Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lauzen sheds radioactive IPA money

Republican congressional candidate Chris Lauzen (IL-14) just unloaded a sizable portion of his campaign treasury by announcing yesterday he was returning money from the radioactive business consulting firm International Profit Associates, based in suburban Buffalo Grove.

The contributor in question is John Burgess, owner of International Profit Associates, a management-consulting firm in Buffalo Grove. The company has had a string of problems dating back to the 1980s, and federal authorities are currently pursuing a sexual-harassment lawsuit against the company on behalf of more than 100 employees.

Officials from the Illinois attorney general's office confirmed the company is under investigation. According to the Better Business Bureau, IPA has received more than 400 complaints since 2003 and has a rating of "unsatisfactory."

Burgess has run afoul of the law himself. In the 1980s, he was convicted of attempted larceny and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute, according to published reports.
Some background on IPA's problems with sex, fraud and politics can be found here and here.

The question now is: Will Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has been investigating IPA for more than four years, return the money she took from IPA? Hillary Clinton?

Lauzen is just the latest politician to return money donated by Burgess and IPA. The list includes Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
If you are a politician and you are keeping money that even Blagojevich returned, what exactly are you thinking?

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Time to resign, Rod

Every Illinois citizen should read pages 15 to 78 of the federal government's "Santiago proffer" released late Friday on the eve of Tony Rezko's trial. It paints a picture, in great detail, of the looting of state government engineered by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's two top deputies, Rezko and Chris Kelly.

As the newspapers have pointed out, the proffer also reveals two conversations that if true show that Blagojevich (Public Official A) was an active participant in the looting.
At one point, (Joe) Cari had a conversation with Public Official A. Among other things, Public Official A asked about Cari's fund-raising experience. Public Official A stated he had a lot of ways of helping his friends and that Rezko and Co-Schemer B (Kelly) were his point people in helping his friends and coordinating fundraising. Public Official A also informed Cari that he could award contracts, legal work, and investment banking to help with fund-raising. Public Official A ended the conversation with Cari by noting that he wanted to continue the dialogue with Cari about fundraising and that Rezko and Co-Schemer B would follow up with Cari.
And here,
After (Stuart) Levine was reappointed, he shared a private plane ride from New York to Chicago with Public Official A and Co-Schemer B. Levine, Public Official A, and Co-Schemer B were the only passengers on the flight. At the beginning of the flight, Levine thanked Public Official A for reappointing him to the Planning Board. Public Official A responded that Levine should only talk with "Tony" [Rezko] or [Co-Schemer B] about the board, "but you stick with us and you will do very well for yourself."
The proffer is devastating to the Governor and his cronies because it is backed by many recorded phone conversations and public records and certainly is buttressed by revealed and unrevealed informants. Even if Kelly and Rezko don't flip on Blagojevich, there appears to be plenty of others who already have or will fill in the blanks on this scheme.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's track record on corruption prosecutions in Illinois is nearly spotless. This document, if read carefully, leads to the inescapable conclusion that Blagojevich, Kelly and a handful of other Illinois insiders will ultimately be indicted. It also portends, in the short-term, the indictment of Blagojevich's campaign fund, which has been receptacle of much of the corruption.

It was already quite clear that Blagojevich's "Barry Bonds-like" fundraising prowess was fueled by cheating. His pay-to-play on steroids scheme is being dismantled, piece by piece. It's only a matter of time now.

Sure, Rod and the others have the presumption of innocence. That's the legal picture. The perception picture is no longer cloudy. Corruption was so blatant in the Blagojevich orbit that even longtime bi-partisan insider Bill Cellini (Co-Schemer A), who is a central participant in the Rezko proffer, was recoiling.

Co-Schemer A told Levine about how Rezko and Co- Schemer B had been "essentially hammerin' people for contracts ah, with with contracts for fundraising [Rezko and Co-Schemer B had been forcing individuals to make political contributions in order to win State of Illinois contracts]," how Co-Schemer A was a "nervous wreck" about it, and how Co-Schemer A and Levine needed to talk with Rezko and Co-Schemer B about Individual J's threats.
Rod, if he had any decency, would spare the state the coming months of new indictment after new indictment, a government in seclusion, and the further erosion of any public trust in state leadership. We are guessing that Rod will not take our advice because his decency was long ago misplaced.

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn ought to resign, as well. While Quinn is not personally corrupt, he stood silent while Rod trampled on every principle Quinn once said he stood for. Then he described Rod as honest on the eve of his re-election bid and was the direct beneficiary of Rod's dirty money to get himself re-elected. The great reformer sold out. When Rod goes, he should go with him.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An ad that will cut through


This ad will be effective. It should be run in as many states as possible.

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Edwards scandal is plane to see


The video above was shot and produced by a woman who, according to the National Enquirer and internet sites, is carrying John Edwards' child. The real scandal in this video—at least to the Al Gore left—is the near deification of the carbon spewing corporate jet that tools the trial lawyer/hedge fund consultant/man of the people around the country.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

ATMs at the tollway, Chris?

There are many questions the feds will ask Governor Rod Blagojevich's confidant Chris Kelly once he flips. I hope they don't forget this one:

What exactly was your role in securing a no-bid ATM contract at the tollway for a company that employed Rod's brother. Did you talk to Rod about it?
Fully explained here.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pincher zeroes in on governor


The best part of the double pincher movement is that if the defenders turn to engage one flanker the other flanker will be totally unseen and coming in directly behind the defenders.

–from a military website

Now that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has his left flank fully in place, he can proceed upon his prey, Governor Rod Blagojevich. Does anybody seriously doubt how this is going to turn out?

Rod's two main fundraisers are now both indicted. Rezko on the right, Kelly on the left. Can Rod run right up the middle and avoid Fitzgerald? What are the odds, Chris?

I knew the indictment was imminent this morning when the blog was being pounded with hits related to Kelly. Here's what I've written about him.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bad day for Hillary's 'family friend'


Convicted criminal and Democratic campaign donor extraordinaire John Burgess had a bad day. First, he took a couple hits in federal court and then Fox Chicago did a three-minute exclusive story highlighting alleged fraud at his beleaguered business consulting firm, International Profit Associates in the Chicago suburbs.

