SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Governor campaigns for Obama on state letterhead *** Updated x1 ***

Thursday, Feb 15, 2007

Bernie Schoenburg had a good column today about something that I didn’t think about at the time, but in retrospect is spot on.

Let’s say that you are a regular old state worker, and that you use the computer at your desk to send out an e-mail urging a friend to back your favorite candidate for president.

It sounds to me as if that’s something Gov. ROD BLAGOJEVICH - who likes to talk about ethics except during second inaugural speeches - might capitalize on if he wanted to embarrass somebody or build a case to fire them for making political use of state resources. […]

Take the news release issued by the governor on Saturday, when thousands of fans of U.S. Sen. BARACK OBAMA, D-Ill., braved the cold to stand on the Old State Capitol square and watch him announce for president.

“On this historic day, I am pleased to join many Illinoisans who are excited and proud to support Senator Obama in his bid for the Presidency,” the governor said, on a state-issued news release complete with the state seal and the names and phone numbers of the governor’s three top press staffers as contact people.

The governor’s office denied this news release amounted to campaigning on state time, pointing to the fact that the guv urged the General Assembly to pass a bill moving the ‘08 primary and talked about policy issues. And the governor’s campaign is paying for his flight.

Whatever. A government-issued press release can’t offer support for a candidate. It was almost certainly a violation of state law. With hundreds of FBI agents crawling all over the place, and a former governor’s campaign fund convicted of RICO charges, you’d think they’d learn by now.

This probably isn’t an imprisonable offense, and it’s certainly not the worst thing they’ve ever done, but perhaps the governor needs to retake the state ethics exam. And perhaps the Inspector General ought to take a look at this incident.

*** UPDATE *** Could somebody please tell me how the above is any different than this?

The State’s Attorney is prosecuting—and the City’s trying to fire—63-year-old Lester Cioch. He’s an assistant sewer repair foreman, and a precinct captain, and he’s accused of asking his workers to sign petitions for Mayor Daley’s re- election campaign, on City time.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:35 am:

    Great catch, Rich. To build off the primary bill issue, I have a serious problem with the Governor and Speaker so candidly acknowledging that the purpose of this bill is to help Obama. Isn’t passing a bill on those grounds tantamount to the State Government of Illinois officially endorsing Obama?

  2. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:40 am:

    Just add it to the indictment and move on…

  3. - Bill - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:42 am:

    Everyone should endorse Obama because he is the best candidate!
    As far as the primary bill is concerned, why not try to afford Illinois voters a chance to show real, meaningful support for their favorite son.

  4. - Off the map - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    Illinois Tollway signage reminding everyone who’s governor 24/7,
    governor campaigns for Obama on state letterhead, what’s next?
    James Wright is a hack who does what he’s told to do by Boss Blagojevich and Boss Blagojevich does whatever he wants.
    Ethics only exist for the little people in Illinois ! ! ! ! !

  5. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    As a supporter of Obama I agree this is illegal. Rod remains the state GOP’s best hope for a resurgence.

  6. - Tony - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    There are just some people in this world that are told over and over about being good and and not doing bad things. They just never learn because of indifference, defiance, or they just plain don’t get it. My gosh!

  7. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:00 am:

    Rich, what about federal election rules? An announcement like this probably counts as an independent campaign expenditure on behalf of Obama, and needs to be reported to the FEC. Does the State of Illinois now need to file with the FEC as a campaign committee?

  8. - Wumpus - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:06 am:

    Wow, how stupid of him. This may be the easiest indictment of them all. He gift wrapped it.

  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:09 am:

    If a low-level state employee did this, they would be hanging the person out to dry in order to make an example out of them.

  10. - Bluefish - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:13 am:

    Don’t you folks know by now that Blago does whatever he wants and silly little state and federal laws be damned?

  11. - Drew - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    If you want to support Obama, go for it, Bill. Nonetheless, there are some people–even in Illinois–who do not share that opinion. And because we are supposed to be a country and state based on the rule of law, illegal or unethical behavior is illegal or unethical. I suspect you would be crying foul if a Republican Governor did something similar in support of a Republican running for President.

