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Congressional stuff

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006

Rush blasted:

An Englewood community center founded by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), a key player on telecommunications legislation, received a $1 million grant from the charitable arm of SBC/AT&T, one of the nation’s largest phone companies.

The chief of a congressional watchdog group says Rush’s ongoing association with the Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corporation and his role in shaping telecommunications law as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee is a conflict of interest. Using charitable giving as a backdoor way to curry favor with lawmakers is coming under increasing scrutiny, figuring in controversies associated with former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), who was forced to temporarily step aside as the ranking Democrat on the Ethics panel.

· McSweeney may have goofed:

Republican 8th Congressional District candidate Dave McSweeney put himself in an unusual political position this week. Newly-nominated congressional candidates tend to play it safe politically, staying above the fray in internecine conflicts. Not McSweeney. He waded into the battle over who’d become the next Lake County Republican Party chairman. McSweeney backed Tom Gooch, the Cuba Township highway commissioner, over Dan Venturi, the Lake Villa Township supervisor. McSweeney’s guy lost, and McSweeney loses a bit of face as a result. With even House Speaker Dennis Hastert admitting it’ll be an uphill climb against Democratic U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean this fall, McSweeney needs every Republican vote he can get. Risking the ire of Venturi backers definitely did not follow the political playbook. I asked McSweeney Friday to explain the unorthodox move. He said he “made some phone calls for” Gooch. Loyalty, it seems, was the reason. “It’s not a question of looking weak, Eric. Tom was one of my original supporters,” McSweeney said. “He was there Day One for me.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Apr 25, 06 @ 8:22 am:

    RE; McSweeney, the guy won, shake hands and make up, McSweeney is better than Bean. That should be what the guy is thinking.

  2. - Randall Sherman - Tuesday, Apr 25, 06 @ 10:02 am:

    McSweeney is a LOSER, pure and simple. It is about what you would expect from someone who has ranted on the radio about hte threat of immirgrants from CANADA.

    As for Rush, it makesyou wonder what would have happened if this story had come out two months ago. Would Rush’s primary opponent Phil Jackson have had a chance to pull off an upset? As it now stands, Rush is a shho-in for November, despite the story.

    Where Rush has to be concerned about is the 2008 primary, and not just the Congressional race. Assuming Rush fails again next year in his effort to have someone loyal to him replace Second Ward Alderman Madeline Haithcock, Haithcokc will almost certainly run against him in 2008 for Second Ward Democratic Committeeman. The problem is that due to redistricting and population growth in the areas of the ward in or near downtown Chicago, about half of the ward’s voters are white. If a white candidate enters the race for committeeman (where a plurality wins) Rush could end up losing the committeemanship (the longest-held political office in the Democratic Party anywhere by African-Americans) to a white challenger, which would end the political career of Bobby Rush in utter shame and disgrace.

  3. - Bubs - Tuesday, Apr 25, 06 @ 11:00 am:

    Mr. Day One should have had the good sense to not let McSweeney make those phone calls. It’s the political equivalent of “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.”

  4. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Apr 25, 06 @ 1:19 pm:

    I’m shocked to hear that the “chief of a congressionsl watchdog group” found corruption in the actions of a MC. Duh! That’s how he keeps his job.

  5. - John Ruberry - Tuesday, Apr 25, 06 @ 11:40 pm:

    Rev. Bobby Rush even voted against the Christmas resolution.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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