WBEZ | Jesse Jackson Jr. http://www.wbez.org/tags/jesse-jackson-jr-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Wife of ex-US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. reports to prison http://www.wbez.org/news/wife-ex-us-rep-jesse-jackson-jr-reports-prison-113436 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_870348526468.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The wife of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. reported to prison Tuesday, the second half of the once-powerful political couple to serve time for convictions tied to $750,000 in lavish illegal spending of campaign money on items from furs to vacations.</p><div><p>Sandi Jackson, herself a former&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;city councilwoman, presented herself at the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson in West Virginia to begin serving a one-year sentence for filing false income tax returns, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in an emailed statement.</p><p>She starts her prison term one month after her husband completed his 2&frac12; year sentence on a fraud conviction for the illegal spending. The judge who sentenced both of them in 2013 after they reached plea deals with prosecutors allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences in a concession to their two school-aged children.</p><p>Sandi Jackson, 52 and, like her husband, a Democrat, will serve her time about 250 miles west of Washington, D.C., where the Jacksons have made their home in recent years. The Alderson prison has held several high-profile inmates, including TV personality Martha Stewart, who served five months for lying about a stock sale and was released in 2005.</p><p>The facility has around 1,000 inmates and, though it is a minimum-security facility, it is highly regimented. That includes frequent contraband shakedowns, mandatory menial jobs that pay 40 cents an hour and the issuance of a brown khaki uniform, the prison&#39;s online guidebook says. Sandi Jackson will be known to staff by No. 32453-016, her inmate number.</p><p>It&#39;s a long way from the lifestyle court documents described the Jacksons as living at least in part because of their misuse of campaign cash.</p><p>Among the items Sandi Jackson spent the campaign money on were a $1,500 black and red cashmere cape, a $1,200 mink reversible parka and a $1,500 black fox fur; and the couple spent nearly $9,600 on children&#39;s furniture, according to court papers filed in the case.</p><p>Jesse Jackson Jr., 50 and the son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012, ending a once-promising political career. He left Congress that June, and his staff eventually confirmed that he took a medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.</p><p>Jackson had been on home confinement in Washington in recent months, but he was officially registered as free from federal custody last month. He is on three years of supervised release and must do 500 hours of community service.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 20 Oct 2015 15:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/wife-ex-us-rep-jesse-jackson-jr-reports-prison-113436 Jackson auction stopped after authenticity issues http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-auction-stopped-after-authenticity-issues-108733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS2756_AP-Jesse Jackson Jr._large_1.png" alt="" /><p><p>With the authenticity of a guitar supposedly signed by Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen called into question, authorities pulled the plug Friday on an online auction of personal belongings forfeited by Illinois&#39; prison-bound former congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr.</p><p>The U.S. Marshals Service began the auction earlier this week to recoup part of the $750,000 in campaign funds the former congressman and his wife illegally spent on memorabilia, furs, vacations and other personal items.</p><p>But the agency announced Friday that it was canceling the entire auction &quot;out of an abundance of caution&quot; because of questions about the guitar, which prosecutors say the former congressman bought with campaign money for $4,000.</p><p>&quot;Because new information has come to light, we are taking additional steps to review all the items,&quot; said Kim Beal, the acting assistant director for the forfeiture division of the Marshals Service.</p><p>Among the dozen other items up for auction were pictures purportedly signed by Bruce Lee and a red, fur-trimmed cape. Buyers were supposed to have been able to place bids on any of the Jacksons&#39; former possessions until Sept. 26. But signs that something might be amiss came just hours after the auction started Tuesday when the signed guitar was suddenly struck from the auction list.</p><p>The Marshals Service said once a review of the items is complete, it will decide whether to resume the sale of some or all of the items.</p><p>The Texas-based company conducting the auction, Gaston &amp; Sheehan Auctioneers, Inc., said it was another contractor for the Marshals Service that was responsible for authenticating the items in advance.</p><p>&quot;This is out of the norm,&quot; one the auction house&#39;s executives, Bob Sheehan, said about the suspension of the sale. He said he didn&#39;t know who or what first raised doubts about the guitar.