Jesse Jackson Jr. didn't read his own book: 'It's About the Money!'

Is that a reason to mitigate prison time? No.

A reading of the plea agreement signed by Jesse Jackson Jr. on Wednesday doesn't lead you to believe he was out of control. It's full of admissions about hiding signatures, setting up straw purchases with campaign staff as fronts, and other devious methods to shield who was buying the elk heads and other stuff.

One of the places the Jacksons dropped oodles of campaign cash is Antiquities of Nevada, where the Jacksons spent thousands of dollars on celebrity autographed items, like a football signed by U.S. presidents.

"I'm a high-end autograph gallery, and certainly people furnish their man caves, their corporate offices, their law offices, their homes," owner Toby Stoffa told us after the Jacksons pleaded guilty. "It's a gallery that has beautiful things."

The gallery, located at Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, attracts travelers from all over the world and is a big hit with celebrities and others with deep pockets.

"He usually had things in mind and he was a very, very nice person," she said, correcting herself to say that he "is" a nice person.

"He was always a gentleman."

Why wouldn't he be a gentleman? He was getting stuff with other people's money.

Another fine section in "It's About the Money!" is Chapter 8: "Dealing With Major Life Events."

It involves paying for college, divorce, and buying cars and stocks. But there's nothing in it about losing a job or pension, going to prison or trying to hide your elk heads when the FBI comes knocking.

There is this sentence, though, and perhaps Junior and Sandi didn't appreciate it until now:

"You need to pay your taxes, whatever your income bracket. It is your civic duty, and it is the law."

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

CHICAGO

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