Jackson opponents upset at plea talks

Nov. 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Defeated candidates in Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Chicago congressional district say voters were cheated because he is considering pleading guilty to fraud.

Jackson, who has kept a low profile for months and is being treated for bipolar disorder, was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote Tuesday in his urban, largely poor district on Chicago's South Side and south suburbans. Post-election revelations have Jackson in negotiations to plead guilty to a misuse of campaign funds, the Chicago Sun-Times said Friday.

That has his former opponents crying foul, saying voters should have been told Jackson wasn't just suffering from a mental disorder stemming from marital problems, as had been rumored.

Anthony W. Williams, a long-time Jackson critic who ran as a write-in candidate, said voters were hoodwinked by the Chicago political machine.

"The voters of the 2nd District have been cheated once again," said Williams. "It is important that we call for a special election."

Local reports indicated Jackson considered resigning his House seat but was dissuaded from doing so because he needed his federal healthcare insurance to cover his mental health treatment.

A Sun-Times report said Jackson used campaign money to decorate his home and investigators are trying to determine whether the $40,000 Rolex watch he bought a female companion was paid for with donated funds as well.

Jackson has held the seat since 1995.

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