Ald. Sandi Jackson told reporters today that she won't resign from the City Council unless "something catastrophic happens," that she's not a candidate to replace her husband in Congress and that she's undecided about whether to move back to Chicago permanently from Washington, D.C.
Speaking outside her City Hall office, Jackson pushed back against the notion that she has neglected her duties as an alderman and missed important meetings while her husband, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has been out of the public eye during his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a federal investigation.
"I think my constituents understand this. I'm not going to respond to one or two people who have some angst about my attendance in City Council," Jackson said. "This has been a tough year for me, there's no doubt about that."
She contended that 7th Ward residents know she's working hard for them.
Asked whether she is considering resigning her council seat, Ald. Jackson acknowledged "it's been a very exhausting period for me."
"I think it's fair to say it would be hard for any family to go through what we've gone through publicly," Jackson said. "And so, there may have been times when I was overcome with exhaustion."
Later, Sandi Jackson said she isn't resigning.
"I'm here, I'm working, I'm going to continue to work, and whoever these people are who purport to speak for me should stop," she said.
"I will finish my term. I intend to finish my term," Jackson added. "Unless something catastrophic happens -- I could step outside and get hit by a bus today."
Asked whether her husband getting sent to prison would constitute "something catastrophic," Jackson said she would not discuss that.
"I'm not going to entertain questions like that, I really am not," she said.The only good thing Sandi Jackson had to say to reporters is that she won't be seeking election to her husband's seat in Congress. She would probably win simply because of her last name. Instead, voters will probably choose State Sen. Donne Trotter, who is currently facing felony gun charges and questions about his failure to identify his job working for a private security company on his financial disclosure form he filed with the Illinois Senate. "I don't think they care about how they look," said Professor Robert T. Stark of Northeastern Illinois University. "I mean, Chicago politics is unique among politics of any city in this country and it's known as the politics of Chicago."
Can someone explain to me why Chicago Democrats tolerate so much corruption from their elected representatives? A Republican official wouldn't last a week under the cloud of misconduct that has enveloped the Jacksons. It's almost as if the more corrupt you are the more popular you are. When Chicago elected its first African-American mayor, Harold Washington, his biggest claim to fame was being suspended from the practice of law for taking money from his clients and then refusing to perform any services for them, in addition to a federal conviction for failing to file his income tax returns. Former Gov. James Thompson, the federal prosecutor in his case, commented at the time that there was no evidence that Washington had ever filed a federal tax return, not even after becoming an attorney. Washington wore his transgressions like a badge of honor, and he was and still is viewed as a hero by many in Chicago's black community and among the city's limousine liberals. There's a college, a library and a city park all named after him. Barack Obama cited Washington's historic election as mayor as one of the reasons he decided to move to Chicago.