Report: Jesse Jackson Jr. To Cost Taxpayers Over $5 Million After Resigning Shortly Following His Reelection

For those still following the absurdity unfolding around the family of ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., we now have word that his decision to run for reelection (without campaigning) and then promptly resign will cost the taxpayers over $5 million — as if the taxpayers have not paid enough to the family of Jesse Jackson.

Some of us have long been critics of Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his family who have been the focus of corruption and misconduct allegations. Then there was the disappearance of Jesse Jackson Jr. as investigators looked into his use of campaign contributors allegedly to fix up his house and to buy a Rolex watch for a mistress. At the same time, investigators were looking into his wife, who serves on the city council. No one bothered to inform his constituents when their member disappeared and left only speculation for weeks on his whereabouts. Nevertheless, weeks later, Jackson checked himself into the Mayo Clinic and announced that he would still run for reelection even with a diagnosis of having bipolar disorder. He won handily without showing up to campaign in a district that clearly does not give a wit about substantial allegations of misconduct. (Ironically, Jackson took office in a special election after his predecessor Mel Reynolds  left office in a sex scandal involving an underage campaign worker).  He promptly promised his constituents that he would serve vigorously in Washington. However, once elected, Jackson reportedly demanded a disability pension in return for giving up his seat — essentially holding a seat hostage according to those reports. He then resigned a couple weeks after the election — triggering the need for two special elections.

The Illinois State Board of Elections calculated those elections cost $2,700 to $4,000 per precinct. With 590 precincts in Jackson’s 2nd Congressional District, an election would probably cost around $2,575,000. That comes to $5.15 million for both a primary and general election.

Just to give you an idea of the cost imposed by the Jacksons on the taxpayers, that cost would have save the entire page system. The over 200 years of page service in the House of Representatives was eliminated to save $5 million a year. It is also the equivalent for the federal subsidy for 20 million free meals for poor children.

Yet, again, Democrats are silent in criticism of Jackson or his family in fear of angering Jesse Jackson Sr. We will simply pay millions while Jesse Jackson Jr. has yet to be indicted for the alleged misuse of campaign funds. Keep in mind that the Justice Department prosecuted the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska) for the use of lobbyist money to fix his home. The investigations into Jackson and his wife are continuing and Jackson is reportedly trying to reach a plea bargain. In the end, the criminal investigations, special election costs, and other collateral costs will make bring the final tab for taxpayers likely over $10 million even without the possibility of a criminal trial. Of course, common people can go to jail for years for stealing less than $1000, but they are not (it seems) part of America’s ruling class.

Many are awaiting the results of the reported plea negotiations with Jackson and the Justice Department to see if he will get one last deal from a less than grateful American people. [Update: How the dipolar analysis would factor into a criminal case is still unclear. There is an interesting conflict in the original position of Jackson that his illness would not prevented him from running for reelection and resuming his work in Congress. Yet it is likely that the illness will be used as a defense on any corruption or fraud charges. That creates a bit of a conflict. Being reelected certainly gave him a bargaining chip as part of the reported plea negotiations. However, it also contradicted a position that his illness did not make him responsible. By resigning, it would certainly help Jackson argue that the illness left unable to function adequately.  It may also end the congressional inquiry into his involvement in an alleged effort to buy the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

He may have a difficult time on the merits. The test of insanity as a defense is extremely high even with a diagnosis from the respected Mayo Clinic. If he cannot make a direct insanity defense, the most likely impact of the illness would be on mitigation of sentencing. If the case is a strong as suggested, he could opt for a plea and push for leniency on sentencing. The question will turn on his ability to function before he disappeared — with accounts of his schedule and behavior in and outside Congress. Courts commonly have defendants with some form of mental illness, but such illness rarely amounts to an absolute defense.

There is also the problem of others who may have been aware of any of the alleged criminal conduct from his wife to his accountant to his staff. The prosecutors may bring a huge amount of pressure on them to turn and testify for the prosecution if a case moves to the charging stage.]