The Fox story was not kind to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, questioning, as I have done several times here, why she won't return money from a company she is investigating. And, Fox wanted to know, why has the investigation taken four years with no results when a federal judge in a civil fraud lawsuit found recently that the case brought by 40 small businesses across the country amounted to a valid racketeering cause of action.

Fox noted that IPA has thrown around more than $1 million in campaign contributions to various politicians, mostly in Illinois. Hillary Clinton has taken roughly $165,000 in IPA cash and has ridden in the IPA corporate jet. A Clinton spokesman once described Burgess as a "family friend."

In federal court today, judge Elaine Bucklo turned down a request from IPA to reconsider her refusal last week to dismiss the racketeering case. Small business owners turned right around and filed motions to preserve evidence and to freeze Burgess' assets, noting his criminal past.

There is a great likelihood that Burgess might hide or otherwise dissipate its illegal ill-gotten funds if his assets are not frozen. Burgess has a history of misappropriating, hiding, and refusing to return funds. During the investigation that preceded his 1987 disbarment as a lawyer in New York, Burgess "testified under oath before the staff of the [Grievance] Committee, he stated that he was a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of Illinois. He subsequently conceded that he had never been admitted to the Bar in that State.

He admitted under oath that he refused to comply with lawful directives from the Social Security Administration made on August 1, 1985 and November 15, 1985 to refund an illegal fee of $ 1,400, until after his client retained another lawyer and brought a lawsuit for recovery of the fee. Bank records show that on August 1, 1985, respondent withdrew the sum of $ 40,000 from the estate account and deposited the proceeds in his office account, and that after August 13, 1985, the
balance in his office account was substantially below the sum of $ 40,000."

The court held, "that the above admissions and uncontroverted evidence demonstrate that respondent is guilty of misconduct immediately threatening the public interest. Clearly, on the evidence before us, he cannot be trusted with clients' funds and he should be suspended forthwith."
Madigan didn't have much of an answer to why she refuses to disassociate herself from a company she is investigating. Reporter Nancy Pender said only that Madigan's office noted "that investigations like this take time."

Yes, investigations like this certainly do take time.

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Jayne Thompson and Patti Blagojevich

Everyone realizes that Big Jim Thompson's letter to the Chicago Tribune defending Rod and Patti Blagojevich was just a service to his client. His argument that it wasn't a legitimate story that the FBI is probing Patti Blagojevich's real estate commissions from state contractors and contributors is absurd and he probably knows it.

Back when he was governor, his own wife sought to avoid mixing her legal work with her husband's job as governor. This is from a March 4, 1987 story in the Tribune titled, "Family First: Jayne Thompson's sticking to her diet, helping with homework and working part-time to make ends meet (link not available)."

She no longer practices law because ``I`m somewhat of a liability to some law firms. It precludes them from getting the kinds of state business they think they are entitled to and probably are.``

Sensitive to conflict-of-interest charges, she tries to avoid any hint of impropriety as wife of the highest official in the state.
Not exactly the ethical standard that Patti Blagojevich is abiding by these days.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Wiggle room on Sunnyside

As the Chicago Tribune methodically tracks down First Lady Patti Blagojevich's real estate commissions, one little disclaimer in all the stories is being overlooked.

The Blagojevichs refuse to come clean on the extent of her work. What the Governor and his wife are disclosing still might constitute a less-than-complete picture of her commissions, which total more than $200,000 since Rod became governor, as best the Tribune can tell.

The governor's office has characterized inquiries about Patricia Blagojevich's dealings as sexist, saying she was a successful businesswoman long before her husband became governor in 2003.

While releasing their jointly filed income-tax returns that show profits from her River Realty Inc., the Blagojeviches have refused to provide tax documents from the company or her list of clients.

But the Tribune's investigation into Patricia Blagojevich's real estate dealings has documented a steady income -- more than $200,000 -- to the Blagojevich household from key political supporters, campaign fundraisers and state contractors since he was elected.
It's possible, according to accountants I've talked to, for the Blagojevichs to be offsetting the commission with corporate losses. That means the figure the Blagojevichs are providing to the public quite possibly is a subset of the total commissions she is earning.

Good luck getting the real information from the Governor or his spokeswoman. The only consolation is that we all presume the feds already know the real story and someday will tell us.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

NOW endorses Hillary, sexual harassment

In a world that was logical, a group that claims to protect women wouldn't be endorsing a presidential candidate who has a top donor accused by the federal government of "egregious" sexual harassment.

Not only did Hillary Clinton accept about $165,000 in campaign donations from business owner and accused sexual harasser John Burgess, she rode on his International Profit Associates jet and spoke at an IPA company function. All while the allegations were pending in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

None of that seems to bother the Illinois chapter of NOW, which proudly endorsed the sexual harassment enabler from New York, for her "long history of support for women's empowerment."

I wonder how empowered these women felt, as described by the EEOC's pending lawsuit.

IPA's management, led by John Burgess, created a culture at IPA where sexual harassment flourished. IPA's senior managers harassed women with impunity, sending a signal to lower-level managers and employees that they could do the same. Given the tone set by IPA's senior management, it is not surprising that sexual harassment at IPA was rampant in all departments and at all levels of the company. Women at IPA routinely had to endure a gauntlet of abuse, ranging from sexual solicitations and physical harassment, to sexual comments and offensive sexual materials. Based on the extensive record of harassment presented in this case, IPA is not entitled to a finding that as a matter of law, the sexual harassment that occurred at the company was insufficiently severe or pervasive to survive summary judgment.
Here's what EEOC lawyer Diane Smason said about the case in a May 2006 story in the New York Times.
"This is probably the most egregious case of sex harassment that the Chicago district office has seen. The owner of the company (John Burgess) engaged in harassment, and that set the tone for the company, on down."
The Chicago Tribune's "Swamp" covered the endorsement and of course didn't ask about the incongruity of a so-called women's group endorsing a woman who embraces the support of John Burgess. I guess the reporter didn't feel empowered enough to ask a tough question.

