Liberty on Tap since 1984
Chicago, Illinois — March 16, 2011 — After 5th District Illinois Senator Rickey Hendon abruptly resigned his elected seat in February, under the cloud of a suspicious federal inquiry; it was announced on Monday, March 14th, that his replacement would be none other than ten-year 10th District Illinois House [Representative] incumbent, Annazette R. Collins.
Given a wide array of 13 respective [open] candidates, from 2011 [Chicago] Mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins, to the infamous 2010 [elected] Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee, Scott Lee Cohen, a panel of 13 Democratic [party] Committeemen/women unanimously chose Collins to fill the vacant Senate “seat.”
According to ABC-7 [Chicago] News, the Democratic organization is proactively denying foul play; despite a very unflattering well-known fact:
Additionally, Collins is asking the same committee to appoint her daughter to her now imminently open House Representative “seat.”
But Illinois has its national reputation for a reason…
According to documents released by Cicero “Watchdog,” David Jenkins, namely the 10th [House] District Spending Reports and [House] District Office Leases, acquired from the Illinois House Clerk using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Collins has been using her publicly-funded allotment to lease [House] district office space from, of course, the 28th Ward Democratic Organization; $650.00, per month, in 2007, 2008, and 2009. And for a brief period of six months in 2009, Collins strangely entered into a contractual agreement to pay $1,300.00, per month, exactly twice the normal payment, and then returned to a lease that required the aforementioned $650.00.
Acknowledging that it’s not quite clear if, or how, the 28th Ward Democratic Organization is linked to the Democratic Party of Illinois, Jenkins responds, “the appearance of a conflict of interest is just as damaging as an actual conflict of interest. And all that remains to be determined, in this case, is whether we have the appearance of a quid pro quo, or an actual reward, in this case a Senate ‘seat,’ for creatively funneling public money back into the Party.”
But there’s more…
According to records available online, on the Illinois State Board of Elections website, there’s yet even more activity taking place at 261 N. Pulaski Road in Chicago; and not just 10th [Representative] District constituent services. This is also the registered address for Collins’ private campaign committee [fund], while also the registered campaign office of Collins’ campaign Chairman, former 28th Ward Alderman, and, yes, one of the 13 co-contenders for the very Senate seat Collins was just appointed to fill: Ed Smith.
Why Smith, who just retired from his long career in the Chicago City Council in November, would want a Senate appointment is unclear; but Illinois’s often archaic rules concerning pension “double-dipping” would present a strong motivation for Smith to use this opportunity to secure another income in retirement.
And, yes, there’s still more…
On all the leases, which can be viewed, in their entirety, at www.GeneralAssemblyIllinois.com, the Lessor, in this case the 28th Ward Democratic Organization, failed to disclose any interested parties in the standard Real Estate Disclosure Statement included in all leases on file with the General Assembly; though, to their credit, it’s quite apparent that no one tried to hide this fact.
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For More Information:
Contact: David “Watchdog” Jenkins
Phone: (773) 308-6243