Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sun Times' Natasha Korecki Scoops National with Jesse Jackson, Jr. Saga

The Chicago Sun Times is blessed with very talented reporters ( Dan Mihalopoulos, Chris Fusco, Tim Novak, Art Golab and especially Natasha Korecki). 

The columnists? Not so hot; with two notable exceptions -  Mark Brown and Steve Huntley are very exacting with the facts and wholly independent.  The reporters are old school fro the most part.

No reporter in Chicago did a better job of covering the hair-ball that was the Blago yarn, than Natasha Korecki. That particularly epic fabrication had more twists than a Chubby Checker retrospective on WTTW, or single Carol Marin column. 

At the core of the Blago trichobezoar remains the campaign for and election to the Presidency of Illinois Senator Barack Obama with its cast of characters* Homer would be hard-set to catalog - Tim Novak somehow managed to do so.

This weekend, the young woman who reported the Blagojevich Trials with the keenest eyes to detail, Natasha Korecki equals the tenacious pitbull Novak with a close look at Jesse Jackson, Jr. - Illinois' Congressional Howard Hughes. 

The first of two reports centers on the Federal probe of the reclusive Jackson's ( odd saying that) Congressional cash piles of taxpayer-lifted spondulices (archaic and so am I)**

The snowballing troubles of Jesse Jackson Jr. took a new turn Friday with the revelation that federal investigators have launched a probe into “suspicious activity” in the South Shore congessman’s finances.
Focusing on a completely new area of scrutiny for the son of the famed civil rights leader, the investigation is not related to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempted sale of a U.S. Senate seat, a scandal that has ensnared Jackson in the past, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Rather, the probe — based in the Washington, D.C., FBI field office —is focusing on “suspicious activity” involving the congressman’s finances related to his House seat and the possibility of inappropriate expenditures, the sources said. . . .News of the probe — first disclosed by the Sun-Times — comes as questions increasingly swirl around Jackson’s absence from not only his official duties in Washington, but the campaign trail as the Nov. 6 election nears.
Citing exhaustion, Jackson, 47, stopped working, according to his staff, on June 10. His staff did not make that known until two weeks later.
He went to a clinic in Arizona then to the Mayo Clinic, which released a statement saying he was being treated for a bipolar disorder. Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6 but has not campaigned since he won the Democratic primary in March.

The next places the hairball, not unlike Felonius  Guv doing a few semesters in Club Fed Colorado, into voter responsibility and same-old-same-old Cook County Context:

In Jackson’s South Side and south suburban 2nd Congressional District, even people who don’t like him think he will easily get re-elected.
“I don’t see how he can deal with all these problems and still deal with the district,” said South Shore resident Carlos Jones, 64. “But I believe he’s going to get re-elected and try to make amends.”
William Davenport, 29, said he knows Jackson “has definitely been in hot water with Blagojevich and has issues with his [mental] stability.” Now the new investigation “makes me wonder what’s going on with him.”
But, Davenport added, “The Jackson name carries a lot of weight around here.”
The newly disclosed federal probe is not related to the attempted sale of the U.S. Senate seat that figured in Blagojevich’s corruption conviction, but it’s focusing on “suspicious activity” involving the congressman’s finances related to his House seat and the possibility of inappropriate expenditures, sources said.
The probe was active in the weeks before Jackson took a leave from his U.S. House post on June 10.
“I don’t think this is going to affect his re-election in 2012,” said a Democratic strategist who didn’t want to be named. “I gotta believe that the day after his election, the gun goes off on his next federal primary.”
Jackson has been through the political wringer since 2008. He was initially under federal scrutiny tied to charges leveled against Blagojevich. In 2010, it was revealed that a donor to Jackson, Raghuveer Nayak, told federal authorities that Jackson asked him to approach Blagojevich with what the ex-governor believed to be a $1.5 million offer to be appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Sun Times reporters, especially the great ones like Novak and Korecki, scoop up the hairballs of political hypocrisy and present them to the careful reader and thoughtful voter.  They do great civic service and honor their craft.

The editorial boards of both Chicago papers never seem to read, much less understand the work of gifted writers like Korecki, Novak and Kass at the Tribune.  

The editorial boards send in the clowns and vigorously licking cats; they help elect the mopes and frauds and grifters as much as the "benighted" electorate. Psssst! Read the reporters and skip the editorial pages. Well done, again, Ms. Korecki!

*The following fact pattern was out in the open long before Obama severed his ties to Rezko (sometime in late 2006): In 1983, Rezko started raising a lot of money for Chicago politicians. In 1989, he and his partner Daniel Mahru started vacuuming up deals with the city to develop low-income housing, despite having virtually zero experience in the field. They proceeded to obtain over $100 million in city, state, and federal grants and bank loans to develop 30 run-down properties into affordable-housing projects, earning $6.9 million for themselves. By 2007, the city had sued them numerous times for failing to heat these properties; over half of the properties had fallen into foreclosure, and six of them were boarded up.
Obama helped put one of these deals together during his time as a junior associate at Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland. Other lawyers at Davis Miner helped Rezko acquire half of the properties that fell into disrepair. And many of these properties were located in the district Obama represented as an Illinois state senator. Nonetheless, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was unaware of Rezko’s growing reputation as a slumlord until he read Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak’s two-part series on the subject. So we are to believe (yet again) that Obama was the last person to know what one of his longtime friends was up to. (National Review June 5, 2008)



 [spon-doo-liks]  Show IPA
noun Older Slang .
money; cash.
Also, spon·du·lix.

1855–60, Americanism  origin uncertain

1 comment:

K T Cat said...

Great post. Informative and educational - I learned what "spondulices" meant!