Chicagoland, Part One

“Swell” Mel Reynolds, a former Congressman who represented portions of Chicago, has been arrested in Zimbabwe on pornography charges. He is accused of bringing Zimbabwean models and other women to his hotel room and taking pornographic photos and videos of them.

Reynolds reportedly filmed more than 100 videos and shot 2,000 nude pictures of at least 10 different women. In the process, he reportedly ran up a hotel bill of $24,500 which he has not yet paid.

We’ve written about Reynolds before in connection with the modern history of the congressional district he once represented. Reynolds unseated Gus Savage after Savage was investigated by a House ethics panel for sexual misconduct involving a Peace Corps volunteer while he was on an official congressional visit to Zaire. The committee condemned his behavior and Savage apologized.

Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995, after a jury found him guilty of having sex with an underage campaign worker. He later was convicted of federal charges of bank and campaign fraud. He remained in jail until President Clinton commuted his sentence in January 2001.

The transgressions of Reynolds successor Jesse Jackson, Jr., are well known. He misappropriated $750,000 of campaign funds, converting them to personal use, such as home furnishings, improper travel and gifts. Jackson was convicted, along with his wife, and sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Reynolds had the audacity to hope that he would succeed Jackson. In 2012, following the latter’s downfall, Reynolds announced his candidacy for the congressional seat. He called his campaign “Redemption.” But the voters declined to redeem Reynolds (even Chicago has its limits) and now, it seems, he has failed to redeem himself.

JOHN adds: War on women, anyone?


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