Weather Updates

Why Jesse Jackson Jr. wants to go to prison first

Jesse JacksJr.

Jesse Jackson Jr.

storyidforme: 50931743
tmspicid: 18969966
fileheaderid: 8564911
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: July 20, 2013 6:38AM

Pssst! Why is former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. asking to go to prison before his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) — who is requesting probation?

Here’s why: Because the feds don’t want to give Jackson’s wife probation — they want to send them both to jail for significant periods of time.

Rationale: Despite Jackson’s plea to serve his sentence first, which was filed in a U.S. District Court memo Monday, Sneed is told the feds want Sandi to go to prison before Jesse Jr. — in hopes of countermanding a dramatic probation plea by her lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb.

Webb’s argument: Removing her from the couple’s two children would be destructive. Though the children live in Washington, D.C., Jackson Jr. reportedly shuttles between Washington and Chicago, where his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the rest of his family lives.

Begorrah! The Obama diaspora

Offaly sorry! President Barack Obama didn’t visit County Offaly, the land of his Protestant Irish ancestors, during the G-8 summit meeting in Northern Ireland this week.

But the first family had a great time ditching Dad and heading to Dublin in the Catholic south.

Cash splash: Michelle, Sasha and Malia stayed at Dublin’s swank Shelbourne Hotel on Monday night, in the $3,300-a-night Princess Grace suite. (Thirty rooms were also booked for the Obama entourage.)

Bono bash: The first family had lunch at Finnegan’s Pub in Dublin with rocker Bono and his family.

Hair scare: The first lady’s bangs, which the Celts call a “blunt fringe,” were given a snide snip by the press when Michelle appeared to have trouble keeping them out of her eyes while giving a speech.

Tree hee: The first family was told genealogists can say more about the Irish ancestry of President Obama than they can about former President John F. Kennedy when they were shown the family tree at Trinity College Monday. There ya go.

Family feud?

Is this a case of pride vs. power? Sneed hears there is tension between House Speaker Mike Madigan and his daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, over the state’s pension crisis.

Fact: House Speaker Mike Madigan’s state pension plan is pissing off the labor unions.

Fact: Madigan’s daughter, Lisa, who is a major vote-getter planning to run for governor, has been the recipient of major campaign donations from labor unions and needs union support to win. Tension has reached such a high level, Sneed is told nervous labor leaders met with Lisa privately Monday at her campaign office.

Fact: “Mike and Lisa are devoted to each other, but Mike is concerned about his legacy,” said a top source. “He is a political savant and was initially against his daughter running for political office years ago because she hadn’t paid her dues. But she forged ahead anyway and has done a great job. But this is about him this time, not her, and the pension crisis is a sticky wicket for Lisa.”

The Cup’s it!

Lord Stanley’s Cup, which the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are battling over, made its Chicago debut last Friday at River North hotspot American Junkie, at a private reception hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Will it be back? Fingers crossed.

I spy

Blackhawks ace Patrick Kane celebrated his hat trick (and his team’s entrance into the Stanley Cup finals) at Chicago Cut Steakhouse June 11, and fellow Cut diners gave him a standing ovation for three minutes. . . N.J. Gov. Chris Christie was spotted at RPM Italian Thursday night. . . Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski, a Chicago native, stopped by Rosebud on Rush Thursday. . . and Bears kicker Robbie Gould stopped by the revamped Centro recently.


Wednesday’s birthdays: Macklemore, 30; Paula Abdul, 51, and Jean Dujardin, 41.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.