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The alternative to AWOL Jesse Jackson Jr. is Brian Woodworth

The alternative to AWOL Jesse Jackson Jr. is Brian Woodworth

Once again, we hear via Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr’s wife Sandi that the AWOL representative from Illinois under investigation by the House Ethics Committee will remain in treatment even as the election approaches. According to his wife, Jackson will continue to stay at the Mayo Clinic, where he returned last week for bipolar disorder treatment. The congressman has been absent from his duties since June of this year and reportedly voted absentee in the upcoming election.

Despite this, Jackson retains a lead in the polls, pulling 58 percent of likely voters.

Enter his Republican challenger Brian Woodworth, a lawyer and educator who, though the longshot, just might have a chance to eke out a win in this predominately African American district if Jackson continues his disappearing act. Woodworth is currently pulling 27 percent of likely voters in his district. In response to a recent robocall put our by Jackson, the only peep to be heard in the months since June, Woodworth issued the following statement:

Congressman Jackson has finally reached out to his constituents through a robocall, in which he asks for patience and sympathy. We have been sympathetic towards him and prayed for his recovery from his condition. But there have been few times as critical as right now for our district to have representation, as our leaders search for answers to our economic crisis.

As we wait for the Congressman to return, we have no voice. And now the Congressman is saying he has no answer about when he will return. When Congress reconvenes, it will be deciding the fate of our nation. It will be formulating a budget. It will be deciding appropriations. It will be weighing out where federal money will be best spent to push our nation out of its crisis. And if Jackson is re-elected, we will continue to have no voice. There will be no one to stand and advocate for the critical decisions needed to get our economy rolling, and no one to negotiate for the needs of the district.
Pray for Jackson’s health and recovery but give him time to recover outside of the strain of high elected office. Do the right thing for the district and vote for a person who is capable of advocating for the 2nd Congressional District—Brian Woodworth.
Pulling off a victory like this isn’t unheard of in Illinois. In 1998, Senator Peter Fitzgerald managed a win as beleagured Senator Carol Moseley-Braun’s ethical violations mounted up. He ended up uniting both Democrats and Republicans behind his fiscally conservative, but independent approach to governing.
If Jackson wins it will only be a matter of time before party bosses force a resignation and put in another pawn of the Chicago machine. Is it too much to ask the Chicago Tribune to endorse candidate Woodworth over AWOL hospitalized and ethics-violating Jackson, rather than play Switzerland? Is it too much to hope that they would “do they right thing,” as Woodworth entreats?



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I live next door to this district. Folks there will truly vote for the empty chair.

Woodworth is a decent person, but he’s a red state guy in an indigo district. Not going to happen.

You can’t change their voting party…its skin deep

I bet if he wins reelection he will suddenly be fine. It’s quite likely this is a refuge so he won’t have to face the rigors of a campaign, in terms of hard hitting ads, debates challenging his record in an Obama down year, and other such indefensibles. He might be ill, and then again he might not.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Juba Doobai!. | October 31, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    He’ll recover the day after the statute of limitations expire. And he’ll credit Deeeeeeevine intervention, brought about by Jay-Jay Senior’s incredible relationship with the almighty.

He won’t be fine until he is acquitted, or given a suspended sentence because of his mental illness. The guy is crazy like a fox. The mental illness treatment is the setup for his defense.

I believe the Chicago Tribune chose not to endorse anyone in the IL 2nd District race. Joe Lake, Chicago

JackRussellTerrierist | October 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Chicago blacks will vote for the most corrupt asshole they can find before they’d vote for anybody white.

They are racist beyond anything we’ve seen in 50 years.

Please,please,please,please let Jackson lose! It would be refreshing to have an honest person in this seat.

Raquel Pinkbullet | October 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm

The chance of Jesse Jackson losing in a PVI D+38 district is ZERO. He could be arrested for child molestation and still win re-election easily! (The previous democrat was RE-ELECTED after being arrested for rape of a 16 yr old

For perspective Nancy Pelosi’s district in SF is ONLY D+35!!!

Professor you should have posted on that crazy loon Alan Grayson, he is running only 2 points ahead of a Republican in a heavy Democrat district (when I say heavy I mean D+8).

    stevewhitemd in reply to Raquel Pinkbullet. | October 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    As Eddie Edwards, the sage of Louisiana, used to say, the only way he could lose an election would be to be caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.

