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06/11/2010

In Search of Jesse, Jr.

  Now you see him...now you don't.

  Or is it then you saw him...now you don't?

  Whatever. 

   The point is that Jesse Jackson, Jr., the U.S. congressman representing Illinois' 2nd District (Chicago and South Suburbs) has reverted to his low media profile.  And who could blame him? 

  Jackson has been subpoenaed to be a witness in the trial of ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich and according to legal experts, is the current office-holder most likely to appear as an actual courtroom witness. 

  Jackson, who wanted to be appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, met with Blagojevich the night before the former Governor was arrested at dawn on December 9th, 2008.

  As far as we know, the Congressman has spent all of his days since the trial began in Washington, D.C. where he continues to be under investigation related to the Blagojevich affair by the House Ethics Committee.  He has not returned our calls to his Capitol office.  Rick Bryant, who runs Jackson's office locally, would not comment on anything related to the trial.

  On Jackson's political website (http://www.jessejacksonjr.org/), the last "tweet" on the link titled "What is Jesse doing" was entered on May 20th.  Other links titled "Jesse's TV" and "Latest Photos and Events" are blank spaces leading to more blank spaces.

  Nonetheless, Jackson remains a candidate for re-election in November and his seat is considered "safe" by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  His republican opponent, Isaac Hayes believes otherwise, suggesting the 8-term incumbent is in jeopardy.

  "We have known since December of 2008 that Mr. Jackson was a co-conspirator with the ex-governor.  They had a meeting on Monday and Rod Blagojevich was arrested early Tuesday morning - quite the coincidence."

  Hayes went on to say,

 "The people of Illinois Second District have had enough with corruption."

  Jackson has not been charged with any wrongdoing.  He has said repeatedly that he had no knowledge of an alleged attempt by a group of his supporters to make a $1.5 million contribution to Blagojevich's campaign fund in return for the appointment of Jackson to the U.S. Senate.

  About a month after Blagojevich's arrest, in early 2009, Jackson changed his cell phone number and virtually suspended media access to himself for over a year.  In early 2010, he re-appeared endorsing his favorite candidates and all appeared back to normal.

  Then suddenly in late May, at least to the Chicago media, he went underground again.   The city's political reporters searched far and near for Jackson trying to get a comment on a May 24th Politico.com report that he is considering endorsing republican Mark Kirk for the senate seat he once coveted over fellow democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

  Then, the Blagojevich trial began on June 3rd.

  So much to talk about.

  But no Jesse, Jr. to talk about it.

 

 

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