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Another DNR employee took mining campaign cash, much of it transferred to Quinn

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014

* I broke this story on Monday for subscribers. The Champaign News-Gazette followed up with more details

The head of the Douglas County Democratic Party is under investigation for accepting campaign contributions from a company that he oversees as a state official.

Michael L. Woods Sr., of Tuscola, has been moved to another position in the Department of Natural Resources by Director Marc Miller. Woods, an IDNR employees since 2004, is being investigated for taking a total of $14,000 in 2012 and 2013 from Foresight Energy Services of St. Louis.

Foresight is a coal mining company with operations at four Illinois sites.

In addition to being chairman of the Douglas County Democratic Party, Woods is acting director of the Office of Mines and Minerals at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. As such, he is a chief regulator of mining operations in the state.

Campaign disclosure records show that Foresight last August gave $10,000 to the Douglas County Democrats, a highly unusual sum given that the organization generally had no more than $4,000 on hand.

Within a few days of Foresight’s $10,000 donation to the Douglas County Democrats, officials disbursed much of it to Democratic candidates and other party organizations outside of Douglas County.

The largest sum — $5,000 — went to Gov. Pat Quinn’s re-election campaign. Another $1,200 went to the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. And $250 went to the campaign fund of state Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign.

The Douglas County Democrats also gave $1,000 to the campaign fund of Tony Mayville, a Democratic candidate for the Illinois House in the 115th District in southern Illinois. Mayville is a state mine safety officer for IDNR.

Oy.

* You may recognize the name of Tony Mayville. He’s the DNR employee who was suspended for also taking contributions from those same mining interests.

* The Illinois GOP rightly called on Gov. Quinn and Sen. Frerichs to return the tainted cash. From a press release…

Gov. Pat Quinn and State Sen. Mike Frerichs, both candidates for statewide election, found themselves caught up this week in an investigation involving campaign contributions and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“After all the damage that’s been done to our state’s reputation on ethics, you’d think Gov. Quinn and Sen. Frerichs would know better,” said Andrew Welhouse, communications director for the Illinois Republican Party. “At the very least, both Gov. Quinn and Sen. Frerichs need to return this tainted cash immediately, and any other contributions they’ve had funneled to them in a similar way.” […]

“Illinois deserves better than this,” Welhouse said. “Gov. Quinn shouldn’t stand for his public employees using their taxpayer-funded jobs to grease the wheels of the Democrats’ campaign operation. And why should the taxpayers trust Mike Frerichs with their tax dollars if he’s not even willing to separate himself from this kind of scandal?”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


72 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    More big trouble for Quinn. Brazen. Didn’t any of his campaign peeps see a red flag with that $5K?


  2. - Generation X - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Optics not good on this one


  3. - Walker - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    The DNR official’s actions are not defensible.

    However, for the Frerichs and Quinn campaigns to get donations from the Douglas County Democrats, without knowing the ultimate source of the funds, is not very troubling.

    They should return the money just for appearance sake.

    When a GOP candidate gets hundreds of thousands from a “conservative” superPAC without knowing the ultimate source of those funds, then that’s okay, right Welhouse?


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Come on. People should know better than this.

    But again, with all the Board of Review commissioners, zoning commissioners, judicial candidates and others who take money from those they have authority over, it’s surprising more people don’t get “confused” about what is legitimate and what is illegal.


  5. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    This is just shocking, just shocking I tell you!

    Of course it can’t help a person’s image on the receiving end. Likely to see much more of these ‘revelations’ in the coming months. Like FKA said, far too many players and handoff mechanisms.


  6. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Part of the problem with this it can be made to look like ‘laundering’


  7. - low level - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Well, again this is one of those things that would have been laughed at back in the day on both sides. It was a normal way of doing business and wouldn’t even have made news. The fact that it did is a sign things are better.

    With that in mind, Wordslinger is right on. Is anyone minding the campaign store over there beyond election time?


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    @FakeMikeFrerichs - at least this time I can say I don’t know instead of saying I did know #ShrinkingViolet

    To the Post,

    - OneMan -’s idea of what it may appear to be is as harmful as what it is, politically speaking only.

    Bad optics, bad choices, bad form.


