SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Hurckes attracts national heat

Monday, Mar 31, 2008

* There’s little doubt that Jerry Hurckes - Congressman Dan Lipinski’s chief of staff - is a self-important buffoon. But now he has become a Republican target for allegedly violating House ethics rules.

The alleged violation surfaced after Hurckes objected to an Oak Lawn proposal to hire a federal lobbyist. Hurckes, who is an Oak Lawn trustee, had claimed that the proposal was a deliberate slap in his face because he uses his position to take care of the village…

[Hurckes] has, according to Roll Call, “used his employment with the House to help win local races, repeatedly claiming in campaign literature and public meetings that he is responsible for securing millions in federal ear- marks for the Village of Oak Lawn, while also racking up thousands in campaign contributions from companies with business before Lipinski’s congressional committees.”

* That Roll Call article quoted the House ethics manual…

“In dealing with the public, staff who serve as local officials should always make clear in which capacity they are acting. They should discourage any suggestion that their local constituents will receive special treatment from the congressional office, beyond that received by other residents of the congressional district… No local elective service may be performed in the congressional office or in a manner that utilizes any official resources, including the telephones”

* So, rather than “discouraging” suggestions that Hurckes was helping his village more than another, he promoted his federal position to his constituents. And that could mean that when Hurckes was advocating for Oak Lawn’s projects, he was helping his campaign, which is also prohibited. Oops.

* Hurckes responds

“(Oak Lawn doesn’t) get anything special, and they don’t get put on the bottom either,” he said. He admitted, however, that it can be “a very fine line” to walk.

That’s an awful thin line, particularly since Hurckes is currently running for mayor of Oak Lawn. Turns out, he’s been taking campaign contributions from companies which lobby Congressman Lipinski’s committee

Hurckes’ campaign finance reports also show that he has taken in thousands in campaign contributions from national entities with business before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on which both Lipinskis have been members, and in many cases have also donated to one or both of the Congressmen. Donors to Hurckes include UPS, CSX, BNSF and DMJM Harris Inc., a transportation consulting firm.

Interestingly enough, there are no ethics rules regarding this particular situation, probably since it hasn’t ever really come up before now. The reporter who broke the story told Ray Hanania the other day that he can’t find another instance of a congressional staffer who held local office.

* Hurckes was Bill Lipinski’s chief of staff before he worked for the son. He’s getting paid a congressional salary plus cash from both Lipinskis’ campaign funds for consulting work. Hurckes’ congressional salary, according to Roll Call, is just under the federal limit which allows him to have outside income. Convenient.

* The Roll Call article which disclosed the alleged violations was all the talk of DC last week, and the Republicans, who are facing setback after setback, including loads of members under dark clouds of federal investigations, are looking to make some national hay

Congress goes back into session next Tuesday, and when it does, Republicans may gleefully head for the House Ethics Committee to ask for an inquiry into Hurckes’ activities in Lipinski’s office.

Bet on it. And i’m sure they’ll dredge up the accusations of election fraud from his past, including this one recalled by Carol Marin

I once followed Hurckes out of the Bohica Bar on the Southwest Side, where he was “registering voters” who, perhaps confused by whatever they were drinking, listed the bar as their legal residence.

What a guy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


11 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:28 am:

    good old fashioned chicago politics. Seems we need to bring back the muckrakers. It is nice to know that Illinois can help bring to light possible ethic situations that no one had previously envisioned. Go Illinois!


  2. - Leave a light on George - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:28 am:

    Another fine example of “the Chicago way.”


  3. - Snidely Whiplash - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:34 am:

    Open mouth, insert foot, fatally sabotage mayoral campaign. Wait four years, lather, repeat.


  4. - RBD - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 9:50 am:

    Chiefs-of-staff do not live in the district. The job is in Washington, DC. The district office is basically for constituent services (= customer service: finding lost social security checks and the like).

    If Hurckes really is Lipinski’s most senior staffer, the situation is even worse than this sounds.

    But I’d also guess that there is an office full of people in DC just waiting for him to take a big fall.


  5. - anon - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:01 am:

    I’m sure the list of folks waiting for Hurkes go go down is too long to mention. This guy sticks his nose in places it doesn’t belong and has put the screws to many. All dogs have their day and this big one is full of flea’s. Lipinski is a fool to keep this guy on staff.


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:08 am:

    Not unexpected, small-bore stuff. But nothing on the level of the Duke Cunninghams of the former GOP majority. When the history of Denny Hastert’s tenure as GOP speaker is written, it will be characterized by wild overspending and a complete lack of Congressional oversight into the looting of the treasury by war profiteers.