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Cari boxes in Blago

The real significance of indicted Democratic fundraiser Joe Cari's public statements, through his lawyer today and through sources in this important story, is that they don't allow Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to blame the federal pension investigation on former Republican Stuart Levine.

Last year, Rod tried to blame the scandal on Levine, an indicted former Republican insider who joined the Blagojevich fundraising team in 2003. Even the press sniffed out the absurdity of that defense because Rod reappointed him to boards and took a ride on a corporate jet with him to raise money in New York.

But what really put the kibosh on that defense was Cari's partial corroboration of Levine's general account in the Chicago Magazine article by Steve Rhodes and further today by a statement by Cari's lawyer, as reported by Rich Miller.

"There was a heavy interest in a period of time by the Blagojevich people to get Joe on the team to raise money. That recruitment effort - late 2003 and 2004 - was led by Tony Rezko, Chris Kelly, Stu Levine and Gov. Blagojevich. Joe politely declined every request, saying he had retired from politics."
The spotlight on Cari today was because of an AP story by John O'Connor that revealed that Cari was meeting with Blagojevich in March 2004, just weeks before his criminal shakedowns, as described in Cari's plea agreement.

Even Blago's logic twisters are having a difficult time spinning away from Joe Cari's account.

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"I think you are evil and not very bright"

Those are the words this morning in the Miami Herald of our own Democratic mega-fundraiser and lawyer Myron "Mike" Cherry, defending his long-time client, the highly controversial business consulting firm International Profit Associates, based in suburban Chicago.

IPA's lawyer declined to comment for this story, saying The Miami Herald's previous coverage of the issue had been an unfair ``hatchet job.''

''I think you are evil and not very bright,'' IPA lawyer Myron ''Mike'' Cherry said.
The Herald was doing what the Illinois media strangely is largely declining to do—cover the huge story of fraud, politics and sex at IPA. The Herald wrote a story about a significant federal ruling this week that in essence certifies the federal racketeering case against IPA on behalf of 40 small business owners/victims as a legitimate nationwide conspiracy allegation.

Cherry is also known in these parts as "Individual H" in the indictment of Chicago businessman Tony Rezko. That moniker is explained here.

The Herald's original story that Cherry describes as a hatchet job simply chronicled complaints against IPA by small business owners across South Florida. The reporter didn't even mention the looming sexual harassment lawsuit against IPA or all the political donations.

But after Cherry's comments, in this new story, the reporter added the sexual harassment background. Effective PR tactic, Myron. Who is not very bright?

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Court ruling a blow to IPA, Hillary, Lisa

A federal court judge's ruling today got exactly zero coverage from the Illinois media but it will have a strong ripple effect on the future of the large and controversial business consulting firm International Profit Associates and the Democratic politicians who are enabling a company swimming in fraud allegations to operate freely.

Specifically, the ruling could be bad news for Hillary Clinton, who has accepted approximately $165,000 and a corporate jet ride from IPA; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who also took IPA money and whose investigation of the firm has mysteriously gone nowhere; and other politicians who have taken significant money from the Buffalo Grove, IL.-based company.

In U.S. District Court in Chicago, federal judge Elaine Bucklo denied IPA's motion to dismiss a massive nationwide 40-plaintiff lawsuit. In doing so, Bucklo agreed with the small business owners/victims that the allegations amounted to a legitimate racketeering case.

The complaint sufficiently alleges mail and wire fraud, and interstate travel, as a part of defendant's schemes and as the predicate acts of racketeering. The complaint alleges that defendants (1) had a scheme, (2) intended to defraud plaintiffs, and (3) used the telephone and sent materials through facsimile and the mails in furtherance of the scheme, and traveled interstate in furtherance of the scheme. These acts are alleged to have been numerous and continuous, both collectively and with respect to each plaintiff, and spanning over a period of years.
The bad news for Madigan, if the Illinois media ever wakes up and asks her about it, is that by effectively certifying this as a legitimate nationwide fraud allegation, it makes the first-term Democrat appear extremely weak, or worse. Madigan, as I have pointed out numerous times, has been investigating IPA for more than four years without any result. If the federal judge can see the potential nationwide fraud conspiracy, why can't the Illinois AG?

A more cynical person might say Madigan is less than motivated in investigating a company that helped her conduct political phone banks in 2002, and that has given close to $1 million in campaign donations to Democratic politicians over the last several years.

It is also bad news for other Democratic AGs across the country, who, through their political action committee, took $50,000 in donations from IPA in October 2006 while Madigan was conducting her investigation. If there is a nationwide fraud case, Madigan ought to be bringing other state AGs on board to help investigate. Did the $50,000 stifle the AGs' enthusiasm?

In general, it is a horrible day for IPA. The ruling has energized a very vocal group of small business owners, some of whom can be found celebrating the ruling on message boards at the bottom of stories here and here. This means the case will go forward and the chance for more scrutiny will increase.

At the same time IPA is fighting this case, it also is in federal court defending itself against the most expansive sexual harassment lawsuit ever filed by the Chicago office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

And, as we've mentioned before, it appears that IPA is heavily dependent on lighting strike, non-repeat business and therefore is deathly afraid of bad Google results, which tend to kill those sales when a small business owner checks out IPA before hiring it. The firm undoubtedly is trying to influence those Google results, but the more bad news that enters the news flow, the more difficult that becomes.

Background on IPA can be found here.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Time to fight, Barack

Now that Hillary has unleashed the dogs of war to comb even Barack Obama's kindergarten transcript, here's one attack Barack could immediately fire back. We offered this up a few months ago, but Barack has been too genteel to respond. Here it is again.

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The joke is on Democrats

Watch for more of these ads aimed at Democrats who have been "around the barn and back" on their Iraq positions. This one is particularly devastating, aimed at Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken.


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Friday, November 30, 2007

More on "Governor for a Day"

The Illinois Republican Party cleverly started a "Governor for a Day" contest to keep the spotlight shined on Rod "Skates" Blagojevich's public relations gem of attending a pro hockey game while legislators were in Springfield trying to rescue his failed state budget.

