Of note today:
Jesse Jackson suddenly ready to deal:
Just days after winning a handy reelection to his Chicago-area district, 17-year Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., has entered negotiations for a plea deal that would include his resignation from Congress and likely jail time.
Jackson, Jr., the son of civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and husband to Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, has not yet pleaded guilty to alleged misuse of campaign funds to decorate his house and purchase a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend. But CBS Chicago reports the congressman’s lawyer, white-collar criminal defense attorney Dan Webb, is negotiating with the federal government a plea bargain that will likely be reached by year’s end.
The tentative deal includes Jackson, Jr.’s resignation from Congress for health reasons, a “guilty” plea involving misuse of campaign funds, and repayment of any contributions that were converted to personal use. At least some jail time is expected. Jackson, Jr.’s pension, which would pay out between $65,000 and $80,000 a year when he turns 62, is also part of the talks.
Is this the end for Pelosi?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who built and then lost the largest Democratic majority in a generation, is considering ending her historic 10-year reign as Democratic leader after the second disappointing election in a row for her caucus.
Pelosi has not signaled whether she intends to remain atop a caucus that she has ruled with a near-iron fist, including four years as the first female House speaker and six years in the minority.
Some Democratic insiders expect her decision by Wednesday, after Congress returns to try to forge a deal to avert a massive set of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
“She’s talking with members. When she’s ready to make an announcement, she will do so,” said Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesman.
These two no doubt know where a lot of the bodies are buried. It’s an especially neat trick for Jackson, since Gov. Pat Quinn, a real friend of Obama’s, will appoint his successor now that Jackson has won his reelection. As for Pelosi, the question is who will succeed her? Steny Hoyer likely expects a promotion, but I suspect some political maneuvering will go on so that he is thwarted in his chance. He’s an ugly little man, and I that’s not a comment on his looks, so he deserves it. James Clyburn who fought it out with Hoyer over the Whip position, is unlikely to get it since he publicly broke with Obama over gay marriage.
Are you finding anyone else on the chopping block? We should compile evidence of the purge, don’t you think?