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*** UPDATED x1 *** Schock probe extended - Davis mums up - Jackson may do time

Thursday, Feb 7, 2013

*** UPDATE *** You can read the investigators’ full report by clicking here.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Yikes

Congressional investigators have recommended a full House Ethics Committee probe of Rep. Aaron Schock for allegedly soliciting contributions of more than $5,000 for a political action committee to help an Illinois colleague engaged in a bitter primary battle last year, records released today showed.

* But Politico makes this point

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Ethics chairman and ranking member, announced Thursday that they will continue to probe the allegations against Schock under their own authority but will not create a special investigative panel.

The decision by Conaway and Sanchez makes it unlikely that Schock will ever be sanctioned by the Ethics Committee.

Even without a sanction, this revelation is gonna make for some devastating TV ads if Schock decides to run for governor. Just devastating.

* Background

Schock has been under investigation for urging House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor to shift $25,000 from his leadership PAC to the Campaign for Primary Accountability to assist Rep. Adam Kinzinger in his March 2012 GOP primary victory over Rep. Donald Manzullo in the state’s new 16th District.

But investigators said that between March 14 and March 17 — three days before the primary contest, the Campaign for Primary Accountability received at least $115,000 in contributions “as a result of the efforts of Representative Schock and his campaign committee.”

In addition to Cantor’s leadership PAC, the 18th District GOP central committee donated $25,000. Other donors investigators cited were David Herro, a wealthy money manager from Chicago who gave $35,000, and Anne Dias Griffin, who gave $30,000. Dias Griffin is a Chicago hedge fund manager and founder of Reboot Illinois, a GOP-oriented social media operation.

Reboot Illinois has a story on its front page about possible jail time for former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., but nothing about the Schock story.

* Schock’s react

A spokesman for the Peoria Republican dismissed the announcement as “just one more step in the long process of adjudicating ethics complaints that can be submitted by anyone for any reason.”

“The complaint in this case is entirely without merit,” said Steve Dutton, Schock’s communications director. “We remain firmly convinced that Congressman Schock will be exonerated when the Ethics Committee examines the complaint and in due course resolves this matter. We fully cooperated with the OCE review, and we will continue to cooperate as the Ethics Committee now conducts its own review.”

* And this is pretty unsettling

Freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, did not cooperate with the Office of Congressional Ethics in its initial probe of alleged campaign finance violations by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria.

“The OCE infers that the information Mr. Davis refused to provide, taken together with the factual findings in this referral, supports the conclusion that there is substantial reason to believe that the alleged violation occurred,” the OCE said in a report made public Wednesday.

The report recommends that Davis and three other non-cooperating witnesses be subpoenaed. […]

Davis said the report does not suggest any improprieties on his part.

Wait. He mummed up and refused to talk to investigators? That requires some explaining from the freshman. And that sure looks like it was improper.

* More

The investigatory panel said Davis, who was formerly a staffer for Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville until his election in November to Congress, was a “non-cooperating” witness. Davis, investigators said, helped steer money to the Campaign for Primary Accountability.

Also listed as “non-cooperating witnesses” by investigators were Michael Bigger, chairman of the 18th District Central GOP committee, and Rob Collins, a former chief of staff to Cantor, the report said.

* Meanwhile, in other congressional corruption news

Sneed has learned a plea deal is now on the table between former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and federal authorities probing allegations of campaign fund misuse.

Sneed is told the plea deal includes Jackson serving time in federal prison.

“Significant jail time is now definitely a part of the deal,” said a top Sneed source close to the probe.

“But I think [Jackson’s wife] Sandi, feels like she was thrown under the bus by her husband, ” now that a separate probe has begun on her, a second source added.

Sandi Jackson claims she was stunned by campaign finance abuse disclosures against her husband, who has been treated for mental disorders and allegedly spent $40,000 on a Rolex watch purchased with campaign funds.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


45 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    Maybe they need to subcommittee of the Ethics Committee devoted to Illinois reps.

    I thought Trips and Sandi were largely off the hook when he resigned. I guess not.


  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    Gotta love it
    The hedge fund hustlers are gagged
    The downstate money laundry is “non cooperating” and everyone thinks everything is A-OK
    Maybe someone could drop an FOI on phone records
    TTFN…
    Fire,Aim Ready!


  3. - Independent - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:35 am:

    I don’t think this is new. How quick are we to judge these days. Lets see what are the results. Meanwhile I remain supportive of Schock


  4. - just sayin' - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    Recall Anne Dias Griffin was also funder behind that fishy contribution funneling scheme with Pat Brady and the state gop last year. And Rodney Davis was Pat Brady’s executive director at the time.