  7. - anon - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:40 am:

    Maybe someone should also look into campaign phone calls Hurkes made from the congressional office. Especially phone calls made after the election questions folks at work as to why they didn’t support Lipinski. Real smooth Hurkes!


  8. - p - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 10:53 am:

    Hurckes other employer — Bill Lipinski — is a federal lobbyists whose clients lobby the Congressional Transportation Committee, of which Dan Lipinski is a member.

    Too bad the Oak Lawn people waited until two months after the election to start griping …


  9. - Patrick Kelly - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 11:28 am:

    The lobbyist Lipinski and his son, who was installed as Congressman by his father in 2004, even share an office. And Dan Lipinksi won easily because his Republican opponent was also installed by Bill Lipinski. The only competition was a from a hastily assembled write-in campaign. At least this time around, there will be a Green Party candidate Jerome Pohlen that will give voters an actual choice for a change.

    In addition to using a false address, isn’t it illegal to register voters at an establishment that serves alcohol? This guy should be thrown out of any position of public trust. He clearly has a disregard for the rules.


  10. - Radical Moderate - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    A few facts need to be stated here:

    1) Dan Lipinski moved his Congressional office about 2 years ago - Dan Lipinski’s new office is much further west on Archer Ave than his Dad’s office.

    2)Like many Congressional offices, there is a Chief of Staff in DC and one in the district. Sometimes the ones in the district are called “District Director” and sometimes the ones in DC are called “Administrative Assistant”, but no matter what they are called, one heads up the DC office and one heads up the district offices. But it is true that the work done in the district - constituent services, outreach to local officials, residents, and businesses - is much different than the legislative policy work done in DC.

    3)Speaking of which, everyone involved with Congress knows that earmarks are decided in legislation in DC by DC committee staff and DC personal staff, not by district Chief of Staffs. Even if Hurckes had tried to get money for Oak Lawn, it still had to compete with other requests from around the district. He could only lobby his DC peers for money, who still had to request earmarks from the committee staff who wrote the legislation. My point - while Hurckes’ words at the Oak Lawn Board meeting may have been out of line and overly boastful, he really didn’t have the power to do anything illegal or unethical here. He clearly overstated his reach.

    4) Hurckes is right that town mayors and trustees should go directly to their Member of Congress rather than to lobbyists. The best lobbyist is a town mayor or a trustee. The real scandal happens when small towns such as Oak Lawn spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a high priced DC lobby firm and they get little in return. It would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to hire a DC lobbying firm when town mayors and officials do a better job of lobbying the legislator directly.


  11. - anon - Monday, Mar 31, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    You are correct that mayors and trustee’s are the best lobbyist when seeking funding for their municipalities. But it’s the lobbyist who find the funding source…which pool of money etc., write the propoals, file the paperwork and advise their clients as they go through the process. They also help the DC staff by showing where the funding for certain projects can be allocated from. Mayors and trustee’s don’t have that type of information and neither do district staffers. It is not a “scandal” for small towns to hire lobbyists and it is an incorrect assumption that it is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

    The real “scandal” here is Jerry Hurkes and his shady behavior. It was only a matter of time before things caught up with this guy. I am VERY confident that more digging on Hurkes will highlight further questionable practices. It’s time for Lipinski to respond.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Oh, for crying out loud
* Not as simple as it may look
* *** UPDATED x1 *** State complies with court order on DD payments
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Nuding praises Arduin
* YOU Matter to Illinois Credit Unions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Point, counter-point
* Not there yet
* Will remap reform proposal hurt Democrats?
* Where are they now?
* Putting two and two together
* No excuse for this loophole
* From a "trap" to a "magnet"
* FOP wants override of AFSCME bill veto
* Report: 34,000 losing independent living services
* No movement yet
* Today's number: $58.1 million
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S Pen walkthrough
        * Razer is finally going to start taking pre-orders for the Nabu
        * Facebook’s deal with the NFL ends as 2015 season kicks off
        * Our 5 best new Windows Phone apps of the week
        * iPhone 6s bend test, Android Marshmallow comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * How do you customize your phone?
        * Hangin’ with Dr. Cooper: an interview with “the father of the cellphone”

        * Innings total not an issue for Rodon
        * Putnam goes on DL with groin injury; Webb activated
        * Zach Putnam hits DL; Daniel Webb takes his place
        * Kenny Williams update: Seattle has an opening; Toronto's might be c...
        * Double play ends White Sox rally in seventh
        * Danks on short end of duel because of HRs
        * Mariners 2, White Sox 0: Solo shots spoil John Danks' night

