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National media elite come to town, learn how "Congress is nuthin' " here

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Chicago political operative Frank Coconate, pictured in 2002, right. Sun-Times file photo

Chicago political scenesters Frank Coconate and Frank Avila Jr. rarely enjoy the local media spotlight, but they figure prominently in the Washington Post's lengthy article on beleaguered U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

According to the newly published article in the Post's "Style" section, Chicago is "a place with its own sense of hierarchies, a place where [Jackson] wanted so desperately to impress" by becoming something more significant than a congressman.

The Post turned to Coconate, a longtime campaign operative on the Northwest Side, to buttress that point, and the elite East Coast media outlet did not even bother to conceal his Chicago accent.

"Junior is a very insecure person," Coconate told the Post. "When you're in Chicago and you come in and say you're in Congress . . . Congress is nuthin'."

Coconate also told the newspaper Jackson "sometimes boasted that he was a reincarnated Greek chariot driver."

Avila, a lawyer whose father is a Water Reclamation District commissioner, claimed Jackson would "prance naked, demonstrating martial arts moves, while the others stayed wrapped in towels" at a Turkish bath he frequented here.

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