Chicago Style

Former Democratic Rep. Mel Reynolds continues his winning ways

Former Illinois Democratic Rep. Mel Reynolds was arrested Monday in Zimbabwe after police learned that he was making pornographic films in hotels where he had accumulated $24,500 in unpaid bills, and that he had overstayed his visa by two months.

A former Reynolds assistant told the state-controlled newspaper The Herald that the Democratic pol had been paying a model and several other girls to produce his pornos.

…Reynolds, once a close confidante of Rev. Jesse Jackson, resigned in disgrace after two years in Congress when he was convicted of 12 counts of statutory rape, solicitation of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

He was found guilty in 1995 of having sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker. Police ran a sting against the congressman when his mistress, who was too young to vote, told her next-door neighbor about the sexual relationship.

That neighbor was a Chicago police officer. In later taped phone conversations, the teen promised him a three-way sex romp with a 15-year-old Catholic schoolgirl.

‘Did I win the Lotto?’ Reynolds was heard exclaiming on tape.

While serving a five-year prison sentence, the disgraced Reynolds was convicted on unrelated bank fraud charges in 1997, including lying to Securities and Exchange Commission investigators.

He received another six and a half years, but President Bill Clinton later commuted his sentence when he still had three years left to serve.

Naturally, his screwing of teenagers has led to all of us getting screwed:

It was Reynolds’ trysts with the 16-year-old campaign aide that opened up Barack Obama’s first opportunity to enter politics.

Following the Congressman’s indictment, state Senator Alice Palmer leaped forward to challenge him in a Democratic primary. Obama immediately put his name forward to win the open state legislative post, starting his meteoric rise to the White House.

A friend from Obama’s community organizing days had been Palmer’s campaign manager, and made an introduction.

What a tangled web we weave.

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