Public deserves to know why Jackson’s MIA
Herald-News editorial June 29, 2012 11:24PM
Updated: August 2, 2012 10:31AM
Because only a very few people know where U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is these days, and they’re not saying, we are left to play a version of “Where’s Waldo?”
For all those who voted for Jackson, they unfortunately are left with questions for which answers are hard to get.
In a brief statement last week, Jackson’s staff said he was on a medical leave for “exhaustion” and asked that all “respect his family’s privacy.” Nothing about when he would return.
We have no way to know if the congressman is ill or “exhausted” in the way the Betty Ford Clinic defines exhaustion. As for privacy, you give up much of that when you’re a congressman, especially when you can’t perform your duties.
Jackson was on leave for two weeks before anyone in his office thought to mention it. In fact, his office strangely continued to issue news releases as if he were still on the job rather than missing votes in the House.
What’s up with that? Why the secrecy?
Jackson’s life has been complicated, if not stressful, in recent years. There’s that alleged bribery scheme to land a U.S. Senate seat, a messy congressional ethics investigation and a dalliance with a D.C. restaurant hostess/bikini model that has shaken his marriage.
And Jackson departed for wherever shortly before the feds indicted his alleged Senate-seat intermediary, Raghuveer Nayak, a family friend and top Democratic Party fundraiser, in an unrelated payoff scheme.
Given all that, maybe we’d escape, too. Or crumble under its weight. But what we have is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma and possibly cloaked in a load of baloney.
Jackson’s employers, the people of the 2nd Congressional District, like to check in with the hired help now and then. Whatever his malady, they deserve the truth. Deception and secrecy are unacceptable.
The public may completely understand his need for support, but he has to tell them what’s wrong.
So many questions dangling tantalizingly in the air. But it’s not the questions that are Jackson’s problem. It’s the answers.