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Jesse Jackson Jr. Bungles Prison Debut

Jessie Jackson Jr, Wife Sentenced In Federal Court In DC

You know you’re a screwup when you can’t even check into prison properly. Leave it to former Congressman and current convicted felon Jesse Jackson Jr., who arrived at prison on Monday only to be turned away—he had mistakenly shown up too early. He is now in custody at a federal prison in North Carolina, and is beginning his 30-month sentence for wire and mail fraud. As the Chicago Tribune reports, he’ll have some illustrious fellow inmates:

[The prison] is home to rogue financier Bernard Madoff; spy Jonathan Pollard; Omar Ahmad Rahman, the “blind sheik” convicted for plotting to blow up New York City landmarks; and Jon Burge, the former Chicago police commander under whose watch African-American suspects were tortured into making false confessions to rape and murder, records show.

A former congressman from California, Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who was convicted of bribery, served time at Butner before his release. And Frank Calabrese Sr., a Chicago mobster responsible for several gangland slayings in the 1970s and ’80s, died last Christmas in Butner’s Federal Medical Center.

Jackson worked hard to earn his sentence. Over the course of his tenure, Jackson illegally used $750,000 in campaign donations to pay for Rolex watches, thousand-dollar nightclub tabs, five-figure spending sprees at Best Buy, mounted elk heads, personal credit card debts, and, curiously, a fedora warn by Michael Jackson, among other things.

In light of this case, it’s interesting that so many Democrats swear up and down that no American politician, even though as corrupt as Tammany Hall in every other way, would ever, ever, stoop to vote fraud. Buying mink stoles with campaign funds is no problem for these corrupt pols, but fluffing up your vote total by voting the dead or absentees? No way! It would be wrong!

[Jesse Jackson Jr. photo courtesy of Getty Images]

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  • Corlyss

    “mounted elk heads”
    ? What was he doing, trying to make others think he shot it?

    Makes me think of a dialog between Jack Benny and Dennis Day, his “naïve” boy singer. Dennis tells Benny that his father mounted an elk head in the shower. Benny incredulous asks why put an elk’s head in the shower. “The other end would look silly . . . ” came the reply.

  • Anthony

    WRM, can there be a Shakespearean moral (Ovid perhaps) in Jackson Jr.’s descent…

  • Pete

    The headline: Jesse Jackson Jr. Bungles Prison Debut.”

    So, tell us, when did either of the Jacksons ever do anything right or constructive in their lives — ever?

  • NCMountainGirl

    Butner is where inmates with medical conditions who are stable get sent. The other medical facility in the federal prison system is near the Mayo in Rochester and is for diagnostic and specialty care. Jackson was being treated for bipolar disorder at Mayo before he was convicted, so the prison system is probably comfortable with the treatment plan already in place. There are also a minimum security facility and two medium security facilities ar Butner. I imagine these are integrated into the medical facility. At Rochester a camp for minimum security prisoners provides the manual labor for the medical facility. James Bakker served his time there mopping hospital floors.

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