What voters refuse to do, Jesse Jackson Jr. did himself. Citing his “health” problems, he resigned from the US House of Representatives effective today.
Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned Wednesday from Congress amid a cloud of health and legal problems that have intensified in recent months.
The nine-term congressman left Washington unexpectedly in June, leaving fellow Capitol Hill lawmakers, his staff and voters to learn several weeks later that he was being treated for a bipolar disorder.
In Jackson’s resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner, he cited both health problems and a federal investigation.
“For seventeen years I have given 100 percent of my time, energy and life to public service. However, over the past several months, as my health has deteriorated, my ability to serve the constituents of my district has continued to diminish,” Jackson wrote. “I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone.”
A Boehner spokesman confirmed the letter had been received on Capitol Hill.
Jackson, the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, was easily re-elected earlier this month despite not having appeared in public since this summer.
The federal investigation is purportedly focusing on whether Jackson misused campaign money.
In addition, the House Ethics Committee has been looking into whether Jackson was involved in discussions about raising money for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign in exchange for an appointment to President Obama’s vacated Senate seat.
However, Jackson’s resignation would effectively end the House probe, though members will issue a final report.
Jacksons’ resignation means the 112th Congress that ends next month has 241 Republicans and 192 Democrats. The other vacancy is Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a California Democrat who resigned in August.
Jackson came to Congress in a special election in Dec. 1995 to succeed another embattled Illinois Democratic congressman, Rep. Mel Reynolds. He went to jail for sex misconduct chargers and resigned several months before the special election.
The 47-year-old Jackson defeated five Democrats and Four Republicans in the primary and then won the special election.
Jackson never ran a campaign this last election season. He was reelected in a “Black” district and it was his “name” that reelected him, not any work in Congress that he did for his constituents. No he is a Jackson and thus “entitled” to whatever he wants. The federal investigation has been focused on this use of campaign funds to buy new furniture for his home, his mistress’ home, his wife’s office, etc…
Now is the time to place a decent, hardworking man or woman in that seat. Whether it is a Democrat or Republican is not the point, what the people of the 2nd district of Illinois need is a decent representative.
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