Just in time for the Chicago mayoral race! Sex! Money! SCANDAL involving a Jackson, a "junior" Jackson ... if you're nasty. But not those Jacksons. The Civil Rights/Civil Service Jacksons! You know that race for who will be in charge of America's third largest city and political powerhouse that the Daly's built? Chicago, my kind of town? That's what Chicago is.
A good friend of mine thinks somewhere former Rep. Rahm Emanuel has his stubby finger print all over Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a mayoral hopeful, getting caught up in recently disclosed scandals involving sex with women who aren't his wife and the accusation that Jackson Jr. offered former Gov. Rod Blagojevich $6 million for the Senate seat that ended up going to Roland Burris.
Even if the White House's Rahm Emanuel, who also wants to be the new Daly in Chi-town, isn't behind this, he has to be pretty darn pleased. Things couldn't be going any better.
Usher Raymond knows Jesse Jr.'s pain of sexy times with the wrong people.
From NBC Chicago:
Jesse Jackson Jr. doesn't deny involvement with a Washington D.C. based restaurant hostess who was named this morning in a Sun-Times story about his alleged attempt to buy an appointment to President Obama's former Senate seat.
Jackson Jr. allegedly had a relationship with Giovana Huidobro, a restaurant hostess and former model whose pictures can be seen here, and asked that fund-raiser Raghuveer Nayak pay for her to be flown from D.C. to Chicago on at least two occasions.
"The reference to a social acquaintance is a personal and private matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago." Jackson Jr. said in a statement. "I ask that you respect our privacy."
Huidobro was allegedly present at a D.C. meeting between Jackson Jr. and Nayak in 2008, when the two allegedly discussed a scheme to funnel $6 million in fund-raising dollars to Rod Blagojevich.
Also, there's the old matter of this, which Jackson Jr. claims is a rehash of a debunked story:
Also from NBC Chicago:
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. asked a political fund-raiser to offer then Gov. Rod Blagojevich $6 million dollars in exchange for an appointment to President Obama's former Senate seat -- and had the fund-raiser pay for two airline trips for a blonde "social acquaintance" -- the fund-raiser told federal authorities.
Businessman Raghuveer Nayak 's allegations, first reported by the Sun-Times, counter Jackson Jr.'s public statements that he never authorized any deals to buy the Senate seat.
Nayak says Jackson instructed him to offer Blagojevich as much as $6 million for the seat -- $1 million from the Indian community and $5 million from a yet-to-be-held fund raiser that Jackson Jr. would organize.
The congressman's alleged involvement in the scheme was first revealed during the Blagojevich trial. After the trial, Jackson Jr. said he was present during a meeting on Oct. 8, 2008 when the scheme was allegedly discussed, but that the businessmen involved were speaking "practically in Hindu."
Reliable sources to myself (Ha ha, not telling!) have told me that Jesse Jr., despite being cool people, did not fall far from his father's infidelity tree. Meaning, this is probably old hat and he and the wife have been through this before. But, of course, I'm of the mind that none of this should matter. You not being able to keep it in the pants doesn't affect whether or not you'll be an effective mayor. Politicians have done FAR WORSE THINGS than mess around. But this is America where people don't like their politicians stepping out on their spouses. We're not France, after all, where a former president can die of old age with a secret second family and whatnot.
Jackson, before the scandal, was a real threat to Rahm Emanuel's dream of being mayor of Chicago.
Recent polls had Jackson running tight at Emanuel's heels, sometimes in second or third place, an apparent good look for the Congressman who has served Chicago's Southland southeast suburbs and its notoriously rougher South Side since 1995. And Jackson had been relatively quiet and floating below radar since the 2008 elections ... atypical of the Jackson personality.
Ellison thinks that it might be time for Jesse Jr. to pack it in from the weight of these two scandals.
For a number of reasons, Jackson should be, at this point, effectively shutting down any political aspirations beyond stubbornly maintaining his Congressional seat. As reports continue leaking about Jackson's personal indiscretions, he will have little choice but to let the opportunity go. The closest he can get to City Hall is by brokering a deal with his wife, Alderman Sandi Jackson. No doubt, 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,' and the Congressman will probably place a Mayoral campaign and political machine on the table as an act of marital contrition. The trick, however, will be Alderman Jackson's ability to navigate her husband's mounting public and potentially legal troubles. Differences could be set aside between father and son, a quiet alliance offering both solace and political cover through consolidation of interests. This would be the more prudent strategy. Over time, Jackson should gradually remove himself from focus on city politics and immerse himself in Capitol Hill wonkishness.
Columnist Carol Marin of the Chicago Sun-Times says Jackson Jr.'s problem has been that "Obama happened." She cites that he went from being a rising star in the Democratic party, coming out from under his father's Civil Rights and political shadow, into his own, only to find himself (as well as countless other black male politicians and activists) eclipsed by Obama's rising sun.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Long before Obama caused a nation to swoon with his soaring red-state-blue-state Democratic convention speech in 2004, Triple-J, once upon a time, stood at that very podium. It was 1988 and he was there -- young, strong and commanding -- to introduce his dad, who had twice failed in bids to win the presidency.
But timing and talent are only two of 10,000 factors that result in one man's ascent and another's disappointment. Maybe it was just coincidence, but in the aftermath of Obama's speech, which instantly transformed an anonymous state senator to matinee idol, Jesse Jr. suddenly slimmed down. Citing exercise, diet and some "shots in the butt" to explain a drop of 50 pounds, Jackson couldn't bring himself to tell the truth. We'd learn only later of his weight-loss surgery.
You might argue that was a small white lie. And yet it was so unnecessary given all that Jackson has had going for him across seven terms in Congress, three books written, a master's and a law degree, and the development of a formidable political operation that racked up impressive victories over old adversaries.
Jackson Jr. has fought hard for the South Side, arguing for developers to build homes and businesses, not incinerators and jails, in his 2nd Congressional District.
But what always seemed to elude him was the respect he believed he had earned but was denied by Mayor Daley and the power elite of Chicago and Washington.
It's the classic story of dreams deferred. But mayor of Chicago seemed like a real possibility and wonderful consolation prize. Now even that looks like a move too far for Jesse Jr. How do you survive in a political environment where the margin of error is so slim that the US might start running sterile eunuchs for public office?
Oh Chicago ... This could only happen to a guy like Jesse Jr. in a town like this.