Born as his father marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, Jesse Jackson, Jr. grew up among the living history of the Civil Rights Movement. Jesse Jackson, Sr. witnessed Dr. King's assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, and continues his civil rights and political work today.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. began his own career decades later, in Chicago. Elected to Congress in 1995, Jackson Jr.'s served Illinois's second district for seventeen years, until his resignation, last November. Yesterday, Jackson Jr. pled guilty to wire and mail fraud in connection with $750,000 in campaign finances. The judge recommended that he serve up to 57 months in prison.
Jackson Jr.'s political problems stemmed from former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich attempting to sell President Barack Obama's Senate seat in 2008. Federal authorities found evidence that one of Jackson's friends tried to bribe Blagojevich in exchange for the seat, and while Jackson was never charged, his name, says Takeaway partner The New York Times, "became synonymous with the case."
Jackson Jr. finally resigned after disappearing last May and receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic. Chicago-based political consultant Delmarie Cobb served as Jesse Jackson Sr.'s national traveling press secretary when he ran for president in 1988, and for Jackson Jr.'s director of communications when he ran for Congress in 1995. She discusses Jackson Jr.'s rise and fall, and the Jackson family's political legacy.
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