Amazement, sadness, and disappointment. These are my reactions to the recent news that has surfaced about Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s relationship with a D.C. woman he refers to as a “social acquaintance.”
By now, any Chicago resident who watched the news in the past two days has seen Giovana Huidobro, a hostess at Ozio Restaurant in the nation’s capital. The one we here in the city have come to know as Jackson’s “social acquaintance.” Or, Jesse’s girl. See photos of Huidobro here.
The shadow cast over Jackson more than a year ago when the FBI conducted an investigation on former governor Rod Blagojevich for corruption, as well as various other charges, continues to hover. And so Jackson is facing not one, but two messy situations that up to the present date, he can’t seem to shake.
Yet, Congressman Jackson, and his wife Sandi are considering a run for mayor of Chicago.
As a Chitown voter, and resident of the 42nd Ward, I have some serious concerns should they consider a campaign bid. NBC Chicago reported that a decision is imminent. Watch footage of an interview with Sandi Jackson here.
My advice to the political couple: don’t run.
Right now, Chicago is in one of the most critical times the city has ever faced in the modern era. Voters need candidates that are focused on the issues, sans all the distractions of scandals, misdeeds, sexual affairs, marital problems, mistresses, and allegations of bribery or corruption.
Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to go to trial again next year, so the drama and association to Jackson more than likely won’t end for awhile.
It’s all so dark and overwhelming for everyone in a town where the unemployment rate is at an all-time high around 10 percent, homeless abounds, foreclosures are frequent, and the outlook doesn’t look so good.
The feds addressed allegations by Raghuveer Nayak that he paid for tickets to fly Huidobro from Washington, D.C. to Chicago on at least two occasions, allegedly requested by the congressman. Jackson says his relationship with Huidobro is old news. However, ethical questions emerge about those tickets if the purchase did not adhere to the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives gift ban act.
The law states, according to Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, a gift is anything having monetary value, over $50. Transportation can be defined as a gift. Even if a third party gives the gift, (Nayak), on behalf of the House Member, (Jackson), if the gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the Member, it has to be reported.
Let’s take a look at some of the qualities our Chicago mayor should posses. By the way, I got some of these from the meeting with Ald. Brendan Reilly last Thursday night at the Fairmont Hotel, who outlined step by step the attributes he felt a good mayoral candidate should have.
He should be a coalition builder. Well, think about it. Do you think Jesse Jackson, Jr. can bring lots of politicians and people together for a common cause–to manifest a change, pass legislation, advance the city? Not in my opinion. It would take a person of high integrity, popularity, and power.
He should be a numbers cruncher. Most agree, the next mayor definitely has to have experience in business management, accounting, and administration. Chicago faces a $655 million deficit. We need someone with serious skills for the economic challenges. How can we trust Jackson with our campaign funds, or city money if allegations exist that he may have offered Blagojevich $6 million for Obama’s Senate seat? Or, that he may have bought his mistress airline tickets and did not follow procedure in reporting them?
He should be a results-oriented person. We, the voters and residents of this city want to see solid, timely responses to the problems by someone we know can deliver.
Jackson says he is “deeply sorry” about his involvement with Giovana Huidobro. On the other hand, he dismisses allegations of a $6 million offer to Blagojevich for the Senate appointment as “preposterous.” Nevertheless, his father’s family friend and fund-raiser Nayak has a completely different story. These are very serious allegations to consider as a voter in a mayoral election.
This election is not like any other in 21 years. That is how long Daley has been in charge. Now is a time when citizens need strong leadership we can count on. We need a person who is equipped for the office. We need men and women who have their private lives under control so they can do their job for the people of Chicago.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Sandi Jackson, do the residents of Chicago a favor; please don’t run.
nbcchicago.com, suntimes.com, suntimes.com, cincouno.com, associatedcontent.com, associatedcontent.com