Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


Bloomberg-backed Robin Kelly Wins Democratic Nomination for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Congressional Seat

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Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly won Tuesday night’s Democratic primary in Illinois’ 2nd congressional district, reports The Associated Press. She’ll face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election on April 9, but since it’s a heavily Democratic area, it won’t be much of a fight.

The race for Jackson’s former seat has been, well, defined by race, in a neighborhood of Chicago that has been under the spotlight lately; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent huge sums of money to ensure that Kelly, a pro-gun control candidate, would win the election. Despite the national attention, low voter turnout was expected in Tuesday’s election, with inclement weather not helping matters.

Coincidentally, on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Jackson Jr., who resigned from his seat before being indicted for taking $750,000 from his campaign funds to buy everything from Bruce Lee memorabilia to Michael Jackson’s fedora, is writing a book:

One of the Tribune’s sources, who has seen drafts of portions of the memoir, said Jackson was trying to “clear up his legacy.”

“He has nothing else to do right now,” the source said. “He’s desperately trying to change the narrative of his life story.”

This isn’t Jackson’s first time putting pen to page; he previously co-wrote the now-ironically titled It’s About the Money: The Fourth Movement of the Freedom Symphony: How to Build Wealth, Get Access to Capital, and Achieve Your Financial Dreams with his father Jesse Jackson Sr. As Tribune columnist John Kass notes, “Clearly, Junior didn’t read his own words.”

Some of the highlights, according to Kass’ rare copy of the book, include: “Don’t spend money just for pleasure; use it to build wealth and, in so doing, acquire power to manage and control your life.”


1144641 “Rich people tend to have certain habits that poor people would do well to emulate. For  example, rich people understand that you shouldn’t fritter away your money on such baubles as cars and clothes, which quickly depreciate in value.”

But it’s race, not wealth, that seem to haunt all of Jackson’s choices, and the legacy of his  neighborhood. Kass’ piece touches upon this, when he remarks that he and an African-American colleague were surprised about Jackson’s decision to spend campaign funds on a stuffed and mounted elk heads:

“The elk heads bother me,” said my colleague Old School. “What black people buy elk heads as a symbol of stature?”

“I know a lot of black people,” said Old School, who has been African-American his entire life. “And not one person I know puts elk heads on the wall.”

Other Jackson Jr. books include A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American rights, a book meant to provide “insightful analysis of the inextricable link between race and economics,” and Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America’s Future. For a man so consumed by race, wealth and violence, Jackson provided few answers to these problems. If anything, he was merely a great example of a community defined by all of those factors.

And as for Bloomberg, he’s moved on, with meetings in Washington D.C. Wednesday with Senators McCain and Reid and Vice President Biden. He did remark on the Kelly win, calling it a “victory for common sense leadership on gun violence.”

This Photo This Photo

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I can’t steal it, but here’s a picture of my newspaper clipping that is now lovingly pinned to my desk.

Let’s play best caption wins. I’ll go first: “Turtle Man looks on uncomfortably after overseeing the reunion of the long-lost Flower Cult.”

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