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Lipinski one of “20 most corrupt”

Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

* No surprise here

An independent Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group named U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) to its fourth annual list of the “20 most corrupt members of Congress” on Wednesday, singling out for scrutiny his local chief of staff, Oak Lawn Trustee Jerry Hurckes.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims Hurckes may have violated the prohibition against congressional staffers serving as lobbyists. It also argues his acceptance of contributions to his trustee campaign from interests with business before a committee on which Lipinski serves may violate House ethics rules. And the group also questions the $60,000 in consulting fees he received from Bridgeview Bank.

“Mr. Hurckes clearly used his position in the House to provide special treatment to his constituents and encouraged the notion that his constituents would receive preferential treatment from Rep. Lipinski’s congressional office,” CREW stated in a news release.

Hurckes said neither he nor Lipinski, of Western Springs, has done anything wrong and that CREW’s claims amount to “a rehash of old news.”

Lipinski dismissed the charges against Hurckes and pointed out that while it’s his name on the list, CREW said little about the congressman himself.

It’s true that not much was said about Lipinski, but he is, obviously, the responsible party.

* Here’s an excerpt from the CREW report

Given that Mr. Hurckes is the most highly paid staff member in Rep. Lipinski’s office, that his position is a full-time job and is generally considered a “senior staff” position, the fact that Mr. Hurckes’ salary is just under the figure that would make him “senior staff” suggests that Rep. Lipinski is paying Mr. Hurckes a salary under this limit precisely so that he can earn a substantial outside income. As a result, the House Ethics committee ought to investigate whether Rep. Lipinski and Mr. Hurckes are attempting to end-run the outside income restrictions.

* And here’s another one..

Finally, by accepting money for his local electoral campaign from companies with interests before Rep. Lipinski, Mr. Hurckes is using his position as a congressional staff member to accept benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of official duties in violation of House rules.

* Somewhat related…

* Roskam’s new ad: “Filling the mini-van shouldn’t break the bank

* Walsh reveals deeper roots with developer


  1. - Ted - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 10:58 am:

    A Chicago area Democrat ranks as one of the twenty most corrupt in Congress! I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

  2. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 11:20 am:

    To be one of only 6 Democrats on the list is especially notable. Is this a truly non-partisan group?

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 11:24 am:

    Roskam is against high gasoline prices. It’s refreshing to see a congressman willing to take a stand.

  4. - shore - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 12:00 pm:

    It’s not non-partisan, it was founded in 2006 by a former aide to New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer who at that time was running the democrats campaign committee,to take on Republican members of congress.

    The DCCC and the DSCC used and continues to use it as a “neutral” source to chew up GOP members and to prey on vulnerable and unknowing reporters outside of dc looking for things like this.

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===The DCCC and the DSCC used and continues to use it as a “neutral” source to chew up GOP members and to prey on vulnerable and unknowing reporters outside of dc looking for things like this.===

    Perhaps, but here we are talking about a Democrat.

  6. - rolypoly - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 12:25 pm:

    Appears this group was funded by a secret group of wealthy Democratic activists a couple years back. Nice to have a few million to throw around.

    Washington Post, July 17, 2006 - “Likewise, a Democracy Alliance blessing effectively jump-started Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). It bills itself as a nonpartisan watchdog group committed to targeting “government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.” Alliance officials see CREW as a possible counterweight to conservative-leaning Judicial Watch, which filed numerous lawsuits against Clinton administration officials in the 1990s. A CREW spokesman declined to comment.

    full link here:

  7. - Help - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 1:30 pm:

    Would someone of substance please relieve us of this embarrassment and run against Lipinski?

    It seems to me that Jim Brosnahan or Kevin Joyce would beat the Lil’ Lipper like a drum. There’s gotta be someone with a name who is willing to take him on. No?

  8. - Doggone - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    Blago and his pal Mike Boland will soon be added to this list of shame!

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    Perhaps, but here we are talking about a Democrat.

    None of the other 5 “D”’s on the list are thought of as “progressive” wingers, with the possible exception of Rangel.

  10. - keep it in the family - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 2:57 pm:

    Shame on the people of the 3rd congressional district who keep re-electing this Lipinski and his thug of an aid, Jerry Hurckes. Same goes for the people of Oak Lawn who re-elect Hurckes as a trustee!

  11. - Corey - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 3:13 pm:

    Hurckes for Mayor of Oak Lawn! What a joke…and Big Bill is going to be his campaign chair after teaching him how to be so corrupt for all these years. Bet on it.

  12. - Oak Lawn Resident - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 3:14 pm:

    I think Jerry Hurches is great trustee. I will keep voting for Dan Lipinski as well. Obviously this report was done by someone who want Dan Lipinski’s spot in Congress. They figure if they smear the Lipinski name than he will lose an election. If Dan Lipinski and Jerry Hurckes are corrupt than we live in a perfect world.

  13. - Downtown - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 3:24 pm:

    Oak Lawn Resident,

    If Hurckes is such a wonderful public official why can’t you spell his name right. When were you contacted by Hurckes and Lippy to defend them on this blog. Please name one thing that Hurckes has done to improve your life besides getting you a new garbage can.

  14. - Snidely Whiplash - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 3:35 pm:

    Help: You mention the name “Joyce” to run against Lipinski? No “family” issues there, huh?

    I don’t see how that whole Oak Lawn-Hurckes business qualifies as “corruption.” If all the allegations are true, perhaps impropriety or conflict of interest. Corruption deals with personal gain, and I have yet to see any evidence that Dan Lipinski has compromised his office for his own personal gain. I think the “corrupt” label is a bit over the top.

  15. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 4:56 pm:

    Corruption doesn’t just imply one’s own personal gain, it could also include one’s cronies’ personal gains.

    Lipinski keeps winning in the 3rd because no one will run against him in the primary and the day the 3rd votes for a GOP representative in the general is the day you can try selling heaters to Satan.

  16. - Snidely Whiplash - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 6:23 pm:


    Lipinski had at least one real opponent last primary.

  17. - Oak Lawn Democrat - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 8:25 pm:

    I know both Jerry Hurckes and Congressman Lipinski personally and unlike most of you I witnessed the town hall meeting at which Hurckes, whose day job it is to help serve every community in the 3rd district, was called out by Mayor Heilmann and HIS cronies for not doing anything for Oak Lawn. Neither in his capacity as Chief of Staff or as an Oak Lawn Trustee. What did you expect him to say? Would you rather have him say “Yes your right, I don’t do anything for Oak Lawn”?

  18. - Darkhorse - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 9:40 pm:

    Actually Lipinski has won in part because he has made sure there is a third candidate against his real challenger in the primary. Kelly was the “third” candidate in 06 and Jerry Bennett in 08. I wonder who he will find in 10?

  19. - Oak Lawn Democrat - Thursday, Sep 11, 08 @ 10:15 pm:

    Even if you add up all of the votes that Jerry Bennett recieved and all the votes that Jim Caperelli received and the votes that Mark Para got; Dan Lipinski still recieved 55% of all total votes cast! It dosen’t look to me like he needed a “third” candidate. The same goes for the 06′ primary.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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