  9. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Thanks to Blago and Quinn, DNR has been the repository of several of these “professionals.” They view their job as a vehicle for politics. A disservice to DNR’s constituents and the State’s taxpayers.


  10. - Gramps - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    My memory may be fading a bit, but isn’t this similar to some of George Ryan’s SoS trouble? Sorry if I’m mistaken.


  11. - Leave a Light on George - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    What do you mean that Woods has been moved to another position in DNR!!? Suspend him until the investigation is completed.

    Almost time for the FBI guys to get involved.

    Past time for Mark Miller to go.


  12. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    Is this just more stupid election year politics, Demoralized?

    I guess this is what Quinn meant by fumigate.


  13. - Shawneewatch - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    These are just a few dinosaurs that went to the BLAGO School of politics. Too bad Quinn did not just clean house when he got in.


  14. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    How does Marc Miller keep his job? The whole department is a cesspool.


  15. - Shawneewatch - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    If I am right Tony got the JOB in DNR after the washington co Dem gave BLAGO a lot of cash. Not that I am saying there was anything like a pay to play going on. How many more of tthese guys are we going to find hiding in the system


  16. - Corrupt DNR - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    DNR’s upper management since Blago and now Quinn has been the most corrupt bunch you can find. The Mines & Minerals office is the worst. They put it right out in the open for the employees to see. Sure hope the Auditor General looks at ALL the issues like time off, personal use of vehicles like Mayville and Woods have, travel etc.


  17. - And I Approved This Message - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Looks like it’s time to drain the swamp.


  18. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    “The whole department is a cesspool”

    Unfortunately, so are some state park facilities… because there (allegedly) aren’t enough staff to properly maintain them. Or more precisely, not enough of the right KIND of staff (competent on the ground personnel rather than politically connected hacks).


  19. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    === However, for the Frerichs and Quinn campaigns to get donations from the Douglas County Democrats, without knowing the ultimate source of the funds, is not very troubling. They should return the money just for appearance sake. ===

    Agreed. A low level campaign staffer probably processed the check and didn’t think much of it. Such a large check would only be unusual if the campaigns knew how much the Douglas County Dems typically had on-hand. The Quinn staffer probably doesn’t even know where Douglas County is.


  20. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Foresight Energy has at least one dead miner on its scorecard from Illinois operations in 2013. Could this story act as a counterweight to the killing granny ads appearing against Rauner?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    - Just Observing -,

    That “Frerichs Staff”…

    Can’t roll out Ads that are honest, they send out press releases on votes that are blatantly inaccurate, and now they just cash check unknowingly…

    You may be right, the pattern of ineptitude by Mike Frerichs and then saying Staff may be at fault is just as bad as Frerichs not even proofing his rollout and knowing his votes.

    Amateur Hour.


  22. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    @dupage dan:

    Seem a little obsessed with me don’t you? I don’t even have to comment on a story and you go after me. Again, bite me.


  23. - Powell - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    In at least Frerichs defense, if you get a check from a Democrat County organization you are going to assume it’s safe. The prob for Frerichs though is that everything that has gone on since his rollout has gone against his narrative of being this pure, honest, fresh face. he’s become more symbolic of the problem now than before he launched.


  24. - low level - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    OW - on $250??? Please.


  25. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    DNR has been hard hit enough with the obliteration of their budget over the past several years. And now they have to deal with this nonsense, which is just going to put them in the crosshairs once again.

    Taking money from people you regulate? They should be convicted of stupidity.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    - low level -,

    It’s just the pattern. It’s like someone who is constantly saying “sorry”, even for nothing that warrants an apology. At some point you look at that person as inept. Constant errors lead to a pattern, and that pattern leads to perception…

    Perception can lead to a reality.

    It has everything to do with Frerichs getting in his own way since that Dopey rollout, which was preceded by his Dopey tweeting and all this sophomore height statements. Amateurish.


  27. - fed up - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    just another example of Quinn being much more like Blago than a lot of you are willing to admit. its no longer just stupid, its corrupt.


  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Don’t blame Marc Miller: he didn’t hire the guy.

    As for the comparison to George Ryan, similar but quite different.

