Friday, September 22, 2006

Why Isn't This Happening Here?

You might call it politics as usual in Chicago, but at least there's some attempt to hold people accountable there. From the front-page of today's Chicago Sun-Times:

FBI agents raided at least seven Cook County offices Thursday morning looking for evidence that officials were illegally doctoring tests or otherwise cheating to give government jobs and promotions to politically connected applicants.

"Step away from the computers," one of the 25 FBI agents who massed at the county's Human Resources Department told employees. The agents arrived at 9 a.m. and stayed long past dark poring through records, taking some with them.

The raids came a month after a Sun-Times story quoted county department heads as saying former Cook County Board President John Stroger's patronage chief Gerald Nichols pressured them to hire clouted people for jobs in which political hiring was prohibited. And the raids followed several years of news reports detailing alleged corruption, mismanagement and patronage hiring in county agencies.

FBI agents also appeared at Stroger Hospital, Oak Forest Hospital, the downtown Cook County Forest Preserve offices, Provident Hospital, Cermak Hospital and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center to serve subpoenas for records.

Does anyone at the Indianapolis office of the FBI actually notice what's happening under their own noses? They might want to start by doing what their Chicago counterparts are doing at the Center Township Trustee's office, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Rep. Julia Carson's office to name just a few. And by the way, how many people in Carson's congressional office actually perform legitimate congressional work? It seems some Carson staffers have nothing to do but log on from their web server to play politics by monitoring what's happening on the blogosphere and hiding behind anonymous comments to spin their pathetic message.


Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I don't think the FBI can go willy-nilly into the office of a member of Congress.

It would be a hoot, tho.

Gary R. Welsh said...

They managed to search the office and home of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) just a few months ago and seized $90,000 in bribes he had stashed in a freezer. I guess that's why he was so anxious to get back to his flooded home in NOLA despite the keep out orders last year after Hurricane Katrina.

Sir Hailstone said...

Not related to Shakman decree items but it's related to Chicagoland and the Region ..

I have posted a link to a press release that states the former mayor of East Chicago's henchmen were finally busted for vote fraud.

So those like Wilson who claim to want proof to require voter ID laws ... THERE'S YOUR PROOF!

Now if the FBI here would look into such activities in Center Township...

Wilson46201 said...

as I understand the voter fraud in the Region, it involved absentee ballot shenanigans, not phony identities. The GOPs new disenfranchisement laws wont affect absentee ballot procedures one whit.

In all my years of experience in voting in Center Township there was only one precinct in a Primary back in 1992 where it was likely something funny had gone on. The results were way out of whack with comparable precincts. No outcomes were affected but I always wondered who had toyed with the machines...

Gary R. Welsh said...

"The GOPs new disenfranchisement laws wont affect absentee ballot procedures one whit."

Wilson, thanks for giving us a heads up on your efforts to subvert the absentee voting process. We were already counting on it though.

Wilson46201 said...

The new GOP disenfranchisement laws supposedly were passed to solve Indiana's alleged voting fraud problems. Unfortunately, that legislation doesn't address the acknowledged problems which have happened in absentee balloting. Why pass a law that doesnt solve a commonly acknowledged problem in absentees? The new law creates hindrances for voters but does not solve the problem of election fraud involving absentees...

Wilson46201 said...

Let me confess to election fraud! In my precinct, the GOP inspector and associates open and count the absentee ballots before the polls close, simply to expedite the shutdown procedure. I have never reported this egregious violation. I have never asked to know those early absentee numbers - it never seemed right. But that's the GOP doing the funny stuff.

Sorry, that's the extent of my knowledge of election illegalities in my 20 years of being a precinct committeeperson.

My mother always told me: Be good my child, let those who will, be clever.

Anonymous said...

I resemble that remark...ahhh...nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Permit me to swerve a little, into the voter ID situation.

As a long-time involvee, let me say I have never witnessed anything in Marion COunty that could be described as fraud, attempted fraud, or anything similar.

And I hahve lived elsehwere in the state, too. Same results.

I believe the new ID law is overkill. If there is suspected fraud, there are methods to report it.

The new law also shifted the burden of proof, from: the state to me. It is now my statutory duty to prove my identity when I vote.

I'm a slippery-slope kinda guy. Just don't linke the shift, which I believe in unconstitutional.