    JJJ’s problem is not entirely clear: he could be fighting bipolar disease (a sad situation, that), or he could have ‘feditis’ — as John Kass of the Chicago Tribune defines it, the result of being depressed over the possibility of indictment and imprisonment in a federal pen.

    But he’s going to get re-elected Tuesday. Too bad, he should stay home and work on health, family and faith.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Raquel Pinkbullet. | October 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    It’s not surprising that Reynolds was reelected as he WAS UNOPPOSED!!! It wasn’t like there was an alternative so stop slandering Illinois voters!

    Sorry for shouting but it really upsets me when people ignorantly assume voters are stupid. The Illinois primary is held in March. The nomination deadline is in December, a full 11 months before he election. Reynolds was not indicted until August. The stories didn’t leak out until a month or so earlier. At that point the only option would have been to try and mount a write-in campaign to beat him.

    Are you also aware that before Mel Reynolds the seat was held by Gus Savage, a black nationalist whose pronouncements on race would make Jeremiah Wright look low key? Heaven and earth was moved to set up a match where Reynolds, a low key Rhodes Scholar with a lot of cross over appeal, could beat Savage in the 1992 Democrat primary. At the time nominating petitions were circulated in the Autumn of 1993 Reynolds was still very much seen as a good guy even by Republicans. That’s why he went unopposed in what people suspected might shake out as a good year for Republicans. That he had a thing for teenage girls was unsuspected until the following summer.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Raquel Pinkbullet. | November 1, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Here are some more facts. In the 1994 elections the average number of votes cast in the general election in a Congressional race in Illinois was 152,200. In the second district that year only 93,998 votes were cast for the unopposed Reynolds plus 1,833 write-ins. That was only 4,092 votes more votes than were cast in the 2nd Congressional District primary in March, 2004. It’s unheard of for a primary total to almost equal the general election total.

    Based on adjacent Congressional districts the undervote, or those who decided to skip the Congressional race altogether, was someplace between 1/3 and 1/2 of the votes cast. Of the voters who did vote for Reynolds in 1994 straight ticket voting was still an option in Illinois. The Democrat machine was all about pushing straight ticket voting for low information voters as a way to be in an out of the polls. Straight ticket hasn’t been an option in Illinois since the 1996 general election.

    You can ding me negative all you want. The numbers not only don’t lie but I know a lot more about this district than you do.

Raquel Pinkbullet | October 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm

And when I say previous democrat, I mean the previous Democrat who occupied Jesse Jackson’s seat. Mel Reynolds, he won re-election even AFTER being arrested for raping a 16 yr old.

If anyone thinks Bodworth has ANY chance they are insane. You’re wasting your time with this race professor.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Raquel Pinkbullet. | November 1, 2012 at 12:08 am

    It’s gosh darn hard to beat someone who is unopposed, as Reynolds was in the 1994 general election.

    Illinois tries to have it both ways. They want an early primary in presidential years to be relevant to that selection process but they don’t want to pay for two primaries. One consequence of this is that all nominating petitions are due the preceding December. Both Reynolds and Jackson are case studies as to why later filing deadlines and primaries are a very good idea.

    The stories of Reynolds weakness for jail bait didn’t come out until long after the primary. Ditto Jackson’s mental health issues. Reynolds’ indictment on August 17. 2004 didn’t leave a lot of time for finding an alternative. The evidence looked solid so the ambitious candidates decided to wait for the special election rather than mount a long shot write-in effort. I suspect the same thing is happening now. The nature of Jackson affliction was released on August 13. The natural replacement for Jackson on the Democrat side on short notice is Debbie Halvorson, the former suburban district Congresswoman who came in second to JJjr. in the March, 21012 primary. The black power brokers in the district most likely don’t want her and are waiting for the special election that will come when Jackson decides to resign.

Woodworthforcongress | October 31, 2012 at 11:04 pm

You can find out more about Brian Woodworth by checking out:


Twitter: @Votewoodworth

NC Mountain Girl | October 31, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Stranger things have happened in Illinois. In 1994 a rumpled unemployed lawyer with no money got 54.4% of the vote against former Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski. That district was entirely inside the city of Chicago. Jackson’s district now goes all the way south to Kankakee.