The winner of Governor for a Day will begin the day at the hour of their choice. From then, they will be ushered to a salon for a haircut and massage. Following their time at the salon they will be treated to a first-class lunch which will be followed by a tour of the City of Chicago including visits to the Sears Tower and other Chicago landmarks. Ensuring they are treated just like our current governor, the winners will end their day by attending a Chicago Blackhawk's game.
These additional agenda haven't been approved yet by the State Party:

A quick trip to federal prison in Wisconsin to scout the back-door entrance route to avoid the media.

A trip to the mailbox to open a new real estate commission check. Experience the Secret Santa like excitement Rod and Patti must feel not having any idea who the check is from or what it is for!

A special visit by a friend bearing a $1,500 birthday check to your child. This also will be a surprise because that friend never brought such a gift before!

A mystery subpoena!

A special visit by your closest friends where you play an exciting new game. You sit around a table and ask a series of questions before guessing who is wearing a wire! (An advanced way to play is to turn the heat up in your house to 90 degrees and wait to see whose chest sparks first).

I hope the State Party spices up their promotion with these additions, eh, Lance?

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Conference calls before dawn?


One line in Mike Flannery's story about Governor "Skates" Blagojevich made me scratch my head.
So, when he's not there, where is he working? Mostly at his home on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Insiders report that the governor is often up before dawn, making conference calls from a small office there, and sometimes from a political campaign office a few blocks away.
I've been on a lot of conference calls, but none before dawn. Who's Rod calling—campaign contributors in Serbia?

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From the Sandy Berger catalog...

....a gift idea sure to be a hit in the Clinton dirty tricks office.

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The disarming Mr. Hyde

Henry Hyde was the perfect prototype of a Congressman: smart, articulate, distinguished, polite. I wrote that once at the Daily Herald when I covered one of his races in the 1980s. Later, I moved into his district and have been there since.

Upon his passing today, the national and local media will focus today on his legislative accomplishments, his abortion position and his role in the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. They will give scant notice of one of his greatest attributes—his ability, as a conservative, to counteract the mostly liberal press.

Until the impeachment mess, which turned the national media against him, Hyde was treated with much more respect by the media than the average conservative. I'd say in some cases his coverage was in the vicinity of fair.

Hyde was served well by capable aides—Patrick Durante and Sam Stratman—among them. But his good press largely flowed from Henry's combination of smarts and disarming style. I have had conservative clients listen to Hyde's radio interviews to pick up a few pointers. When the media invariably asked their pointed questions on abortion or another social issue, Hyde never demonized his opponents or the media. He acknowledged their point of view and treated them with respect. He always never pandered, standing firm on his principles but expressing them in non-aggressive language. He was always more informed than his interviewer or adversary so he came out ahead on both substance and style.

He was without peer, among conservatives, in dealing with the press. His frequent appearances throughout his career on the WBBM AM 780's half-hour public affairs show "At Issue" should be required listening for conservative candidates.

His successor, Peter Roskam, has watched Hyde closely over the years and displays some of the same rare skills. He also never wavers on his principles but communicates in a dignified, soothing, thoughtful manner.

Henry Hyde, the great disarmer. That is what I'll remember most about my congressman.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Governor Puck-off

CBS 2 Chicago's Mike Flannery did a long piece tonight about our work-at-home governor, who apparently believes they built those majestic multi-story state buildings in Springfield and Chicago for someone other than the state's chief executive.

Apparently, that middle-finger salute to us wasn't enough for Governor "Skates" Blagojevich, who picked this evening to attend the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game at the exact time the Legislature was debating and ultimately defeating a transit bail-out bill.

Then, a third middle finger gesture topped off the report in the form of a horrendously overplayed statement from Skates' Minister of Disinformation, Abby Ottenhoff, who had the cold steel to describe the report as sleazy journalism.

I bet even George Ryan cringed.

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Quinn for

Blogger John Ruberry at Marathon Pundit has been instrumental in making sure that the University of Illinois honors its pledge to award scholarships to veterans. Pat Quinn is now following Ruberry's lead. Quinn should have been this vocal when his running mate, Rod Blagojevich, was bypassing veteran's preference rules to hire his political cronies. Of course at that time Quinn had to keep quiet because he wanted to be the beneficiary of Rod's dirty money to get re-elected.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Manhunt ends: CBS locates governor

We finally are going to find out what our Governor does all day. CBS 2 Chicago is promising to tell us (h/t Rich Miller) what Rod Blagojevich is doing when he's not answering federal subpoenas, raising campaign funds from state contractors, counting his wife's real estate commissions from state contractors, or cashing $1,500 checks from the spouses of state workers.

To prime viewers for the Mike Flannery news report, here's an encore showing of a Jim Ryan 2002 campaign commercial that questioned Rod's work ethic.


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Monday, November 26, 2007

More sunshine on IPA

Florida's largest newspaper, the Miami Herald, gave major treatment to the story of fraud complaints against the controversial business consulting firm International Profit Associates and noted that the Florida Attorney General has turned over the information to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Florida's attorney general has registered 28 complaints against IPA and passed those concerns along to its Illinois counterpart, which is investigating the company. While IPA has been sued by individual clients in the past, this is the first time that former customers have banded together in court.
That was Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum's first mistake—if he wants anything done about IPA. Madigan, a Democrat, has been investigating IPA, a political donor, for more than four years without producing any results. And the Democratic Attorneys General Association, the political action committee of Democratic AGs, took one of its largest campaign donations, $50,000, from IPA last year in the midst of Madigan's "probe."

Getting anyone in Illinois interested in IPA fraud complaints will be difficult. The New York Times and now the Miami Herald have delved deeply into the IPA matter but not the Chicago media. That is puzzling to say the least considering that IPA is headquartered in suburban Buffalo Grove and it has showered Illinois politicians with hundreds of thousands in campaign donations. IPA also has given Hillary Clinton more than $150,000. For all my posts on IPA, go here.

There are active communities of victims who vent their frustrations with IPA here, here and now at the bottom of the Miami Herald story.

