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May 22, 2009
Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s 'unique synergy' with his wife
He isn't the first politician to enrich a relative or even a wife. But Jesse Jackson, Jr's payments over the years to his Alderman-Wife Sandra for "consulting" and other work, totalling $300,000 may take the concept of nepotism to new heights.Of course, it stinks to high heaven. But just because the whole idea of giving your wife nearly $100,000 that enriches you at the same time seems illegal, feels illegal, smells illegal, and should violate every tenet of good government practices apparently means nothing to the FEC or Congress, who writes the lawws, either.
And perhaps even more outrageous is the fact that it's all legal as Timothy Burger's piece at Bloomberg makes clear:
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.'s congressional campaign organization has paid his wife at least $247,500 since 2001, including at least $95,000 after Sandra Jackson joined the Chicago City Council two years ago, according to federal election records.
Jackson's political committee also gave at least $298,927 in cash and in-kind contributions to Sandra Jackson's campaign fund, which bankrolled her races for a city council seat that pays more than $100,000 per year and an unpaid position on the Cook County Democratic Committee.
Sandra Jackson, known as Sandi, received the $95,000 for political consulting after pledging during her campaign to give "my full attention" to the alderman's post.
Jesse Jackson got a Federal Election Commission advisory opinion in 2001 saying his campaign could pay Sandi Jackson for consulting work without violating a ban on personal use of political donations.
I wonder what Jackson's donors to his campaign fund, where the payments to his wife originated, think about giving money to support Jesse Jr.'s lavish lifestyle?
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky