Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Newspaper: Jacksons Want to Replace Jesse Jr: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Update: Congressman Jackson's spokesman Rick Bryant called the Ward Room this morning and tells us everything in the New York Post story is categorically false.

    Reverend Jesse Jackson said: “It’s such a total fabrication ...
    “He’s under sound medical  treatment ; he is responding.”

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    The New York Post is reporting that Rev. Jesse Jackson is looking to dump his son from Congress and replace him with younger brother Jonathan.

    Quoting anonymous “family sources,” the paper reported:

    Jesse Sr., the civil-rights leader and former Democratic presidential candidate, has also taken control of Jesse Jr.’s congressional office, managing media inquiries about the congressman’s health, the sources said.
    “The Reverend and Mrs. Jackson have an agenda that may not be Jesse Jr.’s . . . return to Congress,” one source speculated.
    “The reverend is getting older and less and less relevant and he wants his legacy to live on in his son Jonathan. He doesn’t control Jesse Jr., who’s very much his own guy. He thinks he’ll have more weight with Jonathan in the position.”

    Reverend Jesse Jackson denied the allegations to the Post.

    Back in 1995, the reverend made his son a congressman, financing the 30-year-old’s campaign by collecting money from Rainbow PUSH donors and spending it on expensive mailers and phone banks. Most of his Junior’s money came from out of state. Bill Cosby and Johnnie Cochran wrote checks.

    Jonathan Jackson is the national spokesman for Rainbow PUSH, Yousef Jackson owns a Budweiser distributorship his father helped him obtain. Both of these sons work in the family business, too.

    It’s not too late to replace Jesse Jr. -- that can be done as late as 15 days before the election -- but the choice of replacement lies in the hands of Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios.

    Meanwhile, Jackson Jr’s staff is reassuring officials in his district that he will be back on the job soon.  

    Aides made phone calls Tuesday Including one to Don De Graff, the South Holland Village president.   

    DeGraff tells the Northwest Indiana Times that Rick Bryant, a chief of staff to Jackson, called him Tuesday to say Jackson would be released soon from the Mayo Clinic.