    Reboot Illinois. What a joke. Reboot to when? The George Ryan years? Good plan.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    ===Maybe they need to subcommittee of the Ethics Committee devoted to Illinois reps.===

    lol “Welcome the Sub-Committee on Illinois and All That Means, take the roll …”

    Rodney is going to get hit on all sides, internally from the district party people and the ILGOPers, and from the Dems. Tough sledding for a Frosh, is only help may be from the “internal”ness of the investigation an from …

    Aaron Schock. Mr. Schock. Congressman. the stars are not lining up this time. At 31, and a “safe” district, AND your committee assignments, don’t you think just letting this internal investigation play out, circulate petitions for Congress again, fingers crossed for you, you win again, and wait for all this to be the “well, that was so long ago” spiel ring true.

    Take a breath! If someone were to tell you about a congressman…and give you the smae senerio you are currently in, would you tell them to move forward and run for governor?

    You are too politcally smart not to listen, aren’t you? Save face, save your seat, you have plenty of time and this revelation makes the timing even worse.

    “I have so much more to do in the United States Congress. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I hope to ….”

    Be the politically savy pol we know you are.

    And help Rodney, will ya?


  6. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    Rich said,

    “Even without a sanction, this revelation is gonna make for some devastating TV ads if Schock decides to run for governor. Just devastating.”

    You think that joint in Ohio or wherever is going to wait until he announces? Whoever they are, they seem pretty intent on beating up Schock right now…


  7. - The Captain - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    I guess the feds (who never leak, btw) have been trying Jackson in the press for 5 years without trial are now offering him jail time and they would like you to know that so they told Sneed. I never liked JJJ, he was difficult to be around and like but sooner or later the feds are going to do this to someone less objectionable and we’re all going to wonder how they could get away with it and if anyone is going to stand up and stop them. I hope by then it’s not too late.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    While I seem to see both sides, (JJJ flipping on Sandi, Sandi just being to ripe of a target regardless…) I just feel it came down to …

    “We got 2 governors, has any other US Attorney ever got a ‘2-fer’ of a Congressman AND an Alderman… of the same family?”

    There must be a truck load there …time will tell.


  9. - Nieva - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    What I don’t understand is why just go after JJJ and Sandi? The campaign staff almost had to have knowledge of where the money was going. Don’t all campaigns of this size have a committee that cuts the checks and approves expenses?


  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    One-Way Ticket To Jail Tonight
    Sung by Eddie Money, enhanced by VanillaMan

    We’ve a jail cell in store for you
    Locking you up is a thing we have to do
    Jesse, so long! Blago, so long!
    George, so long! Mel, so long!

    We’re gonna take you on a trip so far from here
    You’re convicted, now baby, you’re gonna disappear
    Jesse, so long! Blago, so long!
    George, so long! Mel, so long!

    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    Pack your bags, turn off your light
    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    After what you’ve done, you earned that right

    Oh oh oh oh uh oh uh oh uh oh

    You claimed that you were the guy to vote for
    We got you in and you turned out to be a wh@#e
    Jesse, so long! Blago, so long!
    George, so long! Mel, so long!

    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    Strip naked, bend over, fingerprint, weight and height
    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    We live in a state that’s a toxic waste site.

    Jail is full of guys who want to be your friend
    With these jumpsuits you’re sure to blend, right in
    Jesse, so long! Blago, so long!
    George, so long! Mel, so long!

    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    What’s it like to kiss your career good night?
    You’ve got a one-way ticket to jail tonight
    Jailed Illinois elected officials are so polite!


  11. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Don’t be confused…we love Schock too … and the Rebooters or ReBootress…and all hedge fund hustlers including Cousin Brucie — the GOPers new face.
    Just becuase they show total disdain for the law does not mean we lose the love.


  12. - How Ironic - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    Maybe Sandi can sell all of that office furniture for her legal defense? Sounds like she’s going to need it.


  13. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    As a Democrat, I’m no fan of Schock or Davis. Rules are rules, but does anyone else see the irony in hammering them over such a small amount of money, while Citizens United has essentially removed all limits on money flowing into political races? Schizophrenic.


  14. - Coffee Addict - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    So, Schock told Cantor to shift money from one PAC to another PAC.

    I get the issue and the problem here, but I’ve often wondered how on earth this came to light. I can’t imagine Cantor ran out of their meeting to report Schock. So, who made the first accusation against Schock, and how did they know what said between the two men?

    I remain open-minded on the whole thing, but the first red flag for me was Rep. Davis’ refusal to work with the investigation. That’s serious.


  15. - Endangered Moderate Species - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    Schock is in trouble for shifting funds from one PAC to another PAC while a third PAC, whose donors remain anonymous, continue to hammer him? There is no wonder, a majority of our citizens have a negative opinion of politics.