</p><p>Bidding was heavy hours after the auction started for a framed poster dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson&#39;s &quot;Thriller&quot; album &mdash; and allegedly signed by the pop star himself. The highest bidder by Tuesday evening had offered $1,560 for it.</p><p>Jesse Jackson Jr., the 48-year-old son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a one-time golden boy of Democratic politics, was sentence last month to a 2&frac12;-year prison term for to scheming to spend campaign funds. The same judge imposed a yearlong sentence on his wife, Sandra.</p><p>The Marshals Service sells property seized or forfeited in criminal cases, the proceeds of which are often kicked back into law enforcement. It currently manages more than 23,000 assets worth around $2.4 billion, the agency says.</p></p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 11:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-auction-stopped-after-authenticity-issues-108733 Morning Shift: Is it fair for established filmmakers to use Kickstarter? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-14/morning-shift-it-fair-established-filmmakers-use <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Spike Lee-Flickr- thomas.rome_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Kickstarter originally began as a way to get the average person&#39;s project out of the shadows, but now bigwigs are using it to fund their pet projects. Is this fair? Also, a chat with R&amp;B and blues artist Syleena Johnson.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-43.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-43" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Is it fair for established filmmakers to use Kickstarter?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 08:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-14/morning-shift-it-fair-established-filmmakers-use Jackson Jr. makes his prison choice known http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-jr-makes-his-prison-choice-known-108389 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jjj.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has said where he wants to serve time for illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds.</p><div><p>Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. Lawyers for the Illinois Democrat say they will ask the sentencing judge that he be housed in an Alabama prison camp, or a prison in North Carolina.</p><p>In their court filing Monday, the lawyers say Jackson attended college in North Carolina and has significant ties to the area which &quot;he believes will aid his rehabilitation during any term of incarceration.&quot;</p><p>Federal prosecutors have recommended four years in prison for Jackson. The government suggests an 18-month sentence for Jackson&#39;s wife. Sandra Jackson pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns.</p><p>The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will decide where Jackson will be incarcerated.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 09:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jackson-jr-makes-his-prison-choice-known-108389 Jackson's lawyers want portion of document sealed http://www.wbez.org/news/jacksons-lawyers-want-portion-document-sealed-107515 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP808357641455 (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Lawyers for convicted former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. are asking a judge to seal a portion of a sentencing document that&#39;s set to be filed this week because it will contain &quot;sensitive details&quot; about his medical issues.</p><p>In a federal court document filed Tuesday, Jackson&#39;s attorney says the information will also include details about the medical condition of a family member, but didn&#39;t say which one.</p><p>Jackson&#39;s lawyers expect to submit letters from two &quot;medical professionals,&quot; which lawyer William Drake says could give the public &quot;intimate details&quot; of Jackson&#39;s health.</p><p>He faces nearly five years in prison when he&#39;s sentenced in July after pleading guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign money.</p><p>The Democrat resigned last November, citing health concerns and acknowledging he was under federal investigation.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 09:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/jacksons-lawyers-want-portion-document-sealed-107515 Robin Kelly sworn in to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. http://www.wbez.org/news/robin-kelly-sworn-replace-jesse-jackson-jr-106610 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 1.53.56 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Former Illinois state Rep. Robin Kelly was sworn in Thursday as the newest member of the House, taking over the seat held for 17 years by scandal-tarnished Jesse Jackson Jr.</p><p>Kelly, in remarks made after being sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, stressed her commitment to combating gun violence, passing immigration reform, creating jobs and improving the health care system.</p><p>Kelly scored an easy special-election victory Tuesday over a Republican opponent in the heavily Democratic 2nd District in south Chicago.</p><p>During the February primary and the election, Kelly concentrated on guns and violence, issues of keen interest in her district as Chicago struggles to reduce its high murder rate. Her campaign received $2 million in backing from the political action committee of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a leading gun-control supporter.