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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:44 AM

Why African-American Voters Still Support Jesse Jackson Jr.


Nov 19, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Even as the congressman reportedly negotiates a plea deal on allegations that he misused campaign funds, his African-American base remains steadfastly loyal. Allison Samuels explains why.


As many wait to see whether Jesse Jackson Jr. will agree to a plea deal in the investigation of allegations that he misused campaign funds—and as Jackson himself reportedly awaits news on whether he’ll get disability pay if he indeed does resign—an even larger question looms for the voters of Jackson’s 2nd congressional district in Illinois.

Where do they go from here? Jackson was elected to his 10th term in Congress last week, even as he struggled with health issues and an ongoing ethics investigation. Though he didn’t campaign for reelection as he was receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder and depression, his loyal base of supporters voted the embattled congressman back into office again with seemingly little reservation.

“I like him, that’s why I voted for him again,” says Delores Washington, who lives in Jackson’s district in Chicago. “We all have issues and we all have to fight some demons in our life one way or another. Who am I to judge?”

Apparently that was the prevailing sentiment among many African Americans as they cast their votes on Nov. 6. Washington and others say that the son of civil-rights icon Jesse Jackson Sr. served them well over his many years in Congress, and for that they owe him a great debt.

Complete article:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/19/why-african-american-voters-still-support-jesse-jackson-jr.html

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Reply Why African-American Voters Still Support Jesse Jackson Jr. (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
politrixjunkie Nov 2012 #1
atufal Nov 2012 #2
politrixjunkie Nov 2012 #3
frazzled Nov 2012 #4
atufal Nov 2012 #5

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:28 PM

1. Not a big fan of Allison Samuels

I've read a number of her articles where she seems to think she speaks for the entire AA community. She doesn't speak for me. I don't live in Illinois but the only thing that makes sense to me is that people didn't want to vote for the unknown. Also, if he does end of having to leave, won't voting him in keep the door open for a democratic member to get his seat?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:29 PM

2. I'm black. I'm from the district. I didn't vote for him.

But I thought about it twice before I voted for the wholly-unknown independent. I wanted to make sure that no Republican got the the seat. I, too, liked JJJ. But he is clearly having major problems. Most people, I suspect, chose him because they were determined to hold the seat for the Democrats.

I'd been speculating for months that the issue was an indictment. I *still* don't believe mental illness is an issue (though it's possible). Despite living in the area, I don't KNOW anything or anybody.

It was a distasteful and Todd Akin-ish situation for many people. I'm not a "who am I to judge" person. I find him "guilty" of holding that seat as a bargaining chip in his plea bargain agreement.

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Response to atufal (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:53 AM

3. I think

many people probably felt the same way. Some voted independent; others voted for JJjr.

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Response to atufal (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:09 AM

4. Excellent response ... it reminds me of the 2006 Cook Cty Board President race

I'm not from JJJ's district, and I'm glad I didn't have to go through the thought process you just described ... though I too believed throughout the summer that this was not just or not even mainly a medical issue. For while I thought that he'd drop out and let Sandi run. When that didn't happen, you kinda knew something was up.

But the electoral choice reminds me of when John Stroger had a stroke just weeks before the election in 2006. They tried to downplay it, but I knew enough about the type of stroke he seemed to have (and his previous health history) that this was not someone who was going to be able to serve. And my choice, knowing this, was to vote for letting the machine pick his successor, or to vote for Forrest Claypool. I chose the latter, thinking it was better to vote for someone you knew than for an inside job. Of course, the vote went overwhelmingly for the incapacitated Stroger, and it led to the appointment of his disaster of a son, Todd. (Thank god we have Toni Preckwinkle now.)

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Response to frazzled (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:48 AM

5. Ahhh, yes, the Toddler.

My sister worked for a few weeks on that campaign as a nobody intern. She said that they had a helluva time getting that guy to even *act* like he wanted the job. He iddi it because his daddy wanted him to. Poor John Stroger. He's gotta be thinking, "Son! I built all of this for you! All you've got to do is reach out and TAKE it!"

As for Toni Preckwinkle, I see her wandering Hyde Park alone all of the time now, just like I did when she was alderman. Whatever she is, she's not pretentious.

I never thought she stood a chance.

Shows what I know.

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