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Police suspect drag racing led to crash that killed parents
        * Illinois boy recovers after fish hook got stuck in eye
        * University of Chicago under boil order
        * Officials say house fire that killed 2 in Chicago suspicious
        * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
        * Slain US marshal's fiancee gets 1 year for charity theft
        * Belleville man charged in St. Louis New Year's Eve crash
        * Family seeks answers in East St. Louis strip club killing
        * Chicago police kill man they say tried to run over officers
        * Awards recognize Illinois students with big ideas

        * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
        * Donna Arduin out as Gov. Rauner's state budget adviser
        * Cash-strapped Illinois: Can't do 'impossible' on social service payments
        * Arduin out as state budget adviser
        * Rauner signs bill allowing township governments to dissolve
        * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration
        * Judge will privately review disputed Schock documents
        * Budget expert leaves Illinois without state spending plan
        * Gov. Rauner approves Springfield railroad oversight commission bill
        * Federal judge blasts Illinois for not making all ordered payments

        * Waiting for Godot, and Spirit Airlines
        * No more porn in Hyatt Hotels?
        * Market for taxi medallion loans grinding to a halt
        * What Americans really think about McDonald's
        * New hospital won't go it alone


          * Man on probation charged with using 'Whizzinator' to pass drug test
          * 3 wounded in shootings on South, West sides
          * Man charged with being driver in West Side killing
          * Wife of former Naperville Mayor Pradel dies after battle with cancer
          * Family calls for alerts to be issued for missing woman, toddler
          * Boil order issued for University of Chicago area
          * 'Flames had to be just ferocious': 2 die in suspicious Southwest Side fire
          * One dead in Heart of Chicago after police-involved shooting, crashes
          * Arlington Heights man charged with assaulting two juvenile relatives
          * Semi driver dies after suffering medical emergency on Skyway


          * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
          * Donna Arduin out as Gov. Rauner's state budget adviser
          * Cash-strapped Illinois: Can't do 'impossible' on social service payments
          * Charles Krauthammer: What six years of 'reset' have wrought
          * Rauner signs bill allowing township governments to dissolve
          * Our Opinion: Ducking sunshine in the digital age
          * E.J. Dionne: Trump's video game mastery
          * Esther Cepeda: Don't bake your DNA
          * Junaid Afeef: American Muslims can't tackle ISIS recruitment alone
          * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration


          * LIVE! at Huff: Creighton
          * UI Volleyball vs Miami (Ohio)
          * Urbana Sweetcorn Festival 2015
          * 2 hurt in motorcycle-SUV accident
          * Coffee with the Plant Experts 08-29-15
          * Efficient Illini claim another sweep
          * Saturday SportsTalk 08-29-15
          * Now hiring
          * UI losing star professor to Northwestern
          * Hypocritical governor needs to be consistent


          * Naperville mourns Pat Pradel, longtime mayor's 'sweetheart'
          * Oak Brook couple charged with sending letters to DuPage judges
          * Suburban Blackhawks fans soak in Stanley Cup again
          * State of the Suburbs: Changing standards, tests transform schools
          * Bolingbrook woman charged in Aurora liquor store robbery

          * 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

          * Body cameras on the way for Quincy Police ......
          * Durbin gets a shot at political redemption......

          * Shangri-La set to tee off at NBO Golf Clas......

          * Hurricane Katrina 10 Years On
          * The Weekend Desk Report
          * The [Friday] Papers
          * Filmmaker Talks About His Documentary Alleging Child Sexual Abuse At JPUSA: "They're Not Going To Shut Me Up With Money"
          * Landmarked District Proposed For Area Around Broadway, Wilson, Lawrence
          * Say Farewell To Keith McCormick Today At Fat Cat
          * 46th Ward Budgeting Ideas
          * Thorner: Brady, Andrzejewski address Illinois Forum Luncheon – Part 2
          * Masters of Manufacturing: Wayne Sikorcin and Tim Roth of Craftsman Tool & Mold
          * Black Homosexual Murders Two Whites and Leftists Still Blame Guns


          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * State to Issue $16 million in Credits to Reverse Penalties for Monthly Electronic Wage Reporting - Rules provide relief for nearly 13,000 employers over the next six months
          * GOMB Director Issues Statement
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Rauner Requests SBA Assistance for Grundy, Iroquois Counties - Declaration would help people and businesses affected by summer storms with low-interest, long-term loans to help with recovery




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