The Jacksons both cried yesterday as they were sentenced to prison for plundering $750,000 from Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign fund, but don't let that fool you, writes John Kass in the Chicago Tribune. Both Jacksons graduated from law school; both are experienced politicos. Therefore both of them know they "got off easy," Kass writes. The judge "didn't bring her federal hammer down. She didn't throw the book at them. She didn't even give them a sharp slap on the wrist. ... This is not a tragedy for the Jacksons. It's a victory."
Don't believe Kass? He suggests you go ahead and try stealing $10,000, or even a few hundred bucks from your local gas station, and see what kind of sentence you receive—and what kind of lawyer you get (the Jacksons had "high-priced legal talent working pro bono"). Nothing about that hypothetical situation would end up as cushy as the Jacksons had it, and will continue to have it, Kass writes. He also takes issue with one of those high-priced lawyers, who suggested that stealing campaign cash is a victimless crime. If that's true, then a campaign fund is "nothing but a box full of bribes." Click for his full column.