This style of corruption even has its own page in Wikipedia! Whoever put it together has done his/her homework, starting off by noting Richard Daley’s “machine” which “is believed to incarnate this style at its worst [with] several of Daley’s subordinates being jailed for corruption.” His machine goes back to 1928 and brings to mind Eliot Ness and The Untouchables.
Wiki names former governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich. Ryan was called representative of “quintessential Illinois politics: power-oriented, jobs-winning, control kind of politics.” And Rod? Well, he has his own corruption page at Wiki!
But I digress. Jesse Jackson, Jr. was a congressman from the 2nd District in Illinois until he resigned because of alcoholism and “ethics” problems (both the House Ethics Committee and the FBI are investigating him) . So a special election is taking place at the end of this month to replace him. Care to guess what kind of individual is running to take his place? Mel Reynolds is cut from the same bolt of moldy cloth. In fact, his Wiki page begins:
Melvin “Mel” Reynolds (born January 8, 1952) is a former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois. He resigned from Congress after a conviction for statutory rape.
In fact, his record is so bad that a number of groups are using his campaign to raise funds to oppose him. So in the interest of full disclosure, I thought I’d do a little digging about this miscreant. It wasn’t hard.
First, Reynolds is a very bright guy. He graduated from Harvard University with such high grades that he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford. So someone higher up saw his potential and invited him into the inner circle.
But he apparently had a little problem with his libido along with his ego. This is from Wiki:
In August 1994, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer that began during the 1992 campaign. Despite the charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November; he had no opposition.
Reynolds initially denied the charges, which he claimed were racially motivated. On August 22, 1995, he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.
This is classic: denial of all charges, claiming racial discrimination. A perfect snow job to distract attention from his libido. But his behavior was so outrageous that the snow job didn’t work:
Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison, thus he expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997 he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence, and served 42 months in prison for the later charges.
But Reynolds had friends in high places, equally corrupt, who lent a hand:
He then received a full pardon from the Corruptocrat-in-Chief, Mr. Clinton, and went to work for his father, Jesse Jackson, in his Rainbow Coalition. In 2004 he ran again for the House of Representatives, but lost to Jesse Jackson, Jr. by an astounding 88 percent!
Now that Jackson, Jr. is gone, Reynolds thinks he’ll try it again.