Patt Morrison for July 13, 2012

Damage control: when and what should politicians disclose?

US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-IL, speaks


US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-IL, speaks to reporters following a Democratic Caucus on August 1, 2011 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

After weeks of missing votes, Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. announced through his office in late June that he was on medical leave for exhaustion. Yesterday, his office revealed that he is being treated for a mood disorder. Whether it’s Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart condition or former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus, who disappeared before revealing a substance-abuse problem, there are countless examples of publicly elected officials keeping medical information from their constituents.


What obligation do elected officials have to disclose medical information to their constituents? Does it matter whether that’s a heart condition or depression?


Allan Mayer, veteran crisis management expert and principal partner at the entertainment PR firm 42West

David Weigel, Slate political reporter

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