An FBI probe into alleged misuse of funds by an Illinois congressman doesn’t change things ahead of the election, according to a political analyst. David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, says an investigation into U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Chicago, pictured) doesn’t change the congressional race in Illinois’s Second District.
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”He’s likely to win re-election and I don’t see that this report changes much,” Yepsen said. An FBI probe of Jackson began weeks before Jackson took a leave of absence from Congress. The probe is not related to a House ethics investigation involving Jackson’s alleged actions regarding a U.S. Senate seat.
Jackson hasn’t been seen in public since June and has sought treatment of bi-polar disorder. Those running against him have criticized Jackson for not being out in the community and not debating the issues facing the district. Unlike other congressional contenders, Jackson has not been out campaigning. Gov. Pat Quinn doesn’t think that will hurt Jackson. He says he has a record even if he can’t campaign. “I think people know his record from many, many years of fighting for his district so I don’t think his health should be something that interferes with the opportunity to put his name on the ballot,” Quinn said.