Congressman Jesse Jackson's office declared Thursday afternoon that the 2nd CD rep will be on medical leave longer than predicted, and that his condition has put him in the hospital for in-patient care. The public is left wondering exactly what the congressman's condition is, and how long to expect him to be out of service. Serving in Congress is a very public job - probably the most public imaginable - and demands transparency and accountability, callers to WLS AM 890 said this morning.
Acting co-host John Kass - also a Chicago Tribune columnist - also brought up the idea as to what would happen if Jackson's health condition forced him to drop out of public service. Kass reviewed that Cook County Democratic Party chairman Joe Berrios - also Cook County Assessor - would carry the weighted voted to determine Jackson's replacement. In addition, Illinois Democratic Party chairman Mike Madigan - also House Speaker - would be involved in that ultimate decision.
Still, how accountable does public servant Jackson feel he is? For months, Congressman Bobby Rush (1st CD) hid from the public when he faced life-threatening health issues. In contrast, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk's office was upfront -within hours - of having a major stroke back in January. Although he's been unable to return to fulltime office hours, his office is working with constituents and he's continuing to work during rehab to issue press releases and senatorial communications.
What is a congress member's obligation to the public? Should they been more upfront than Jackson's office has been, especially with the questions hovering about his associate's recent indictment and his House investigations concerning the Obama U.S. Senate seat?
Your comments are welcomed.