    Ryan was pressuring regulators to “sell” $25K in tickets. No evidence of that here.

    Moreover, Foresight gave Quinn close to $100,000 during the 2010 election cycle, so any suggestion that this was part of some scheme on Quinn’s part to funnel money into his campaign is crazy.

    BTW, they also gave tens of thousands to Bill Brady in 2010. And House Republicans and Democrats. And Senate Democrats.


  29. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    @Just Observing: A low level campaign staffer probably processed the check and didn’t think much of it. Such a large check would only be unusual if the campaigns knew how much the Douglas County Dems typically had on-hand. The Quinn staffer probably doesn’t even know where Douglas County is.

    Perhaps. If one did know anything about Douglas County, it’s lopsidedly Republican to the point that Steve Kim came within an eyelash of carrying the county over Lisa Madigan for Attorney General.

    One could count the Democrat elected officials there on one hand, so the very idea that tens of thousands of dollars would be rolling in to raise money for Dem candidates in Douglas County is preposterous on its face.


  30. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    ==Quinn being much more like Blago ==

    I wouldn’t go quite that far. Quinn is a lot of things but being Blago is not one of them.


  31. - Gramps - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    YDD, thanks. My mind fog is getting thicker.


  32. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    I read this News Gazette article yesterday. I agree that perception is everything. I also read in the cap fax on Monday that IDNR denied any internal wrong doings. It appears they have looked into the situation and found no improprieties within the office of mines. I take that to mean that no favorable treatment was given to any person or company.

    It appears that the issue here is simply receiving the money that the Douglas County Dems received from the coal company. The donor gave it to the county central committee not to Woods.

    With that being said perception is still an issue.


  33. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    Not obsessed, Demoralized - just noticing. Hyperbole gets my attention.


  34. - fed up - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Demoralized,
    “I wouldn’t go quite that far. Quinn is a lot of things but being Blago is not one of them”.

    Really, lying to the whole state about the tax increase, paying off Revs months before an election, The AFSCME contract with no layoff’s while taking campaign cash same day, lying about supporting death penalty weeks before election, flipping weeks after election. Illegally trying to stop pay for state Sen & Reps, his silly fighting with others about State college Board of Trustees (really state collge contracts. Quinn is corrupt not inept


  35. - Shawneewatch - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    @downstate illinois
    This does not change the fact that Mayville is running for State Rep, not only has he been taking money from the coal mines EVER SEPTEMBER SINCE 2008, as chairman, one might assume there was some sort of solicitation going on, And that his own political fund (friends of tony mayville) also got a check in 2011. Just saying


  36. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Quinn negotiates deal with AFSMCE and 48 hours later gets a 500k donation. Lisa Madigan takes tens of thousands from union members never files a charge for what her spokesman called fraud. Neither of these have even been mentioned as corruption. A couple low ranking DNR officials who probably got their job because of their political positions take a few thousand bucks and we are going to whack em. C’mon man.

    Good news fellas. AS long as you didn’t cross state lines, don’t resign. IL employment laws favor you and the AG doesn’t prosecute political corruption. Sit down, shut up, and wait for your pension.


  37. - Givemeabreak - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    Talking about Tony has any one looked into the allegations of tax fraud??????


  38. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    @fed up:

    If you think he’s like Blago that’s fine. I disagree. None of what you mentioned comes close to making him like Blago in my opinion.


  39. - W - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    What makes this interesting is how small and largely inactive that political committee was before Woods got his promotion at DNR. Taken with Mayville, it looks like a pattern.

    Given how many fines are waived and bad permits issued, there’s no doubt that Foresight and other Chris Cline companies have gotten very generous treatment by DNR.


  40. - PoolGuy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    again, time is a flat circle. no one ever seems to learn on this stuff. ugh


  41. - flea - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Director Miller is a nice guy. Too bad he has no connection with reality about what his top staffers are involved in…is he paying any attention?


  42. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Quinn is fortunate not to be facing a primary, same with Frerichs. On the other hand, PQ survived a tough election in 2010, when he was thought to be done. Then there is Frerichs who hasn’t had a tough race in 2006. Only time will tell if these campaigns can get their acts together.