  16. - titan - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    “Sandi Jackson claims she was stunned by campaign finance abuse disclosures against her husband, who has been treated for mental disorders and allegedly spent $40,000 on a Rolex watch purchased with campaign funds.”

    Didn’t that watch go to some attractive young woman, who wasn’t Sandi? I suspect that would have been a large part of the “stunned” factor there


  17. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    So Rodney is already on the DCCC target list and now he gives them a gift like this?

    Enjoy your time in Washington Mr. Davis. It may not last as long as you hoped.


  18. - Esquire - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    JJJr: My name’s Jesse Jackson, Jr. My friends call me Junior. You might have noticed that, uh, I’ve got a slight weight problem.
    Prisoners: Nooo! Noooo!
    JJJr: Yeah, yeah I do. Yeah, I do. I went to this doctor. Well, he told me I swallow a lot of aggression… along with a lot of pizzas! Ha Ha Ha! Pizzas! I’m basically a shy person, I’m a shy guy. Uh, he suggested taking one these uh, aggression training courses. You know these aggression training courses like EST, those type of things. Anyway, it cost 400 bucks! 400 bucks to join this thing? Well I didn’t have the money since leaving Congress and the wife quitting her City Council gig and I thought to myself, “Go to prison”! It’s free. So I figured while I’m here I’ll lose a few pounds. And you got what, a 6 to 8 year training program here? A real tough one. Which is perfect for me, plus I won’t have to listen to Pops sermonizing which will let me get my head on straight.
    [Looks around at all the prisoners and gestures emphatically]
    JJJr: I’m going to walk out of here a Lean, Mean, Fightin’ Machine! Ha ha ha ha!

    (Apologies to the late great John Candy)


  19. - walkinfool - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    Is Reboot Illinois a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    Or just a curious bloodhound?


  20. - just sayin' - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    On the bright side Schock will have more time to work on his abs if he need not worry about a race for gov.


  21. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    -Fire.Aim.Ready.-

    CFS, can’t argue with you one bit here.

    But, in the interest of keeping our snark both funny and reasonably accurate, have to point something out. “Cousin Brucie”is not a hedge fund guy. He made his kabillion in private equity, the hedgies’ slightly more respectable cohort.


  22. - no more - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    so my question is - Did Davis tell the County Chairmen and Pat Brady during the interview process to replace Johnson that he refused to cooperate with a Federal Ethics investigation. If he did, what is wrong with those folks and if he didn’t - how could he ever be trusted. I really know I shouldn’t be, but I can’t believe Schock & Davis didn’t think this would come out.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===Did Davis tell the County Chairmen and Pat Brady during the interview process to replace Johnson that he refused to cooperate with a Federal Ethics investigation. If he did, what is wrong with those folks and if he didn’t - how could he ever be trusted.===

    Good question….

    Better Question … how does the timeline differ with what was, or wasn’t said to the Committee, and the un-cooperating.

    Add the timeline to your question, then we will be cooking with some gas.


  24. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Doesn’t look like Schock will be running for governor any time soon. The stuff just keeps piling up.

    I wonder how the “I’m stunned” works with the feds. Does Sandi think she can claim complete ignorance over JJJs activities?


  25. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    Coffee Addict - cantors people made the first accusation against schock in an april 2012 roll call story. Cantor was in trouble with his conference for putting his pac money against manzullo and his spokesman then shifted blame and political fallout by saying he only did it at the request of schock. That’s how people found out about Schocks involvement which he confirmed when contacted by roll call


  26. - Ghost - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    On the Shock stuff, this seems like a tempest in a teacup. Even if true, this seems like more of an oopsy then something nefarious. It’s probably just me, but this just doesn’t strike me as a concern I have. Voting for bills where you have a conflict of interest is a much more troublesome issue to me.


  27. - no more - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===Add the timeline to your question, then we will be cooking with some gas.===

    OW - not sure how much gas, but looks like the interviews took place from July 12 to July 31, I didn’t see an entry to as when Davis was officially requested to appear, but Schock’s COS told Davis about being requested to appear in May. There is a footnote about Bigger’s attorney refusing to appear, but again no date. My guess and only a guess is he had to know in May and at latest in June. It looks like he was appointed on May 19th so I guess I will give him the benefit of doubt, but still doesn’t sit right with me. This was all going on in April and I’m still curious as to if he brought it up to the committee and how when or if he told the district Chairmen after he refused - even as the “nominee”.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===OW - not sure how much gas,…===

    Now, marry that with the “Questionnaires” that they were to fill out …

    Remember, I remember that “those questionnaires are not for the public” spiel, and the “committee will do this, and the committee will protect that …”

    Well, “Committee”, how about it.

