UPDATE: I forgot to include this feel-good story, related to Mel Reynolds’ plans to take another stab at “public service.”
You can’t keep a good man down, or even a not so good man who likes to get down, like disgraced former Congressman Mel Reynolds. He was a Barack Obama type, with the cool persona, the Harvard degree, and the left-wing agenda, and without the hip biracial, multi-cultural background. Unfortunately for Mr. Reynolds, there was one other teensy weensy difference between B. Hussein Obama and Mr. Reynolds. If you’ve forgotten him, here’s a little refresher, from the Chicago Tribune:
Reynolds held the 2nd Congressional District seat from 1993 until October 1995, when a Cook County jury convicted him of several sex-related charges, including having sex with an underage volunteer campaign worker. While serving time in state prison, Reynolds also was convicted on federal financial and campaign fraud charges. President Bill Clinton commuted Reynolds’ sentence to time served in 2001.
Ruh-roh. I wonder if Bill Clinton tried to explain to Mel that it’s OK to be a skirt chaser, as long as the skirts are worn by females over the age of 18, not 16 year-old campaign volunteers, or (imaginary) 15 year-old Catholic schoolgirls.
Now that the current representative of the 2nd District, Jesse Jackson, Jr,, is on the way out, apparently Mel wants his old job back. Also from the Chicago Tribune:
Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds said he will ask voters to focus on his congressional experience rather than his state and federal criminal record as he announced his bid today for the seat held by Jesse Jackson Jr., who has resigned.
At a downtown hotel news conference, Reynolds acknowledged having made “mistakes” in the past. For his campaign, he will try to assume the mantle of an incumbent while also seeking redemption from voters. Red and white campaign signs urged voters to “re-elect” Reynolds “so he can finish the work” while another stark red sign with white letters said simply: “Redemption.”
Of course, the 2nd District has had an “interesting” history, as the Chicago Tribune article notes:
Reynolds replaced Gus Savage, a controversial and outspoken congressman who was condemned by the House Ethics Committee amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving a Peace Corps volunteer while he was on an official congressional visit to Zaire.
After Reynolds resigned, Jackson won a special election in 1995 to succeed him. But after 17 years, Jackson stepped down last week amid federal ethics investigations and a diagnosis of bipolar depression.
As I often say, you can’t make this stuff up.
One commentator says that Mel Reynolds opened the door for Barack Obama, which is just another reason to despise him. This being Illinois, though, it’s certainly not a reason for the District’s foolish voters not to elect him.
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