Rep Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL) – already under a federal probe for his possible connections with former Illinois Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich – is now dealing with questions about payments from his campaign to his wife Sandra Jackson:
May 21 (Bloomberg) — 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.
I would normally be nodding agreement with CREW spokesperson Melanie Sloan when she points out that this mostly shows ‘the scandal in Washington often is what’s legal,’ except for this one little bit.
Jesse Jackson’s FEC reports list payments as being made to J. Donatella & Associates, which Bryant described as “Sandi’s sole proprietorship” for her consulting work. The couple’s oldest child is 9-year-old Jessica Donatella Jackson.
From 2003 through mid-2005, the recipient is shown on Jackson’s reports as “Lee Stevens” or “Lee Steven” at the J. Donatella firm. Sandi Jackson’s middle name is Lee. Her maiden name is Stevens.
“Using all these different names to describe the same person raises questions as to whether they’re intentionally disguising information on their FEC reports,” said Jan Baran, a Republican election lawyer at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington and a former FEC official.
Indeed, it does. And before you ask whether it could be an innocent mistake: sure, it could be. It could also be as Baran suggests – and before you make the next rejoinder, let me gently point out that people who do try to cover their tracks in this clumsy a fashion. You can’t get caught if nobody ever looks; and we’ve just come out of an era where nobody was really looking. And, to be honest, if the economy was booming, probably nobody would still be looking. Which leads to the interesting thought that the best defense for a corrupt Democratic legislator right now would be to figure out some way to get the Dow back above 12K.
Not that they should need one.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.