Source: ABC

98 thoughts on “Report: Jesse Jackson Jr. To Cost Taxpayers Over $5 Million After Resigning Shortly Following His Reelection”

  1. Bron,

    A reasonable question open for debate. Let me think about it some. But I may save it for the upcoming column.

  2. Are we going to administer those tests to government employees as well? Since they have a good deal of input into the running of our country.

  3. Eeyore,

    “I know nothing about socio/psycho testing.”

    Then you should have known better than to make the false equivalences that your did in your previous appeal to emotion.

    “And while I’m most definitely not choosing to reject science that can make our lives better,”

    If you say so.

    “I most definitely reject your idea of altering the constitution in order to institute an Orwellian test for officeholders.”

    Then apparently you missed the point where I pointed out there is no need to alter the Constitution to mandate this kind of testing. The only test prohibited by the Constitution are religious tests for office. Other than the Constitutionally mandated age and residency requirements for holding Federal offices, we are free to put any kind of testing as a condition precedent on holding office we as a society opt to enact.

    “It’s breathtaking in its arrogance.”

    You thinking I’m arrogant has no bearing on the argument. Thanks for the ad hominem though. It’s cute, jackass. Oh. I’m sorry. I meant cotton stuffed imaginary jackass.

    The rest of what you say is simply delving further into the Nirvana fallacy.

  4. Gene

    I know nothing about socio/psycho testing.

    And while I’m most definitely not choosing to reject science that can make our lives better, I most definitely reject your idea of altering the constitution in order to institute an Orwellian test for officeholders. It’s breathtaking in its arrogance.

    And I am not comforted in your demand for “suitably qualified and experienced clinician under scientifically controlled and licensed, standardized conditions”. Think Texas licensed labs. Think FBI labs. Think Medical Examiner offices. One man’s “standard” is another man’s liar. We have a respected commenter today who does not accept the diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic.

  5. Just goes to show how little you know about psychopaths and the dangers they present. For example, they can be very difficult to detect without testing. And ensuring that office holders have empathy is so counter to making sure they have the emotional skill set and psychological disposition required to represent the best interests of their constituents over their own narrow self-interests and participate in corruption and malfeasance of office. 🙄

    However, of all the posters here id707, you are indeed the one I’d expect to stand up for the rights of psychopaths to hold office being more important than ensuring the best governance possible.

    Ho.

    Hum.

  6. Ho hum!

    Any proof that psychopaths dominate as war mongers or other “bad people!? Ie proportionately higher than in a “normal” population?

    Would seem to me that most politicians are closely observed by many persons, and psychopathy would be detected without a test.

    Putting society’s weight behind testing/obligatory screening is a dangerous door to enter.
    And it is not science I don’t trust, it is politics and people.

    Blanket condemnations for Ludditism is not impressive either as an argument.

    Carry on!

  7. Eeyore,

    Your appeal to emotion is both ridiculous and indicate a real lack of knowledge about how such tests for socio- and psychopathy work. They generally aren’t biophysical and should fMRIs be employed they are not an intrusive procedure. Tests such as Robert D. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R) is the psycho-diagnostic tool most commonly used to assess psychopathy however there are other tests. Such tests should only be considered valid if administered by a suitably qualified and experienced clinician under scientifically controlled and licensed, standardized conditions but it can reveal narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personalities and psychopathic personality disorder all of which are undesirable in public office holders. They are no more intrusive though than a questionnaire. Citing false equivalences and employing the Nirvana fallacy don’t exactly count as a counterargument.

    The choice to ignore science as a tool for making our lives better is your choice. If you’re happy with the current state of affairs where socio- and psychopaths get to ruin the lives of others and hide their often criminal actions by misusing and usurping the color of authority? That too is your choice. Personally, I’d rather live in a world where we don’t have to bemoan the injustice of torture ordering war criminals walking free because such people would be prevented from holding office in the first place.

