This is just perfect. A guy tossed out of Congress and into prison for having sex with an underage campaign volunteer, among other crimes, is tossing his baggage into the ring in a bid to win the seat of the disgraced Jesse Jackson, Jr. His criminal history should only serve as a resume-enhancer in that district.
Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds said he will ask voters to focus on his congressional experience rather than his state and federal criminal record as he announced his bid today for the seat held by Jesse Jackson Jr., who has resigned.
At a downtown hotel news conference, Reynolds acknowledged having made “mistakes” in the past. For his campaign, he will try to assume the mantle of an incumbent while also seeking redemption from voters. Red and white campaign signs urged voters to “re-elect” Reynolds “so he can finish the work” while another stark red sign with white letters said simply: “Redemption.”
Reynolds held the 2nd Congressional District seat from 1993 until October 1995, when a Cook County jury convicted him of several sex-related charges, including having sex with an underage volunteer campaign worker. While serving time in state prison, Reynolds also was convicted on federal financial and campaign fraud charges. President Bill Clinton commuted Reynolds’ sentence to time served in 2001.
Sex with a minor, financial and fraud charges. A regular model Democrat. I wish I could find the audio, but I recall Rush Limbaugh playing a tape years ago. Some of it is transcribed here as Reynolds and his underage paramour were setting up a three-way.
An Illinois jury convicted Reynolds in 1995 for having a sexual relationship with Beverly Heard, age 16. Their story reads like a low-rent Lolita. They first met in June 1992 when Reynolds was driving around Chicago’s Morgan Park High School.
“I was on my way home,” Heard testified. “Mr. Reynolds was in his car, and he stopped his car and gestured for me to come over to the car.” Heard said the representative offered his business card and soon began phoning to say how good she would look in the nude. Heard recalled that between June and November 1992, “most of the time when we saw each other, we had sex,” usually twice or thrice a week, including trysts in an apartment and at Reynolds’s congressional field office.
Heard eventually approached police who taped phone conversations in which Reynolds asked her to photograph the breasts and genitalia of “Theresa,” an imaginary 15-year-old girl Heard invented as bait. Reynolds asked Heard to arrange a three-way encounter with “Theresa.” When Heard told the legislator that “Theresa” was a Catholic school girl, Reynolds replied: “Did I win the Lotto?”
Reynolds was convicted of soliciting child pornography, criminal sexual assault, and obstruction of justice for trying to spirit Heard to Tennessee when the scandal broke. Under Illinois law, Reynolds must register with Chicago police as a convicted sex offender.