  43. - NW Illinois Dem - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    County chairs need to be kept at an arms length from the operations of state government for obvious reasons.


  44. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    ***Shawneewatch**** “This does not change the fact that Mayville is running for State Rep, not only has he been taking money from the coal mines EVER SEPTEMBER SINCE 2008, as chairman, one might assume there was some sort of solicitation going on, And that his own political fund (friends of tony mayville) also got a check in 2011. Just saying”

    Money being donated to a personal political fund is different than to a central committee that is controlled by precinct committeepeople. A personal PAC and political organization are two different things.

    Foresight Coal Company most likely donated to the Illinois Democratic Party and Illinois Republican Party as well. Speaker Madigan (Chairman of DPI) oversees all legislation in the General Assembly, including bills that regulate the coal industry (the same example can be used for any industry). Does that make it illegal when DPI receives donations from a coal company? No.

    I think the Douglas County Democratic Party is small potatoes in the whole scheme of things. I read somewhere that Foresight donated $1.5 million during the last election cycle. All of this craziness is over $10k. C’mon man. This company, like many others (and labor unions), spread donations out all over the place.

    Again, like I said earlier, perception is everything. This IDNR story makes for a good headline.


  45. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Could Foresight donate money directly to the Quinn campaign?


  46. - Hump Day! - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    I agree that IDNR creates entertaining headlines. Marc Miller’s briliant idea of establishing a “canoe czar.” Travis Loyd’s “Gone Fishing” expedition. As a side note, when I saw the news clip that included Travis Loyd’s State Rep advertisement, he looked like Francis Buxton in Big Top Pee Wee. (He’s the rich guy who didn’t have any friends and always bullied Pee Wee Herman around.) If I was Travis’ opponent, whoever the Republican was at the time, I would have ran his own corny ad against him.

    Anyways back to the point, stellar leadership at the top of DNR.


  47. - kathryn - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    To reply to Downstate Illinois - The coal company didn’t contribute to other county chairmen’s committees, they only contributed to the county chairmen that regulated the coal industry. Stop trying to minimize the issue.


  48. - Truthteller - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Kathryn: Do you know for a fact that the coal company did not donate to other county parties? If I had to guess, it has donated to many county and statewide parties and campaigns both Democrat and Republican including DPI and the statewide GOP. That’s what these companies (coal, utilities and several others) do.


  49. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Nonplussed:

    Not only could Foresight donate to Quinn, they did, nearly $100K, see my earlier post.

    And tens of thousands to Bill Brady’s campaign as well.

    Again, no reason to believe there was some nefarious plot on the part of Quinn and certainly not Frerichs.

    What Foresight and Douglas County Democrats did though…not the brightest.

    BTW, Frerichs and Quinn should donate that money to charity, not give it back to Douglas County.


  50. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Reply to Kathryn.
    “The coal company didn’t contribute to other county chairmen’s committees…”

    Out of curiosity, I just logged onto the state board of elections website. 594 donations from Foresight throughout the state. Madison County Republican Party, Montgomery County Republican Party, Macoupin County Republican Party, Christian County Republican Party, Sangamon County Republican Party, Christian County Democratic Party all received donations from Foresight. I’m sure there were more examples but I’m not wanting to look through all 594.

    Anyways, your statement isn’t true. Sorry:-(


  51. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    – 594 donations from Foresight throughout the state.–

    Good stuff, DI. The reports of coal’s demise in Illinois are greatly exaggerated.


  52. - Nonplussed - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    Thanks Yellow Dog. Seems like a non-starter if you are the Quinn campaign. The Quinn admin, however, needs to put a leash on some of the hacks they’re employing.


  53. - ILLgreen - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Just wait until the truth comes out on Tony Mayville and his taxes…..cant wait to see how he tries to dodge that one. What a joke!!


  54. - transplant - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 5:19 pm:

    Arthur Bishop just resigned from DCFS. Not a good time for Quinn appointed directors. Wonder if Godinez is nervous with his appointment still not being called by the Senate appointments committee after nearly a year?


  55. - Barney Fife - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    Transplant. There appears to be all kinds of State Agency issues involving Quinn appointments. Idoc’ s Godinez has no support on either side of the aisle, nor with power house afscme union. It is just a Chairman stall tactic. This too shall pass!


