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Feds Appear to Be Targeting Former Illinois Senator PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 July 2012 05:15

Rickey HendonThe federal criminal complaint against the seven people arrested in Chicago last week for federal bribery conspiracy is 42 pages long. Former state Senator Rickey Hendon is mentioned 21 times in those 42 pages, although never by name.

It’s pretty clear from the complaint that the U.S. attorney has been looking at Hendon (D-Chicago) for at least the past four years.

In July 2008, the Chicago Tribune published a major exposé on state grants steered to local groups by Hendon. The Tribune claimed that half of the 48 grant recipients “were running dubious programs, or declined to show how they spent the money.”

Conveniently, that very same month, the feds busted a Chicago police officer during a probe of gun-trafficking and public corruption. The cop quickly offered to cooperate to reduce his sentence. It doesn’t take too much reading between the lines to see that the corrupt cop might have been given the task of helping the feds nab Rickey Hendon.

One of the police officer’s longtime friends was Dean Nichols. Nichols and Hendon are close friends.

 
Southern-Illinois District Looks to Be a Challenge for Democrats PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 July 2012 09:40

A poll taken last week has Republican congressional candidate Jason Plummer leading his new Democratic challenger by 11 points.

The poll, taken July 9 by We Ask America, found Plummer ahead of Democrat Bill Enyart 45-34. The automated poll of 1,510 likely voters had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Plummer is significantly below 50 percent, and 23 percent of voters are undecided, so he doesn’t have this one in the bag yet. Enyart was appointed to the ballot late last month, so he has barely had any time at all to make an impression on the voters of the 12th Congressional District.

 
Embarrassing House Member Might Be on the Way Out PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 01 July 2012 05:19

Derrick SmithFinally, a little bit of good news for Illinois Democrats.

In stark contrast to the glacially paced House Committee on Investigations, the panel charged with deciding indicted state Representative Derrick Smith’s punishment looks like it will move forward much more quickly.

The investigations committee took two months to decide that there was enough evidence against Smith (D-Chicago) to warrant punishment. Smith was arrested and then indicted just before the March primary on charges that he accepted $7,000 in cash bribes. It was June before that committee took final action.

The two House leaders then appointed members to the Select Committee on Discipline, and that committee’s first meeting was last week.

 
Did Governor Break a Promise on Facility Closures? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 24 June 2012 05:34

Several Downstate Illinois legislators were furious last week that Governor Pat Quinn decided to go ahead and close some state facilities, including prisons, in their districts.

They weren’t just upset about the lost jobs, however. Some also claim that Quinn brazenly broke a deal on the closures. “If the governor proceeds with this, he has gone back on his word,” Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) told a crowd gathered to protest the planned closures last week. Bost and others indicated that the trade was made over revenue issues, but he didn’t get more specific.

Bost did not return a phone call, but he was almost surely referring to the cigarette-tax increase.

 
Labor Punishes Democrats – Barely PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Monday, 18 June 2012 09:31

Only a handful of state House Democratic incumbents targeted for defeat by the Republicans were endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO last week, but the damage to the Democratic Party’s chances this fall will likely be minimal.

 
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