When former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiring with his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, to keep some $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use, the story quickly became Wednesday's most-read story on chicagotribune.com, and the subject of much commentary online.
Comments below the story remarked on the Jackson family's history in Chicago -- the former congressman's father is Rev. Jesse Jackson -- and Chicago's own history (much of it recent) with corruption convictions.
Readers facing state budget shortfalls because of pension funding woes expressed interest in the final outcome for the Jacksons' pensions. A few remarked on the wide arc of Jesse Jackson's Jr. career. A few expressed sympathy, though many did not.
On Twitter, Chicagoans recalled encounters with members of the Jackson family:
Some asked questions:
Q I'd like to see answered in the Jesse Jackson Jr. case: is there a rule specifying exactly what qualifies as legit campaign expenses?— Hilary Shenfeld (@HilaryShen) February 20, 2013
Some expressed disappointment and shared the Tribune's editorial:
Covering the Jacksons' political fall involved Tribune reporters and photographers in Washington and in Chicago, the work of our News Apps team to bring to our readers a copy of the charges against Jesse Jackson Jr. and his full plea agreement, as well as to collect into a single visual timeline all of our recent coverage of the congressman's political, health and criminal troubles. Additional Tribune voices joined the conversation throughout the day, including Tribune columnist Clarence Page: Even politicians, he noted, can't mess with the IRS.
We'll keep working to update the story
-- James Janega, Trib Nation manager