POLITICS: Campaigns

Furs fly in auction of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s ill-gotten bling

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Politics,Congress,Alabama,Corruption,Darrell Issa,Campaigns

The fur is flying in a U.S. Marshal Service's auction of goods seized from former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. that officials hope will help repay some of the $750,000 owed by the prison-bound Chicago congressman.

Jackson and his wife, former Chicago Alderwoman Sandra Jackson, were convicted on charges that they spent $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, including celebrity keepsakes and flashy outerwear.

The auction, which continues at Txauction.com through Sept. 26, includes an autograph of karate star Bruce Lee and a guitar signed by both rocker Eddie Van Halen and King of Pop Michael Jackson.

But the hottest items up for grabs in the Jackson auction are four mink coats, including a crimson cashmere cape with dyed black mink trim. Bidding was also brisk on a black mink hooded parka and a second cashmere cape with brown mink trim.

Other items the Jacksons bought with the ill-gotten cash include two stuffed elk heads and a football signed by U.S. presidents, but those items are not included in this auction.

 

GOP PREVIEWS ELECTION ATTACKS ON OBAMACARE

In a potential preview of how Republicans will attack Obamacare during the 2014 mid-term elections, a congressional candidate in Alabama launched a new ad comparing President Obama's health care law unfavorably with the Bible and Constitution.

In the ad, Wells Griffith, one of 12 Republican candidates running in a Sept. 24 special election, says: "My parents taught me to look to the Bible and Constitution for wisdom and guidance in life. But this document, Obamacare, this is why I'm running for Congress."

The ad culminates with Griffith throwing a copy of the health care law in the trash.

Although the television spot is a blip nationally — a five-figure, one-week buy in a Republican primary race — it provides an early look at how Republicans might approach the issue of Obamacare nationwide during the mid-term elections.

Griffith's ad was produced by the same political media and consulting group that has been tapped by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election campaign and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy's bid for Senate against Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., among other high-profile races.

Republican polling, meanwhile, has shown Obamacare to be a ripe target for political attacks. A poll conducted on behalf of the National Republican Senatorial Committee found that two-thirds of Louisianans oppose the law, a trend that holds in many competitive races.

 

ISSA BACK ON TOP AS RICHEST IN CONGRESS

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, is back on top as the richest member of Congress, according to Roll Call.

The Capitol Hill newspaper's annual survey of The 50 Richest Members of Congress shows that Issa, who made money manufacturing car alarms, has a net worth of $355.38 million. He moved up from third place last year after raking in $135 million in 2012, mostly from Wall Street investments.

This year's list, base on 2012 financial disclosure forms, includes four senators and six congressmen, three Republicans and seven Democrats, nine men and one woman. Three of the top 10 are from California. In addition to Issa, the Roll Call lists includes:

» Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, $114.1 million

» Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., $96.31 million

» Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $85.77 million

» Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., $83.77 million

» Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., $68.35 million

» Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., $68.13 million

» Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., $44.74 million

» Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $41.78 million

» Rep. James B. Renacci, R-Ohio, $35.9 million

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