The state always had a mechanism to deal with me, if I were voting improperly. It was seldom-used because there isn't that much fraud going on.

Voting is my legal right. Voter ID laws will not cut down on any perceived fraud.

It's the far-right "feel good" legislation, and it's silly. What are they constantly saying?

"No new law needed. Use existing laws."

Period. And Amen.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Two federal courts have now upheld challenges to Voter ID laws. It is beyond me how anyone could question the efficacy of a law that enables a precinct worker to determine that the person standing in front of him is the person he/she represent himself to be. I'm asked to do this all the time in any number of financial and other transactions I engage in during the regular course of life. There is one and only one reason Democrats oppose this change. They have for years been stealing votes in inner city precincts where there's no visible Republican presence. Mr. Frank Short is well aware of this. When he nearly was defeated in a city council primary race a few years back and his opponent challenged the results, Short's campaign workers discovered more than a hundred persons voting from empty lots and abandoned houses in a preliminary review. The opponent dropped the election challenge at the urging of party leaders to avoid disclosure of the wide-scale voter fraud.

Wilson46201 said...

That story makes little sense. When one registers, the Board sends a card to the stated address. If the address is phony, the card gets returned and the registration is stricken. It's an old and effective law.

How could empty lots accept official mail?

Courts in several other states have struck down the ID laws -- the Indiana ruling is kind of an anomaly I understand...

Anonymous said...

Uh...Wilson...hello...have you been following the Secretary of State's efforts to clean up the voter's rolls? If your current laws you want to so efficiently use worked, we wouldn't be having all of the returned mailings from the Secretary of State's office. In other words, past laws DONT work. As far your disenfranchisement claim, I will be more than happy to provide transportation to anyone in Center Township to get there FREE ID. Simple as that. Mr. Precinct know as well as I do that these are volunteer poll workers with very little training for the most part. Spotting voter fraud likely is not high on the skill list. However, a SIMPLE ID law (one held CONSTITUTIONAL by the COURTS CREATED BY OUR CONSTITUTION) can make THAT job MUCH easier. Quit hyperventilating about ID laws...either that, or move to Hobart.

Anonymous said...

I'm completely aware of the Short challenge you've discussed.

And your facts are not completely correct. The main problem in that election, concerning voter integrity, was absentee ballots and the initialling of those ballots by pollworkers (or lack thereof). That problem, by the way, was caused by and fanned by Republicans, who were and are the inspectors in this county.

This story has circulated among Repub leaders for almost a decade, and it grows exponentially each time.

Which in no way commments on Mr. Short. Who was, by most accounts, a lousy member of the Council.

His sole productive function on the council during his terms, was to shout over everyone else: "Consent!" The stories about bis "effectiveness" are legion. He's now going to be Washington Township trustee, in all probability.How appropriate: a job whose main function, oversight of the fire department, goes away Jan.1.

Mr. Short's successor in Council silliness: a two-way tie between Messrs. Gibson and Conley.

Again--there is no solid evidence that wholesale, or even minor, voter fraud has gone on here.

Would someone please produce witnesses or other evidence to validate this seemingly run-amuk voting situation in Marion County?

Gary, your ID arguments are sound. They just do not outegith, in my mind, the switch in burden of proof. As well as the existing remedies available as a matter of law. It is a close call. In legal terms, the state has no probable cause to make me prove I'm who I present myself to be.

The Voter ID situation was a Republican-created boogeyman, meant to pander to their faithful. Admittedly it is a popular measure among the masses. I know I'm in the distinct minority.

Civil libertarian at the core...and I depend on government to prove things it alleges, not for me to provide that proof before any allegations are made.

It's overkill.

I'm going to stand back now and dodge all the eggs and rotten vegetables the posters will heap on me.

But that doesn't mean I'll back away from my opinion.

Gary R. Welsh said...

"Which in no way commments on Mr. Short. Who was, by most accounts, a lousy member of the Council."

Gee, I didn't know Carson and her supporters felt this way about Frank. He might want to ask for a refund on the $1,000 he contributed to her campaign earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, most people in Dem circles feel that way about Frank.

And they'l take anyone's money. Name me two federal candidates who returned campaign money in the last ten years. It is very rare.

He's a lobbyist by trade, close to Carl Drummer and Ice Miller, where I think he hangs his shingle, but I could be wrong about that.