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Sandi Jackson’s disclosure reports in disarray

Friday, Dec 14, 2012

* Uh-oh

Five days after Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress, his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, filed a series of amendments to her ward committee’s campaign fund, revealing dozens of previously undisclosed transactions that went back three years. That includes at least $13,000 in previously undisclosed transfers from her husband’s congressional account into her ward organization account, a Sun-Times review of campaign records show.

Among the undisclosed transactions shown in the amended reports were monthly transfers of $1,250 to his wife’s 7th Ward Independent Political Organization — or SWIPO. In a federal disclosure, Rep. Jackson’s campaign fund indicates a $1,250 payment to SWIPO is for rent — he and his wife share campaign office space on Chicago’s South Side. However, the 7th Ward disclosure did not list the purpose of the $1,250 transfers. […]

Some of the corrected reports now indicate negative balances — something that an official with the Illinois State Board of Elections said could result in a review.

In the second quarter of 2011, for instance, the committee originally filed a report showing nearly $12,000 cash on hand. The amended report showed the committee was actually $7,000 under water. It also did not originally disclose $3,750 in transfers from Jesse Jackson Jr.’s congressional fund.

Typically, negative balances call for follow-up from the board of elections.

“It’s something that we would potentially put an inquiry out to the political committee to see what the circumstances were behind this,” said Andy Nauman, deputy director of the division of campaign disclosure with the State Board of Elections.

* From a notation on a few of her amended reports

To Whom It May Concern, Per our recent conversations, I am amending this file to reflect corrections made to this report reflecting contributions and disbursements that were not included in the original report due to staff transitions and computer error.

* Her amended reports are a mess. For example, on her original report for the first quarter of 2011, she listed $29,720.00 in total receipts. And this was her fund balance

* In her amended report, Jackson listed $20,060.00 in total receipts and listed this as her fund balance…

I could go on, but like I said, her reports are a total mess. And I don’t think the amended reports really cleared this up.

* Meanwhile, Mark Brown thinks Sen. Donne Trotter’s days as a candidate are numbered

Getting the party’s endorsement, though, was probably Trotter’s only chance of winning, and if he fails in that regard Saturday, you’d expect him to rethink his candidacy and concentrate on his legal problems. He probably should anyhow.

Trotter’s court case was continued until Jan. 17, and Durkin predicted Cook County prosecutors will seek to have him indicted in the meantime. Durkin argues somewhat persuasively that Trotter should not have been charged with a felony because he didn’t know he was carrying the gun in his luggage.

I tend to believe that, although I find absolutely preposterous Trotter’s claim that he had the gun because he’d been working late the previous night as a security guard.

If he seriously wants to run for Congress, he is going to have to explain why he was carrying that gun — without his lawyer at his side.

I don’t disagree.

* This won’t help, either

During a speech last month at the Roseland Business Development Council banquet, Trotter dropped a derogatory term to describe some of his white legislative colleagues.

“I always tell people I know a cr—– when I see one, and there’s a lot of cr—–s in Springfield, a lot of them,” he says on a video recording of the event. […]

Trotter, speaking to Tucker Thursday, says he doesn’t think the word is derogatory. The Southern Illinois native says the word refers to anyone “who’s oppressing, someone that’s fighting you, keeping you from raising yourself up.”

Pressed about who in the Legislature he was referring to, Trotter said he wasn’t thinking of anyone specific and the term doesn’t automatically refer to a white person.

“There were no specific faces that I was putting to the word,” he said. “I was talking about people who do not support our interests.”

The dictionary says the word comes “from the sound a whip makes (when used by a slave master)” and is “a mildly offensive word for white people.”

Told that some people in his district were offended by his use of the term, Trotter said, “Then I apologize for that. That certainly was not the intent.”

The word he used, by the way, was “cracker.” I’ve never seen that word censored out of a TV broadcast before.

* And there may be some internal disagreement on President Preckwinkle’s staff

A member of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s cabinet has resigned to devote her time and energy to running for the 2nd District Congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.

Robin Kelly, who was Preckwinkle’s chief administrative officer, had told the Sun-Times she had planned to take a leave of absence, but in a Dec. 7th letter to Preckwinkle, Kelly stated she “will be resigning my position as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), effective immediately to run for Congress…”

Asked whether Preckwinkle called for or suggested the resignation in light of Kelly’s bid for Congress, Preckwinkle spokesman Kristen Mack stated in an email: “Robin chose to resign to fully commit to running her congressional campaign.”

