REYNOLDS EYES JACKSON JR. SEAT
By MICHAEL SNEED email@example.com November 16, 2012 10:00PM
3-2-04 Office of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., 17926 S. Halsted, Homewood IL. Former Congressman and current candidate mel Reynolds holds a press conference in the parking lot in front of current Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s south suburban office. (KEITH HALE/Sun-Times)
Updated: December 19, 2012 1:42PM
The Mel man . . .
Here’s a shocker! Sneed has learned former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who was convicted of child pornography and sexual misconduct involving a 16-year-old campaign worker in 1995, is popping up on the radar screen again.
◆ To wit: Reynolds is reportedly making phone calls to election experts and potential supporters inquiring about the logistics of running for embattled U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat — if Triple J resigns as a result of a federal probe into possible misuse of campaign funds.
◆ Upshot: “Mel phoned to say he wanted to run for Jesse’s seat, but would wait until the time was right,” said a top Sneed source who asked not to be identified.
◆ Backshot: Reynolds, a Rhodes scholar who studied at Oxford, became a lawyer, and claimed to be a friend of the Kennedy family, is the son of a Mississippi preacher named the Rev. J.J. Reynolds.
◆ Buckshot: Although Reynolds is a convicted felon, he is legally allowed to run for federal office . . . and Triple J’s job.
◆ “He can run for federal or state office,” said Burt Odelson, an election guru. “He just can’t run for municipal office.”
◆ In April 1997, Reynolds also was convicted in federal court of 15 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and lying to the Federal Election Commission — and was sentenced to 6½ years in prison.
◆ The irony: Two years later, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. James Meeks hand-delivered a letter written by Reynolds to President Clinton asking to have his sentence commuted. In July 2000, the Chicago City Council passed a resolution calling on President Clinton to grant Reynolds clemency because he had “served more time than anyone convicted in Watergate.”
◆ Deliverance: Finally, on his last day in office, Clinton commuted Reynolds’ sentence.
◆ Final shot: After Reynolds’ release from prison, he did charitable work for a while . . . and now seems to have disappeared from the radar.
The Petraeus file . . .
Good grief: Now comes word Florida socialite Jill Kelley, one of two women involved in the Gen. Petraeus sex scandal, took a tour of the White House on Sunday, Nov. 4 — just five days before Petraeus resigned . . . and had breakfast in the White House staff dining hall twice in the previous two months.
$$$$$ . . .
A whiff of the fiscal cliff: President Obama gave House Speaker John Boehner a 1997 vintage Brunello wine — retailing for $50 — for his 63rd birthday Saturday.
Ho Ho Ho!
Ah, levity: Sneed used to tease former U.S. Rep. Michael Patrick Flanagan about his lust for Ho Hos and Ding Dongs.
◆ Now that the legendary Hostess baking company, which produces Flanagan’s favorite sweet, is going out of business, Flanagan tells Sneed:
“Ho no, how sad I am. I have lost my Ho Hos forever. As a Catholic, I must confess I just bought a box of Twinkies — and used to control my corner of the House Judiciary committee by luring opponents away from the microphone with Ho Hos I carried in my suit jacket pocket to shut them up.”
The name game . . .
Sneed is told the legendary law firm of Daley & George, which specialized in real estate zoning for the past 32 years at 20 S. Clark Street, is making a wee alphabet change.
They are adding the letter “s” to their law firm’s shingle.
◆ Translation: The firm will now be called Daley & Georges.
◆ Further Translation: Michael Daley, brother of Mayor Richard M. Daley, is staying put. Former City corporation counsel Mara Georges is his new partner. Old partner Jack George is joining the law firm of Schuyler, Roche & Grisham.
Poll palaver . . .
Ring. Ring. Is the battle for the next governor of Illinois already percolating?
A group called Western Mountain Polling is already on the phone asking whether you’d vote for Gov. Pat Quinn or Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for governor!
Sneedlings . . .
Saturday’s birthdays: Martin Scorsese, 70; Lauren Hutton (right), 69; and RuPaul, 52 . . .
Sunday’s birthdays: Owen Wilson, 44; Linda Evans, 70; and Chloe Sevigny, 38.