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Jackson Jr.’s downfall tied to objects, not power

February 16, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this March 20, 2012, file photo taken in Chicago, then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill. speaks at a Democratic primary election night party. The former and his wife Sandra were charged Feb. 15, 2013, with spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — For all the talk of Jesse Jackson Jr. aspiring to be a U.S. senator or mayor of the nation’s third-largest city, his career wasn’t ended by attempts to amass political power.

Instead, it was the former congressman’s desire for flashy items — a gold-plated Rolex watch, furs and collectibles, such as Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

In a state where stop-at-nothing political ambition has been well documented — and often rewarded — the seemingly frivolous cause of Jackson’s undoing is seen by political observers and former colleagues as both nonsensical and sad.

“When you have a magic name like that, he was in position, waiting for the gun to go off, for mayor, the Senate … he was playing with the big guys,” said Paul Green, a longtime political scientist at Roosevelt University in Chicago who moderated Jackson’s first congressional campaign debate. “To go down for Login to read more

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