Jackson Jr. Allegedly Misused Campaign Funds For Home Decor: Report

A new federal investigation into Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s finances alleges the Illinois congressman misused campaign funds to redecorate the inside of his Washington, D.C. home.

Three weeks before the election, the feds also are looking into whether Jackson Jr. used money from his House spending account to pay for the home decor, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Jackson family briefly put the D.C. home on the market last month for $2.5 million. At the time, a family spokesman said they considered selling the home to pay for healthcare costs linked to Jackson's bi-polar disorder treatment.

Jackson Jr. went on medical leave from his political post in Chicago on June 10. Few details were released until his office confirmed in August Jackson had been receiving treatment for depression.

This new probe is unrelated to allegations Jackson tried to cut a deal with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to take now-President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.  Those claims are under review by a House Ethics Committee.

As question swirl about whether Jackson Jr. could be indicted before the November election, the WSJ reports Jackson's lawyers "sought assurances from senior justice department officials" that he would not be indicted before the election. Those officials would not make those assurances, the paper reports.

Jackson's name remains on the Nov. 6 ballot in the 2nd Congressional District. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, said this month she wasn't sure when her husband would return.

"I believe at some point in time he will come back," Ald. Jackson told reporters. "I don't know whether that will be before the election or after the election, but whenever that happens, we will welcome him." 

Jackson's opponents say they hope a light bulb will go off for voters in the 2nd Congressional District.

"That's a reflection of his character,'' said Anthony W. Williams, a Democrat write-in candidate from south suburban Dolton. "He suffers from entitlement disorder."

Marcus Lewis of south suburban Matteson, who is running as an independent, seemed to agree.  "That's corrupt. And I said [to myself], 'Thank you, now we know why you've been hiding.' ... It's time for people to start thinking we have a great opportunity here."

Republican Brian Woodworth of Bourbonnais said Jackson was a "good Congressman" when he was first elected but has since lost the trust and true connection of constituents.

All three take issue with the notion that despite Jackson's troubles, he'll still get re-elected. 

"We don't have a voice in Congress," Woodworth said. "There isn't a voice in Congress. It's been silent for four months. And there's no promise that voice is coming back any time soon."

"The people deserve better," Williams said. "The seat does not belong to a person. It belongs to the people."

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