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New twist in long J3 saga

Monday, Sep 24, 2012

* This guy has become a walking PR disaster

Listings for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s (D-Ill.) Dupont Circle home have been removed from public view.

After news broke on Wednesday that Jackson’s house was put up for sale, an online tour of the house and a public listing on a real estate website were both taken down. The Multiple Listing Services (MLS) listing for the house was removed on Wednesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday. A spokesman for Jackson Jr. told the Chicago paper that the listing had been made private. Similarly, a virtual tour of the house on YouTube was taken down after news broke that the house was up for sale on Wednesday.

* Sun-Times

When asked to respond to Jackson opponents who said the house sale was a sign the congressman’s future prospects were doubtful, Lampe said: “it’s speculation.”

“His name is still on the ballot,” Lampe said. When pressed to comment on whether Jackson were still running for reelection, Lampe repeated: “He’s still on the ballot.”

Lampe later added: “We’re waiting for the doctor to release him to send him back to work.”

Jackson aides indicated last week that the couple put the house on the market to defray the cost of medical bills. The Sun-Times reported last week that the couple took out a $405,000 loan against the Washington D.C. home two years ago. The couple also owns a home in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.

The Jacksons have offered little public comment since Jackson took a leave from his congressional post on June 10.

The property was placed on the market Sept. 8, according to real estate data.

That’s one day after Jackson aides announced the congressman had been released from Mayo Clinic and was back with his kids in Washington, D.C. “He may be back to work on Monday,” his spokesman said at the time and his wife, Sandi, had said her husband intended on staying in office.

* Laura Washington is losing patience

What’s going on with you? It is impossible to discern the truth behind the cloak of secrecy, obfuscation and spin that you have created.

How can voters count on you to be an effective advocate if you can’t manage credible, substantive communications about your illness and political future?

* Phil Kadner has already lost his patience

An impression has been created, through statements released to the news media, that Jackson is no longer capable of making decisions for himself.

There is an appearance that his wife, Sandi Jackson, a Chicago alderwoman, is making all the important decisions for him.

If that’s in fact the case, Jesse Jackson Jr. should step down as congressman.

While every elected official relies heavily on the counsel of family and political associates, they are ultimately expected to determine for themselves how to vote and what issues to advocate or oppose.

There has been no evidence since Jackson took his medical leave of absence from Congress several months ago that he is capable of making such decisions on his own.

If Jackson plans on returning to Congress after the November election, he should make it clear immediately that he is capable of fulfilling his duties.

* Eric Zorn

It will be best for the voters if Jackson stays in, then resigns if he must after his inevitable victory so that a field of candidates can vie for the seat in a special election.

I’m guessing, therefore, that the pressure now on him to resign is intense.

And because what’s best for the voters is so seldom on the political agenda, I’m not optimistic that he’ll hang on.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Hank - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    The entire selling to pay the medical bills is pure BS. He is a sitting congress critter and has the best freeking health care plan on the planet. I’ll be happy to introduce him to some folks who actually had to sell homes, cars and other assets to pay the medical bills. C’mon media quit repeating this nonsense


  2. - Will Caskey - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 2:36 pm:

    Sure, he’s a walking PR disaster. He’s always been. And as this year’s primary demonstrated, he’s also employed for life. When was JJJ going to be more vulnerable than this year, coming off a federal investigation and having spent about $30K in campaign funds on his mistress’ club? And consistently raising no money, despite being on the Appropriations Committee?

    Yet no one wanted to primary him except the only candidate worse at campaigns and at life than him, Debbie Halvorson. Primaries in Illinois are apparently an order of magnitude worse than JJJ’s record.

    The press might be annoyed but he has his seat for as long as he wants it.


  3. - John Parnell - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    I haven’t been a fan of Jesse Jr.’s. But I think people are underestimating the difficulty of overcoming severe depression. The medication for depression doesn’t always work, and often requires additional medication to counteract the effects of the anti-depressants. The weight loss operation he underwent has been found to result in medical problems, and the added effects of the ethics inquiry would justify severe depression.
    All of the reporters who think they medical experts should give him a break.


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 3:54 pm:

    =All of the reporters who think they medical experts should give him a break.=
    I strongly disagree. JJJ is pulling down a very nice salary and not doing anything to earn it or represent the people of his district. If he is not able to recover, resign.


  5. - Wensicia - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 3:56 pm:

    I agree with Zorn, Jackson should stay in until after the elections. He’ll easily win, though Marcus Lewis is complaining on Zorn’s blog the press is ignoring him in favor of a Jackson victory.

    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/09/equal-time.html#comments


  6. - lake county democrat - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:32 pm:

    Laura Washington wants Jackson to resign because she’s a Preckwinkle/Barrios ally. Zorn is absolutely correct.


  7. - Responsa - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    Has there been any sighting of JJJ at all outside his family? I should think that no matter what his over all medical and mental condition is, that with medication and support he should be able to sit to make a short appearance from his living room, a prepared you tube video– or something –to reassure people. This is starting to feel more and more like the John Stroger “disappearing act”. (I hope it isn’t, but it really is starting to look like that to a lot of people.)


  8. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    I don’t really have a problem with him being out due to his health and it was unlikely the sale of the house is due to medical bills (between his coverage with the house and her coverage with the city).

    If you were him, why resign now? If he gives it a bit more time his health may be back to where it needs to be and if not it makes it that much easier to have a role in picking his replacement.


  9. - One to the Dome - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 5:42 pm:

    JJJ should stay in. Why would he quit and let Barrios pick anybody unless a deal was done? a free for all special election would be better to let voters decide!


  10. - Whitey - Monday, Sep 24, 12 @ 7:49 pm:

    There is such an ugly stigma with mental illness in this country.

    Of course he has to keep this hush hush…his enemies will use this bias against him. boo hoo on Kander and Washington losing patience. They probably don’t live in his district anyway.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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