  8. Gene,

    It is not that I wish that the test be politicized, it is my belief that the test WILL be politicized.

    And the american public cannot agree on vaccines, mammograms, prostate testing, antibiotics, hormones cure everything that ails an aging woman, climate change, evolution, when life begins and death panels. Fifty years ago they were still using ice picks for lobotomys and saying refrigerator moms were responsible for autistic children. And you want to depend on that crowd for vetting the mental stability of officeholders?

  9. Gene

    Okay. So this maximum financial benefit is SSDI. (Peanuts in terms of congresspersons payoffs.)

    SSDI grants benefits for those with a bipolar diagnosis. No “plea” or “extortion” is involved. If he was found qualified by a review (heavily reliant on medical records), he would have been granted that benefit if he resigned before the election or after re-election. No negoiation required. (What was Turley thinking!) One is just required to be ill and can’t work due to that illness. There is no limitation on household income. The fact that you and the general public don’t like it is immaterial and WILL NOT INFLUENCE the determination of his SSDI benefit nor the size of that benefit. His “ploy” has NOT been thwarted. (Where are you getting this stuff?) Damn. I expect to see this kind of stuff on Fox or Beck….but Turley?

    No use offering any further comment on the mental test for officeholders. You’re convinced and I’m convinced it’s outrageous. But it should provide a lively discussion if you do a GB on the topic.

  10. Dr Harris,

    I find your writings more agreeable and understandable over time.
    I will start with the ending as the beginning here.

    If indeed the American Adversarial Bla bla is in fact a religion that now is institutionalized in the form we express and enforce it, then the lawyers are but elders in the church, and indeed not capable of judging the doctrine, even if well trained in it. Don’t ask the usual imam to elucidate the weakness theologically of his religion. Those philosophically trained in classics, ca 1000 CE could do so.

    Reverting to the your beginning, I find the idea of non-fault more easy to grasp now. It was expressed by a gestalt psychologist as followe: “You did as good as you could at the time you did what you did.”
    Now,of course, there arises the question of avoiding using that as a nunversal excuse for all actions.

    Now society uses the technique of “burnt child avoids fire”. And after many diverse showings of where the different fires are located, they consider one fully capable of avoiding them and have only burning to use again and again to reinforce the previous “lessons”.

    Now comes the crux. What would be an alternative to this existing system? How would we teach other than through positive example? Your solution?

    We need to etablish norms of behaviour (or do we not?). How do we see to that they are not breached repeatedly by the same persons? And how do we rehabilitate habitual violators of accepted restrictions?

    Perhaps I have misunderstood, but it seems that your understanding is based on that until knowledge is acquired and assimilated by each individual, that no accountability can be required of the maker. How could that be practised?

    Society requires that norms, by whatever name, be respected and observed. What would be your alternaive?

    As for reverting to a non-guilt pre-religious condition I will wait with that.
    Nature requires rules for survival. The guilt is but a form of internal restraining mechanism. And taboos develop without greater thought, for the sake of “mutual security” and other uses.

    I hasten to add that I seek further exposition, no more motives.

  11. Dear Brian, Your response to my post is long and rambling so I will give you the benefit of the doubt although after reading your secon post I am not sure I should. One does not have to be mentally ill to question the convenient timing of Mr. Jackson’s diagnosis.

  12. Eeyore,

    “But you haven’t explained how he gains financially. Will you spell it out for me, along with the “extortion” attempt?”

    He was holding the office until he got what he wanted namely his disability pay. That his ploy may have been thwarted by being made public is ancillary.

    ““the only rational reason to stay… ” when we are talking about a guy who was hospitalized for mental illness and was under some heavy pressure from the feds. I believe he was probably hospitalized because he Wasn’t rational.”

