Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is running for reelection in Illinois’s second congressional district.  Except he’s not exactly running.

His name is on the ballot. But Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. hasn’t made a campaign appearance since the primary.

The Democratic congressman from Chicago is running for re-election for his seat in the House of Representatives, but has been out of sight for the last three months, being treated for bipolar disorder.

Campaign advisers told the New York Times, which noted that the campaign’s office was locked shut, that the candidate is waiting for the doctor’s approval to campaign again.

In what other field is an employee allowed to take an indefinite leave of absence without penalty?

And what does it say about his district that its voters will almost certainly reelect (overwhelmingly) a man who hasn’t shown up for work in months, tried to hide from them the ailment that has kept him away, can’t demonstrate that he’ll be capable of representing them when and if he ever returns, and shows such undeniable contempt for them by failing to offer even an explanation?

Then there’s this:

The Jacksons recently put up their $2.5 million Washington, D.C., home for sale, to help pay medical bills, they said. The family has a house in Chicago too.

Hang on.  The Jacksons have a second home worth two and a half mill?  Congressmen are paid less than $200,000 annually.  To buy a second home worth that much (let alone a first one that’s presumably as nice), Jesse must have really raked in some private-sector dough before becoming a congressman.  Maybe, like fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel, as an investment banker, right?

Well, no.  His congressional bio says that he has both a masters in theology and a juris doctor, but he’s apparently never preached or practiced law (he’s not even licensed in Illinois).  Hmmm.  Could the source of his wealth be this:

Prior to his congressional service, Representative Jackson served as the National Field Director of the National Rainbow Coalition. In this role, he instituted a national non-partisan program that successfully registered millions of new voters. He also created a voter education program to teach citizens the importance of participating in the political process, including how to use technology to win elections and more effectively participate in politics.

The Rainbow Coalition, you’ll recall, is the organization founded by Jackson’s father, Jesse Sr., about whom Kenneth Timmerman wrote Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson, which documents “connections with criminals and [claims] that Rev. Jackson practised extortion of businesses.”

There’s also this tidbit, found on Wikipedia:

Jackson’s earliest public controversy came when he was linked to alleged Nigerian drug trafficker Pius Ailemen. Ailemen was supposed to be Jackson’s best man at his 1991 wedding, but canceled at the last minute due to supposed passport-related issues.

It’s also possible that Jackson’s wife is the big earner. Let’s check….

Nope, she makes only $115,000 a year.  Of course, that’s just her salary.

As an alderman.

In Chicago.


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