There may be some good news at last for ex-Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, wife of disgraced Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
"The hottest rumor to come down the political pike: Speculation President Barack Obama may pardon former Ald. Sandi Jackson before he leaves office in January 2017," Sun-Times political reporter Michael Sneed said Monday.
The couple was sentenced to prison time in August after pleading guilty using some $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish and often bizarre personal expenses. The former congressman was sentenced to 30 months of jail time for his illegal spending while his wife was sentenced to one year for filing false tax returns.
Jackson Jr. begins his prison term Nov. 1. Sandi Jackson's lawyers were able to get an order from the judge allowing her to remain free to care for the couple's young children until her husband completes his term.
In his combined terms as president, Obama has pardoned 39 people, most recently granting clemency to 17 felons convicted of non-violent offenses this past March. According an analysis from ProPublica, Obama has granted clemency at a lower rate than any other president in modern history.
If Obama were to grant Sandi Jackson a pardon when he leaves office, the Sun-Times notes she will have already served half of her sentence.
Earlier on HuffPost:
Dinner at CityZen in Washington, D.C., $466.30
Jackson Jr. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/us/politics/jesse-l-jackson-jr-pleads-guilty-to-wire-and-mail-fraud.html">had quite the dinner there in 2010</a>, the New York Times reports. The Jacksons spent over $60,000 in campaign cash on dining and drinking out at restaurants, nightclubs and lounges.
Men's Rolex watch, $43,350
<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-20/news/chi-jesse-jackson-jr-sandi-jackson-plea-hearings-wednesday-20130219_1_sandi-jackson-congressman-jesse-jackson-campaign-funds">Jackson Jr. bought the high-priced Rolex in 2007</a> using cash from a bank account he opened under the title "Jesse Jackson Jr. for Congress," the Chicago Tribune reports.
Personal airfare, $31,700
That's a lot of frequent flyer miles.
Michael Jackson memorabilia, about $28,000
Jackson Jr. purchased about $28,000 worth of Michael Jackson goodies, including a fedora hat (for $4,600), as well as what is described as a "Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen guitar (for $4,000)." The memorabilia was purchased from Antiquities of Nevada. <em>Pictured:</em> The black felt fedora worn by Jackson during his last performance at the Apollo Theatre in April 2002 is on display at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on the first day of Julien's two-day Music Icons and Sports Legends auction, June 23, 2012.
Tobacco shops, $17,163.36
Jackson Jr. has a well-documented penchant for cigars -- <a href="http://www.thedaily.com/article/2012/10/16/101612-news-jesse-jackson-jr/">and was reportedly seen smoking one</a> by The Daily last fall.
Dry cleaning services, $14,513.42
Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia, about $11,000
Flat-screen TVs and other Best Buy merchandise, $10,997
Multiple flat-screen TVs were among $10,997 <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/02/20/details-of-jackson-familys-improper-spending-of-campaign-funds/">worth of items purchased at a Best Buy by the Jackson in November 2007</a>, CBS Chicago notes. Other items included Blu-Ray DVD players and DVDs.
Bruce Lee memorabilia, about $10,000
Jackson Jr. bought roughly $10,000 in Bruce Lee memorabilia.
2 Stuffed Elk Heads, $8,000
According to DNAinfo Chicago, Jackson Jr. <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130220/south-shore-below-79th/jesse-jackson-jr-pleads-guilty">gave his campaign treasurer more than $8,000</a> to buy two mounted elk heads from a Montana taxidermist in 2008. They were shipped in 2011. An undercover FBI agent who said they were an interior designer lat year offered to buy the heads from the treasurer.
Five-day retreat at Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat, $5,687.75
The retreat was reportedly taken by a relative of Sandi Jackson's in November 2008.
Fur capes and parkas, $5,150
Multiple fur purchases reportedly included a cashmere cape from Edwards-Lowell Furs in Beverly Hills.
The cruise was reportedly taken in June 2006.
Jimi Hendrix memorabilia, $2,775
The Hendrix memorabilia was purchased in February 2010.
Trip to Disney World Resort, $2,306
The trip was reportedly taken in March 2007.
Stuffed animals from Build-A-Bear, $313.89
<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-jesse-jackson-jr-sandi-jackson-plea-hearings-wednesday-20130219,0,1510803.story">The Build-A-Bear stuffed animals</a> were purchased around Christmastime in 2007 and 2008, according to the Chicago Tribune.