The attorney general of Illinois clears Jesse Jackson's charities without even doing an audit.
That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
Attorney General Jim Ryan says he has reviewed reports from Jackson's charities and has found no irregularities.
So let me be clear, Jackson's people sent Mr. Ryan a series of reports which they put together. Ryan looked them over and said fine.
No independent audit. No scrutinizing the books.
And then Ryan announced he wants to give Jesse Jackson $300,000 in new grant money.
This despite the fact that Jackson took $775,000 from the State of Illinois to sign up children for "KidCare" insurance and so far, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, Jackson has signed up 151 poor families for that program. That averages out to an astounding $5,132 per family. And this is a federal grant so you and I are picking up the tab here.
And don't forget the $120,000 that the tax-exempt Citizenship Education Fund paid to Jackson's mistress Karin Stanford, which was left off the CEF's tax return.
Apparently Jackson's explanation that this was an oversight is enough for Attorney General Ryan. Also remember that the Citizenship Education Fund raised $12 million in '98-'99 and spent less than one percent on actual education.
So why is Attorney General Ryan giving Jackson a pass? Well, we asked Mr. Ryan to come on the program and explain but he would not do it.
Here's some insight Jim Ryan is running for governor of Illinois this year and needs the black vote to win.
Chicago Tribune writer John Kass wrote an interesting column mocking the elite media for just now finding out about Jesse Jackson's money madness.
"Imagine Jesse Jackson, playing the public race card with help from timid TV news networks, in order to leverage big bucks from American corporations... It makes you wonder if the name of Jackson's organization should be changed from PUSH to HUSH."
John Kass goes on to say:
"For those folks who get the Fox News Channel, they've got The O'Reilly Factor, the program that had the guts to take on Jackson first."
We thank Mr. Kass for pointing that out.
But Talking Points believes there is still much work to be done on this story. It looks like Attorney General Ryan is in the tank for Jackson and the IRS is still MIA.
Once again, just because you have power in America doesn't mean you should be able to do things other Americans can't do.
There is no question that Jesse Jackson has many unanswered questions on his plate. But with public servants like Jim Ryan we will never get any answers.
So we can only hope that maybe there is somebody, somewhere in our government who will do the right thing.
And that's the memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for the Most Ridiculous Item of the day.
Your tax money at work again.
According to The New York Daily News Chelsea Clinton recently went on a ski vacation in Aspen, accompanied by — get ready — six secret service agents.
Now if you've ever been to Aspen, Colorado you know how unbelievably expensive that place is and we are reasonably sure Chelsea and her entourage were not bunking for free with Hunter Thompson in Woody Creek.
We sincerely hope everybody had a good time, because we paid for it?
Ridiculous? You make the call.