* Related…

* Hotline Sort: Democrats Huddle Over Jackson

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Downstater - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Have these people no SHAME! Disgraceful.

  2. - Yossarian Lives - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    I grew up in the South (and not just Southern Illinois either) and am white, and I never thought of “cracker” as a racially offensive term. (I hadn’t heard that story of its origins, though.) Where I’m from, it usually referred to poor whites in particular. When used by African Americans to refer to whites, it was a mild put-down but certainly not deeply insulting or offensive and was usually said tongue-in-cheek. I’ve been called a cracker and am not particularly bothered by it.

  3. - Brendan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    SWIPO..Swipe-Oh! LOL!

  4. - Just askin - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    If convicted after winning the seat, would Sen. Trotter still be allowed to serve in Congress?

  5. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    The term “Cracker” emanates from central Florida where it was used to describe the cattle ranchers (all but gone now) due to the cracking sound of the bull whip that was used.

  6. - Bigtwich - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    By any objective test Sen. Trotter acted knowingly. He put the gun in his luggage. If someone can prevent a criminal charge by saying “I forgot” we could close a lot of courts. I approve of laws that keep guns off of airplanes. I approve of laws being applied equally. Whether or not this law is well crafted or whether or not the penalty or range of penalties is appropriate, is a different discussion.

  7. - Hank - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    The amended reports are not the issue as much as the date of their submission. She apparently is trying to pull a Bill Beavers” who made a lot of payments after the Feds came sniffing around.
    Anyway, quit piling on. She is just frazzled from trying to take care of her sick husband. As a Cook County elected official ethics laws don’t apply to her, just ask Joe Berrios

  8. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    JJJS: If you’re going to Google the word at least admit that even Wikipedia says the etymology isn’t clear and lists your origin 2nd. The first choice is a little less harmless: “One theory holds that slavery foremen in the antebellum South used bullwhips to discipline African slaves, with such use of the whip being described as ‘cracking the whip’. The white foremen who cracked these whips thus became known as “crackers”"

  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Whether or not this law is well crafted or whether or not the penalty or range of penalties is appropriate, is a different discussion. ===

    No, it’s not.

  10. - Just sayin' - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson are in deep denial. This family has been fleecing the state of Illinois for decades and nobody seems to mind, especially the voters.

  11. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    Regardless of whether the term is a little or a lot pejorative, it seems unseemly for a State Senator to call is colleagues, constituents or state residents names.

  12. - 1776 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    Preckwinkle is helping Toi quietly so not shocking that Robin was forced to resign.

  13. - Lobo Y Olla - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    There is absolutely, positively no way Sen. Trotter didn’t know cracker was deragatory. No way. An African American senator steeped in civil rights knowledge and history claims he didn’t know? Total baloney.

  14. - Downstater - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    =This family has been fleecing the state of Illinois for decades and nobody seems to mind, especially the voters.=
    The voters in his their districts may no care and it looks like the don’t, but the rest us do care.

  15. - The Captain - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    Trotter may still be an attractive candidate to part of the electorate but he’d have to hold that coalition while playing an awful lot of defense on entirely self-inflicted wounds. None of this is even oppo drop yet, it will only get worse. I don’t envy him or his team.

  16. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    No matter which folk etymology you buy into, I’ve always heard cracker used in a context to mean hick, hayseed, country boy, specifically a white person in that general category. Picture him sitting on a bale of hay.

    So censored or not Trotter is dealing in race-based trash talking in the quote provided. His attempted explanation falls flat.

    Perhaps he can delve into deeper discussions of these word meanings with some of his future colleagues in prison?

  17. - Anonymous 45 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    I can’t say I’m surprised by the Sandi Jackson story…members of dynasties ususally don’t think the rules apply to them doncha know…

  18. - MrJM - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    How can Donne Trotter be a Congressman when he doesn’t even know the difference between a “cracker” and a “peckerwood”?

    This is day one stuff, dude!

    – MrJM

  19. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Sounds like Mrs. Jackson is going to need an amendment to the amendment.

    As for Mr. Trotter, one wonders: if this is what the “good guys” are up to, then what in the world are the “bad guys” up to?

    Sen. Trotter would have (will?) make a good rerpresentative for that district. Talk about terrible timing.