A friend recently asked me if the Illinois media freeze on IPA was related to the IPA radio and TV ads that seem to air constantly on Chicago stations. Seems like a fair question.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

More bad news for press

Another bad week for the Illinois press. The publisher, editor and managing editor of one of the best downstate newspapers, the State Journal-Register in Springfield, resigned on the same day, presumably part of more cost-cutting by New York-based parent GateHouse Media Inc.

And, just a little while ago, the suburban Daily Herald posted a story telling readers it can't shoot photographs of the state high school football championship games in Champaign this weekend because of a dispute with the Illinois High School Athletic Association. The Herald is left to solicit photographs from its readers.

While the final resolution of this matter may ultimately come from the courts, the Daily Herald has an obligation to report the state championships as completely as we can. So we will include photos from state tournament events in our print edition by whatever ethical means available.

That means you'll likely see images provided to us by the Associated Press, and quite possibly from fans of Driscoll, Lake Zurich, Glenbard North and Naperville North. Readers, feel free to send us your best shots to
Sadly, the Daily Herald's plight this weekend appears to be the future of journalism: fewer photographers, reporters and editors.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rudy's gift

He's the best politician I've seen at deflecting and turning around tough questions in a natural, relaxed and non-defensive manner. Nobody does it better than Rudy. Listen to how easily he swats away ABC reporter Andy's Shaw's question about Bernie Kerik.

This skill will serve him well if he faces Hillary Clinton in the general election. He ought to engage the press often in these forums and challenge Hillary to do the same.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Democrats' DMZ

Tonight's presidential debate was a perfect example of the MSM's subtle protection of Democrats. CNN moderators, in a two-hour debate, talked little about global warming, radical Islamic terrorism or the surge in Iraq. All are very difficult issues for Democrats to answer once you get past the slogans. Global warming would seem to be a Dem-friendly topic but the proposed solutions are radical, unnecessary, and unpopular with the American people.

These all are issues front and center in the news every day. Why not at this debate?

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Winning invisibly

Military history/commentator Victor Davis Hanson says our recent military successes in Iraq are comparable to key turning points in American military history.

Nevertheless, we may be witnessing one of those radical, unforeseen reversals in America's wars that have often changed our history.

The White House was burned by British forces in late August 1814; a little more than four months later, the British were routed at New Orleans. During the Civil War, the Union army was on the ropes in July 1864 yet outside Atlanta by September. The Germans were driving through France in March 1918, but fleeing toward the Rhine by August. The communists took Seoul in early January 1951, yet were pushed back across the Demilitarized Zone a little more than three months later.
Yet, the turnaround is largely invisible to the American people.

But that dramatic turnabout in Iraq is rarely reported on. We know as much about O.J.'s escapades in Vegas as we do about the Anbar awakening or the flight of al-Qaeda from Baghdad. When we occasionally do hear about Iraq, it is just as likely through a Hollywood movie — In the Valley of Elah, Redacted, Lions for Lambs — preaching to us how the U.S. was mostly incompetent or amoral in fighting a hopeless war.

The Abu Ghraib prison scandal of 2004 warranted 32 consecutive days on the New York Times' s front page. Congressional appeals for timetables and scheduled withdrawals, amid cries of "fiasco" and "quagmire," were regularly reported this summer. Now, though, there is largely silence in newspaper headlines about the growing peace in Anbar province.
Now that things are going well in Iraq, the news media is interested in global warming scare stories, SCHIP scare stories, and the "looming" recession, an agenda oddly identical to the Democratic Party's.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ohio's tool

I've already reported that Democratic state Attorneys General are not quite the same "consumer crusaders" when a company plops down $50,000 in their 527 political action committee.

When researching this, I read a few articles about Ohio's new Democratic Attorney General, Marc Dann. When it comes to partisanship, he puts New York's Eliot Spitzer to shame. Dann was raising money for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), the political 527 committee, before he was elected AG. One of his first actions as AG was to sue those nefarious public villians, charter schools, in an obvious suck-up to teachers unions.

I'm trying to figure out who Dann hasn't sued since he took office, other than International Profit Associates, the high-pressure consulting company riddled with fraud allegations that gave DAGA the $50,000.

Oh, and he's a hothead and possible religious bigot. He was caught on tape recently cursing a reporter and intercepted emails show he doesn't appear to have much respect for Christians.

Ohio has this guy at least another three years. I wonder if residents are starting to realize there is no chance they can expect straightforward, non-partisan law enforcement from their chief legal officer during that time?

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O'Hare's 'voodoo' economics

For those who like to rate the Chicago news media's biggest mistake over the years, it just may be the over-the-top boosterism for expansion of O'Hare International Airport.

The Chicago Tribune's corporate chieftains decided a few years ago to push the project by harassing every politician who opposed it. Many buckled and switched positions in favor of expansion. One who didn't, U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald, explicitly warned that nearly every aspect of the expansion was unwise and unworkable. He was particularly harsh on the economics.

Over the weekend, the Tribune revealed that the FAA wasn't inclined to lift flight caps at O'Hare, a huge blow to those who still insist the plan can work. Within the story is the Tribune's narrative about the shaky economics, stated exactly as Fitzgerald predicted several years ago.
But so far, the airlines have not agreed to pay for the second portion of O'Hare expansion, citing concerns about construction delays and spiraling costs.

The Daley administration initially said the massive airport project would be finished in 2013. Lacking airline agreements and still fighting airport opponents in court over the relocation of a nearby cemetery, the city has not set a date for the project's completion. The extension of flight caps would severely complicate Chicago's effort to pay for the O'Hare expansion, which is behind schedule and at least $400 million over budget.

The city's financial arrangement with the airlines for O'Hare's expansion is based largely on a "pavement before payment" strategy. The city has taken major responsibility to pay the costs for the runway-expansion project up front, mainly by going deeply into debt by selling a higher percentage of bonds than is customary under a traditional airport expansion project.

The airlines, in turn, were expected to reimburse the city, predominantly through increases in landing-fee revenue and passenger ticket taxes, when the new runways came online, allowing a significant increase in O'Hare flights.
But, if increased flights are allowed at O'Hare, how could United and American survive after tacking on large ticket price increases? I guess only after continuing to squeeze out discount carriers who would undercut those high prices.

