Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Illinois State Workers Forced To Attend Political Event On Taxpayers' Dime State Worker Charges

The Daily Caller has obtained an affidavit from an Illinois state employee employed by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission charging that her supervisor pressured dozens of state workers to attend a highly politicized event in Chicago sponsored by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr's Rainbow PUSH Coalition attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., at which Pelosi endorsed Jackson in his re-election bid. According to Marcy Bailey, more than 60 employees of the agency attended the event on the taxpayer's dime. The state agency funded with federal tax dollars reimbursed Bailey and her co-workers for travel expenses to the event.

In the signed and notarized affidavit obtained by TheDC, Bailey said she “did not want to attend this event,” and charged that the Rainbow PUSH forum “was soon overflowing with negative political energy directed towards the Republican Party. The two [Pelosi and Jackson Sr.] discussed many adverse things about the Republican Party, using harsh, derogatory remarks, while they reminded their audience about what they called the wonderful things that the Democratic Party was doing for the people.”
“Although e-mails from an ISAC supervisor would lead one to believe that my attendance was optional, during phone calls from Sara Henschen, my regional coordinator, and from Kim Galvan, ISACorps manager, I was told that I ‘must attend,’” Bailey wrote in her affidavit. “Repeatedly, my supervisors told me that ‘without a prior conflicting commitment, your attendance is mandatory.’ I stated that I did not feel comfortable going, but my supervisors told me that I did have to go.”
Bailey explained how Galvan told her to report her travel hours to and from Chicago — “approximately five hours and 500 round trip miles” from her residence — on her time sheets so she would be paid for the time. The agency also reimbursed her and her fellow ISACorps employees for hotel rooms and meals. She also stated that her coworker, who drove to Chicago and back, “would have been reimbursed for mileage.”
She and her coworkers were told to arrive at Rainbow PUSH headquarters, according to her affidavit, by 9:30 a.m. that day even though the Pelosi event didn’t start until 10:00 a.m.
“When I arrived at the meeting location, our ISAC directors instructed us to go to the second floor and congregate in a side hallway outside of zwhere Jesse Jackson Sr. was speaking to a group of individuals, including candidates and other political figures that were being addressed as ‘judge’ and ‘senator,’” Bailey wrote. “With cameras flashing, Jesse Jackson Sr., candidates and politicians left the conference room, and we were staged to look like we were political supporters. In other words, we were used as props during a campaign season.”
The ISACorps workers then moved into the forum where Pelosi and Jackson Sr. were set to speak. Bailey wrote that the event began as a non-political gathering — a forum for Pelosi to see the ISACorps workers — but later became “largely a political rally, and there was no opportunity for those of us who were not there to participate in a political rally to leave without it being noticeable.”
Bailey claims in her affidavit that Rev. Jackson in a private meeting with the state employees urged them to aid students in loading up their student loan debt because the Democrats planned to eventually forgive repayment of their student loans. “Jesse Jackson Sr. also told us not to worry about loading students up with too much college debt, because Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will eventually forgive all student loan debt. On the promise of debt forgiveness, ‘those people will continue to vote Democratic.’” When the DC contacted the agency's spokesman, John Samuels, to comment on Bailey's allegations, he responded, "You're full of shit." Samuels also objected to the DC reporter referring to Pelosi as the Minority Leader as opposed to her former role as Speaker. “It really pains you to call her ‘Speaker Pelosi’ doesn’t it? Samuels claimed the event at which Pelosi endorsed Rep. Jackson occurred separately from the event the state workers attended. Rep. Jackson has been on leave from work the past several months while he has been treated for a mental breakdown at the Mayo Clinic. Yesterday, a spokesman for Rep. Jackson confirmed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

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