This is very RAAAAACIST!!!!1!

So a BLACK man takes a few months off to get his head straight and all of a sudden he’s a lazy, shiftless no-account. But JJ Jr has PROBLEMS, Missy!

Not only has he just wriggled out of prison time for trying to buy Obama’s seat from Blago, now the Ethics Committee found out he’s been refurnishing and remodeling his DC home with campaign money. How could he possibly have known this wasn’t fine? It’s how Daddy fixed up all his homes and mistresses, just get people to give you money, you get to spend it.

Okay, so he isn’t as good at making rhymes. He’s also got the US Attorney investigating. Felony stuff, hard time. The brother is worried, stressed, and needs a top-notch clinic to get the good stuff to calm his arse down.

But the WHITE guy, Senator Kirk, has been out even longer. In “rehab” too! And nobody calling him a good-for-nothing wannabe!

All Kirk did was have a stroke. Junior’s got the F-in’BI after him, man! The FBI! His bowel movements are like bricks!

Besides, it isn’t like Junior did anything when he was showing up. He comes in late, has lunch, reads Pelosi’s email on how to vote, and spends the rest of the day trying to avoid that idiot Clyburn, who always wants Daddy’s cell #.

Yup, gotta be racism.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Estragon. | November 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Kirk and his staff have been upfront from day one about how he had suffered from a stroke and the state of his rehab. JJJr. disappeared for two months without one word about what was wrong with him.

    How about this: the Speaker of the House invokes procedural rules around Jackson.

    Screw John Boehner, that useless coward.

NC Mountain Girl | November 1, 2012 at 5:24 am

I suspect some people are looking at the 2010 map instead of the 2012 map. Wikipedia is especially bad that way. Il-2 has gone from being a geographically compact urban/suburban district with the largest percentage of blacks in the nation to a district that now has farmland in it – a lot of farmland. It’s still black majority but now barely so. There are also a lot of Republicans in the areas Jackson picked up. The whole idea behind the new map was to let black voters on the South Side neutralize Republicans in Will and Kankakee counties -including Congressman Adam Kinzinger, whose hometown is now in Jackson’s district.

Jackson’s troubles are sure to cause some party members who won’t vote for a Republican to take a pass altogether on voting in this race. Woodworth needs a high Republican turnout in the burbs and rural areas. Then if enough independents and weakly affiliated Democrat have information that makes them comfortable with casting a one time vote for Woodworth in protest of Jackson’s problems a big under vote could just give Woodworth a surprise victory. It has happened before. Rostenkowski’s defeat in 1994 was based in part on an under vote. As with Congressman Flanagan Woodworth isn’t likely to keep the seat after 2014 but it would be great to have the Democrats shown to have been way too clever for their own good when they drew the new map.

    stevewhitemd in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | November 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Right you are. I’m affected by that as well: I now live in IL-1 and get to have Bobby Rush as my Congress-critter starting in January. He’s going to beat his Pub opponent Tuesday as well, though I’ve already voted for the latter (Peloquin, a pink candidate in an indigo district).

    With the 2010 census and resulting reapportionment, the Democrats (who by controlling the governor and both houses of the legislature control the entire process) decided to carve up the Republican enclave of Will County. The county used to be all in IL-11, but now it’s divided up into several districts that reach out from the city. The Democrats wanted districts that would dilute the white republican vote while protecting black urban Democrats, and they succeeded. Will County, pretty much red except for the city of Joliet, now is lumped into indigo districts that encompass the south side of Chicago and the near south suburbs.

    Woodworth not only needs a high turnout in Will and the southernmost part of Cook County, he needs for voters in the inner ring and south side to stay home. I don’t see that happening; the south side Democratic machine is revved up for Tuesday if for no other reason then to pull Champ across the finish line.

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[…] Would You Expect? Posted on November 1, 2012 9:30 pm by Bill Quick » The alternative to AWOL Jesse Jackson Jr. is Brian Woodworth – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion Once again, we hear via Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr’s wife Sandi that the AWOL representative from […]