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WaPo: Jesse Jackson Jr. Believed He Was Reincarnated Greek Chariot Driver

11:07 AM, Oct 16, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Jesse Jackson, Jr., official photo portrait

Via Sean Higgins, the Washington Post has a doozy of a story this morning about the travails of Jesse Jackson Jr. who is battling accusations of corruption as well as dealing with issues related to mental illness. While the Post's article carries a colorless headline, the revelations contained within are likely to raise some eyebrows:

The prince was erecting the foundations of a power base, diving into countless local races by endorsing candidates, seeding the region with mayors and other local officials who would be loyal supporters. But he could be mercurial, former associates say. Jackson sometimes boasted that he was a reincarnated Greek chariot driver, Coconate said. “I really thought he had a problem with reality,” Coconate said. “He’d get in his own little world. He’d come out with outlandish things.” At one of Jackson’s hangouts — a Turkish bath — he’d prance naked, demonstrating martial arts moves, while the others stayed wrapped in towels, said Frank Avila Jr., a former supporter who is a Democratic operative.

Jackson’s language could be shockingly inappropriate, especially for someone who grew up at the epicenter of the modern civil rights movement, former associates say. Coconate, who is of Italian heritage, recalls Jackson calling him “Scungilli Head,” a reference to an Italian seafood dish. Jackson called older African American lawmakers “plantation Negroes” and whites were “lemonheads,” according to Coconate and Avila. Frank Watkins, a spokesman for Jackson’s congressional office said, “I’ve never heard him say anything remotely like that. It sounds completely foreign to me.”

Elsewhere, the Chicago Sun-Times notes "Despite federal probe, mental illness, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. expected to be re-elected."

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