  12. - and it continues - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:18 am:

    Shouldn’t we wait to see all who announce for president before declaring Obama the best? Has anyone considered the cost of the Tollway signs that will need to be REDONE after hot rod is gone. Even if the next Gov. has enough respect for taxpayers NOT to put his/her name on them, they still need to be changed. Double costs on everything…..letterhead, office doors, etc.

  13. - A Citizen - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:22 am:

    Bill, you never disappoint. If I could be assured of your brand of support I would become a democrat. You truly are impressive and Blago and Obama are fortunate to have you in their corner.

  14. - Guy Fawkes - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    The best thing Obama could do, is distance himself far, far away from Blagojevich and company…….
    He doesn’t need Rod!

  15. - Cassandra - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:35 am:

    Chicago Democrats are always pushing the envelope in the area of governmental ethics and this example is rather routine. Blago’s handlers, to the extent that they thought abut this at all, likely figured that in a deep blue state like Illinois, voters wouldn’t go against Blago on this one even if he got rapped on the knuckles.

    The question is…will Obama benefit from this kind of support from a Democratic governor whose legal future is somewhat uncertain and who has strong ties to Tony Rezko.

    A little distance might be wise.

  16. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:54 am:

    Seriously. While a well-publicized court case involving former employees is going on, Blago and his team pull this crap. Unbelievable. Someone needs to lay the hammer down, and soon. Part of me can’t wait to see what he does next…

    It’s a shame Patrick Fitzgerald is tied up with the Libby case. Once that bru-ha-ha is over, he can come back to Chi-town and indict away. He needs a cape, some nice, shiny boots and a big “P” for prosecutor and Patrick.

  17. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 10:09 am:

    Illinois is a one party state. Whatever that party says is ethical - is considered ethical. Do you have a problem with that?

  18. - Nature of Theater - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 10:12 am:

    Limerick where are you?

  19. - Capt. Obvious - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 10:26 am:

    Leave it to GRod to muck up slam dunk. Wonder which one of the Keystone Klowns made this decision? BTW some Grodders were telling the media he would skip Obamarama.

  20. - Another Limerick - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 10:38 am:

    A letter came from Rod,
    Giving Barack the nod.
    The state letterhead
    Caught the attention of Feds
    Who thought the endorsement was odd.

  21. - from ROD - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    Do as I say not as I do!!!

  22. - This Guy - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 11:05 am:

    Weird. As I read this post, I visualize Roddy & the Blagonauts dancing to “U Can’t Touch This.”

  23. - A Citizen - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 11:06 am:

    And the clock of justice says . . .tick tick tick .

  24. - What next? - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    Bring back Z Scott

  25. - Jake from Elwood - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    Using letterhead to support a political candidate is most likely a violation of the State Ethics Act. Unfortunately, the remedy is to file a complaint with the state ethics board. . . who as we have all heard by now has not heard any complaints in some time (if ever). Alex, I’ll take “windowdressing” for $500.

  26. - Shorty - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 11:48 am:

    If Barack becomes president, he pardon Blagojevich and company. It’s his get outta jail free card.

  27. - Squideshi - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    This may classify as election interference. Section 9-25.1 of the Illinois Election Code provides:

    “As used in this Section, ‘public funds’ means any funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly or by any political subdivision of the State of Illinois.”

    “No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated for political or campaign purposes to any candidate or political organization.”

    “The first time any person violates any provision of this Section, that person shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon the second or any subsequent violation of any provision of this Section, the person violating any provision of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

    Section 9-20 indicates how a compliant may be filed and provides:

    “Any person who believes a violation of this Article has occurred may file a verified complaint with the [State Board of Elections].”

    Sections 9-21, 9-22, 9-23, and 9-24 indicate how the Board is to handle such a complaint.

  28. - Lon - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 12:30 pm:

    PLEASE we want Obama to win.

  29. - One_Mcmad - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 12:57 pm:

    The Governor and his office as they have proven are exempt from the laws they enforce or rules they initiate.

    Of course this is not the first time and it will continue until someone like the person that the Governor endorsed in that press release take a bigger more seeable stand on ethics.

    Who has the authority to force the Governor to follow laws?

    The Attorney General
    The U.S Attorney

    Whose going to speak first? LOL

  30. - One_Mcmad - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    Oh and I forgot about the Independent Office Executive Inspector General.

