Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is saying he will not resign from Congress after the latest damaging disclosures from the Chicago Sun-Times. Rep. Jackson said he is "deeply sorry" for disappointing "some supporters" by having an inappopriate relationship with a "female acquaintance." The news of Jackson's infidelity comes as the Sun-Times confirms businessman Raghuveer Nayak told federal investigators Jackson gave the green light to Nayak and a group of Indian-American supporters to help raise millions of dollars in campaign contributions for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in consideration for his appointment to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama after he won the presidential election.

Jackson recently said on a WLS radio talk show host that federal prosecutors should "bring it on" if they think they have evidence he attempted to buy the Senate seat with campaign contributions. The Sun-Times claims Nayak told federal investigators he had been instructed by Jackson to raise $6 million in contributions for Blajojevich. Nayak also told federal investigators Jackson had him to fly a Washington, D.C. restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro to Chicago to visit him. Ethics experts say the purchase of the flights for Jackson's mistress may have violated House rules barring gifts in excess of $50.

Jackson's statement that his relationship with his "female acquaintance" is disappointing to only "some supporters" is interesting. Does he mean to imply most of his supporters have no problem with extra-marital affairs? “The reference to a social acquaintance is a private and personal matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago,” Jackson said in his statement to the Sun-Times report. “I ask that you respect our privacy." Both Jackson and his wife, Sandi, a Chicago alderman, have expressed an interest in running for Chicago mayor after Richard Daley announced he will not seek re-election.

Jackson's father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, counseled President Bill Clinton during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It was later revealed Rev. Jackson had a mistress with whom he had an illegitimate child. Jackson used funds from his not-for-profit to pay thousands of dollars to the mother of his illegitimate child to help her relocate to Los Angeles.


James said...

I got to be honest, my feeling is that just because someone is an elected official, doesn't mean that their personal life is any of the public's business.

The exceptions to that rule are when it interferes with their work, when it's illegal, or when there's a sharp contrast to their policy positions. Other than that, I think it's a matter that should be between the husband and wife.

That said, the public shouldn't be paying for mistresses, etc.

I certainly don't look to my elected officials for leadership in how to conduct my sex life... thank you very much.

I think that we get confused sometimes about what we are electing these people to do: I've seen politicians go on about their Christian Values... and they are terrible leaders. It's not just that I don't agree with their policies, it's that they are bad at their job.

Let's hold elected officials accountable for their job, not their failings in their personal life.

Cato said...

How is his bedroom activity in any way relevant to how he votes on the House floor?

Advance Indiana said...

James, I understand what you are saying to a point. But if he was dishonest with his spouse, why should we believe him when he says he didn't attempt to buy the Senate seat from Blagojevich?

James said...

Who said that he was dishonest to his spouse? Did she?

Look, I'm not condoning any of this. But a lot of spouses have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. They don't want anything brought home, they don't want to be humiliated in public... but they also aren't asking a lot of questions, particularly after the first decade of a marriage.

I have the same policy about elected officials. I don't want to see it. If they make a fool of themselves in public, I will denounce them. But other than that, I just don't think it's anyone's business.

If you have questions about buying the seat I would need more than an "inappropriate relationship" as proof.
Lord knows I've done some things in the past that don't really reflect my integrity on my job.

He may really be a scumbag, but I'd need something that's relevant to the issue.

Advance Indiana said...

Is this the point where someone interjects, "That's what she said?"

Cato said...

Gary, per your 9:55 comment, everyone lies about something, every day.

I reject your demand for inviolate purity.