was also involved in the pattern of embezzlement and tax fraud, and the level of their misappropriations was not trifling.

Sandra Jackson admitted to not reporting $600,000 of income, and the couple confessed to using re-election campaign funds to

  • buy a gold-plated Rolex for more than $40,000;
  • purchase $5,000 worth of fur capes and parkas;
  • over $9,000 worth of children’s furniture.

This is corruption, the most obvious kind to which a democratic republic is susceptible.

It is only made more frequent and more expensive in our modern times by the enormous power a congressman can hold over Washington’s tossing about of billions and trillions of dollars.

Who even notices the millions?

Jesse Jackson, Jr., isn’t alone in wanting a piece of the Washington action. Nor is he alone in thinking about himself first, and . . . well, not having time to think about anything second.

I’ve even seen this happen to minor-party candidates. It’s too easy to see a political campaign as about the candidate and not the principles — about personal advancement, not representation.

We’ll never have perfect people in public office, but we can do a whole lot better. And it’s good to see the guilty caught and prosecuted.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Feb
    21
    10:06
    AM
    JFB

    Paul, you touched upon the genesis of this issue, in noting the extraordinary economic power of the elected representatives. The temptation would be greatly alleviated by limiting the Federal powers to those actually enumerated in the Constitution.
    Absolute power corrupts absolutely, rereading and adhering to the principals of the Constitution and powers, so elegantly stated in Bastiat’s “The Law”, would be a good start.

  2. Feb
    21
    11:38
    AM
    douna

    And Clarence Thomas, who did just what Sandra did, continues to sit on the Supreme Court. But then, the judiciary has its special immunities…

  3. Feb
    21
    4:13
    PM
    Jay

    And what is Justice Thomas supposed to have done? I have not seen anything in the lame stream media, and they would crucify him, if they could.

    After all, he believes in merit not quotas.

  4. Feb
    21
    7:28
    PM
    Pat

    Call me cynical, but I don’t believe he or his wife will do a day behind bars. They certainly won’t do the four+ years that are being bandied about. How long before we hear that he’s disabled and that confinement would be too much of a hardship, both mentally and physically?

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