The entire plan is built on a shaky house of cards that is crashing down.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dem AGs take $50K from investigated firm

There are 31 Democratic state Attorneys General and more than a few of them, like Andrew Cuomo of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Marc Dann of Ohio, and Lisa Madigan of Illinois, fashion themselves as activist crusaders for consumers and small businesses.

Last May, the New York Times gave them a front page hot tip ("Rubbing Shoulders with Trouble, Presidents") about a controversial Illinois company whose business consulting services are the subject of hundreds of complaints from small businesses across the land. Surely, the sultans of scam-busting would pounce.

What did the Democratic AGs do? They waited a few weeks and, instead of investigating, took a huge campaign donation from the company, International Profit Associates, through their 527 political action committee. As the complaints continue to pile up, those "aggressive, activist" AGs, at least when it comes to IPA, are deep at sleep.

Madigan has said publicly that she has been investigating IPA since 2003. That's four plus years without a result. Considering she has more than 170 complaints within her office, and there are another 400 plus on file with the Better Business Bureau and hundreds more in AGs office across America, that inaction is hard to explain.

Madigan has directly taken $20,750 in donations from IPA, which include the use of IPA headquarters in 2002 to do phone banks when she was first seeking the office. Her spokeswoman said last year that Madigan would not return IPA money because it was taken before her "investigation" began. I don't know for sure that Madigan is a member of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, but it is highly unusual for a company under an investigation from a Democratic AG to be giving money to the political arm of the national group of Dem AGs.

Another one of the Dem AGs, Cuomo of New York, returned money from IPA last year prior to the NY Times article, as did many other major politicians across the country. Some other politicians, most notably Hillary Clinton, refuse to return IPA money despite the company's checkered past, which, in addition to the fraud allegations, include a massive pending sexual harassment lawsuit, the criminal past of its main founder, and the mentioning of its longtime lawyer in the high profile Tony Rezko indictment.

From my previous work in the Illinois Attorney General's office I can tell you the IPA matter is ripe for a multi-state investigation spearheaded by Madigan because the company is headquartered in her state. The $50,000 donation appears to be IPA's attempt to break up any momentum for such a wider probe. It's hard to argue the strategy is not working.

And where has the MSM been during all this? About as active as the AGs. It's not like the issue is too inconsequential to cover. When Republicans formed the Republican Attorneys General Association 527 committee in the 1990s, there were plenty of major national stories about how corporations were attempting to evade enforcement actions from the AGs by giving them campaign contributions.

One more question. Who, exactly, solicited IPA for the 527 donation at a time when it was clearly known that the Illinois AG was investigating the company? Was it an Attorney General? Was it Ohio's Marc Dann, who, as a candidate for AG was soliciting donations on behalf of the 527 during the same week the IPA contribution came in, this article says.

Many questions remain unanswered. Journalists?

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Special Illinois legislation

Did you see this?

Introduced today by U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, HB 1123 allows Illinois governors and other public officials unfettered access to penitentiaries to start their sentences and prohibits gang media coverage of such. The legislation was inspired by her husband's incarceration. She consulted with her former seattmate, current Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, as well. Referred to Rules Committee.
The sad part about the language above I just made up is that it's plausible in Illinois.

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NY Times gives victory page 19 treatment

The biggest issue of the last several years in America—certainly Iraq. The NY Times reported today that our biggest enemy in Iraq, al-Qaeda, has been driven out of the country's biggest city. Page 1? Try 19.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Media's ‘flawless' suicide

Wonder why newspaper circulation is plummeting and the MSM in general is losing influence faster than a liberal whines "Swift Boat?"

Look no further than how the news media is covering Hillary Clinton. Every three seconds or so, some lame pundit is declaring that Hillary is running a "flawless campaign."

Translated, that means Hillary is so far removed from media scrutiny that she rarely speaks to them; thus, she rarely misspeaks. She also is raising exhorbitant amounts of money and thus, the news media projects, she will be able to drown out all the noise about the questionable nature of much of that fundraising.

The MSM merrily says that Hillary is playing the political game well. That's fine and it's true but the odd part is that Hillary's game is to neuter the MSM. Thus the MSM is grinning about its own demise.

I find it beyond strange that in the Democratic presidential debate last week, the media "elite" team of Tim Russert and Brian Williams wouldn't ask Hillary about her enormous fundraising scandal involving Norman Hsu. I guess not having to answer such a question fits into the media's definition of running a "flawless campaign"—even if it's the MSM that fails to ask the question.

So the media fails to do the only thing that can help stop its industry slide—make itself relevant. A strange strategy, indeed.

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When America wins, Democrats lose

Michael Yon, the journalist I trust most in Iraq, was interviewed at length the other day by Hugh Hewitt and makes the following observation:

HH: Is it fair to say that the good guys are winning decisively?

MY: Very fair at this point. If you would have said that back in February, I would have had to say absolutely not. But right now, it's very fair, and I believe, accurate.
Yon, as I've pointed out before, is far from an administration shill. He was the first person to say Iraq had turned into a civil war a couple of years ago. He now is more optimistic than he ever has been.

This would be very bad news for Democrats if the MSM highlighted their statements about how all is lost in Iraq. Because that won't happen, Republicans will have to force the message out through new media and 527s.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Deterrence and George Ryan

The personal story today for George Ryan and his family is not something I want to see. It's sad to see a 73-year-old man surrender maybe his last years to prison, separated from a wife he truly seems to love.

What I find most fascinating about the George Ryan story is not the death penalty moratorium phase of his career. No matter how many times some liberals deny it, it was a smokescreen to deflect political criticism. It actually worked, albeit only slightly. For a Republican curmudgeon governor to go to prison for corruption without a torrent of scorn—that's some moratorium spin at work.

No, what I think is most interesting is that the next Governor watched the George Ryan saga unfold—hell, campaigned on it—and now finds himself on the precipice of exactly the same fate. That is a more compelling personal story to me. I don't think George Ryan's fate is shocking. His public career was riddled with corruption allegations so much so he campaigned for governor as an old time politician.