</p><p>&quot;I ran for Congress so that I could work to bring about a safer, less violent and more prosperous future, one in which our children can grow up without the fear of gun violence,&quot; she said on the House floor after taking the oath of office.</p><p>&quot;I look forward to working with you to protect our children from criminals and protect our Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens, because we should and can do both,&quot; she said.</p><p>Jackson, son of human rights leader Jesse Jackson, resigned in November after citing health concerns and acknowledging he was under federal investigation. He pleaded guilty in February to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal expenses.</p><p>With Kelly&#39;s addition, the lineup in the House became 232 Republicans, 201 Democrats and two vacancies.</p></p> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 13:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/robin-kelly-sworn-replace-jesse-jackson-jr-106610 Biden: Illinois election sends message on guns http://www.wbez.org/news/biden-illinois-election-sends-message-guns-105784 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS7067_AP295119131125-scr(1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Vice President Joe Biden argued Wednesday that the primary election victory of a gun control advocate to represent Illinois in Congress sends a message that voters won&#39;t stand for inaction in response to shooting violence after the Connecticut school shooting.</p><p>Robin Kelly was elected Tuesday as the Democratic nominee in a Chicago-area district to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., forced out in an ethics scandal, after running on gun control. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s political fund poured $2 million into television ads against an opponent who had been highly rated by the National Rifle Association.</p><p>&quot;For the first time since Newtown, voters sent a clear unequivocal signal,&quot; Biden told state attorneys general gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington.</p><p>&quot;The voters sent a message last night, not just to the NRA but to the politicians all around the country by electing Robin Kelly, who stood up, who stood strong for gun safety totally consistent with our Second Amendment rights,&quot; Biden said. &quot;The message is there will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction. This is not 1994. People know too much.&quot;</p><p>In 1994, Congress passed an assault weapons ban and some lawmakers who supported it paid an electoral price by being voted out of office. But Biden argued the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six workers has changed the gun debate in a way he&#39;s never seen.</p><p>&quot;This senseless act not only shocked the conscience of the American people, but I believe it has changed and galvanized the attitude of the American people demanding concrete action. I&#39;ve been doing this for a long time. The public mood has changed,&quot; Biden said, his voice rising to a yell. &quot;The excuse that it&#39;s too politically risky to act is no longer acceptable. We cannot remain silent. We have to become the voices of those 20 beautiful children.&quot;</p><p>Biden has been the White House&#39;s leader on pushing for gun control legislation, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and a push for universal background checks. The vice president planned to meet later in the day with Bloomberg at the White House.</p></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/biden-illinois-election-sends-message-guns-105784 Anti-gun Democrat wins primary to replace Jackson Jr. http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-gun-democrat-wins-primary-replace-jackson-jr-105776 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP Robin Kelly.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The newly elected Democratic nominee to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. vowed to become a leader in the fight for federal gun control and directly challenged the National Rifle Association in her victory speech.</p><p>Robin Kelly, a former state representative, emerged early as a voice for gun control after Jackson resigned in November. Then she gained huge momentum when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC poured $2 million into anti-gun television ads that blasted one of her Democratic opponents, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, for receiving a previous high rating from the NRA.</p><p>Kelly supports an assault weapons ban, while Halvorson does not.</p><p>&quot;We were on the right side of the issue, and our message resonated,&quot; Kelly said shortly after her win.</p><p>In her victory speech, she promised to fight &quot;until gun violence is no longer a nightly feature on the evening news&quot; and directly addressed the NRA, saying &quot;their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end.&quot;</p><p>Bloomberg called Kelly&#39;s win an important victory for &quot;common-sense leadership&quot; on gun violence, saying in a statement that voters nationwide are demanding change.</p><p>But other Democratic front-runners accused Bloomberg of buying a race and interfering in the heavily urban district that also includes some Chicago suburbs and rural areas.