October 20th, 2012
07:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Rep. Jackson addresses constituents, describes long 'road to recovery'

(CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson spoke out Saturday on the circumstances surrounding his months-long absence from the public eye, saying in a recorded phone call to his Illinois constituents that he has "undergone medical treatment to address several serious health issues."

"Like many human beings, a series of events came together in my life at the same time and they've been difficult to sort through," he said in the call, which was obtained by CNN affiliate WBBM. "I am human, I am doing my best, and I am trying to sort through them all."

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The nine-term Democrat who represents the south side of Chicago has been away from Congress since May. His office announced in June that he was taking a medical-related leave of absence. In August it emerged that he was suffering from depression and was in treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Though he checked out of the Rochester, Minnesota-based facility in September, the Chicago Sun Times reported Friday that Jackson would be returning to the clinic, as soon as that same evening.

"I am anxious to return to work on your behalf but at this time, it's against medical advice," he said in the call. "And while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask you to continue with your patience as I work to get my health back."

He added, "The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one."

The congressman is the subject of an investigation involving possible financial improprieties conducted in Washington by the FBI and federal prosecutors, a federal law enforcement official told CNN this week. The Wall Street Journal reported the investigation involved home improvements which may have been improperly funded by campaign donations.

Jackson, 47, is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which is examining allegations that, in 2008, he or one of his associates offered to raise money for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson being appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

Jackson is the son of the famed civil rights leader and represents Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.

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Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Illinois • Jesse Jackson Jr.
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Matt Woodard

    He makes it sound like his addiction is not his own fault doesn't he? He should be replaced by someone who is competant to do the job. But I digress, this IS Chicago after all.

    October 20, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. biden is a punk

    jackson should be fired, ousted, ejected.

    October 20, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Not this time

    I am a die hard democrat.. and for the record... I think it is a disgrace that he has not resigned his position and is running for re election. He may have mental problems, but some may be due to the stress caused by his back room dealings. He is a politician with dirty hands and he needs to be out of Congress.

    October 20, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Gimmeabreak!

    RESIGN, DUDE! Sorry you're not well, but I'm real tired of having your constituents carry your load.

    October 20, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. a slozomby

    4 months aware from the office with no anticipated start date. why not just resign and rerun for office when better.

    October 20, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Gary

    My sincere best wishes to Jackson on his recovery. However, if he really has his constituents' best interests at heart instead of his own he would step down as he is clearly not able to fulfill his commitment to them and serve those interests–both because of his debilitating condition as well as the legal challenges that he is facing.

    October 20, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Thomas

    I respect him for speaking openly about his desise . It's always best to bring such serious health issues out and deal with them.
    There is nothing to be ashamed about , it's a desise just like any other.

    It would be in his and the countries best interest if he stepped down and endorsed another .

    All the best to you Congressman Jackson.

    October 20, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. 3rd party

    It is just incredible that Jesse Jackson Jr could win his district, but most likely will. He should be in jail for trying to buy then Senator Obama's senate seat. Worst of all he is a snitch, he has sent others to prison for less than what he has done himself.

    October 20, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  9. Joan

    Resign Gabby did!! When you recover run again!!!

    October 20, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |

    no problem .. take all the ime you need .. all the while making sure you cash that gov check.........................

    October 20, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Yomi Olalere

    May God in His infinite mercies heal you of all infirmities.

    Bless you.

    October 20, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  12. Redspotz

    His "long road to recovery" should not include reelection, as he is not representing his constituents. Selfish of Jackson to pursue reelection while is is AWOL for months now, and likely months into the future. I wish him well in his recovery; however, his constituents deserve effective representation.

    October 20, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    This guy is guilty as sin and is just producing a smoke screen here.

    October 20, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. whitey

    Classic stereo typical

    October 20, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  15. alfonds

    "I am doing my best, to come up with the truth and darn if It ain't hard to do. Blago, where art Blago>"??!!!!!!!

    October 20, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  16. honesthoward

    Maybe he'll be "cured" if he's found not guilty of using campaign funds to renovate his house.

    October 20, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. thisisridiculous

    "I am anxious to return to work on your behalf but at this time, it's against medical advice," he said in the call. "And while I will always give my all to my constituents, I ask you to continue with your patience as I work to get my health back."

    He added, "The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one."

    Well let's just hope that "junior" intends to do this long convalescence on his own time and dime . . . it's ridiculous for the taxpayers to foot the bill while he tries to figure out his emotional maladies and treat them. It's time for this phony to step down!! Now!

    October 20, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. reply

    Needs to quit. He is just hidding from the FBI and the ethics committee!

    October 20, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. Sir

    Any reporting here CNN – restatement of this guys recorded call adds no value – he is under investigation – it started before his alleged illness – maybe cover the facts.

    October 20, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Disqusar

    Jesse Jackson thought , he could use the Lord's name and amass money.
    But the Lord sees it all. Jesse has liquor distributorship, has rental properties which are used for immoral purposes, and 48 night clubs : And he is known as REVEREND Jackson.

    But the Lord gave it back to him. Passed on his sins on his son.

    October 20, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  21. Aces Full

    His "recovery" will be complete about the time the statue of limitations expires on his crimes.

    October 21, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  22. Paul from Austin

    Mr. Jackson, try the Landmark Forum right now to get started.

    October 21, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  23. B. A.

    Gotta give him credit for an elaborate plan to avoid prosecution for corruption. I hope the Feds can see through it as well as the man on the street.

    October 21, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  24. Mark

    How convenient to able to hide behind the excuse of serious health issues every time there is a criminal investigation being held against you!

    Taxpayers, he has not been doing his job, why are you still paying him? Any person with such severe mental issues should not be holding public office.

    October 21, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  25. GMAN

    How convenient to say you are so sick when in fact you will likely face Federal trials and federal prison if / when convicted for your shabby , checkered and dark political career. You appear to be a disgrace to the MLK name, Jr.

    October 21, 2012 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
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