Jesse Jr. Shows Wife The Campaign Money

Congressman has paid wife $247K since 2001

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.’s congressional campaign organization has paid his wife at least $247,500 since 2001, including at least $95,000 after Sandi Jackson joined the Chicago City Council two years ago, Bloomberg News reported, citing federal election records.

Jackson's staff says it's all legal, but others question whether it's ethical.

An additional $299,000 was paid by the Congressman's political committe to Sandi Jackson's consulting firm, J. Donatella and Associates.  There were also payments to Lee Stevens and Lee Steven -- Sandi Jackson's middle and maiden name.  Jesse Jackson's office cites a software glitch.

If you're doing the math, it comes up to about $547,000.

"I know that they said it was inadvertent. It seems like an interesting error," said Bloomberg News reporter Timothy Burger, who uncovered the payments. "When you tally up all those numbers, the payments to his spouse's salary and then the contributions to her campaigns, although he's not the first in Illinois to help a family member to run for office, it seemed very news worthy."

Jesse Jackson's spokesman, Rick Ryant, said "there is nothing wrong and nothing new here," in a statement released Thursday, adding that Sandi Jackson is paid "fair market value for bonafide services."

Those who support Jackson say that more than 40 Republican congressman also pay their family members or contribute to their family members' campaigns.

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