They call him J Cubed.
47, well groomed, fit, and telegenic, after Mel Reynolds was forced out of Congress, Jesse Junior ran in the 1996 primary, winning it with 48% of the vote. Even then, the state of disrepair and distrust that existed in Illinois' GOP was strong enough to guarantee his victory.
Until the 2012 election, his re-election was a given. But for his dealings with Bloggo, then Illinois' Elvis-loving governator.
Senate seats in Illinois are something of a weird universe. During one race, a series of events so bizarre, so strange and so unpredictable happened, that we ended up with this black guy as president.
A long time ago, Illinois was ground down by a series of glaciers so heavy, so large, that it
a) dug out Lake Michigan
b) flattened most of Illinois flatter than a pancake
c) left a unbelievable amount of incredibly fertile soil on most parts of the state
d) made commercial farming a massive success
Chicago, AKA Stinking Onion, was founded on a marshy, fetid bog-filled stretch along Lake Michigan. As a natural harbor, with great river access, and with natural riches for the taking, Chicago grew into a huge metropolitan area. Thankfully, the entire city underwent Forced Urban Renewal when a well meaning and forward thinking cow allegedly painted the town red and then burned it down.
As a result of the truly sophisticated urban planned that followed, a beautiful city spring up, modern, well designed, filled with parks and forest preserves, and business. Lots of business. With a protected lake front, Chicago is probably the most beautiful city in the country. Except for our wee little problem with gun battles between rival gangs, it is the finest place to live.
Because of this hystery (as only an agnostic curmudgeon can creatively recite), the state was split into two natural political groups - Urban Liberals, and Rural Conservatives. If you think that the US House of Representatives is unruly, immature, and disgusting, come to Springpatch, our capitol city. All too often, it resembles Mad Max, where two pols enter, one pol leaves. Despite this natural divide between parties, some crooks managed to cross deep party lines and commit bipartisan frauds and create scandals on an unimaginable scale.William Cellini was only the most recent pol's pol who was convicted for fraud. He loved both parties. And they loved him.
Even before Bloggo's conviction, at one time, Illinois had more living governors who were in jail or served time previously, than those who were never convicted.
Anyway, back to this senate seat, and J Cubed.
US Senator Peter FItzgerald, a moderate GOPer, worked too well with moderates in the house and senate. This was a cardinal sin in the eyes of Illinois' GOP leadership. So was his promise to be an honest politician, who would vote his conscience, not his party line. They did everything to sabotage his re-election campaign, and eventually convinced him that running again was not in his best interests. Rumors about a horse's head left in his bed are probably false. Probably.
That left the GOP slot for US Senator wide open. A number of candidates ran, with a conservative nut job named Jim Oberweis ready to buy the office, using millions that his parents and grandparents earned. To the surprise of many GOP leaders and deal-makers, Jack Ryan won, with 38% of the vote. To the greater surprise of many, a state senator named Barack Obama won the wide open Democratic nomination.
Here's where things get even screwier.
Early polls had Ryan leading. The last remnants of racism probably helped. Clearly, his more moderate views could attract a larger bloc of voters than the walking insane like Oberweis. Ryan began to fight, and fight hard. Some even called his tactics dirty. One of his favorite moves was to have a guy tail Obama everywhere he went, filming every word, capturing every bite when he ate, and counting the number of times he sought out a bathroom. Finally, Ryan and Obama agreed to stop the crap, and simply fight on the issues. The truce remained in effect until "Seven of Nine."
As you pimple faced star trek fans know, probably the sexiest alien to ever appear on any Star Trek episode was Jeri Ryan, who playedSeven of Nine, She was Jack Ryan's ex-wife.
On a trip to New York, before their divorce, Jack invited Jeri to have sex on stage at a nightclub that caters to switching, open sex, and other adult games. She refused. The divorce followed shortly thereafter.
Somehow, his request (contained in his sealed divorce court file) was made public. The ultraconservatives in the ILL GOP were shocked! How dare a man ask his wife for sex! This gave them the excuse to push Ryan off the ticket, not realizing that by doing so, they would lose the entire 18-45 male vote, along with every Star Trek fan. Next, they rationalized that all black men look alike, therefore, they should pick one of their own. Remember, this is the Illinois GOP we are talking about. Not exactly the most honorable or honest folks around. "Racism R Us" is the name of the center where they meet.
