Jackson Graft Case Further Indicts Black Caucus

Investor’s Business Daily, February 20, 2013

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s guilty plea to fraud charges raises fresh questions about the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s a group with many laudable goals, but why do so many in it succumb to corruption?

A disproportionate share of ethics cases have been brought against this exclusive club.

According to a 2012 National Journal study, five of the six lawmakers under review by the House Ethics Committee were Black Caucus members. Yet just one in 10 House members belong to the group.

It’s a familiar pattern.

In 2009, all eight lawmakers under ethics investigation were African-American. Besides Jackson, they included Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who was later convicted of accepting gifts from donors with business before his tax-writing panel and 11 other ethics violations.

All told, the Journal says, an astonishing one-third of sitting black lawmakers have been named in an ethics probe at some point in their Hill careers.

The stat does not include former lawmakers now doing time in prison, such as ex-Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. {snip}

The Black Caucus was founded 40 years ago by civil-rights leaders as “the conscience of the Congress.” {snip}

Today, members of the group seem more likely to be in trouble for lining their pockets than solving the very serious problems of their constituencies.


He [Jackson] admitted to spending at least $750,000 of public funds on personal items, including a $43,350 gold Rolex, $5,150 worth of mink capes and parkas from Beverly Hills, a $4,600 Michael Jackson fedora and $2,200 worth of Malcolm X memorabilia.


Jackson, who faces 46 to 57 months in jail under a plea agreement, won’t be sentenced until June 28. His wife, Sandi, who also recently resigned from public office, has pleaded guilty to separate tax fraud charges.


{snip} The indictment says Jackson engaged in at least a seven-year conspiracy to defraud the public. And it may even predate 2005.

Fully a decade ago, the conservative press reported Jackson failed to disclose real-estate assets and income on his congressional financial disclosure forms.

It also discovered he got a sweetheart mortgage on a nine-bedroom mansion. He owned two other properties, plus five BMWs costing a total of $300,000.


The major media ignored the suspicious small fortune Jackson had amassed, along with his failure to fully disclose it. They’re still ignoring the story. The Sunday news shows all passed on Jackson’s indictment.

Meanwhile, the Black Caucus has covered for Jackson as it has, shamelessly, for all its members caught up in sleaze.

Caucus chair Emanuel Cleaver said it was a “wild rumor” that Jackson was a crook.

“Not true,” he asserted. “And I know the whole family.”


The caucus blames “racism” for the ethics cloud that follows it more than any other group in Washington.

Please. Enough with the conspiracy theories. There is something rotten within the group itself. It’s time to clean house.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.