Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-Chicago) has returned to polite society. His federal sentence is officially over.
His wife, Sandi Jackson, is about to enter prison. The husband used campaign contributions for personal use, while the wife committed tax fraud. The sentences were staggered because the couple has small children.
Jackson was virtually unchallenged in his Chicago district, and big campaign donors are really just making sure a Congressman will take their calls, right? So isn't wasting campaign funds on fur coats and rock 'n roll souvenirs really a victimless crime?
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The co-author of a book called Corrupt Illinois says no.
“The victim is whenever you start corruption, it only leads to more,” says Dick Simpson, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois Chicago and a former Chicago alderman. “He got to buying things that were not proper, and when you start having that lifestyle, you very quickly misuse direct government funds as well.”
The Jacksons not only lost their freedom, they've lost their future.
“Their careers are ruined,” says Simpson. “They're not going to be significant in the political arena ever again.”