To the dismay of Illinois GOP moderates, and to the unbridled glee of Democrats everywhere, the Party of Dunces managed to make themselves an ever bigger laughing stock in the public eye. Not only were they prudes who bribed a clerk to leak secret court files, not only did they attack a man for wanting sex WITH HIS WIFE, not only did they toss a relatively moderate young GOPer who would have won Illinois,
THEY REPLACED HIM WITH ALAN KEYES.
To the GOP brain tRust, Keyes represented everything that was good with America. A stern christian. Anti abortion. Anti-big government. Anti-Voting Rights. Anti-school lunch programs. Anti-social security. Anti-gay. Anti-birth control. You can call him Candidate Anti. Here's a few of his ideas:
“It's about time we all faced up to the truth. If we accept the radical homosexual agenda, be it in the military or in marriage or in other areas of our lives, we are utterly destroying the concept of family.”To the rest of Illinois voters, Alan Keyes represented something else - a guarantee that this race was going to be a doozy. As most voters spoke their minds, they soon got proof that "teh crazy" ran deep with Alan. Here is how Alan greeted President Obama, as he signed on to the TeaBugger led birther movement.
"They call me Doctor Dream and the doctor is in."
Obama is a radical communist and I think it is becoming clear. That's what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it's true. He is going to destroy this country and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist...In the following years, Alan Keyes went on to bounce more than a quarter million dollars in bad checks, in an effort to deal with his massive campaign debt, even after stealing campaign funds to pay himself a salary. He even claimed that campaign debt incurred in his name was not incurred in his name.
The man is an abomination. ....I can't even understand why anybody in their right mind would consider him worthy of political support. ...
Some reports suggest that Barak Obama has had a far more successful career in politics. Anyway, after Senator Obama received his promotion, that left the US senate seat open again.
Which two morons were first in line to seek that office on the GOP side? Jim Oberweis and Alan Keyes. And who was governator at that scary time? Bloggo, another gift to late night TV gag writers. Oberweis actually issued a press release claiming he would be the front runner in the upcoming vote.
Except, it turned out that under Illinois law, the governator could appoint the replacement directly. There would be no special election. Bloggo, despite multiple warnings that his calls and office were bugged (google what his daddy in law said $40,000 in cash would buy you from Gov. Bloggo) began bragging how much money this senate seat was worth to him personally.
Who was willing to cough up millions, or appoint Bloggo to a life time position someplace?
Enter Jesse Jackson Junior. Hundreds of hours of tapes, "secret" discussions between "third parties," and other rumors began to surface, even in the media. Jesse seemed to be in the lead of the bribe race for senate.
As his universe was collapsing, Bloggo ignored any deals he made with J Cubed, and selected "HimSelf," Roland Burris, a man who has a wall of fame listing his accomplishments on his mausoleum, even though he is still alive. After Burris was sworn in to the US Senate, Mr. Trail Blazer managed not to embarrass himself too much, but only because we were still fighting two wars in the muddle east. Even a mediocre senator who will not seek re-election can get some privacy in DC.
Still, J Cubed said enough to attract the interest of the Feds. As they dug around, J Cubed looked dirtier and dirtier. Even his wife, then the absentee City Councilcritter in Chicago, was implicated. As the federal noose got tighter, J Cubed suffered what many suspect was a conveniently timed mental illness, hiding away from staff, press, even the entire state of Illinois for months. During the 2012 Election, he ran no campaign ads, placed few if any posters, did no mailings, made no appearances, and hired no staff - except to pay his wife another $5000 a month to "run his campaign." Yet, despite all the crap raining down on him, he still won re-election. Even after spending $40,000 of his campaign money on a new Rolex. Congressman Bling, indeed.
Today's papers state that J Cubed cut a deal with the feds. It sure looks like J Cubed is going to be a next door neighbor of ex-Gov. Bloggo, in a federal pen for a long time to come. There is a good possibility that Sandi Jackson, his wife, the former absentee Chicago councilcritter, and the overpaid head of his re-election campaign, will be joining him.
Ah, the smell of Illinois Politics. It makes commercial pig farms smell like roses.