The Jackson story . . .
The Jackson clan was blindsided.
Sneed is told the family of imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. — who reportedly has been scrubbing jail toilets with a toothbrush as an apparent act of contrition — is flummoxed by recent news reports and concerned about his mental health.
“We knew nothing about what has been reported about him recently in the press — which sounds like nonsensical, erratic stuff,” said Jackson’s brother, Jonathan.
“We love our brother. Sure we’re concerned. We know what he has been through. The family is again trying to wrap our arms around all this,” he said. “It’s like we’ve been blindsided and we are wondering if he is taking his medication . . . and there is little we can do while he is in prison. We really don’t know what’s going on.”
◆ Backshot: Jesse Jackson Jr.’s decision to be hospitalized for mental health problems while he was being investigated by the feds was considered a stunt to stay out of prison, his critics said.
◆ Heartshot: Sneed hears that Jackson’s mother, Jacqueline, just visited her son on Mother’s Day at the minimum-security prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., where he is serving the remainder of his 2½-year term.
Now comes word that Jackson, who was moved recently from the Federal Prison Camp in Butner, N.C. — which Sneed exclusively reported followed a stint in solitary confinement for advising inmates about their rights and ticking off guards — has apparently also written two books while in prison.
Jackson, whose official release date is next year, emailed an Alabama news website, AL.com, with news that he has authored a memoir called “The Last Campaign” and a book called “The Tao of Jesus Christ.”
Jackson’s desire to repent by scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush — as well as receive a presidential pardon upon completion of his sentence — was outlined in a recent letter from fellow Butner prison inmate John Karoly Jr. to the media.
Karoly wrote: “But no matter how hard he scrubs, he later tells me that it doesn’t wipe his slate clean. He has embarrassed himself, his family name . . . Like the rest of us, he yearns for the forgiveness that has eluded him.”
The former congressman, whose official release date is Dec. 31, 2015, also told the website that his work with the inmates at Butner was part of his “social experiments with the truth regarding the system.”
$$$$ . . .
A memo to naysayers awaiting word from the White House on whether President Barack Obama took a 5 percent pay cut last April in solidarity with furloughed federal employees during the season known as the sequester.
He did. The White House confirmed it to Sneed.
I spy . . .
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose dined at Chicago q on Saturday . . . Puck luck: After taking the first playoff game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, Hawk goalie Corey Crawford and Bryan Bickell stopped by Chicago Cut’s patio, where they got a standing ovation . . . Health Care Service Corp. Chairman Milton Carroll, a longtime Dem donor, spotted golfing with President Barack Obama on Saturday in Gainesville, Va. . . . Cook County Homeland Security chief Mike Masters discussed immigration reform at a White House immigration reform roundtable last week.
Sneedlings . . .
Wednesday’s birthdays: Mr. T, 62; U.S. Sen. Al Franken, 63, and R.J. Melman, 35.