    But guess who hired the Executive Inspector General?

    I recall in a meeting with Clerk Dorothy Brown when she asked me what Inspector General would investigate the person that hired them?

  31. - Dieter - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 5:24 pm:

    This is what happens when the voters of Illinois consistently vote for elected officials like Blagojevich, Daley, and Stroger…

    No checks and balances with one-party rule.

  32. - state worker - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 5:27 pm:

    Dumb as a box of rocks

  33. - Shadoobie - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 5:54 pm:

    The governor should keep his office out of politics lest it backfire on him in more ways the one. As in moving up the primary gives Hillary the opportunity to claim Illinois as Hillary country and sweep the primary (in at least one town).

  34. - Did Any Staffe Take The Ethics Test????? - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:09 pm:

    Wow, earth to everyone. Maybe Ms. Rebecca Rausch better fess up as to whether she took and passed the ETHICS test herself. As soon as she was made privy to the content of this news release she should have turned it over to the Executive Office of the Inspector General for review. Give me a break!!!!

  35. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 8:35 pm:

    To the person I just deleted, did you not see the admonishment in the RED LETTERS about “excessively rabid comments”? Take a deep breath or take it somewhere else, please.

  36. - Who cares anymore... - Thursday, Feb 15, 07 @ 9:21 pm:

    When it was announced that Obama was coming to Spingfield, wasn’t there a news article on how the Governor’s Office arranged the use of the Old State Capitol. That also would be the Governor using state time, state resources to arrange a campaign event — all a violation of the ethics requirement…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* This just in... $12 million contribution to Leader Durkin, $2 million to Munger
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Duckworth doesn't play in Peoria
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Let's be careful out there
* Question of the day
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Political events calendar
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What today's cyber attack could mean for election day
* Rewriting history
* Army Corps of Engineers taking back state park
* Fire everything!!!
* More horrible pension news
* More flowery Madigan praise from Bradley
* Because... Madigan!
* Looking on the dark side
* Lawyers: Mayor Emanuel is "not a policymaker for the city"
* Duckworth has huge cash advantage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition and a campaign roundup
* Good morning!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...






Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* T-Mobile is charging a penny a minute for “out-of-plan” numbers
* Over 100,000 iPhone 7 sales in Korea on Friday, LG V20 up 20 percent in a month
* Blass leaks Long Island project, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro
* AT&T buys Time Warner for $85 billion
* Let’s chat Nintendo Switch and LeReactions to LeEco Le Pro 3 | #PNWeekly 223
* Should Microsoft give up on Windows 10 Mobile?
* Google makes it easy to get screen replacements for the Pixel and Pixel XL

* Getz to oversee White Sox Minor Leagues
* Getz to oversee White Sox Minor Leagues
* International draft stands to benefit White Sox
* Davidson reflects on 'whirlwind' 2016 season
* Starting pitcher rankings: White Sox have four of them
* Podcast: 2016 Chicago White Sox Infield Review
* White Sox Rumors: Sox hire Chris Getz as new Director Of Player Dev...


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner administration awards 1100 non-union wor.....
* Editorial: Rauner gets an A for closing F House.....
* Rauner administration awards 1100 non-union wor.....
* The Story Behind The Attack Ads That Links Gov......

* Pipeline construction provides boost to businesses in Iowa
* The Latest: President Obama, White Sox fan, cheers on Cubs
* Ideal rain, temperatures mean good Illinois pumpkin crop
* Ideal rain, temperatures mean good Illinois pumpkin crop
* Elk Grove ESL instructor named Illinois Teacher of the Year
* Overjoyed Chicago Cubs fans turn attention to World Series
* Chicago officer shoots man after traffic stop encounter
* Chicago officer shoots man after traffic stop encounter
* Pipeline construction provides boost to businesses in Iowa
* Top federal prosecutor in central Illinois retiring Dec. 24

* Feds end lease with Illinois for state park, citing neglect
* Statehouse Insider: Tomorrow's a new day; in Illinois, that may not be good
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work
* Central Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan
* Rauner administration awarding more than $3 million in bonuses to non-union workers
* SIU injury-prevention program reinstated through stopgap budget
* Survey: 386 state jobs could relocate to Springfield
* SIU injury-prevention program reinstated through state's stopgap spending plan

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* AT&T buying Time Warner in $86 billion deal
* It's official: AT&T buys Time Warner for $85 billion
* There's a new way to replace old gas mains—but not in Chicago
* Is Neapolitan's Kelly Golden the new reigning queen of fashion?

