Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good News for Chicago

Now that Jesse Jackson Jr. has resigned from Congress, the citizens of his congressional district will need to select a new representative. And a candidate has arrived:
Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds said he will ask voters to focus on his congressional experience rather than his state and federal criminal record as he announced his bid today for the seat held by Jesse Jackson Jr., who has resigned.

At a downtown hotel news conference, Reynolds acknowledged having made “mistakes” in the past. For his campaign, he will try to assume the mantle of an incumbent while also seeking redemption from voters. Red and white campaign signs urged voters to “re-elect” Reynolds “so he can finish the work” while another stark red sign with white letters said simply: “Redemption.”
Finish the work? What kind of work would that be? Back to the article:
Reynolds held the 2nd Congressional District seat from 1993 until October 1995, when a Cook County jury convicted him of several sex-related charges, including having sex with an underage volunteer campaign worker. While serving time in state prison, Reynolds also was convicted on federal financial and campaign fraud charges. President Bill Clinton commuted Reynolds' sentence to time served in 2001.
So we know this much -- Reynolds is fully capable of working it. Meanwhile, there's some good news on the marketing front for this would-be solon:
Under law, Reynolds, formerly a South Side resident who is now renting in Dolton, no longer has to register as a sex offender.
That is helpful. I actually remember Reynolds well from when I lived in Chicago. Given that description of his (ahem) activities, you might be surprised to learn that he was once considered a "reformer" in Chicago, who was sent to Washington to clean up the mess left behind by his predecessor:
Reynolds replaced Gus Savage, a controversial and outspoken congressman who was condemned by the House Ethics Committee amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving a Peace Corps volunteer while he was on an official congressional visit to Zaire.
Gus Savage is still available, too. Maybe they could have a runoff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Given that this is the same district that re-elected Jackson in spite of his massive problems, we really shouldn't be surprised that a convicted sex offender and fraud artist would think that he has a chance to be elected as a congressman. PATHETIC!