Rod Blagojevich was going to be different, he said. There is a debate raging on whether the death penalty is a deterrent. The real debate ought to be whether one federal corruption prosecution of an Illinois governor deters another. It doesn't look like it, does it?

For those who do want to know about the human side of George's visit to Oxford on Wednesday, I recommend Burt Constable's excellent column today. Burt is misguided politically and has poor taste in baseball teams, but he is a good guy and an excellent columnist.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quinn's political "courage"

Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn didn't say a peep through the most corruption-laden four years of state government ever, benefited from the corruption to get re-elected via Governor Rod Blagojevich's insider-funded TV ads, and, NOW, is fed up.

Where is the media to call him on this?

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jim Ryan's strength

Former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan's talk today was the most powerful I've ever heard him deliver. Tragically, the event was the funeral of his 24-year-old son Patrick J. Ryan, who took his own life Sunday evening.

Jim eulogized Patrick in a strong, unwavering voice at Visitation Catholic Church in Elmhurst, before an overflow crowd of 500 or so. The pews were filled with sobs throughout the tribute and more so at the end, when, voice finally breaking, he bid goodbye to his youngest son.

Patrick had a sweet soul and a kind spirit. I first met him 12 years ago as I accompanied Jim Ryan downstate to a political event in a rickety airplane. Patrick rode in the co-pilot's seat and was awestruck by the experience. He was a polite, smart kid who was hit with a lot at once—the death of his younger sister Annie of a brain tumor, the near deaths of both Jim (to cancer) and his mother Marie (heart attack). Through it all, Patrick suffered mightily from a lifelong arthritis that left him constantly in physical pain. He never was able to fully overcome those obstacles, Jim told those at the service.

But now that sweet soul and kind spirit has peace and is reunited with his beloved sister in a better place, Jim Ryan explained.

It was crystal clear to all who heard Jim speak that his faith has helped him through his family's tragedies. It has given him peace through the storms. It was a lesson that he sent directly to the hearts of all who heard it today.

I have spent a lot of time around the Ryan family over the past 12 years and I marvel at their strength during times of adversity. There are few people on earth kinder than Marie Ryan. Jim and Marie's children, extended family, and network of friends, all are loving and supportive. I have learned a lot about life being around them.

The woman who succeeded Jim Ryan as Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, attended the service, as did Comptroller Dan Hynes, Illinois Supreme Court Justices Bob Thomas and Anne Burke, former state Senate President James "Pate" Philip, Congresswoman Judy Biggert, and DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett. Many others have given the family comforting words in the last few dark days, including presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Jim Ryan would have been a tremendous governor. That didn't work out. He doesn't go around whining about it. Instead, he quietly counsels hundreds of cancer patients and teaches students about government. Although he is retired from politics, he represents what is right about public life in Illinois. May God bless him and his family during the weeks and months ahead.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

IPA victim speaks out

On nationwide internet radio last evening, talk show host Andrea Shea King interviewed me about International Profit Associates and Hillary Clinton. The most compelling part of the interview was a lengthy call-in from a New Hampshire plumbing business owner, Shelley Amari, who described how she was scammed by the suburban Chicago company, whose top officials have given politicians about $1 million.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

* Obama-JFK asterisks


Yesterday, Barack Obama was with JFK's former speechwriter Ted Sorensen trying to convince the world that Obama and JFK are similar, particularly in their possession of superior "judgment."

The Obama campaign just released the following asterisks signifying where the comparison fell apart:

* JKF was for a strong national defense.
* JFK won at least one political debate.
* JFK favored tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
* JFK escalated a pre-emptive war on foreign soil without an exit strategy.
* JFK ran the dirtiest campaigns of his time.
* JFK once said America would, "pay any price, bear any burden."
* JFK once said " path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission."
* JFK's superior "judgment" included sleeping with the mistress of America's most powerful Mob boss.
Other than that, Obama and JFK are like soul mates.

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BaHack Obama

Barack Obama, the beacon of light and hope from Illinois, is proving once again he's no different than any ordinary partisan hack out there. He just signed onto a letter from Senate Democrats complaining about Rush Limbaugh in a manufactured controversy funded by George Soros minions.

A week earlier, he carefully drafted the words below after ducking the condemnation vote, that, in light of his signature on the Limbaugh letter, make him look silly once again.

This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq. It's precisely this kind of political game-playing that makes most Americans cynical about Washington's ability to solve America's problems.
Barack was against political game-playing before he was for it.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another narrative bites the dust

We are certainly in favor of breaking apart the MSM narratives that dominate the news, such as the global warming stampede.

An issue the news media doesn't care about because Democrats don't care about it is school choice. An interesting report was released today by the Washington-based Center for Education Reform that throws cold water on the notion that Oakland is the showcase for school reform. A combination of tons of private donations, charter schools and determined leadership helped the schools system there recover from the economic and performance abyss.

However, as the report indicates, some may be misinterpreting the results to suggest that money was the driving force behind the change. Far from it. The thorough report shows that the fundamentals of competition, political will and perseverance are more important than money. And it points out that even with the gains, test scores in Oakland still have a long way to go, compared to other California schools.

But holding up Oakland as a national model for its inputs alone, even though it is still not clear those inputs are capable of leading to the kind of academic outputs for students that one might expect for $500-plus per student, is potentially damaging to districts that decide to emulate that model. What the nation needs right now are education models with proven success, not good ideas that come accompanied by loud (even if well-intentioned) cheerleaders alone.
The report ought to be a big boost for the charter school movement. Now, back to presidential campaign and discussions about Obama girls, $300 hair cuts and fired fundraisers.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Soros+Gore=A New World odor

A monster tax increase based on George Soros-inspired propaganda-science? Guess again, Democrats.

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Bloggers top media in trustworthiness

5.8 percent--bloggers
4.4 percent--media
2.6 percent--members of Congress

That is the trustworthiness quotient the public has for the above groups, according to a new poll. The "victory" for bloggers rivals the NL Central MLB title in cache value.

As a public relations professional, I hereby advise reporters and congresspeople who have blogs to front the information to the public for an immediate boost in perceived trustworthiness.