</p><p>&quot;It shows, unfortunately, you can&#39;t go up against that big money. ... That&#39;s the problem with super PACs,&quot; said Halvorson, who unsuccessfully challenged Jackson in a primary last year. &quot;There is nothing I could have done differently.&quot;</p><p>Because the district is overwhelmingly Democratic, Kelly&#39;s primary win all but assures she will sail through the April 9 general election and head to Washington.</p><p>In the Republican contest, Chicago resident Paul McKinley led Eric Wallace, a publisher of Christian books, by 23 votes with a handful of precincts still uncounted. McKinley, a former felon, describes himself as a grassroots activist on behalf of ex-offenders.</p><p>The race was the district&#39;s first wide-open primary since 1995, when Jackson was first elected to Congress. He resigned in November after a months-long medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues, then pleaded guilty this month to spending $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items.</p><p>Even with his legal saga playing out in the courts, the gun debate dominated the primary, which featured 14 Democrats. The election came after Chicago saw its deadliest January in more than a decade, including the fatal shooting of an honors student just days after she performed at President Barack Obama&#39;s second inauguration.</p><p>Political experts and fellow candidates said the super PAC money made all the difference, particularly in an election with a short primary and low voter turnout.</p><p>&quot;The money bought Kelly a tremendous among of attention,&quot; said Laura Washington, a political analyst in Chicago. &quot;She tapped into a real hard nerve out there in the community. People are really concerned about gun control and violence. She was smart to focus like a laser on that issue.&quot;</p><p>Bloomberg&#39;s entrance into the race became controversial, at least with the candidates and some voters.</p><p>The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent has long taken a vocal stance against guns. He launched his super PAC weeks before the November election and spent more than $12 million to back seven candidates nationwide, including newly elected Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, a California Democrat who ousted an incumbent during a race where guns were an issue.</p><p>On Tuesday, Kelly told supporters that she would work with Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to get gun control legislation through Congress.</p><p>However, gun-rights advocates dismissed the notion that Kelly&#39;s election and Bloomberg&#39;s attention would fuel the debate on gun control.</p><p>&quot;This is an aberration,&quot; said Illinois State Rifle Association spokesman Richard Pearson. &quot;This shows what you can do with $2 million in an offseason race. He bought the election.&quot;</p><p>Another Democratic front-runner, Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, also took issue with the ads, saying people were &quot;extremely upset&quot; that someone from New York was trying to tell people in Illinois how to vote.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s what money gets you,&quot; he said after conceding the race. &quot;We earned every vote.&quot;</p><p>Roughly 14 percent of registered voters came to the polls, an estimate Chicago officials called the lowest turnout in decades. Adding to the problem was a blast of wintry weather that snarled traffic and could have kept some voters home.</p><p>But those who did cast ballots indicated that guns, ethics and economic woes were on their minds.</p><p>Mary Jo Higgins of Steger, a south Chicago suburb, said she voted for Halvorson because the former congresswoman was &quot;the only Democrat who believes in the Second Amendment.&quot;</p><p>But Country Club Hills minister Rosemary Gage said she voted for Kelly because she was &quot;standing with (Obama) and trying to get rid of guns.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really bad in Chicago and across the country,&quot; Gage said. &quot;Too many children have died.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 20:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-gun-democrat-wins-primary-replace-jackson-jr-105776 Bloomberg ads draw candidates' ire in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/news/bloomberg-ads-draw-candidates-ire-illinois-105763 <p><p>Two candidates to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress say voters should send a message that money cannot buy the election.</p><p>New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC has spent more than $2 million on ads attacking former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson over her positions on guns.</p><p>Halvorson says if the ads are successful Bloomberg will try to &quot;buy seats&quot; across the country. She says &quot;we can&#39;t let that happen.&quot;</p><p>Alderman Anthony Beale says voters are &quot;extremely upset&quot; that someone from New York is trying to tell people in Illinois how to vote. He predicts there will be a &quot;backlash.&quot;</p><p>Halvorson, Beale and former state Rep. Robin Kelly are considered front runners in Tuesday&#39;s Democratic primary.</p><p>Jackson resigned in November. He pleaded guilty this month to misusing campaign funds.