  56. - Sandbar - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    I do not understand why the Director, who approved, the Fisherman’s time off is still employed? That seems like a reasonable place to start reform.


  57. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 6:52 pm:

    === reports of coal’s demise in Illinois are greatly exaggerated ===

    In the words of Bloomberg earlier this week: “How much is an old coal power plant worth? With natural gas production booming and environmental rules looming, in Illinois the answer is clear: It can be hard to even give one away.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-20/the-coal-plant-an-illinois-town-couldn-t-give-away.html

    Foresight may still be passing the hat, but Illinois alone has seen 14 coal fired plants close between 2009-2012, with well over one hundred closures nationally. And while Illinois’ coal exports have recently increased, overall production is still down roughly 50% from the heyday of the ’80s and ’90s.

    Illinois coal may not have met its demise just yet, but reports of that demise don’t necessarily seem exaggerated. If anything, it seems more like Illinois coal is on life support.


  58. - ILLgreen - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 6:53 pm:

    Hey **downstate illinois**
    its aparent that Tony Mayville is county chairman of the Washinton County democrat party, and also the mine safety inspector for IDNR. Are you saying its ok for him (Tony) to receive contributions from a company in which he (Tony) is in charge of having their mines follow regulations and safety standards?? Have you ever heard of state ethic laws?? Mayville (before his current leave) was a state official and to take money from a company he overseen is not only unethical…its ILLEGAL


  59. - low level - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 8:16 pm:

    “County chairs need to be kept at an arms length from the operations of state government for obvious reasons.”

    Not that long ago you would have been laughed out of any Dem or Republican fundraiser for making that statement. What does that tell us? That corruption is worse than ever? No. It tells us the standards have changed dramatically and that ethics laws and measures designed to end those practices are having an effect.


  60. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 8:24 pm:

    Time for Mark Miller to step down. Apparently his regular out-of-state travel has prevented him from having any idea what goes on at IDNR. Oh but he did know that his buddy was fishing on the tax payers dime. Just ask him.


  61. - So Ill transplant - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 8:35 pm:

    The lack of leadership at IDNR is mind-boggling. First, the Director approves sick leave for his direct sobordinate to go on a U.S. fishing tour, and now this.

    Sure, this latest scandal isn’t nearly as bad as Fishgate; the money involved is literally peanuts, and, as someone wrote earlier, avoiding contributions from the multi-billion dollar mining industry isn’t easy as their tentacles are everywhere(remember W’s regulators literally doing blow on the backsides of the ones they were regulating?).

    That said, agency directors are hired to fall on the sword for the boss (the Gov) when things go wrong under their watch. The time is now for IDNR’s director to do the honorable thing and step aside.

    But I won’t hold my breath. He didn’t show any leadership after the first scandal, so why should we expect it now?


  62. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 8:59 pm:

    Staffers monitoring such donations for these various groups obviously need to monitor such giving more closely. If an innocent oversight is made in the original receipt, any such contributions merely need be returned with an apology for the mistake.


  63. - Hey There - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 9:05 pm:

    First Mayville, then the fisherman, and now this. Seriously, how can DNR Director Marc Miller keep his job? Talk about being asleep at the switch. Quinn HAS to get rid of Miller, his chief of staff, and some other high level people and clean house at DNR.


  64. - Fossil - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 9:28 pm:

    Yellow Dog: “Don’t blame Marc Miller: he didn’t hire the guy.”

    No, but be promoted him just like the Wannabee Fisherman Travis Loyd.


  65. - Kwark - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 10:54 pm:

    The irony of this is that Chris Cline, the guy who really owns Foresight and who is actually one of the richest guys in Illinois (when he’s in the state, anyway…), is a hard-line libertarian and one of Scott Walker’s biggest backers.


