The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Who's Got the Clout?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Nov 1, 2007 3:07PM

2007_11_jackson.jpgJesse Jackson Jr wants the FEC to tell him whether he can use his campaign funds to help his wife, 7th Ward Alderman Sandi, to unseat Bill "Hog With the Big Nuts" Beavers as ward committeeman. In the advisory opinion request he submitted to the federal commission on October 15, he specifically asked for clarification on several issues, including how much money, if any, his re-election campaign can give his wife, as well as the possibility of the two co-ordinating their campaigns. Federal election law doesn't bar using funds from a federal campaign to assist a local campaign, and neither Illinois nor Chicago election laws bar the practice. Jackson says he just wants to be sure.

Sandi Jackson's race against Beavers for the committeeman post may be the final chapter in the family feud that has defined a power dynamic in the South Side black community. Junior's beef with the Beavers family goes back to 1995, when he beat Beavers ally and state Senator Emil Jones in a special election to fill Mel Reynold's congressional seat. Reynolds was later imprisoned on sex and fraud convictions. The fight flared up again last year when Sandi beat Bill's daughter Darcel for 7th Ward alderman. Currently, Bill Beavers controls the party in Sandi's jurisdiction, blessing or condemning candidates and handling political party appointments. Taking Bill out of the influential ward committeeman post will consolidate Junior's power on the South Side, and one new political dynasty ousts another.