The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Where's Congressman Jackson?

The south-side Chicago politician has been on "medical leave" and unavailable for a month:

[U.S. Rep. Jesse] Jackson, 47, took a medical leave for "exhaustion" June 10, but his spokesman waited until June 25 to announce it. A new statement Thursday said Jackson long had grappled with "physical and emotional ailments" and needed extended in-patient treatment. But his office declined to specify his illness, where he is being treated or when he is expected to return. Jackson is running for re-election Nov. 6.

[Illinois U.S. Senator Richard] Durbin praised Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., for releasing a video showing him in rehabilitation after a January stroke, saying Kirk told Illinoisans "what his hopes are about recovering." Kirk has not made a public appearance since his stroke, nor has he said when he may return to Washington.

Jackson's father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., was on local TV today to discuss the 41st Annual Rainbow Coalition Conference. He said only that his son "is under medical supervision and is taking time to recover."

Whatever is going on with Jackson, I hope he recovers quickly. He has a duty, however, to reveal whether or not he's fit to hold his office, and if not, to resign. NBC reports that if he does,

Since the Nov. 6 election is less than 180 days away, it’s too late to hold a special election, said Ken Menzel, deputy general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections. However, if Jackson resigns as a candidate as late as 15 days before the election, he can be replaced on the ballot.

A new candidate would be chosen at a meeting of the 2nd District’s Democratic Party county chairmen. Each chairman would have a number of votes equal to the votes cast by his county in the primary. Since Cook County cast 88.6 percent of the votes in the 2nd District primary, Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios would have complete control of the process.

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