CHICAGO June 27, 2012— Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) is tired. He is so tired he took a medical leave of absence for what is being described as exhaustion. He is too tired to serve the people.
The job of a United State’s Congressman must be physically and mentally grueling. It must be a life of mind numbing and body punishing drudgery.
Congressman Jackson must have been toiling away in secret, working night and day on legislation, attending committee meetings, going on junkets, and seeking campaign contributions. He must have been working so hard no one noticed him.
We do see a plethora of other representatives working, politicking, holding and sitting in on hearings, trying to pass legislation, and campaigning. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been mysteriously out of the picture. He must have been toiling away, burning the midnight oil working his fingers to the bone, to help and serve the people of his district.
There can be no other reason for him being so exhausted that he needed a leave of absence.
Unless, he is tired of something. He may be tired of having his name dragged through the mud. The thought of his name being linked to the culture of corruption in Illinois again must have pushed Jackson over the edge.
Raghuveer Nayak, a Jackson fundraiser and long time family friend, was indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment had been promised for quite some time. It is alleged that Nyak bribed doctors to send patients to his surgical centers.
In 2009, Nayak approached then Illinois Governor Blagojevich, with a proposition. He would raise millions of dollars for the governor if Blagojevich would appoint Jackson to the senate seat vacated by President Obama.
It should be remembered that Rod Blagojevich was convicted of political corruption. He is serving time in federal prison. One of the accusations against him was he tried to sell the senate seat to the highest bidder.
Then there was the story that Jackson had a little strange on the side, a Peruvian blonde bombshell. The upright congressman claimed she was merely a social acquaintance. The lovely Peruvian travelled between Washington and Chicago to socialize with the congressman. Allegedly Nyak paid for the trips.
All that can wear even the healthiest politician down. But, having his name dragged through the mud again and raising the specter that he may have to testify at the federal trial of Nayak, for either side, could understandably drive one to sheer exhaustion.
Add the Ethics Committee investigation to all of his other problems and all the conditions for exhaustion are there.
There is one more thing. There were reports that Congressman Jackson was cooperating with federal investigators or had been an informant. What will his peers on both sides of the aisle think of him?
Who could sleep with so many problems?
There is something very fishy here. Jackson just announced his leave but he missed 30 votes in the House. Jackson has been one of the most, if not the most scrupulous voters in congress. He used to brag he never missed a vote.
Octogenarian Charlie Rangel, who is 35 years older than the boyish 47-year-old Jackson, is full of vim and vigor. When he had his ethical and legal challenges he stood up and fought tooth and nail. He also ran for reelection when both Republicans and Democrats were beating up on him He was a boxer in the fight for the whole fifteen rounds.
Rangel is running for reelection again. He looks and sounds pretty well rested and feisty. He just won his primary challenge.
Jackson’s reelection is a lock. Jackson is a member of the Chicago Democratic Machine. All he has to do is show up, sober with his shoes tied, to be sworn in. So, he really can’t be working that hard campaigning.
Jesse Jackson Jr. must be exhausted by all the worry. He should be worried. Nayak could cause him all kinds of grief, legally, politically, and socially. A conspiracy theorist could even posit that the indictment coming down so close to the election was planned.
This disappearing act by Jackson is suspicious. His people are begging media to respect the privacy of the family. That canard is getting too old. Someone should tell them this is not about his family. It is only about Jesse Jackson Jr. Jackson is an elected public official. The public deserves to know. No one knows where Jackson is.
Jesse Jackson Jr. is not Carmen Sandiego. This is not a child’s game. Jackson is a United States Congressman. The people have aright to know if he is fit to serve, hiding from his problems, on a luxury vacation, or is he holed up with the feds spilling his guts out.
Where in the world is Jesse Jackson Jr.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone. Mr. Bella is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.
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