    But his handlers were. See this comment with which I concurred: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/11/23/report-jesse-jackson-jr-to-cost-taxpayers-over-5-million-after-resigning-shortly-following-his-reelection/#comment-454228

    Also, I don’t use “my definitions” for describing socio- and psychopaths. I prefer the DSM-IV and WHO guidelines. You miss the point of suggesting testing if you think the process should be politicized. The tests themselves should speak for themselves once interpreted by trained professional psychologists as a diagnostic tool and they should be public record. If you want to serve in an office of government, your mental health is material to the job and that bit of privacy should be sacrificed for the common good. It’s a choice to run for office. You make the choice, you pay the price. Determining if you’re a socio- or psychopath I think should be a part of that price given the damage such individuals can and do perpetrate on our political system (not to mention the economic system).

  13. I happen to be one of those socially problematic folks who questions authority and rejects authoritarianism. So, when it came to me as a pre-talking baby that people who believe that avoidable accidents can tangibly happen were misinformed, i set out to test for the existence of one or more actually (meaning tangibly; not merely hypothetically) avoidable mistakes actually (meaning tangibly, not merely hypothetically) actually made, only to find, to date, without exception, that what needed to be understood to avoid a particular accident actually made was only learned during the process of making the mistake, thereby rendering moot the notion of avoidable mistakes actually happening.

    Of course, brain plasticity being as formidable as it is, brain plasticity allows learning to believe in the making of avoidable mistakes in ways comparable to learning to believe that Santa Claus can visit every house in the world, going down the chimneys of chimneyless houses as well as chimneyed houses without difficulty. Obviously, the chimneyless houses have temporary chimneys when Santa Clause uses them.

    Avoidable mistakes actually made are, to me, of the same kindred of fairy taies as chimneyless houses becoming chimneyed for the sake of the childish fairy tale first told, I surmise, circa 1823, in Clement Moore’s “A visit from St. Nicholas.”

    In 1823, no one knew of Albert Einstein’s Theories of Relativity (General and Special), and no one knew how fast the sleigh of St. Nicholas could be accelerated (limited to less than the speed of light?).

    So, to test the hypothetical visiting of every home on earth by St. Nicholas, a little arithmetic may be informative. I shall here avoid using SI units because they are not sufficiently traditional

    Regarding travel time as insignificant, and allowing a mere 6 seconds per home for safely placing all the presents being delivered, I calculate, using error-prone mental arithmetic, that it would take St. Nicholas more than 1100 days to place the presents needed to be delivered during a single night.

    So, that little bit of arithmetic suggests to me that some aspect of the visit from St. Nicholas” story is not quite fully realistic.

    Belief in the actual making of an avoidable mistake suggests to me the presence of a belief that is orders of magnitude less realistic than St. Nicholas visiting every home in the world during one single night.

    My model of reality is so simple that a child could plausibly understand it. How to I come to that model? Because it is the model I had as a little child and ever since. Avoidable mistakes are always avoided, otherwise they were not actually avoidable when and as they happened. Simple. Not hypothetical. Directly observable, too.

    Problems that do not yield to analytic solution methods may yield to successive approximation methods, such as the Bayesian successive approximation methods I employ in doing some aspects of biological pattern recognition work.

    I have a printout of the “PETITION FOR RULE-MAKING IN THE SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN” and have been reading various petitions already submitted and associated documents. It has come to my mind to petition the Wisconsin Supreme Court to remove corruption, in the form of time-corrupted-learning-based-deception from the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules, so that said Rules may conform more accurately to the principles of the Wisconsin Constitution.

    The core of my possible petition is simple. Either one or more actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened, or no actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened.

    If no actually avoidable accidents can be demonstrated to have actually happened, then the notion of avoidable accidents having happened is a form of childish hypothetical-only fairy tale; or, if I may put that more directly, there is no such actual accident that actually happens that was actually avoidable because it was not actually avoided.

