Yesterday, we discussed how voters in Chicago reelected Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. despite his appearance for months without any explanation and criminal investigation into his alleged misuse of campaign funds and alleged effort to buy a Senate seat. While Jackson thanked his voters for keeping him in office and pledged to work for them in Washington, reports now indicate that Jackson has been negotiating a plea bargain on the criminal charges with prosecutors.
Jackson has been out of contact at Mayo Clinic where he is being treated for depression and bipolar disorder.
Jackson is being investigated not only for allegedly using campaign funds to decorate his Washington home but also may have used campaign funds to buy a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend.
He is also under ethical investigation for allegedly discussing the payment of campaign money to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in return for an appointment to the Senate seat vacated by Obama.
Democratic politicians, including President Obama, have refused to call for Jackson’s departure from Congress so not to anger his powerful father. Moreover, his wife holds a seat on the City Council in Chicago as part of a political dynasty for the Jackson family. The family has many critics in Chicago for their amassed wealth and power.
While I am sympathetic with anyone suffering from mental illness and I do believe that such individuals should be allowed to seek treatment without loss of their positions, Jackson’s dismal record began long ago and his constituents have gone without a representative in Congress for many months. If it is true that he has been negotiating a plea bargain while running for reelection (without actually showing up to campaign), those concerns are only magnified.
Source: Sun Times