We can add another name to the pantheon of disgraced Illinois politicians.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., suffering from ill health and a pending federal investigation into the alleged misappropriation of campaign funds, has announced his resignation.
Just re-elected to another term on Nov. 6, Jackson said Wednesday that his personal and legal problems have forced him to step down. Jackson's predicament marks another disappointing turn for a Chicago-area U.S. House district that has been misrepresented by a series of marginal public officials in recent decades.
Jackson succeeded U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who was convicted of sex-related crimes involving young women. Reynolds succeeded another political embarrassment, U.S. Rep. Gus Savage.
It's impossible to say who will follow Jackson Jr. News reports indicate the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. wants another of his sons to replace Jackson Jr. But a boatload of political wannabes are expected to compete in an as-yet unscheduled special election for the opportunity to make a move up the political ladder and go to Washington, D.C.
Jackson Jr. clearly is suffering from physical and mental ailments, and anyone in his position would be deserving of sympathy. But his alleged misuse of campaign funds to pay for gifts to a mistress and improvements to his Washington, D.C., home is a whole different issue.
That's just standard political corruption, the kind that has been endemic to Illinois and Chicago politics for decades. Many people once had high hopes for Jackson Jr.'s political future. In the end, the only thing notable about it is the disappointing finish.