    Biological diversity may result in some people being stronger in one or another way than are other people. Some people can lift more weight than most other people can. Some people can reach higher than most other people can. Some people can live longer than most other people can. Some people can resist shattering child abuse better than most other people can.

    To me, telling a child that the child did something that the child knew better than to do is the essence of child abuse.

    When I was seven, in second grade, at Marshall School, in Eureka, California, my teacher, Miss Josephine Hanson could get every other boy in my class to admit to having done something wrong. She was unable to get me to so admit.

    When she told me that i had done something wrong, she, often verbatim, sometimes indirectly, told me, “You know perfectly well what you did wrong, I saw you do it.” I never had a clue as to what it was that I was supposedly doing wrong. When I did not “confess” to doing “something wrong” because I had no clue as to how to so confess, I was sent to the office of the Principal, Mrs. Edith Knudsen, where I was paddled (as was legal in California, so I understand, until 1972), and Mrs. Knudsen confused a profoundly autistic child going into agitated catatonic terror with a lesson having been learned.

    For the first three-quarters of second grade, I was paddled into agitated catatonic terror in the manner of variable-ratio reinforcement, without ever succumbing to the notion that I had done anything wrong.

    For more than 72 years, I have withstood every attempt ever sent my way to make me internalize what I have come to understand as the deception of time-corrupted-learning trauma.

    Were I to guess, I suppose I might guess that the “torture” inflicted on me to make me falsely confess to wrongdoing that I did not do was plausibly about as intense, for a seven year old autistic child as any form of enhanced interrogation torture has ever been. And I did not yield, I did not capitulate, and I did not falsely confess so as to stop the repeated torture.

    What I did do was to forgive Miss Hanson and Mrs. Knudsen instantly and totally and absolutely, for I recognized, unambiguously recognized, that they could not do any better than they were doing because they had no achievable way to know any better, had never had any opportunity to actually become familiar with any better way to treat me, and never had been given any sort of actual opportunity to understand how to treat me any better than they were treating me.

    In contrast with their knowledge, familiarity, and understanding, I did know, was familiar with, and understood how to treat them with decency and truthfulness, for I could not expect them to do better than their life circumstances made possible.

    Put me on a jury, and I will listen to the presented evidence with great care and diligence, and to the instructions from the judge. And then I will act in accord with the Wisconsin Constitution, allowing no infringement of my right to “worship Almighty God” according to the dictates of my conscience.

    To date, though I am skeptical about this, I have yet to find any finding of guilt that is not of some form of trauma-induced delusion. Thus, until someone actually demonstrates the actual making of an actually avoidable mistake, I will find each and every person, regardless of situation or circumstances, absolutely and unequivocally innocent.

    To me, belief in guilt is belief in the doctrine or dogma of a prehistoric, pre-scientific religious establishment heretofore unrecognizable as such, an establishment of religion that is absolutely unconstitutional on both United States Constitution and Wisconsin Constitution bases.

    At issue is, methinks, what is, and what is not, religion; and what is, and what is not, an establishment of religion.

    If the Anglo-American Adversarial System, in its present form in the United States, is a religious establishment portending to be otherwise, where is to be found the lawfully licensed professional objectivity to properly raise a valid constitutional question? Would not the law profession be in an unethical conflict of interest regarding such a constitutional issue?

  14. mine–>mind

    The citizen needs to arm himself with effective tools, and they need to be shared.

    It needs to be local, but at a level with salutary effect nationally. Nor at a senatoral, as the opposing forces would be too strong.

    It needs to be enlivened by Saul Alinsky type events,
    both for morale reasons and for profiling and prozelytizing. Internal events are needed, but open to the public on the thoughts of the framers in lecture form to keep the purpose alive.

  15. Someday, I’d like to create for consideration an organization tentatively called APDU, American Political Democracy Union.

    It would function like the League of Women’s Voters did in terms of vetting and taking positions on political candidates. (Did it?)