  20. - Boone Logan Square - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    Other than that, Mrs. Jackson, how was the assessing of your household/office finances?

  21. - soccermom - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    Rich — you look at a lot of these reports. How many of them are in great shape, how many okay, and how many are “a mess”?

    Please note — I’m not making excuses. But I know that these reports are often filled about by people who don’t have any background in bookkeeping, etc. So I wonder what we’d see if we did a careful review of all of them.

  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===Rich — you look at a lot of these reports. How many of them are in great shape, how many okay, and how many are “a mess”? ===

    These are among the worst. Todd Strogeresque.

  23. - John A Logan - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    News stories about Illinois politics should be relegated to the section of the “News of The Weird” website that features stories that were once considered weird but because of the frequency of their occurrence no longer clear the threshold. The Trotter story belongs in that category.

  24. - shore - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    Soccermom-it’s the backstory to this that makes it ugly.

    In light of todays events trotter’s thing also has a different frame.

  25. - the Other Anonymous - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    I am confused by the amended reports, more so than just the regular confusion caused by these amendments.

    I don’t think it’s possible to have a negative balance on a campaign finance report. You cannot physically give someone a dollar you do not have. You can take something on credit, give an IOU, run an overdraft; but all those things are debt, and should be reported as such.

    In these reports, there is no debt. So how did they actually pay their expenditures — with whose (or with what) money? And why isn’t that money listed as a debt?

    I am certain this is not the last amendment, because on its face this amended report is in error.

  26. - Disgusted Citizen - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:20 pm:

    Have to agree totally with Anonymous 45, “I can’t say I’m surprised by the Sandi Jackson story…members of dynasties ususally don’t think the rules apply to them doncha know.” The Feds need to take a long hard look at all of the dynasties.

  27. - alegra - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:21 pm:

    A derogatory, mocking term which frequently was heard muttered under one’s breath, always in reference to a white person. Heard it many times over the years in the front line workplace, although only a few to several times each year. The utterance was never acknowledged nor addressed. Got to keep the peace.

  28. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:26 pm:

    Don’t have a background in bookkeeping

    Does this help explain why the public budgets are such a mess?

  29. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:28 pm:

    Donne Trotter was always too old for this race. He’s going to be 63 years old at the time of the election.

    Everybody else in the Illinois delegation was younger than this when first elected.

    And Trotter being absent minded about his handgun provides the concrete example that Trotter’s mental acuity is already in decline.

    It takes six to ten years to build the seniority and relationships to make stuff happen in Congress.

    Trotter would never become an effective legislator in Congress.

    The committeemen should be scrutinizing the other candidates.

  30. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    Maybe Sandi should file an amendment showing a $500,000 gift from Todd Stroger’s campaign - this could solve both their problems.

  31. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 3:31 pm:

    I reported a political committee to the Illinois State Board of Elections that had pretty clearly turned in D-2s that were bogus.

    What the Illinois State Board of Elections told me was that if I did all the research, hired an attorney and submitted a complete investigation, the Board of Elections might hold hearings on the case.

    The reality is that the Illinois State Board of Elections is not even a paper tiger. Committees can submit any information they want. As long as it’s on time, there are no consequences.

  32. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    ===Whether or not this law is well crafted or whether or not the penalty or range of penalties is appropriate, is a different discussion. ===

    [No, it’s not. ]

    I disagree. What is at issue before the court is; did he, or did he not break the law. If he broke the law, the law prescribes the gradation of the violation as a Class 4 Felony, and the Criminal Code provides sentencing parameters.

    If he did not break the law, it will not be predicated on whether the law as written was well crafted, nor will it be because the prescribed sentence for breaking the law was perceived as too harsh.

    He either broke the law or he didn’t, and I think the fact that he owned the gun, owned the garment bag the gun was in, and packed the gun he owned in the garment bag he owned is a big problem for the Senator.

    I agree that; “I forgot where I put my gun” is a valid defense for any ensuing crime resulting from having done so, including but not limited to attempting to board an airplane.

  33. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 4:57 pm:

    =”not included in the original report due to staff transitions and computer error.=”

    Was this cut & pasted from a Congressboy Schock financial reporting amendment?

  34. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 4:58 pm:


    I agree that; “I forgot where I put my gun” is NOT a valid defense for any ensuing crime resulting from having done so, including but not limited to attempting to board an airplane.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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