</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bloomberg-ads-draw-candidates-ire-illinois-105763 Voters head to polls in ex-Rep. Jackson's district http://www.wbez.org/news/voters-head-polls-ex-rep-jacksons-district-105759 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IL02_110_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After a fierce primary campaign dominated by gun control, ethics and economic woes, voters were choosing the likely replacement for Jesse Jackson Jr. on Tuesday, three months after his legal troubles and battle with depression forced the son of the civil rights leader to resign from Congress.</p><p>The Democratic front-runners &mdash; former state Rep. Robin Kelly, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale &mdash; made Election Day stops through the blistery winter weather at train stations and restaurants in the district, which spans Chicago&#39;s South Side, south suburbs and some rural areas.</p><p>They were among 14 Democrats and four Republicans in the special primary, but the Democratic winner was expected to sail through the April 9 general election because the area is heavily Democratic.</p><p>Halvorson, who lost a primary challenge to Jackson last year, has been targeted for her position on gun control, which became a key issue in the district, parts of which have been deeply affected by Chicago&#39;s gun violence.</p><p>Independence USA, the super PAC of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, poured more than $2 million into the race for anti-gun ads in support of Kelly and against Halvorson, a former state lawmaker and one-term congresswoman. Kelly supports an assault-weapons ban, but Halvorson does not.</p><p>After casting her ballot, Halvorson warned that if the ads are successful Bloomberg will try to &quot;buy seats&quot; across the country.</p><p>&quot;We can&#39;t let that happen,&quot; she said.</p><p>Beale also took issue with the ads, saying people are &quot;extremely upset&quot; that someone from New York is trying to tell people in Illinois how to vote and predicting that there will be a &quot;backlash.&quot;</p><p>The guns issue dominated candidate forums and television ads and also appeared to have resonated with voters.</p><p>Mary Jo Higgins of south suburban Steger said she voted for Halvorson because the former congresswoman is &quot;the only Democrat who believes in the Second Amendment.&quot;</p><p>But Country Club Hills minister Rosemary Gage voted for Kelly because the former state lawmaker is &quot;standing with (President Barack Obama) and trying to get rid of guns.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really bad in Chicago and across the country,&quot; Gage said. &quot;Too many children have died.&quot;</p><p>The issue of ethics was also on the minds of voters, particularly as Jackson&#39;s legal saga has been playing out in federal court. He pleaded guilty early this month to charges that accused him of misspending $750,000 in campaign money on lavish personal items, including a Rolex watch and furs.</p><p>His departure created a rare opening in the district, where voters haven&#39;t seen an open primary since 1995, when Jackson first won office.</p><p>Halvorson was greeted by cheers of &quot;good luck&quot; and &quot;go Debbie go&quot; as she cast her ballot at a suburban community center in the village of Steger. Speaking afterward, she said it was time for voters to close the chapter on Jackson&#39;s ethical problems and send someone to Washington who could hit the ground running.</p><p>Halvorson is counting on voters in the southern, more rural part of the district, where she grew up.</p><p>David Berchem, a retired painter, said he voted for Halvorson because he believes she will represent all residents of the district and she&#39;s &quot;as honest a person as you can find.&quot;</p><p>Beale voted at a school in Chicago, while Kelly voted early.</p><p>Beale touted his record as a job creator for the South Side ward he represents in Chicago&#39;s City Council.</p><p>That&#39;s the reason Juanita Williams, who went to school with Beale, said she voted for him Tuesday, noting that he helped bring a Wal-Mart to the area. The 47-year-old assistant teacher also said Beale has regularly provided school supplies and Christmas gifts to needy students.</p><p>Election officials in the three counties covering the district reported no problems at the polls, even though voters and poll workers had to contend with a blustery mix of snow and sleet. Chicago&#39;s Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed extra resources to keep polls accessible.</p><p>Jackson is the third consecutive congressman from the district to leave office under an ethical or legal cloud. He resigned in November after a months-long medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.</p><p>Turnout at the polls was extremely low, according to early estimates, and election officials said the weather might have kept some voters on the fence at home.</p><p>The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said roughly 11 percent of registered Chicago voters in the district had voted through early afternoon, including early and absentee ballots. Final projections were expected to be in the mid-teens, still one of the lowest turnouts in recent decades. Election officials in Will and Kankakee counties said turnout hovered around 10 percent.</p><p>The last time the Chicago area had a special primary election for Congress was in 2009, after Rahm Emanuel left his seat to take a job as White House chief of staff. Roughly 18 percent of registered voters in the district spanning North Side neighborhoods voted. In suburban Cook County, the percentage was far lower.</p></p> Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/voters-head-polls-ex-rep-jacksons-district-105759