    It would be citizen based foundation with Warren Buffet and others funding it. The first goal would be to establish itself and increase its numbers so as to be a power which the duoparties would be forced to reckon with. It’s purpose then would to require the data collected by the parties in their vetting process, on their own candidates, to be checked against APDU’s own sources.

    Result: recommendation in a citizen summary form that I have in mine.

    Suitable starting level would be congressional districts, where people have different backgrounds, and problems in common.

    Like all my paper creations, where do the dedicated people come from, who will work in between election campaigns? Perhaps retirees who care about their grandkids future, and idealistic teenagers.

    The purpose: to reveal the truth, based on record, about to whom the candidates have sold themselves.

  16. Clarence Page

    November 25, 2012

    “Even in Chicago, a city whose political community is not easily shocked by allegations of corruption, the resignation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. comes as a bit of a stunner.

    The word “promising” keeps popping up again and again in news reports as in, for example, this Reuters headline: “Promising political scion resigns.”

    Triple-J was showing promise ever since his first national appearance, onstage at the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta with his four siblings, introducing their father at the end of his second presidential run. It was a moment of liberal triumph in the decade of Ronald Reagan. Even the haters of their dad’s politics loved those kids.

    Seven years later, the junior Jackson won the special election that followed the resignation of then-Rep. Mel Reynolds, another once-promising star, the Rhodes scholar who crashed amid charges of having sexual relations with an underage campaign worker.

    For many, Jackson’s youth, idealism and cheerful salesmanship seemed to offer hope of a new transformational politics for the new century. He was handily re-elected again and again, always keeping reporters and pundits in constant front-leaning speculation about what he would pursue next. Mayor? Senator? Beyond?

    Talk of a presidential run ended when his friend and senator, Barack Obama, beat him to the White House. Still, the junior Jackson remained a man of promise.

    Then a dark cloud of suspicion rolled in. Justice Department investigators have been looking into Jackson’s possible misuse of campaign funds and the House Ethics Committee is investigating his dealings with ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, now serving time for federal corruption offenses.

    Jackson’s been on leave since June, and sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for bipolar disorder.

    He resigned two weeks after winning a landslide re-election with no visible campaign. His constituents preferred to take their chances with an absentee Jackson, his supporters told me, than with another candidate that they did not know as well.

    His resignation could end the House Ethics Committee probe, which has been looking into whether he promised to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama. The committee could still decide to release a final report on Jackson, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but it no longer has the power to punish him.

    And his legal team, which includes former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, confirmed news reports that a plea bargain was in the works. His resignation letter acknowledges the Justice Department investigation for the first time and accepts responsibility for “mistakes” that are “my mistakes and mine alone.”

    “Whom the gods wish to destroy,” a British writer famously said, “they first make promising.” In the case of Jesse Jr., those words sound sadly prophetic. He was so promising that it was hard to tell how much of his support came from his modest legislative achievements versus the lofty hopes and ambitions he symbolized.

    As the namesake son of the nation’s best-known civil rights leader since the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Triple-J tried to be “post-racial” before post-racial was cool. The junior Jackson proposed a new generation of black leadership that could transcend race and hold itself accountable to actual votes, not just to cheering crowds.

    But, ironically, his larger personal ambitions often were held back by the high name recognition that gave him such a valuable boost.

    “Your name,” I asked him during a conversation in his congressional office a couple of years ago, “do you view it as a blessing or a curse?”

    “It’s both,” he declared, after a moment of thought. His efforts to broaden his base often ran up against his father’s controversial reputation. That’s politics — which can be pitiless.

    His story of mental illness is particularly sad. My sympathies go out to him and his family. Some skeptics find his treatment to be a bit too conveniently timed with his legal troubles. Maybe. But he would not be the first rising star who found the pressures of his own promise to be too much to bear.” Chicago Tribune

  17. I wonder how much Mary Todd had to do with Lincoln’s depression…… She too was inconsolable after the death of her child….. Rejecting even the living…..

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