Political Consultant: JJJ “Like Watching a Disaster Unfold”

A political consultant who worked on Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s first congressional campaign says she's shocked the congressman hasn't reached out to his constituents in months.

"It's like watching a disaster unfold," Delmarie Cobb told NBC Chicago on Tuesday.

The embattled congressman spoke to a member of the media for the first time in four months Tuesday, when a reporter from The Daily caught up with him outside his Washington, D.C. home.

Jackson reportedly told reporter Mark Stricherz he was "not well."

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

Though he remains on the November ballot and is favored to win, his opponents have been vocal about his lack of transparency and involvement in the district.

Even Cobb said the silence from Jackson is concerning.

"He has $250,000 in his campaign coffers, I understand, and with that he certainly could do a direct mail piece explaining, 'I'm still here for you,'" she said. "He certainly could do a video tape -- everybody does that -- a video that you could put on YouTube."

In addition to his health issues, Jackson remains under investigation by a House Ethics Committee. And it was revealed late last week that federal authorities were looking into "suspicious activity" tied to one of his Congressional accounts, perhaps involving campaign money being spent on his home.

A Washington Post profile published Tuesday more closely examined Jackson's expenditures. The report noted that Jackson spent $22,000 in 2007 and 2008 at the restaurant where a woman he has called a social acquaintance worked.

Since 2007, he's paid his wife, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) $475,000 for campaign and consulting work. However, in his most recent filing this past May, Jackson to not fill out any salary information for his wife.

"It's how it looks. That's what politics is about. If it looks bad, then it is bad," said Cobb.

Attempts by NBC Chicago to reach Jackson's spokesman and his wife were unsuccessful.

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