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U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who has vanished from the public’s eye since June for treatment of bipolar depression, finally communicated with his constituents via robocall. Rep. Jackson launched a series of automated telephone calls Saturday, asking constituents for patience.In the 85-second recording, Congressman Jackson lets his constituents know why he has been absent, thanks them for their support and prayers, and asks them for patience. The transcript for the recording is below.
“Hello, this is Congressman Jackson. For the past few months, I’ve 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. I am human. I’m doing my best and I’m trying to sort through them all. I want to thank you for the many thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for me and my family. Especially my colleagues and the people who mean the most to me — my constituents. I’m starting to heal. The good news is my health is improving, but my doctors tell me the road to recovery is a long one. For nearly 18 years I’ve served the people of the 2nd district. I’m anxious to return to work on your behalf but at this time, it’s against medical advice. 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. After my family, my constituents are the most important people in the world to me. I will always act in your best interests. Your patience, your prayers and your support during this difficult time means more to me than you will ever know. With your help, your patience, and God’s grace, we will continue to work together to strengthen our communities, provide a better future for our children, and leave the world better than we found it. Thank you and God bless you all.”
The message comes after revelations that Jackson is under federal investigation for the alleged misuse of campaign funds. It was delivered to voters’ telephones throughout the district on Saturday. A suburban furniture store operator said federal authorities recently contacted the business and said they were sending a subpoena for purchases made by Jackson’s campaign committee. In addition to an investigation involving the misuse of campaign funds, Jackson is also the subject of an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee over allegations that his political allies offered imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in exchange for naming the congressman to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.
Nowhere in the message to his constituents does Jackson ask them to re-elect him on Nov. 6, although the automated calls are being paid for from the congressman’s re-election campaign fund. The Congressman is facing a Republican and independent candidate on the ballot, but his re-election is thought to be a foregone conclusion, though many Democratic leaders have said they believe he may eventually resign. Monday is the last day that the Congressman could step down in time for local Democrats to replace him on the general election ballot.