* Update makes showing multiple tickets easier on Ventra app
* Sneed: White Sox owner rooting for the Cubs
* Cubs fan Kerry Wood saw big hits off Dodgers’ Kershaw coming
* Federal trial over Endia Martin killing begins this week
* Monday Letters: S. Side residents left out of park decisions
* Steinberg: WikiLeaks snooping is as scary as the election
* Indians name Kluber starter for first game of World Series
* Chicago Police Foundation donates advanced first-aid kits
* All Sun-Times Editorial Board endorsements in Nov. 8 election
* Kapos: Sam Zell on what really makes America great

* Herb Kent, legendary Chicago radio personality, dies at 88
* Terrifying, heart-rending, defeating: 10 hours on patrol along the Mexican border
* Wrigleyville residents, building owners cash in on parking during playoffs
* Here's why Ohio State needs to root for archrival Michigan
* Bears QB situation to crystallize soon, as Brian Hoyer undergoes surgery
* Cubs clinching pennant changed mindset that has been around far too long
* Wrigley Field not that loud? Cubs fans bring the noise Saturday night.
* Looking past Trump, Clinton aims to help other Democrats
* Ghost of Baseball Future's message to Cubs fans
* 13 dead, 31 injured after tour bus and semi-truck crash in California

The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.

* Feds end lease with Illinois for state park, citing neglect
* Our Opinion: With poor choices, Clinton gets nod for president
* Statehouse Insider: Tomorrow's a new day; in Illinois, that may not be good
* Bernard Schoenburg: DelGiorno apologizes for backer's vulgar Facebook post
* Cooler temperatures lead to greater needs
* Women for Women tops half million mark
* Cook County lawyer who posed as judge criminally charged
* 1,100 non-union state workers getting $3,016 bonuses
* Springfield veteran honored for volunteer work
* Central Illinois soldier killed in Afghanistan

* Mayfair Park Halloween Parade
* Attention Cubs Fans: Share your stories!
* Work crews help Moline firefighters reach building fire
* READER CALLOUT - Submit your Veterans Day activities
* LIVE! Selection Saturday
* Surgeon calls PV student 'lucky' after infection disappears
* Are you Flying the W?
* Paducah woman reported missing
* Update: Missing Paducah woman found safe
* Man killed in tractor-trailer accident on I-57

* Motorcyclist seriously injured in Buffalo Grove crash
* Feilhaber assures Sporting KC playoff spot, top San Jose 2-0
* Rapids tie Dynamo 1-1 to finish unbeaten at home
* A merged AT&T-Time Warner may not do consumers much good
* Unheralded safety Daniel Sorensen leads Chiefs past Saints

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Photos: State's Attorney Glasgow, Senator ......

* Should A Stroke Disqualify A Candidate? - ......

* Chicago #Cubs championship history #postseason
* What a difference, a year makes
* Go #Cubs go #flythew #postseason
* Morning Minute: NAR identifies top home buyer and seller trends over last 35 years
* Illinois REALTORS® give Rep. McAuliffe IE support
* They've Got The Power, They've Got The Speed, To Be The Best In The National League
* EXTRA: It’s about time!!!
* Walls closing in on Rhonda Crawford. What should the sanction be?
* Gooseberry Playlot Nears Completion On Malden
* Treasure Island Foods Slated As Anchor Retail Tenant of Maryville Development

* Illinois EPA Sponsors Interactive Environmental Education Event with Riverton Elementary School - Riverton Third and Fourth Graders “Dive In!” to Celebrate the Environment
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Veteran Mr. George Pempek
* Illinois Partners with State of Telangana, India to Strengthen Smart State Initiatives - State to state agreement to accelerate opportunities and service to citizens
* Illinois EPA Announces Vehicle Emissions Testing Network Updates - New Contract to Offer More Efficient, Less Expensive Tests
* Annual Training Underway For Gas Station Owners, Service Technicans

      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller