logo

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

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)

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)

Buy AP Photo Reprints

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 like a Rolex watch and furs, and collectibles, such as Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

Longtime Chicago political analyst Paul Green calls it “sad.” Green says the popular son of a civil rights icon was in a position to be elected to higher office.

Jackson Jr. was charged Friday with spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal expenses. The charges came about three months after Jackson resigned, citing his struggle with bipolar disorder.

Congressman Danny Davis wonders if the purchases were an indication of Jackson’s bipolar condition manifesting itself.

Associated Press