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View Diary: Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. resigning from Congress (165 comments)

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  •  You're right, Kev (6+ / 0-)

    But you know, we can hope.  This is just way too fine a city not to start developing a better calibre of elected official.  

    I've often thought that Barack Obama was both smart and lucky to have come up and reached escape velocity before he could get pulled into the muck.  Various sleazy scumbags were circling him, for sure.  

    The more I think about it, though, the sadder I feel for Jesse Jackson Jr.  If he's corrupt, he should be out.  But there were times when I thought really highly of him - he's a smart guy, charismatic, and even though his election had a bit of nepotism to it, it's sad to see his family legacy start to end.  Everyone and every dynasty has its time.  For the Jackson's, that time is past. Neither father nor son are that relevant anymore, but they have a place in history and they pushed things forward, and I feel bad at the way this is ending.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:30:17 PM PST

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    •  Hyde Park (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, IM, MichaelNY

      is the reason that Obama tended to be corruption free even while he was here.

      You're right about jesse, though.

      The thing is, he could have won that Senate seat all to his own even if Blagojevich decided not to appoint him.

      He had the same type of appeal-even to white folks-that Obama has...prior to Blago.

      The only thing really standing in his way, up until the Blagojevich problems was his name. A different last name, and JJ could have reached the Oval Office, himself.

      •  When I first met him (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, IM, TRPChicago, MichaelNY

        I was expecting not to like him, frankly.  I thought he owed his position to his father (which is partially true).  When I came away from that meeting, and subsequent ones, I remember thinking that he knew a whole lot about an area of policy that was a little out of his normal interest (immigration law), that even if his name helped him, his skills and talent and intellect were the real deal.  I remember thinking that he was a man I could support for the senate, and it felt terrible when he got implicated in that whole Blagojevich nonsense.  I'm still far from sure that JJJ was actually guilty of anything, but Blago was so toxic anyone connected to him picked up the stink.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 12:53:19 PM PST

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        •  And on the Blago business, it looks like it was... (1+ / 0-)
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          ... people who purported to speak for JJ Jr., not JJ himself, who were pressing the issue with Blago. Face it, politicians and office holders - like sports and film/TV celebrities - are surrounded by hangers-on who aspire to nothing better than to produce success for their hero by bringing done deals to their doors.

          Is it naive to think Jesse didn't know about those activities "on his behalf?" Possibly, but not necessarily. Jesse's a smart guy and an adept politician. I'm willing to believe that he didn't know, and that he wasn't being disingenuous in not-knowing. After all, he willingly cooperated with the Blago investigators at the time.

          I'll bet the campaign financing/spending issues arose separately from the Blago nonsense. As to those, were they alone the reason JJ Jr. resigned? Again, it was almost certainly a combination of his mental health and whatever the Feds were chasing him for. (After the Petraeus business, I ain't giving the Feds much credit for what and how they investigate.)

          It remains to be seen how venal his behavior was - measured against the realistic scale of Congressional misdeeds.

          I'm giving a good guy the benefit of doubt.

          At this stage, tarring him with blunderbuss allegations of corruption - in not resigning earlier, in allowing his campaign to continue its re-election efforts, in holding out knowing the Feds were getting aggressive - is not fair.

          FORWARD to 2014: Win back the House. Build up the Senate.

          by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 04:01:36 PM PST

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          •  No, JJJ himself was involved (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nimh, MichaelNY, ivorybill

            Jason Zengerle, New York Magazine:

            But the campaign to get Jesse Jr. to the Senate also had a private side. Four days before the presidential election, Raghu Nayak, a Chicago businessman and a longtime friend and supporter of the Jacksons, approached Robert Blagojevich, the governor’s brother and chief fund-raiser, with a proposal. If Rod Blagojevich appointed Jesse Jr. to fill Obama’s Senate seat, Nayak and his friends in Chicago’s Indian community would raise $6 million for the governor’s reelection campaign.

            Initially, the governor was not moved. As he infamously explained to an aide, unaware that the FBI had tapped his phone: “I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and … I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing.” He told another aide that the thought of appointing Jackson was “repugnant” and that “I can’t believe anything he says.” But as Blagojevich repeatedly tried and failed to auction off the Senate seat—for monetary and political concessions—his opposition to Jesse Jr. seemed to soften. For weeks, Jackson had been seeking a meeting with Blagojevich, with whom he hadn’t spoken in four years, to discuss the appointment. On December 8, 2008, the governor finally granted him one.

            For 90 minutes, the erstwhile friends, along with Blagojevich’s chief of staff, met in the governor’s Chicago office, one of the few places in Blago’s world the Feds hadn’t bugged. Jackson began the conversation with a mea culpa, apologizing to Blagojevich for not endorsing him in 2002. Then he proceeded to make the case for his appointment. He presented a binder full of polling data, newspaper endorsements, and letters of support. He also pledged that, if appointed, he would run with Blagojevich when both men were up for election in 2010. At no point, according to the subsequent sworn testimony of all three men who attended, was there any discussion of money. When the meeting was over, Blagojevich seemed impressed and told Jackson that it had been a good interview and he would soon have him back for another.

            •  Yes. But THAT was a straight up meeting. (0+ / 0-)
              By what's been reported, nothing is improper about that meeting or its contents. In fact, as reported:

              (1) it looks like a model meeting of a governor with appointment powers and a guy who's presenting himself,

              (2) it would likely have been a different kind of meeting had Jesse been aware of agents paving the way by proposing deals, and

              (3) Blago had every reason to try to wrap JJ Jr. into his own morass after the fact (to make his own behavior look more reasonable). By the reports, he didn't.

              The business with Nayak "and his friends" has not been alleged to be part of Jesse's own contacts with Blago & Co..

              I didn't say his resignation wasn't based on both the illness and the Fed's pending charges. I just don't want to link the two, or try to judge the guy - or the disorder - in that manner. Bipolar disorder is tough enough to deal with, without charging that it can cause allegedly criminal behavior.

              FORWARD to 2014: Win back the House. Build up the Senate.

              by TRPChicago on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:03:25 AM PST

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