    Do you have the Davis Questionnaire, and if you do, is there something in there about this investigation, and, as a “Commmittee”, did you ask the RIGHT question to get an answer about this, if it was indeed going on in a sub-committee?

    I knew those “Questionnaires” would come back to bite someone, just not Davis….


  29. - Coffee Addict - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 1:16 pm:

    hisgirlfriday… awesome, thanks!


  30. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 1:24 pm:

    @TheCaptain: I also thought of Aaron Swartz for a moment. While Swartz is far more deserving of sympathy than JJJ in my book, some of the recent developments in prosecution are downright scary.


  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 2:17 pm:

    You’d think that a crack team of “social engineers” might consider that anything labelled “a GOP-oriented social media operation” might be misunderstood by some audiences.


  32. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    In The Tudors, Brandon has Ann Bolyen’s father by the neck, pressed against the wall, and referring to his now beheaded children, ” Was It All Worth It , Bolyen??!!” For some reason I think of Jesse Jacksion Sr. when I see that powerful scene.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    “Welcome to the US Attorney’s Office Can I take your plea bargin please?”

    “Yes, it’s the Junior and Sandi Jackson, can we have … 1 ‘Vrdolyak Special’ and one… Home confinement, 6 months please?”

    “Does that complete your plea? Ok, I have one ‘Vrdolyak Special’, and one 6 month Home Confinement?… Oh! … um … Ok. Please pull forward, I think we are out of both…”


  34. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Playing Anonymous again, Willy?


  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    I don’t think so … where?


  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    I give Full Disclosure when the Laptop recycles.

    Are you the - Anonymous - who won’t answer questions, the Real - Anonymous -, or a 3rd - Anonymous -?


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 3:18 pm:

    Nope. I don’t see any …

    Golly, now I wonder which you think IS me?

    To the post,

    the more I think, I believe Schock has more damage to worry about, while Davis has more to worry about in appearances… right now.

    All that can change very quickly, but this might all be moot in the Congress’ eyes, keeping it in-house. But, Davis as the Frosh, I hope he tries to get ahead of this at some point.


  38. - Easy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 3:34 pm:

    I think the discussions of this “devastating” report are a bit premature. In the worst case scenario, Schock didn’t violate a law, he went against an FEC “advisory” opinion. keyword: opinion. and according to politico, this is most likely to be dismissed. so if it is dismissed, and one of his opponents were to use it, it would likely backfire very badly.


  39. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 5:19 pm:

    Seems like Davis hasn’t changed his stripes when it comes to questionable fundraising practices. Not responding to the inquiry is the worst thing he could do, and probably means there’s more to the story than first glance. Not a good way to start off a new career.


  40. - county chairman - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 8:09 pm:

    if poor arron used 25,ooo gs where did the other 90,oo come from


  41. - county chairman - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 8:14 pm:

    this is called money laundering through 18th cng district none of it was voted on by the 18th county chairman which is illegal


  42. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 8:21 pm:

    To quote Bill the day Blago was arrested,

    “Whoops.”


  43. - wishbone - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 8:29 pm:

    JJJ-apple-tree


  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 8:39 pm:

    - Arthur Andersen -

    ===To quote Bill the day Blago was arrested,

    “Whoops.”===

    Rim Shot! Wow, nice!

    I just hope Davis gets out of this pickle and talks to someone.


  45. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 7, 13 @ 10:20 pm:

    Willy, I agree. In this case, silence is not going to be “Golden.”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Mundelein man shot near U of I was to begin nursing job Monday
* Five questions for the opening of Bulls' camp
* Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez dies in boating accident

* 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

* Illinois/Wisconsin briefs - Dubuque Telegr......

* Senators Introduce Legislation Aimed at Bo......

* Blues people (an art project).
* The passive voice.
* “If we have learned anything about dealing with politicians is that they will look for any crack to take what is ours.”
* John Dillon on re-districting reform.
* Stop-and-frisk.
* Sunday chowdah.
* Rumdum
* Putting A Fresh Face On The Uptown Theater
* Attempted Hold-Up Of American Metro Bank On Friday
* Carol's Pub Closes (At Least For Now) - One Of Uptown's Last Appalachian-Era Hangouts


* IDOT Hiring in Preparation of Winter Weather - Temporary help needed to assist with snow-and-ice removal, public urged to apply
* Illinois Department of Insurance Reminds ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ Customers to Enroll In New Coverage - The deadline for ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ customers to enroll in a new plan is September 30, 2016; Consumers could experience a gap in health care cove
* Governor Rauner Celebrates Illinois’ Hunting Heritage on National Hunting and Fishing Day
* Governor Signs Executive Order Creating New Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* State of Illinois Announces Online Enrollment Platform for Group Insurance Programs - MyBenefits Marketplace continues Illinois’ digital transformation, improves state employee experience




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