Jackson’s Re-Election Bid Vs. Halvorson Heating Up

CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was facing a new obstacle in his fight to retain his seat in Congress amid his toughest primary challenge yet.

As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, a new super PAC (political action committee) has targeted Jackson, and the company picked to build his pet airport project has become mired in an international scandal.

Jackson was delivering Valentine’s Day gifts to seniors on Tuesday, campaigning like he never has before.

“I’ve never run this hard, and we’re running very hard,” Jackson said.

It’s the first time Jackson has faced a serious re-election challenge in the Democratic primary and former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson has been hammering him relentlessly.

“This is a referendum on Jesse Jackson Jr.’s inability and ineffectiveness in Congress, nothing more, nothing less,” Halvorson said Tuesday.

Jackson has been targeted by Houston-based super PAC, the “Campaign for Primary Accountability,” which is funded by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, the father of Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.

So-called super PACS are permitted to collect unlimited donations to create ads or other campaign items for or against any candidate, so long as they do not directly coordinate with the candidates they are helping.

“What I’ve encouraged my opponent to do is to … denounce the involvement of a super PAC in the 2nd congressional district. We’ve never had that before. It’s not necessary in a campaign between two Democrats, an intra-party struggle,” Jackson said.

But Halvorson said, “This is about him, this isn’t not about me. And if he had been doing his job, they wouldn’t be going after him. They’re not trying to help me. They’re trying to get rid of him.”

Another potential Jackson obstacle was news reports that executives at Canadian construction giant SNC Lavalin – picked by Jackson to build the Peotone airport he is seeking to open – have been accused of plotting smuggle Libyan dictator Mohammar Ghaddafi’s son into Mexico.

“Now that its out in the open, they need to be investigated. This is not a company that we want doing business in Illinois,” Halvorson said.

But Jackson is standing behind them.

“They stand by their commitment, along with the government of Canada, which has now backed the project and specifically is backing this corporation to build the project in Illinois,” Jackson said.

Jackson sounded a bit beleaguered on Tuesday, acknowledging he could lose this race, especially if his traditional backers don’t get to the polls. He said, if that happens, he could live with it, but he’s not expecting to lose.

With Chicago voter registration the lowest since 1944, this election might turn on which candidate can get their voters to the polls and just how much Jackson opposition there may be in the new, southern part of the redrawn district, which stretches all the way to Kankakee.

More from Derrick Blakley
  • Donny

    Jackson must NOT be re-elected. Enough is enough. He can go work for the family and distribute beer.

  • Roberta Waker

    Anything involving the Canadians, i.e., the CN RR sale, is NOT good for Illinois.
    Debbie was a great Congresswoman; she looks after her constituents and can always be reached to help with problems. Hope they elect her and get rid of Jr. If he EVER has anything to say about the Peotone Airport it will be as corrupt and expensive as O’Hare. Peotone should be controlled by Will County, NOT Cook County unless maybe they want to give Will County 50% of O’Hare and that isn’t going to happen. Go, Debbie.

    • Afro

      Thats right Roberta there is a lines drawn for reasons lines between counties and between the US and Canada, and Jesse has crossed those lines, It’s time for him to go. The only problem is Halvorson sux too.
      While in Congress, Debbie was one of President Obama’s top supporters. In fact, she has a 90% record of support for the President’s initiatives—one of the highest in Illinois

  • THEE Yard Ape

    FUK JESSE JR. & his race baiting shake-down artist father!!!!

  • Afro

    Funny in the video they mention “extra marital affair” They can’t just say what it is, he got caught cheating.

  • Afro

    Rosemary Mulligan says she will try to get onto the general election ballot by getting 500 people to write her name in during the primary election. Otherwise, a Democrat, whose petitions were not challenged, will win the general election by default.

  • illinois voter

    The end for jesse jr need to start fresh.voting for debbie.

    • Afro

      While in Congress, Debbie was one of President Obama’s top supporters. In fact, she has a 90% record of support for the President’s initiatives—one of the highest in Illinois

  • illinois voter

    Any elected officials are running for reelection. Time to vote them all out.we need new elected officials thats for the people and by the people.not their own interests.time for us voters to bring and elects new elected officials that are really concerns about us working peoples.

  • Frank Feral

    Jesse’s Peotone developers were involved in one of the biggest scandals in the history of India

    SNC-Lavalin official arraigned in ‘Lavalingate’ – Indian hydro dam scandal: Export Development Canada provided funding


  • Afro

    You Don’t want Debbie or Jesse but this is how the crooks stay in office. Read here what they did to the Republican candidate for this district.


    • THEE Yard Ape

      It really doesn’t matter ‘Fro, as we all know the @ ss holes will keep voting democrats into office in this god-forsaken state!!!! The election process in IL is fuked, plain & simple, just look at the last gov. race!!!!!

      • Afro

        Yeah YA the Dems have more ways than we could ever imagine.

  • http://www.campaign4primaryaccountability.org/2012/02/15/jackson%e2%80%99s-re-election-bid-vs-halvorson-heating-up/ Campaign for Primary Accountability - Jackson’s Re-Election Bid Vs. Halvorson Heating Up

    […] the full article here: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/14/jacksons-re-election-bid-vs-halvorson-heating-up/ Leave Comment Click here to cancel […]

  • Jack

    jesse jr should be in jalil.

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