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Hillary's swiss cheese "vetting"

On Meet the Press last Sunday, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that new vetting procedures had been been put in place to prevent her from taking money from sleaze merchants like Norman Hsu.

If you think you've heard that line before, you are right.

The spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton, Ann Lewis, said Mrs. Clinton was not aware of Mr. Burgess's background when he held fund-raising affairs for her in 2000 and 2003, nor did she know whether other prominent Democrats had rejected contributions. She said that Mrs. Clinton's vetting procedures have been strengthened since the senator's appearance at I.P.A.
That paragraph appeared in a May 2006 article in the New York Times focusing on questionable contributions to Clinton from Illinois-based International Profit Associates, a business consulting company run by a convicted criminal that is beset by fraud allegations and a massive federal sexual harassment lawsuit.

Small business owners across the country, frustrated by Hillary's continued refusal to turn away IPA funds, have written her this letter today. The small business owners were victimized by IPA's fraud and are suing IPA in a federal racketeering lawsuit pending in Chicago.
Hillary Clinton for President
4420 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA. 22203

Dear Senator Clinton:
We, the undersigned small business owners from across the country are deeply offended that you continue to accept campaign contributions from top officials of a business consulting company, International Profit Associates (IPA), Buffalo Grove, IL., that defrauded us. As we struggle in federal court via a civil racketeering lawsuit to recover the thousands of dollars this company took from us illegally, you continue to use political donations that might have come directly from our pockets.

We also are appalled because you accepted the money amid dark clouds of fraud allegations, a criminal past by the company's founder, and one of the largest sexual harassment lawsuits ever filed by the federal government.

We are trying to fight back against this company and you, Senator Clinton, are enabling it. We ask that you immediately donate to charity the more than $150,000 the New York Times says you've accepted from IPA's top officials, a figure that includes a ride on IPA's corporate jet and a donation from a high school age son of an IPA official.

Surely, now, in the wake of the Norman Hsu scandal, your political staff will turn up the background we've known about for some time, including:

 IPA is being sued by the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for widespread sexual harassment. In a New York Times article May 7, 2006 titled, "Rubbing Shoulders with Trouble, and Presidents," EEOC lawyer Diane Smason called the allegations "probably the most egregious" ever filed by the agency's Chicago office. She said the investigation found that "sex harassment is the standard operating procedure for this company." That case is pending in U.S. District Court.

 The Illinois Attorney General's office has acknowledged publicly that it is investigating IPA for alleged fraud.

 The Better Business Bureau says IPA has an "unsatisfactory record" based on reoccurring complaints that total 427 in the last three years. The BBB has issued "alerts" in various states to warn businesses that IPA was soliciting work there.

 The company founder, John Burgess, is a convicted criminal, according to numerous published reports. He was convicted of attempted grand larceny and of soliciting a 16-year-old prostitute, those reports state. He was disbarred as a lawyer in New York state in July 1987 for "failing to answer charges which involved perjury, larceny, a conviction for patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute, possession of drugs and engaging in a pattern over a six-year period of lies and deceit," according to The Lawyers Fund for Client Protection of New York state. Burgess also is named as a key defendant in the sexual harassment lawsuit.

 The company's attorney, Myron "Mike" Cherry, also a contributor of yours, has been identified in published reports as "Individual H" in the Illinois criminal indictment of businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Cherry has acknowledged in published reports that he was the conduit for some of the IPA campaign contributions.

 Already, politicians across the country have returned donations from IPA because of the company's checkered past. Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager are among those who have returned contributions from IPA.

We have made our fraud allegations in a federal racketeering lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Mrs. Clinton, we see from published reports that you have identified yourself as a champion for women's rights and an advocate for small business owners. We cannot fathom, in light of those self-labels, how you could possibly accept campaign contributions from a company accused by the federal government of sexually harassing scores of women and one that has left behind a long trail of fraud complaints from small business owners. Do you believe the 114 women who were allegedly sexually harassed at IPA are not telling the truth about that harassment? Do you believe the Better Business Bureau is wrong? Do you think the state Attorney General is unjustified in her investigation of IPA?

We believe this is our concern because the campaign contributions you continue to accept came from the money that we believe was taken from us illegally. We do not believe you should continue to further your political career with such tainted cash.

We are not singling you out in this request. We plan to make the same request to other public officials who continue to accept and hold IPA-related campaign contributions. We wrote you first because you are running for President and certainly should be setting an example for other politicians.

Amari Company, Inc., Amherst, NH.
Amazing Productions, Inc., Tamarac, FL.
Precision Painting and Decorating, Inc., Elmhurst, IL.
All About Construction, Inc., Fort Myers, FL.
Capital Removal, Gold River, CA.
BBQ Island, LLC., Gilbert, AZ.
Compsolution VA, Inc., Richmond, VA.
JRP Construction, LLC., Yuma, AZ.
Evco Commercial Construction, Corp., Lake Elsinore, CA.
Gunnison Metal Shop, Inc., Gunnison, CA.
Captains Select Seafood, Minneapolis, MN.
MSI Redimix Inc., Mesquite, CA.
Joseph E. Clouse, Inc., Lehigh Acres, FL.
Kyles Discount Stuff, McPherson, KS.
Dames Air, LLC., Warrenton, MO.
Home Theater Design Group, Carrollton, TX.
Gigs Inc., Tewksbury, MA.
Cool Access LLC., Mesquite, TX.
Philipsburg Electric & Supply, Inc., Philipsburg, PA.
Gilbert-American Companies, Rockwall, TX.
Hinsdale Sales and Rental, Inc., Hinsdale, NH.
Hitech Fire Detection, Inc., Houston, TX.
Tonight, the Democratic candidates for President are debating in New Hampshire. Considering that some of IPA's victims are from that state, it would be the perfect time for somebody to ask Hillary about how IPA has escaped her vaunted vetting procedures.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Paralysis in the AG's office

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, it was revealed today, is expecting her second child. We wonder how big her family will be when she finally concludes her investigation of a campaign contributor.

Small business owners across the country, who I'm assisting, wonder too.

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