  66. - just pandering - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:17 pm:

    Anyone who isn’t aware that Foresight/Cline is a suddenly-overnight big spender in Illinois campaigns is somewhat asleep at the switch. Collectively, it’s more than $1 million in the past five years or so, since Cline came into the state. I don’t understand this apparent funneling of cash from a county committee to Quinn. As someone else has stated, Cline/Foresight can and has give a lot of money directly to the governor. It’s not like Cline/Foresight has been trying to hide anything. As for Wisconsin, I suspect that Cline’s support of Walker might have something to do with Cline trying to start up an iron mine that that has environmentalists shrieking. He ain’t stupid. Even before he came to Illinois, he was prone to pouring lots and lots of cash into Appalachia political campaigns. Really, he’s perfect for Illinois, when you think about it.


  67. - Late to the Party - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 6:55 am:

    I know its been going on for centuries but I dislike campaign money moving across political boundaries. What I mean is county campaign money should be raised and kept within the county; district within district, state within state. Californians and New Yorkers should *not* contribute to Illinois politicians.


  68. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 8:13 am:

    Fossil:

    Fair point.

    Again, sounds like the law was broken. No evidence this guy was part of a plot or higher-ups knew what was going on like the Ryan days; no evidence Quinn was driving the bus like the Blago days. Fair to question whether stronger action should be taken while investigation is pending.


  69. - kathryn - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 8:26 am:

    None of the county chairmen receiving contributions from Foresight had responsibility for regulating the coal companies like Mayville and Woods did.


  70. - low level - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    @ Late - really? Lets say I think Jan Schakowsky is the greatest reforming US Rep ever & I live in NW Indiana and want to donate to further her reforming efforts. Or Howard Dean. I shouldn’t beallowed to donate since its across state lines??


  71. - gasserwillys - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Travis Loyd and Shelton Dufford andOstling are the heads of the northern Illinois hunting club to exterminate deer. That’s what they have been doing since 2003 problem is no one knows where the meat hides and antlers go.Include these guys in the FBI investigation


  72. - Retired IDNR - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m sick of hearing IDNR Director Marc Miller is a nice guy.
    Marc Miller lost control of what once was a proud Agency. Miller’s lack of control has destroyed the moral of people working hard to preserve the State’s natural resources. His personality of being “nice” or not is irrelevant to his ability to lead. He clearly has NO leadership.
    Marc Miller if you’re not out hunting while claiming to be working please do the honorable thing and step down.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * White Sox call up Josh Phegley, Marcus Semien, Jordan Danks, Scott...
        * Prospect Rodon not among White Sox callups
        * White Sox unburden themselves for September
        * White Sox Minor League Update: End of the regular season
        * Noesi looks to continue push toward season's end
        * Williams conveys important message to Little Leaguers


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        * State accepting patient applications for medica.....
        * Bruce Rauner seems to think Illinois voters are.....
        * Smoking to be banned on Parkland campus..
        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, veterans..
        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans..
        * Quinn, Rauner Should Get On Board With Region’s.....
        * This Gubernatorial Candidate Belongs a Wine Clu.....


        * Kirk: US must take hard line against Islamic State
        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, veterans
        * EPA OKs FutureGen plan for CO2 storage
        * Suburban Chicago man sentenced for killing infant
        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Illinois woman rescued after day stuck in mud
        * First medical marijuana tally expected next week
        * School starts in Chicago with more safety guards
        * Climatologist says August warmed up in Illinois
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge

        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Gubernatorial candidates discuss jobs, veterans
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue

        * Amtrak renews complaint against freight line over Chicago-Carbondale delays
        * A new, improved commuter bike for $325? Well, sort of
        * Hinshaw merger sets up law firm for more growth
        * Thoma Bravo to buy Compuware
        * Thoma Bravo makes its biggest deal yet


        * New school year brings changes to Gresham
        * 30 years for man who smothered baby, tossed him in garbage
        * 30-year sentence for man who smothered baby, tossed him in garbage
        * Convicted felon accused of fatally stabbing girlfriend 22 times
        * Quinn announces $102 million investment for high-speed rail
        * Quinn to live on minimum wage for a week
        * Moms, dads get kids ready for school
        * Chicago school year begins with more safety guards
        * Ex-cop convicted of protecting crooks is back on public payroll


