Tag Archives: Jesse Jackson Jr.

Ryan Watch

More members of Illinois’ congressional delegation have weighed in on the possible commutation of George Ryan’s prison sentence. All are in the No category:

* Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Democrat)
* Judy Biggert (Republican)
* Debbie Halvorson (incoming Democrat)

Democrats Bobby Rush and Dan Lipinski didn’t return phone calls to the SouthtownStar, the paper reports.


Jackson Salivates

Geez, Jesse Jackson Jr. wants Barack Obama’s Senate seat bad. His (U.S. House) office (is this legal?) just sent out this e-mail:

Valerie Jarrett NOT interested in US Senate seat; Poll shows Jackson Jr. frontrunner for Obama seat 11-11-2008

(CNN) Nov. 11, 2008 – Two Democratic sources close to President-elect Barack Obama tell CNN that top adviser Valerie Jarrett will not be appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

“While he (Obama) thinks she would be a good senator, he wants her in the White House,” one top Obama advisor told CNN Monday.

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Endorsing Junior

The SouthtownStar is backing Jesse Jackson Jr. as Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate.

Party Patrol

A review of options this evening, as culled from various news sources.


Event: Grant Park Rally
Time: 8:30 p.m. gate opens
Place: Hutchinson Field
Special Features: Guest appearance by the president-elect.
Commentary: Weight the competing impulses of participating in a historic event versus coming face-to-face with “the people.”


Event: Illinois for McCain
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: English, 444 N. LaSalle St.
Special Features: Free drinks first two hours.
Commentary: Short lines at the bar may make up for the gloomy ambiance.


Event: Onion News Network coverage
Time: 7:01 p.m.
Place: Quencher’s, 2401 N. Western Ave.
Special Feature: $2 PBR longnecks
Commentary: Beats watching real TV, but live music starts at 9 so load up on PBRs and high-tail it to another event.


Event: Bronzeville Celebration
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Bronzeville Information Center Exhibit Gallery, 411, East 35th St.
Special Features: Frugal Joe’s Beer, $2; free popcorn
Commentary: Discover the South Side. It’s where our next president is (sort of) from.

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Replacing Obama

The buzz around U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. as Barack Obama’s replacement in the U.S. Senate should Obama win the presidency is at an all-time high today – and Jackson is loving it.

The Hill is reporting that “Illinois political insiders say Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who defended Barack Obama after his father famously threatened to castrate him, is the favorite to replace the Democratic nominee in the Senate.”

Jackson didn’t speak to The Hill, but the paper published a statement put out by his office saying he would be “honored” if appointed to the seat.

The statement also formed the basis of brief post on Politico.

And Jackson’s office left no doubt about Junior’s interest in the seat by sending out an e-mail on Sunday touting the Chicago Defender’s endorsement of Jackson for the potential vacancy, even if it did add perfunctorily that “The Congressman believes it is premature to participate in speculation.”

If the punditry is to be believed, Jackson’s chief rival for the post is U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. The punditry is split, however, on whether Obama will indeed make the choice behind the scenes through force of will or if he’ll leave it up to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has the power to make the appointment.

I find it difficult to believe a President Obama won’t exert his will, but CQ Politics reports that “Those pondering the possibilities, though, agree that Blagojevich is unlikely to want any direction from Obama, and unlikely to get it.

“’Obama will not step foot into Illinois politics. It’s a minefield,’ said Paul Green who is a professor of policy studies at Roosevelt University. ‘He’d go to Kabul before he’d go to Springfield’.”

College Dropouts

One of the latest popular parlor games being played by the media is the one that imagines what happens if the presidential election ends up in an Electoral College tie.

That’s obviously a pertinent question, but the bigger question is: What is it going to take to finally abolish the Electoral College and actually institute, you know, a democracy whereby the people elect the president? Wasn’t 2000 enough?

Some Illinois politicians think so. Retiring Peoria congressman Ray LaHood, a Republican, told a group of junior high school students last week that the Electoral College is “antiquated.”

In fact, LaHood’s opposition to the Electoral College dates at least as far back as 1997, when he told a House committee that “I believe the Electoral College is merely a relic of times past, running counter to the democratic process.”

And a week before the 2000 fiasco, LaHood joined with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, in jointly proposing amending the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. (While the 2000 election was still unsettled, Hillary Clinton also called for abolishing the Electoral College.)

Likewise, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a close Obama associate, tells Chicago Life that he is “the lead sponsor of the effort to abolish the Electoral College”; his expanded thinking is contained in a recent Huffington Post piece.

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South Side Bailout Blues

Democratic talking heads – as well as party leaders such as John Kerry – were all over television on Tuesday pointing to the failed bailout vote in the House as evidence that John McCain didn’t even have enough clout within his own ranks to deliver on legislation, much less the ability to lead a nation.

I’m not sure Dems will want to go down that road, because by that measure, Barack Obama wasn’t even able to deliver his own state.

Four of 11 House Democrats from Illinois voted against the bill – including fellow South Siders Jesse Jackson Jr. and Bobby Rush.

Jackson, in fact, is a close friend of Obama’s and a national campaign co-chairman. Yet he was one of the more forceful speakers against the bill.

“This bill is simply a band aid not a cure for the financial crisis, and it does little for the hard-working Americans who will pay for it,” Jackson said in a statement. “It does not go far enough in addressing the systemic and terminal problems of our financial system. It further privatizes profits and socializes the losses.”

Rush, who supports Obama but clearly still has a distaste for the man who not only once challenged him for his House seat but whom he saw as a snooty opportunist in the state senate, said in a statement that the bailout bill was “a $700 billion financial earmark for Wall Street.”

Here’s the entire roll call.