Illinois Democrats at the State Fair are weighing in on the sentencing of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi. Jesse Jackson Jr. will spend 2½ years behind bars; Sandi Jackson will spend a year in prison. Both were sentenced for misusing campaign funds. State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) says at the state level, efforts have been made to clear up campaign finance ambiguities to keep politicians honest.
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“The best you can do is try and close up the cracks, the areas that are gray areas,” Mautino said. But Mautino also concedes that if someone really wants to break the law they’re going to find a way to do it. State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) challenged voters to hold politicians in Illinois to a higher standard. “The general public needs to keep a closer eye on people in public life to ensure that the kind of transparency that we need so that public officials don’t run amok doesn’t happen,” said Lang. Gov. Pat Quinn, meanwhile, said he feels for the Jackson family and hopes Jesse Jackson Jr. learns from what has happened.