is running for Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush
Jackson is the executive director of Black Star Project
, a non-profit corporation. On August 29, 2005, Black Star Project gave $600 to Sen. Kimberly Lightford
Tax exempt non-profit organizations aren't supposed to give money to political campaigns. However, it is legal to pay salaries and have the staff contribute to campaigns. This allows the government to get a bite of the action through the income tax. Skipping this step is sorta like cheating the taxman.
Jackson non only is the executive director of Black Star Project, he's the former CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority and has held other executive positions in government and the non-profit sector. He's a sophisticated guy, so I'm surprised he did something that's pretty dumb.
The Attorney General's office says Lightford's campaign did nothing wrong by accepting the money. The non-profit is the only party running afoul of the law.
That's good news for Lightford, because Black Star Project isn't the only non-profit that gave to her campaign. Lightford also took $300 from the Austin Childcare Provider Network in August, 2005. The Austin Childcare Provider Network gets $100,000 per year from the State Board of Education (out of a total budget of $400,000). As chair of the education committee, Lightford oversees the budget that included this grant.
Does Black Star Project get grants from the State Board of Education?
If there was an explicit quid pro quo, Lightford's conduct would be illegal, if difficult to prove.