Jackson, a nine-term Illinois Democrat, last appeared on Capitol Hill in early June, His office has issued two statements since then indicating he's on medical leave — the first citing “exhaustion” and the second suggesting his condition is much more severe.Still, inquiring minds want to know, as the mystery continues. Stay tuned...
The strange episode has fueled speculation about Jackson's condition and whereabouts. An almost total absence of information — his congressional office will not answer any questions — has created abundant space for rumor and the most extreme conjecture.
This has been stoked by an ethics investigation into allegations that Jackson considered lending campaign favors to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) in exchange for the Senate seat then being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday that Jackson should be more candid about his condition and provide specifics about his health “soon.”
“As a public official, there comes a point when you have a responsibility to tell the public what’s going on,” Durbin said at an event in Chicago. “If there is some medical necessity for him not to say more at this moment, then I will defer to that. But he will have to soon make a report on what he’s struggling with."
Gutierrez delivered a similar message on Tuesday.
“I know that we want to say that we have private lives, and I do have a private life. I also have a public life,” Gutierrez said, according to the Tribune. “If I don’t show up to work, then I need to give — I don’t have this immunity of this shield of privacy — because it’s about my job. And any time I haven’t shown up to work, I’ve given you a clear answer about why it was I wasn’t there.”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), however, defended Jackson on Tuesday, saying the office updates on his medical condition — however vague — should satisfy the people he represents.
“We all have a responsibility to report to our constituents,” Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday. “They [Jackson's aides] have certainly reported that he is ill and seeking help. And I think that that fulfills that responsibility.”
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Missing In Action
What is going on with Jesse Jackson, Jr., anyway?