On Wednesday, the Governor of Illinois, Patrick Quinn spoke about the much discussed case of Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. The governor said he did not see any reason why the congressman should have to resign.
The governor felt that even though Jackson has been away from his office for over four months, on sick leave, he did not have to give up his congressional seat or remove himself from the November election ballot. Speaking in an interview with WBBM-780 Radio, the governor said,
“He was elected by the people to serve his term. Obviously, he has had some health challenges.”
Jackson has been away seeking treatment for bipolar disorder.
In an interview that aired on NBC Chicago television, Quinn referred to Jackson as a “friend” and went on to say that he did not see why being in treatment and away on sick leave should mean that Jackson couldn’t have his name on the November ballot.
Jackson is still being investigated by the federal government amidst speculation that he may have misappropriated campaign funds. Jackson’s office did not address the investigation, on Wednesday, but did confirm that the congressman was still on the ballot.
Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association was much less forgiving, going on radio and saying,
“His constituents, 500,000 people, haven’t had any representation now for four months. That is one-third of a year. That is one-sixth, or 16 percent, of an entire congressional term.”
According to Jackson’s office, he spent six weeks at the Mayo Clinic over the summer, being treated for bipolar disorder. On September 7, his office confirmed that the congressman had been released from the clinic and was going to his Washington, D.C home. There was no date given for when he would be expected to be back to work.