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The [Thursday] Papers

Here's one thing I'd like to know about the Jesse Jackson Jr. saga:

What was that first conversation like when he and Sandi decided to go down this road? I mean, were they sitting at their kitchen table one evening going over their bills when one of them said, "Um, I have an idea . . . what about all that money in the campaign fund?"

I mean, they actively planned and perpetrated the scheme together.

Who raised the idea first? Was it something like this?

JESSE (forlorn, shaking head): What are we going to do, we owe so much money . . .

SANDI (joking): We could always use your campaign credit card.

[Laughter.]

JESSE: Yeah, right.

SANDI: Can you imagine?

JESSE: That would be like paying you a monthly consulting fee!

SANDI (angry): Hey, I consult!

JESSE (contrite, soothing): I know, I know. I'm just sayin'.

SANDI: You know, it's not entirely a bad idea. I mean, we raised that money. We worked hard for it. What's the big deal? Everything we do is, um, congressional, when you think about it.

JESSE: Are you serious?

SANDI: I'm just sayin'.

JESSE: We'd never get away with it.

SANDI: Nobody's watching, honey! You act like you're such a big deal, but you're not. You're one of 435.

[Silence.]

JESSE: Well, some expenses are congressional. I gotta wipe my butt! I mean, when you look at it that way, yeah, some things are probably congressional. We could probably shift at least a little bit of money out of that account.

[Silence.]

SANDI: Let's just see what expenses we can justify.

JESSE: Okay, baby.

SANDI: Okay.

JESSE: I love you.

SANDI: I love you, too.

The next day they made their first illicit purchase. Then came a few more and then they got sloppier in their justifications and finally they just forgot about being careful as it just became a way of life. They thought they deserved it. Or they didn't think at all. Or they justified it in their minds, or thought: Just once more. Before they knew it they were in too deep. And then the 'G' knocked on their door.

*

I realize this scenario relies on an all too-familiar narrative of blaming the woman for seducing, if you will, the man into misbehavior, but while recognizing that, I will say that in this case I have always found Sandi to be far, far less trustworthy than Jesse. But who knows. He, too, had a sense of entitlement, though he often battled it, and a taste for the finer things in life, which he did not. Somehow, the two came to an agreement. How they did so is one of the most difficult scandal scenarios in Illinois history to fathom.

Rahm To Citizens: Dead! Dead! Dead!
"Burdened by a wave of murders, dissension over proposed school closings and perhaps his own hard-ball image, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's job-approval rating has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll," Greg Hinz reports.

"Overall, according to the survey of 600 voting-age Illinois residents, 50 percent say they at least lean toward disapproval of his performance as mayor, versus only 19 percent who somewhat or strongly approve, or lean toward approval. That's a margin of 31 percentage points."

But beware: Those are the results of Illinois residents surveyed. Theoretically, they don't vote in Chicago elections.

The results from the city are slightly better for Rahm, though still not good:

"In Chicago itself, voting-age adults aren't nearly as negative as other Illinois residents. But as he nears the middle of his four-year term, Mr. Emanuel's standing has slipped, though most of his loss of support has gone into the 'mixed feelings' or undecided category, rather than to disapproval.

"Specifically, just 2 percent of Chicagoans surveyed said they strongly approve of the mayor's job performance, with 12 percent somewhat approving and 5 percent leaning that way. At the opposite end, 13 percent strongly disapprove, 9 percent somewhat disapprove and 13 percent lean toward disapproval.

"In Chicago, that gives Mr. Emanuel a net minus 16 rating, down from the plus 4 he had in September, when 37 percent approved and 33 percent disapproved."

*

"The Crain's/Ipsos poll is a representative survey of voting-age Illinois residents conducted over the Internet. Ipsos validates the sample against offline data sources such as telephone surveys to ensure the accuracy of its weighting. The survey has an accuracy margin of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points statewide, with higher margins in sub-regions, such as Chicago or its suburbs."

I don't know how polls conducted over the Internet work. But they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true.

Kelly's Claim
"Democratic congressional candidate Robin Kelly defended herself from a state inspector general's report and an internal audit that alleged she violated timekeeping rules during her failed campaign for state treasurer in 2010," the Tribune reports.

"Speaking after a South Side candidate forum Wednesday night, Kelly said her boss at the time, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 'knew what I was doing. I was in full communication' with him about the time she took off to campaign to succeed him."

Bad answer. It's not good enough that your boss knows you are skirting the rules. You aren't supposed to skirt the rules!

And you weren't in full communication with taxpayers, who didn't know what you were doing. Bad call.

*

From the Tribune's endorsement of Kelly earlier this month:

"Throughout her career, Kelly has been meticulous about separating her campaign activities from her government work. When she ran for state treasurer in 2010, she subtracted from her time sheets any activities that could be considered election-related."

Wow. Now that sounds like pre-emptive spin engineered by the Kelly campaign.

"In this campaign, she resigned from her job in Cook County to run full time. That's rare among Illinois politicians."

And now that sounds like inoculation, not integrity.

Landmark Lawsuit
Former Illinois Congressional Candidate Sues IRS In Quest To Bar Political Ads Funded By Dark Money Groups.

Fantasy Fix: The Top 50
Our very own Dan O'Shea is back from paternity leave just in time for your baseball draft.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: The dog that barks.



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Posted on February 21, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
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POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

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