        * Man convicted of possessing child porn sentenced to 7 years
        * Garrett Popcorn sued over Chicago Mix
        * Teen critically injured after being hit by train in Lake Zurich
        * Rauner declines to say how personal relationship with Emanuel will affect political one
        * Home Depot investigating possible data breach
        * Teacher facing child porn charges to be mentally evaluated
        * High school placed on lockdown after reports of shots fired
        * Man charged with trying to meet Stickney girl, 12, for sex
        * Lawyer: Federal agents investigating shootings by Chicago cops
        * No bail for man accused of Northwest Side fatal stabbing


        * Dana Thomas House Drying Out, But More Water Works Needed
        * FutureGen Takes Another Step Forward
        * Decatur's Kirkland - From Beethoven To The Beatles
        * Big Predators In Illinois Inspire New Law
        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Casey's Expansion; Parsons In Court; Farmland Prices Fall
        * Opposition Research Key Part Of Political Dark Arts
        * Digging up political dirt? That's their job
        * State Starts Accepting Medical Marijuana Requests
        * Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules


        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans
        * Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge
        * Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues
        * State starts accepting medical marijuana requests
        * Couple’s wedding gifts help the community
        * Angela Bertoni: How to raise awareness of domestic violence in October
        * Catherine Rampell: Tech firms’ poor record of diversity
        * Audit finds state lax in reviewing eligibility for children’s health insurance program
        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Our Opinion: Driving into floodwater a deadly practice


        * Book signing by local author
        * Blotter 9/2/14
        * Police: Highland High teen dies in high-speed Corvette crash
        * HCE to present lesson on old-fashioned remedies
        * Sister throws cell phone, strikes child
        * Illinois getting better on emergency plans for kids
        * AUDIO: President's marine band coming to Urbana
        * AUDIO: police 10 code has roots in East Central Illinois
        * Lt. governor proposes changes to ROE alignment
        * Authorities identify victims in I-255 crash


        * Irish look to improve secondary play vs. Michigan
        * College of Lake County hosts "Esperanza Gama: A Series of Memories" art exhibit
        * Tollway offers I-PASS incentives, discounts
        * Police: 2 more possible student victims of Gavin South teacher come forward
        * DuPage forest board may have violated law in hiring executive director

        * Jesse Jackson Jr. political fund fined nea...
        * Dems urge CMS to ensure accurate nursing h...
        * Connie Bruck Whitewashes Schakowsky--and J...
        * 'Celebrity Crime Files' Season Three, With...
        * Legislation proposes mandating 24/7 nursin...
        * Welcome to the state's Bult Field - Chicag...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * Farm Antibiotic Restrictions Proposed - Al...
        * Jan Schakowsky: Tom Marino's Response to '...
        * Telling Nancy Pelosi to do research is sex...

        * Durbin, Bustos Highlight Potential of Digi......
        * Durbin, Bustos Highlight Potential of Digi......
        * Durbin, Bustos Highlight Potential of Digi......
        * Robbins, Illinois 3-day back-to-school fes......
        * Robbins, Illinois 3-day back-to-school fes......

        * U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk...
        * Rauner criticizes Quinn on veterans...
        * Construction Industry Continues to Raise C......
        * Ex-HP chief to speak at Downers Grove orga......

        * ISIS claims it has executed a second American journalist
        * Durbin - Oberweis race tightening; Oberweis endorsed by Bishop Trotter
        * What Happened to Chicago’s Crime Rate When Illinois Relaxed Gun Control Laws
        * Comment on Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer by Champion News | Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer
        * Comment on Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer by » Illinois a ‘Sinkhole State’: Rates Second Worst for Liability Per Taxpayer
        * Quinn Blasts Rauner On Minimum Wage Stance In New Ad (VIDEO)
        * Feds Reportedly Probing Chicago Police-Involved Shootings
        * O'Brien: Yes We Tan. Obama Concedes to ISIS in "Taupe and Change" suit
        * Rauner Rolls Out Veterans Coalition
        * Hultgren talks health care with community leaders


        * When it comes to jobs and hiring, Pat Quinn is veteran unfriendly
        * Pat Quinn’s Blagojevich-style Hiring Hurts Veterans
        * Rauner Rolls Out Veterans Coalition
        * ICYMI: Capitol Fax: “A Very Good Point”
        * Like All Illinoisans, Veterans Are Hurting Under Pat Quinn




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