Jesse Jackson Jr. worked for organized crime union

Jesse Jackson worked for a HERE in 1995. A union dominated and controlled by the Chicago Mob. Photo: AP

CHICAGO, July 15, 2012 — In 1995 United States Congressman Mel Reynolds (D-IL), in the glorious tradition of Chicago Democrats, wound up in prison on corruption charges. There were also charges that the married Reynolds had an inappropriate relationship with an under-aged girl. Tsk. Tsk. 

Jesse Jackson, Jr. was one of the candidates who threw his hat into the ring to fill the vacant seat left by Reynolds.   

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned his job as a union “organizer” to run for Congress. Supposedly he “organized” hotel and restaurant employees through the National Rainbow Coalition, founded by his father, on behalf of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE). 

HERE was one of the most politically powerful unions in Chicago. Its president, Edward Hanley was one of the most powerful and politically important men in Chicago. HERE and Edward Hanley were dominated, controlled, and owned by the Chicago Crime Syndicate.   

Jackson’s fifty-six thousand dollar salary was paid by HERE. Reverend Jesse Jackson knowingly and willingly entered into a political partnership and alliance with a well-known notorious Mob union. The Mob union paid his son’s salary in exchange for “organizing,” whatever that is. Conveniently or coincidently, during the time Jackson was working for the union it was very publicly under fire by the government, again, for being dominated by the Mob. 

Why would the good, upright, overly self-righteous reverend forge a political alliance and relationship with a notorious organized crime entity? 

HERE was started, owned and operated by the Chicago Crime Syndicate. For over three decades the union had been continuously and publicly investigated for being controlled by organized crime. 

Chicago Crime boss Tony Accardo and underboss Joey “Doves” Aiuppa owned HERE president, Edward Hanley, lock, stock, and barrel. HERE also had ties to the Gambino and Columbo crime families in New York City as well as La Cosa Nostra in Philadelphia. 

As far back as 1958 the McClellan Committee revealed that the Chicago Mob had infiltrated the Chicago restaurant industry through domination and control of its unions, especially HERE. Accardo and Aiuppa had total control over HERE for over forty years. HERE president Edward Hanley was alleged to have been hand picked by Accardo to run the union through Aiuppa. 

In 1977, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that HERE was a classic example of organized crime’s domination of a major labor union. HERE was investigated for ties to organized crime again in 1984. Testifying before the United States Senate, union president Hanley took the Fifth Amendment 36 times. 

In 1985, the President’s Commission on Organized Crime claimed that HERE was one of the four most corrupt unions in the United States. 

In 1995, the year Jackson Jr. worked for them HERE was investigated for racketeering and corruption. They finally agreed to take on a federal court appointed monitor to clean up the union. 

When questioned by the media over his ties to the Mob union, candidate Jesse Jackson Jr. could not remember where, when, or how he did “organizing” for the union. He could not even remember the name of the union president who paid his salary. 

People who work for the Mob have a propensity to develop extremely bad memories. 

Though not being able to supply specifics, the younger Jackson said, ‘I organized at hotels, I organized at picket lines around this country, organized workers and fought to raise the minimum wage.’ ’We have a very mutual and a very cordial relationship,’ he said of the partnership between the Rainbow Coalition and the hotel workers union. Later, he said that even if he had known about the union’s questionable history, he would still have taken the money because it helped him improve the lives of working people.” (Chicago Tribune/John Kass) 

Even if he had known about the union being controlled by the mob he still would have taken their money? That is a startling admission. More astounding, he claimed he did not know he was being paid by the Mob. Everyone in Chicago with half a brain knew who controlled and operated HERE. 

During a media candidate’s forum, when Jackson’s judgment over taking Mob money was questioned, “Jackson shot back that as a magna cum laude undergraduate and a graduate of the University of Illinois Law School, ‘I don’t think my judgment is questionable.’” (Chicago Tribune/John Kass) 

Maybe not, but his intelligence, ethics, integrity, and morals were beyond questionable. 

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. said in an interview that working to help people get better wages and benefits was more important than HERE’s known Crime Syndicate control. The ends justify any evil means when it comes to social and moral justice, whatever those are. 

What did the Mob get from the Jackson Family in exchange for the “political alliance and relationship” and Junior’s generous salary? The Chicago Mob is not exactly known for its altruistic tendencies or social proclivities. If they give they expect something more, way more in return. In effect, they own you. 

That is the way it is and always has been. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not live on this planet. 

Why is all this important? The missing without a trace congressman is running for reelection. Being the Chicago Machine candidate means Jackson does not have to do anything except stay missing. Jackson will be reelected. He will reappear on the day congressmen are sworn in. Maybe he will disappear immediately afterward. 

It’s not like anyone will notice or care anymore. 

Since we never vetted President Obama and others, we learned a very important lesson; it is extremely critical that every single candidate, especially incumbents, be thoroughly vetted. 

What exactly did Jesse Jackson do in return for being a paid Mob union “organizer”? What did the Jackson Family get in return for selling their soul to the Mob? What did they give in return? 

Who did Junior organize, where did he organize, how did he organize, what did he organize, and when did he organize? How many known Mob associates assisted him in his “organizing” efforts? 

Or, as is more likely and typical, was he just paid for a Mob union no show job, kicking back part of his salary to the boys? That is the way mob union “organizing” jobs usually work. 

There are more questions than answers. Jesse Jackson Jr. needs to explain his Mob ties. 

As soon as we find him. 

Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur.  He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys.  His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. 

pvbella@gmail.com 

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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